Episode 33 Designing with Sierra Designs

George Bryant is the VP and GM of Sierra Designs and knows a thing or two about designing livable gear for the backcountry.  

I've known of Sierra Designs for a number of years.  As you'll hear in this episode, SD made one of my first and favorite tents.  Up until I purchased this tent from SD, I basically hated all shelters.  They were complicated, took too long to pitch, and came with far too many irritations that I actually preferred NOT to use a tent.  

This new shelter of mine from SD wasn't some sort of ground breaking design that changed the face of an industry, but it did, however, change the face of my personal narrative.  It made me believe in gear that worked how I wanted it to work and more importantly provided a far better experience than what I had had in the past.  That one little tent from Sierra Designs set me on a course that I'll always be grateful for.  It made my life better out there and more importantly, made me want to go back time and time again.

As you'll hear George discuss, gear is there to enhance your experience in the outdoors, not take away from it.  Since the 1960's, Sierra Designs has done just that; made gear that makes life better out there in the wilderness when it means the most.

I hope you enjoy this episode with Sierra Designs. I know I enjoyed recording it and I'm so incredibly grateful that a brand such as SD would take the time to talk with me on this podcast about gear and all the great things about the outdoors.

Special thanks to George Bryant for coming on and thank YOU for listening week after week to this podcast.  I means the world to me.

By Land,

Emory Ronald



Taking the time to listen to this podcast is greatly appreciated!  If you have questions or comments, feel free to reach me at emory@byland.co or leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear from you.  



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  • Introductions
  • The background on George Bryant and how he came to work with SD
  • Where did the passion for the outdoors come from?
  • How living in Colorado comprares to how it was growing up in Wisconsin
  • The draw of Colorado
  • Putting the passion of the outdoors into the work at Sierra Designs
  • Genisis story of Sierra Designs
  • Curation of  progressive designs at SD and where it begins
  • How does SD reach experienced hikers and the weekend warrior in one single line?
  • Sierra Designs and hunting?!
  • Setting the bar and forecasting needs
  • Evolution of design
  • Shelter designs for 2018
  • What the future holds for SD
  • What it’s like seeing the lifecycle of a successful design
  • The team behind Sierra Designs
  • What George would want people to know and understand about SD
  • Advice to new backpackers