SylvanSport joins Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine for Live Outside and Play Tour

SylvanSport and the GO Camping Trailer is psyched to announce that we are teaming up with Blue Ridge Outdoors (BRO) magazine for a one year Live Outside and Play tour. From May 1, 2014 to May 1, 2015, BRO’s travel editor, Jess Daddio, will be on a journey throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic (Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania) seeking the best adventure that our region has to offer.

Fulfilling BRO’s mission of inspiring their audience to go outside and play by providing content that showcases the people, places, and adventures that define this region, Jess will set out in search of the best adventures and stories to tell. Along the way, she will be making appearances at regional festivals and events and giving presentations at Eddie Bauer stores to share her experiences with our audience. Best of all, while on the Live Outside and Play tour, Jess will be living, working, traveling, and playing for one full year in a SylvanSport GO Camping Trailer.

photo: Jess Daddio

So whether you’re a hiker, camper, paddler, climber, biker, or any combination of these, this tour will definitely be worth checking out. And, if you haven’t had a chance to see a GO Camping Trailer in person yet, here’s the perfect opportunity to check one out. You can see full list of all of the events we will be attending on our SylvanSport GO Camping Trailer Upcoming Events page.

photo: Gareth Tate

This is going to be a great tour and you can stay up to date with her adventures here:               

It’s going to be a great weekend in our neck of the woods. Hope it’s the same where you are. Go outside and have some fun!

SylvanSport takes on the 15th Annual Assault on the Carolinas

It’s been a rainy, chilly Saturday afternoon and I can’t help but think back to last Saturday, when 1,000 cyclists (and their families and friends) gathered in our small town of Brevard, NC for the 15th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. Mother Nature graced us with sunshine, blue skies, and a warm breeze (maybe even a little too warm at times). This perfect spring day brought out good spirits and helped calm any butterflies that might be stirring in rider’s stomachs.

1,000 riders lining up for the Assault on the Carolinas.

The Assault on the Carolinas is a road ride that offers a little for everyone. Riders can choose between the 100k (65.8 miles), 60k (37 miles), and 40k (25 miles) options. The100k has it all from flats, rolling hills, the infamous Walnut Hollow climb, fast descents, and a grueling 6-mile, 5,800ft climb up Caesars Head near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. The 60k riders will get to test their climbing abilities on Walnut Hollow, which is a local favorite. Walnut hollow is a steep, challenging climb that is 1.1 mile long, with grades reaching 15%. After climbing Walnut Hollow, riders enjoy a nice rolling ride home through the French Broad River Valley. The 40k ride goes through the scenic river valleys of Transylvania County and features some rolling hills and great scenery.

SylvanSport riders lining up at the start.

There are no time chips, no prize purse, and no official results. Just a beautiful, challenging ride with 999 of your closest friends, and maybe some bragging rights if you beat your time from last year. Yet, riders come from as far away as Canada to line up on Main St in downtown Brevard, hear our Mayor give his traditional opening speech, and ride anywhere from 2 to 8 hours through the mountains of North and South Carolina.

Team SylvanSport ready to GO!

Sometimes waiting can be as hard as riding.

SylvanSport represented with 6 riders flying our colors and all doing the full 100k ride. As we started lining up around 8:45am for the 9am start, temps were already in the 50s and people were started to shed layers, looking for someone on the side to toss their arm warmers and vests. At 9am sharp, the ride started and 1,000 cyclists started their way down Main St. Right out of the gate, you could feel that things were a little faster than they had been in years past. Within the first mile, there are 2 sharp turns that are always a little nerve-racking when you have that many riders, in such a small space, going that fast. In about 15 or 20 minutes, your at Walnut Hallow. Aside from being steep and painful, it does a great job of really spreading the group out a bit. After a descent down the backside, you get to ride along several miles on East Fork Rd, which follows the East Fork River. This is one of the prettiest sections of road in the area and better yet, it is slightly downhill and the road is nice and smooth. Hwy 178 take your through some big rollers and climbs and then a fast, curvy descent into South Carolina. The road takes you from 2,700ft to 960ft above sea level. It’s a great downhill run. Here you can feel the temps really warm up. By this time, it’s late morning and starting to reach into the 80s. Some of the warmest riding weather we’ve had all year. Just in time to climb Caesar’s Head. It’s a long grind, so just sit back, relax, and remember, when you get to the top, you still have almost 20 miles before your sitting down with a good meal and cold beer in hand. After Caesar’s Head, the rolling stretch of Hwy 276 always seem to have a head wind (regardless of which direction you are riding). Riding with at least a few other people will make it a painless as possible. A couple more turns and small climbs and your rolling back into downtown to the sounds of cheering, music, and cowbells. The finish area is like a mini festival, complete with a music stage, vendor tents, food, Oskar Blues beer, and lots and lots of people. It’s been a long, hard ride, but all that seems to fade away as you sit with friends over food and beer, sharing stories of where you bonked, where you felt strong, and how your pre-ride strategy went out the window within the first 3 minutes. It was a good day.

Assault on the Carolinas festival area.

SylvanSport mastermind, Tom Dempsey, getting interviewed at the start/finish line.

So, sitting here a week later, on a rainy Saturday, I am counting my lucky stars that I am not out riding 65 miles today. It’s time to get back out on the mountain bike and have some fun on the trails. All the while, looking forward to next year and another great adventure at the 16th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. Hope to see you there…now get out and ride!

 

SylvanSport Joins Backpacker Magazine’s 2014 Get Out More Tour

One of the best parts of the outdoor industry is collaboration between various companies, media organizations, and individuals to put together some really fun events. That’s why we’re so excited to be a part of the 14th annual Backpacker Magazine Get Out More Tour 2014, an interactive mobile media and education outreach program designed to inspire readers and encourage participation in active outdoor pursuits.

The Get Out More Tour collaborates with specialty outdoor retailers who share the same education and outreach ethic with their customers. Traveling to over 60 locations across the United States, the Get Out More Tour brings BACKPACKER‘s skills, gear and trip advice to life for our audience of outdoor enthusiasts. At each retail stop, the pages of Backpacker Magazine come to life with a 75-minute seminar on trip planning, choosing the right outdoor gear and apparel, safety in the outdoors, and more.

 The 2014 sponsor line-up includes: A3 Bar, Big Agnes, DeLorme, Ecco Sport, Eddie Bauer®, Fits™ Socks Co., Goal Zero®, GSI Outdoors, Helinox, Osprey, Sawyer Products®, Subaru®, SylvanSport, and Zeal Optics.

We’re psyched to be part of this great program and hope to see a lot of you out there on the road. For details and event listings, check out event listings on the Backpacker Get Out More site.

Festival & Events 2014: SylvanSport hits the road with the GO and the all new GO Easy.

Spring is here and the thing that gets us excited as much as playing in the woods and on the water is festival season! Our calendar is quickly filling up with music festivals, outdoor events, races, and a variety of outdoor gear shows and expos. We’re just unpacking from a great weekend at the Jersey Paddler’s Paddlesport Show and already getting ready for our next adventure.

Getting the GO and GO Easy ready at Paddlesport 2014.

For the last few years, we’ve been traveling with our award-winning GO adventure camper trailer. In that time, we’ve developed partnerships with other outdoor gear manufacturers and added some really cool accessories to make the GO as customizable as possible. What makes 2014 really exciting for us (and hopefully for you too) is the introduction of a whole new trailer, the GO Easy (you can read more about it in last week’s blog). While the new GO Easy will not be at every event, we’re trying to get it to as many as possible so you can experience it live and in person. Feel free to contact us to find out at which events you can see the GO Easy.

FloydFest 2013

Check out our calendar and if there is an event in your area where you would like to see us (that is not on the list), let us know. We are always looking for cool, fun events to be a part of. The list is continually being updated, so be sure to check back often.

SylvanSport Calendar of Events

We look forward to seeing you out there! The outdoors are a great are a great place to be, whether listening to music, nature, or good company…GO have some fun!

New Outdoor Gear Trailer by SylvanSport: The GO Easy

SylvanSport is proud to announce the release of it’s all new outdoor gear trailer, the GO Easy. It’s what we like to call an “Adventure-Utility Trailer”. Customizable, versatile, and oh so sweet looking, the GO Easy is designed for one thing: to get you where you want to go, with the gear you want, as easily as possible. Whether it’s a family camping trip, biking in British Columbia, paddling in Baja, or carrying brush to the burn pile, the GO Easy is an outdoor gear trailer that is willing and able. So, what’s the big deal?

Well, let’s just start by saying that this is not your run of the mill utility trailer with a pretty paint job. The GO Easy is an outdoor gear trailer that finds the perfect balance between lightweight and durability. It can be pulled by the smallest car, even a motorcycle, and the rigid steel frame is powder-coated for long life. The optional diamond-plate cargo deck is rated to 325lbs, while the torsion axle keeps the ride nice and smooth. So, when you’re cruising through the curves of the Blue Ridge Parkway or on that washboard section of gravel road, the GO Easy stays stable and won’t bounce you (or your gear) off the road. A high quality LED lighting system keeps you safe (and legal) using a standard 4-wire electrical system and there are 2 safety cables to back you up in case things go awry.

GO Easy able to be towed any size vehicle...even a motorcycle.

Adventure or utility.

That’s great and all, but what truly makes this an “adventure-utility trailer”? It’s all in the details. We’ve molded in side, rear and top rail slots so you can completely enclose the GO Easy deck area with your own wood panels, or you can buy ours. Add the Front Storage Pod to the trailer and you have a weatherproof storage box (with a kayak hatch cover for a lid!) that gives you 6.2 cu. ft of additional outdoor gear hauling storage. Plus, we’ve made the GO Easy completely compatible with Yakima and Thule rack systems, so you can use your favorite mounts to carry your bikes, kayaks, canoes, etc. Add the exclusive Roost Explorer, two-person Camping Pod, and you have the ultimate in cool camping trailers. And just as each of us have our own versions of adventure, we made the GO Easy an outdoor gear trailer that is easily customizable to fit your needs.

How many bikes do want to bring?

 

Canoes and sea kayaks are not a problem with the tongue extension kit.

Side rails accept homemade panels to protect your gear, or use ours.

2 person Roost camper pod.

Some quick specs on the GO Easy:

  • dimensions: 120′L x 62″W x 35″H
  • rigid steel frame, powder-coated for durability
  • aluminum, diamond-plate cargo deck, with 325lb capacity
  • weatherproof storage pod
  • 2-person Roost camping pod available
  • rigid torsion axle offers a smooth ride
  • light 30lb tongue weight
  • ships standard UPS/FedEx & assembles in less than an hour
  • compatible with Yakima and Thule bar systems
  • designed & built in Brevard, NC

Spend less on gas, more on fun.

Once you get home, and the gear is sorted and cleaned, where’s a good place to store the GO Easy? Funny you should ask. Simply wheel the outdoor gear trailer into the garage or any other safe place (remember that 30lb tongue weight?), remove the detachable tongue, and prop it up on end. We’ve even included a secure hanging clip to hold the tongue. Compact and out of the way, leaving you more room for your quiver of bikes or boats.

Store on end for an incredibly small footprint.

There’s a lot to say about the GO Easy “Adventure-Utility Trailer”, but nothing beats seeing it person. Give us a shout to check one out for yourself. 828-883-4292 or info@sylvansport.com.

Outdoor Gear Builders Village to showcase at Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, NC!

Western North Carolina is home to a national park, several national forests and wilderness areas, and even more state parks. It only makes sense that outdoor gear manufacturers, like SylvanSport, would start their operations here or in other cases, relocate here. Not only is this area a perfect place to test gear, it provides employees (and owners) a fantastic quality of life, and is conveniently located to reach a large percentage of our country’s population. So, we did a headcount to see how many of us were actually out there making cool gear and clothing for people to get outside. There are over 30 companies in the western part of North Carolina researching, developing, testing, and manufacturing gear and clothing for the outdoor market. That’s pretty awesome!

So, to try and harness all this creative and physical energy, a group, Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina, has been formed to share knowledge and information and provide support for one another. With this, the Outdoor Gear Builders of WNC is excited to announce the first annual Outdoor Gear Builders Village at the 2013 Mountain Sports Festival in Asheville, NC. This will be a great opportunity for folks to check out and demo some world-class gear and clothing from locally-based manufacturers. As many of you may know, the Mountain Sports Festival is an absolute blast. It’s a 3 day festival, May 24-26, 2013, that has a little (or a lot) for everyone. Great music line-up, races, events, kids activities, and now, the OGB Village.

Looking at the list of other manufacturers in the area lets us know that we’re in really good company here. It also helps us to keep raising the bar on what we do and how we do it. We’re really excited to part of the Outdoor Gear Builders of Western North Carolina and hope that in the end, the real benefits will be felt by all of you.

Definitely check out the Mountain Sports Festival next month in Asheville and make sure you stop by the Outdoor Gear Builders Village to see some of the best gear that Western NC has to offer.

Stay tuned…we have an exciting post coming your way on a cool collaboration with Prestige Subaru!

SylvanSport takes on the Assault on the Carolinas!

Last Saturday, on April 13, 1000 riders ascended upon our hometown of Brevard, NC for the 14th Annual Assault on the Carolinas. This road ride consists of 3 options: 40K, 60k, and 100k. The 40k goes through the scenic river valleys of Transylvania County and features some rolling hills and great scenery, while the 60k riders get to test their climbing abilities on Walnut Hollow, which is a local favorite. Walnut hollow is a steep challenging climb that is sure to get everyone’s heart pumping. The climb is 1.1 mile with grades reaching 15%. After climbing Walnut Hollow riders will enjoy a nice rolling ride home through the French Broad River Valley. Finally, the 800 or so rider that chose the 100k option experience it all from flats, rolling hills to the Walnut Hollow climb, fast descents, and a grueling 6-mile climb up Caesars Head near the North Carolina-South Carolina border. This ride will take you through the river valleys of Transylvania County, up Walnut Hollow, and up and over Highway 178. Hwy 178 offers some amazing descents, with miles of curves, that will be enjoyed by all. Once riders cross Hwy 11 in South Carolina they will stretch out their legs on some rolling hills and flat sections. Then riders reach the bottom of Caesars Head they begin a challenging 6 mile climb to the top. Once over Caesars head it’s @ 15 miles back to Brevard with more descents, flats, and a ride back through the river valley. With almost 6,000 ft of climbing in 65 miles, it’s a great ride through some incredibly scenic roads. To top of such a beautiful ride, the Pisgah Rotary keeps everyone fed and hydrated with incredibly well-stock rest stops and police support at all the major intersections. It really is a great to be a part of.

Tom ready to GO!

So, being in our hometown, we here at SylvanSport have a hard time passing up an event like this. In addition to being one of the sponsors, we brought out a GO lightweight trailer for the event, where friends and families of riders were able to check it out in all it’s glory while they ate some tasty food, listened to good music, and par-took in refreshments courtesy of Oskar Blues Brewery. But we’re not ones to just sit back on a beautiful Saturday and drink beer all day (well, at least not on this particular Saturday). Along with our fearless leader, Tom Dempsy, Clayton and your’s truly, set out to on the 100k. We all survived and had a great day talking bikes, talking GOs, and feeling good.

Tom & Clayton finishing the 100k together. Oh wait, look at that awesome camper trailer in the background!

If you like cycling, this is a “must do” ride. Doesn’t matter where you live…we met folks from all over the United States and a couple of groups from Canada. Mark your calendars, next year is already set for April 12, 2014. Oh, while your in town, swing by the SylvanSport facility to say “hi”…we’re less than a mile from the start line!

SylvanSport GO trailer heads out west on 2 missions!

You may have seen the picture on Facebook of GO pop up camper trailers leaving theWell, one of the pop up campertrailers found itself on the back of this all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder for use in one of their new commercials. SylvanSport facility on 2 separate “secret missions”.

 

Well, one of the pop up camper trailers found itself on the back of this all-new 2013 Nissan Pathfinder for use in one of their new commercials. Look for it soon, we’ll have links to it on our facebook page.

The second development was a great deal with Canoe & Kayak Magazine. The guys at Canoe & Kayak will be taking their GO out on the road as they attend races, festivals and other events around the PNW area this season. We will be running ads in 5 upcoming issues and look forward to a great relationship with them this year.

There was a third mission, and could be the biggest news of all.. but until we know more, we can’t say… stay tuned.

 

 

SylvanSport is growing!

As most of you know, SylvanSport is the maker of the coolest pop up camper ever. In 2007, we started in a small facility in Cedar Mountain, NC, with enough space to build and test prototypes, while farming out the production of the lightweight camper to a manufacturer in Ohio. By 2011, we decided to bring production of the pop up camper in-house, which meant needing a bigger facility.

We found a great location in Brevard, NC (about 20 min from Cedar Mountain) and set up shop. Going into production of our GO pop up camper, we quickly realized we need more space to operate efficiently. Storing all the parts and pieces that make up a GO lightweight camper is pretty daunting and that’s nothing compared to the square footage required to store finished GOs ready to be delivered (maybe to you).

So, in 2012, the opportunity to knock down the wall and expand into the rest of the building arose, expanding our space three-fold…we took it! Now it’s 2013 and we’re in full production mode of the GO lightweight camper! Here’s a quick glimpse of the last couple of years:

Here is Patrick welding parts for the GO in original sized Brevard facility. Note the wall on the right hand side of the picture.

When you're building a product from scratch, there are A LOT of pieces. Storage is always a challenge in a small space.

Here you can get a glimpse of the majority of the production facility. The back right side is where the welding happens, the left is parts storage, and the front area is the assembly area.

EXPANDED!!! The second large rafter on the ceiling is where the original wall stood. The expansion opened up floor space and allowed us to create defined "work areas" for each step of the process.

View from the other corner. The welding area sits behind the large racks on the right, the parts and full assembly area are in the middle, and in the far end are completed GOs ready to roll.

We replaced our gas powered (finicky, loud, and smelly) with a new electric one. It's like going from a tractor to a Prius.

An army of GO trailers ready to go! (blue ones are Australia bound)

Thanks to everyone for your support and patronage of a Made in the USA, lightweight camper GO trailer! Our expansion is a result of all of you and we only hope it helps us provide you with better service and more products to come! Let us know what you think and what you would like to see come out of our newly expanded facility. Better yet, stop on by and check it out if you’re in the area!

Meet the Faces Behind SylvanSport: Kyle Mundt

It takes a lot of talented and committed folks to make a company successful. From conception, to start-up, to expansion, it takes a certain type of person to not only handle the transitions, but be able to evolve through the changes of a growing company. Here at SylvanSport, we are lucky enough to have a couple folks that fit that bill. For our profile this week, we would like to introduce you to one of the founding members of SylvanSport and Director of Marketing and New Product Development, Kyle Mundt.

Where are you from and where did you grow up?

I was born and raised in Clinton, NY (near Utica, where a Dunder Mifflin office is) and moved to West Chester (a suburb of Philadelphia and home of several of the Jack Ass guys), PA when I was 13. After high school, I went back to Western New York state to go to college, at Rochester Institute of Technology for Industrial Design.

Kyle, in Australia, helping with the launch of the Ultimate GO trailer.

How long have you been with SylvanSport and how did you get your start here?

In early 2007, I was working as an industrial designer, when a friend introduced me to Tom Dempsey (SylvanSport President). He was looking for someone to do 3D modeling work for him on a new project that he was developing. Once I saw what he was working on, I saw the potential and became pretty excited, I knew I wanted in on this project. I originally came on as an industrial designer and in 2008, when we went into production, I expanded my role to include marketing and product development.

Kyle working on the first production GO Trailer.

What types of hobbies or interests do you have when you’re not in the office?

I’m a big ice hockey fan (both playing and watching). Living in Brevard, it’s hard not to get out on the trails on the bike or a nice hike. Another benefit of Brevard and Asheville is the number of great restaurants and local craft breweries. I love getting to spend time with my 2 kids as well. Of course, I still love good design and playing with new designs. My interest in music has inspired some fun design work that I’ve been playing with.

The world famous "Breakaway Grill" team and the coveted Colander Cup

Spending time with his daughters.

What is it about SylvanSport that keeps you here?

It really is a dream company for an industrial designer. Often, designers end up modifying, tweaking, or improving things that already exist. Here, I was able to be part of the creation of a whole new product, right from the beginning. It really is a unique opportunity. Combine that with being located in a mountain town like Brevard, NC and it’s almost unheard of.

Inspecting the first GO .

If you weren’t at SylvanSport, what would you most likely be doing?

I’ve been working on a design for a new electric guitar concept. My alternate life would be to bring my design into production and pursue that. Although, it would take some investment to get it going…anyone, anyone?

The uplifting SylvanSport family.

What is your dream adventure or trip?

I’ve always dreamed of going to Scandinavia. I would love to go hike around, check out Finland and the fjords, and even see the northern lights. That would be awesome.

Kyle training for the fjords of Scandinavia in Devil's Lake WI.

I guess we’ll let Kyle get back to work. We’ll be highlighting another “face behind SylvanSport” before not too long, so stay tuned. Of course, if you have any questions for Kyle, just give him a call here at the office. Happy trails!