How Six Moon Designs

Testing the Wy'east Daypack in Germany
Field testing the Wy’east on Germany’s highest peak (6 months before bringing the pack to market).

For over 20 years now, Six Moon Designs has been designing innovative ultralight gear with award-winning shelters, packs, and accessories. Our designs come from our own experiences on long-distance hikes, day-hikes, bikepacking trips, backcountry ski trips, and, well, you get the idea; we dream up our ideas while out in the field.

Design is not something we take lightly herealthough our ultimate goal is to design a lightweight product. While we could easily go visit a factory showroom somewhere and slap our logo on any number of items in the name of selling more stuff, we find that a more pragmatic approach to design is the better path in life.

Asking the Big Questions

Testing the Haven Bundle
Field testing the current Haven Bundle in the Canadian Rockies.

Before we sit down to put pencil to paper, cut a scrap of fabric, or fire up the sewing machine, we begin by asking the same fundamental questions about gear that our founder, Ron “Falling Water” Moak, has asked himself since the 1970s:

  1. What is the problem we are trying to solve?
  2. If I make this new product will it solve the problem?
  3. Once I solve the problem with this new item, what new problems could it possibly create?

Once we have thoroughly worked through these questions and if we still feel like what we are setting out to do is going to benefit the user in the field, we begin the design process. For some of our staff, this means sitting down with a CAD program to do design work on the computer. For others, it means getting out pencils, paper, and drafting tools and taking the analog approach. No matter what we use, the next steps are all the same.

Finalizing the Product

Testing the Owyhee Tarp
Field testing the Owyhee Tarp on the rims of Hells Canyon in 40mph winds in 2020.

During the next 6-12 months, we make a series of prototypes, test them in the field ourselves and with others, gather feedback, and refine the design until we have what we consider a finished product. This constant testing and refining process is paramount in ensuring that whatever piece of gear carries our name and logo is sure to enhance your experience in the outdoors.

The next time you are adventuring around with a piece of Six Moon Designs gear, you can rest assured that it has been well thought out, tested rigorously in the field, and created with intention. To see the result of our design process, feel free to explore our various products ranging from packs, shelters, umbrellas, and other innovative accessories by shopping in the collections below.