When Tae Sun Kang opened his first small shop in Seoul’s garment district in the early 1970’s, he wanted to listen to mountaineers directly and design products to accommodate their needs. The end goal was a quality and versatile range of jackets and outerwear for everything from Himalayan expeditions to a short day-hike, trek or ski at your local Canadian mountain or trails. They’ve cleaned up at the ISPO awards for good reason: the technical design of their gear is second to none. Gore-Tex informs their durability and weatherproofing; advanced insulation and mapping ensures quality fit, heat retention, breathability and dryness throughout their lines. Women’s and men’s are articulated differently, a BlackYak jacket signaling you’re serious about protection. Their European and North American debut came in 2016, and they look to be an increasingly major player in technical mountain apparel.