Wiley Miller skiing backcountry with Saga Outerwear

Saga Outerwear: Never Taking Themselves Too Seriously

Saga Outerwear: Never Taking Themselves Too Seriously

Look up #sagafam on social media, and you’ll see a flood of photos from skiers around the world: a backyard rail in Finland, a self-portrait on an Austrian glacier, a skier hitting a backcountry kicker in Utah. These aren’t photos created by a marketing team at Saga Outerwear, they’re an organic collection snapped by Saga’s customers and athletes on their adventures around the globe.

Saga Outerwear has always been grounded, an independently owned company since it first launched in 2005. The brand got its start when Andrew Mallett and Austin Stevens, both longtime skiers and then students at the University of Montana, were tasked with developing a theoretical business plan for a college course.

Both were dissatisfied with the offerings in ski outerwear at the time. None of it fit loose or tall enough, movement was limited and the styles felt outdated. So Stevens sewed a custom kit that fit just right and had color blocking that stood out on snow. Eventually, the idea moved beyond the classroom into a full-fledged business that sold direct to consumers in a web store that was revolutionary for its time.

Wiley Miller skiing backcountry with Saga Outerwear


Testing Saga Outerwear in the backcountry. Photo by Jordan Harper

“We were founded in the digital landscape,” says Saga creative director Jordan Harper, another University of Montana grad who’s been with the company since nearly the beginning. “We took the approach of, ‘Why don’t we just start selling online directly to customers so the customer can dictate what they like and don’t like?’”

Saga has come a long way since then, growing rapidly in sales and now selling to retailers around the world. The company is now based out of a warehouse in Salt Lake City, UT, which opened in 2010 and includes a retail storefront.

Despite its growth, Saga is still a down-to-earth brand that can connect with its customers. “We’ve never lost sight of our core love of skiing and snowboarding,” says Harper. “Our customers are not just customers to us. They’re on our level. We’re one and the same.”

The same could be said for Saga’s athlete team, which includes Tim Durtschi, Wiley Miller, Steve Stepp, Tim McChesney and LJ Strenio, to name a few. The athletes are part of family and they play a vital role in developing products. This year’s new Monarch 3L jacket and pant were inspired in part by Miller’s request for a stormproof, three- layer kit he could use while snowmobiling in the backcountry.

The Riding Pullovers, which have been redesigned for this year, are polyester-blend tech hoodies, major upgrades from cotton sweatshirts of the past. New side ribbing for added mobility and extra thickness for warmth were suggestions from Strenio.

Many pieces in Saga’s new line come imprinted with the brand’s signature emblem: Angus the cheeseburger. “People always ask, ‘Why is that cheeseburger on the jacket?’” says Harper. “It’s something so unconnected to skiing or snowboarding that it gives it a level of fun and reminds us not to be overly serious.”

Inspired by the cheeseburger, the Saga Outerwear Fast Food app debuted last year as a way to let users match up kits and share photos. An app inspired by a fictitious cheeseburger— that’s keeping things lighthearted for sure.

Saga Monarch 3L Jacket


“The Saga Monarch 3L ski jacket is the go-to for Wiley Miller when filming his backcountry segments for YLE Ski, Level 1 Productions and X Games Real Ski and it features…” Click for full review.

Saga Anomie 2L Jacket


“From technical performance to comfort and fit, the Saga Anomie 2L ski jacket remains a team staple. Utilizing input from Tim Durtschi, Steve Stepp, Tim McChesney, and Adam Delorme…” Click for full review.

Saga The Mitten — Space Camp


“Want to have warm, dry hands and look like a boss on the hill? Of course you do. The Saga The Mitten ski glove is the obvious choice…” Click for full review.

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