Outdoor gear from New Zealand made from yak wool.

This review is part of our New Brands Gear Guide.

By Chris Townsend

Like many of the companies featured here, Peak to Plateau was started after the founder returned from a long outdoor adventure. New Zealander Stefan Warnaar had spent three months exploring the Mongolian Steppe and the mountains of Central Asia and the Himalaya, where he spent time living with yak herders. Impressed with the warmth and softness of yak wool, he returned home and launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to launch Peak to Plateau. This raised over $78,000 and the company was in business.

The first products were a beanie, a neck warmer and three baselayers. Peak to Plateau says “we want to lead a change in the outdoor industry to create a product that not only performs the best, but connects you to the people and environment that it comes from. Creating a positive impact for the world, and having fun while doing it is what we live for.”

The company claims that yak wool is warmer, softer and more breathable than merino wool as well as being naturally anti-bacterial, and keeps the wearer comfortable over a wide range of temperatures. It also says that yaks have significantly less damaging grazing habits than sheep. The wool is collected from yaks that roam free. Peak to Plateau pays a fair price for the yak wool, which it says provides a reliable income source for Tibetan herders.

As well as the original items, the range now includes leggings and three styles of socks. Prices are comparable with merino wool – the Kailash 1⁄4 zip long-sleeved top is £82, the Ladakh Crew Sock £23 and the Concordia Leggings £70. However, as the products come from New Zealand shipping costs are added for orders under NZ$250 (c.£130).

peaktoplateau.com