Easy, portable, luxury outdoor furniture is no longer a dream. Edmonton-based company Kuma Outdoor Gear has created camping gear so comfortable people might think they are lounging in their living room.
The company makes camping chairs, tents, cots, sleeping bags, tables, propane lanterns and stoves, fire bowls, yard games, apparel and other outdoor accessories.
Starting up in 2014, Kuma had a slow beginning — but brand and product Manager Matt Gosse said Kuma really started to grab people’s attention last year.
“Definitely as people wanted to get outside more, more time spent in their backyard, (it) grew our business so quickly, so fast.”
The company’s main focus is comfort and quality — something they pride themselves on.
“Those are our two biggest things. In the way that we work and the way we build our products, we always build from the fire pit out,” Gosse said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, many people reevaluated where to invest their money — lucky for outdoor companies, many wanted to create a beautiful, warm space outside.
While companies couldn’t weather the ups and downs of the pandemic and its lockdowns, Kuma continued to grow their product line and their team.
“We are now in about 1,500 stores, retail stores, throughout North American right now,” Gosse said. In the Edmonton area, their products can be found in stores such as Camper’s Village, Peavey Mart, Cap-it, Totem Outdoor Outfitters, and several RV dealerships.
“It’s just growing every week, every day,” said Gosse, also explaining it’s not always smooth sailing.
“As any company that’s growing, there are always little challenges along the way and we are just learning as we go.”
One thing Kuma says it has nailed is the color and design options for outdoor camping furniture.
“Some of the colors are just really iconic, so the Canadiana sort of feel, the black to the red, red to black plaid has been really popular for us,” said Gosse.
Always looking for new designs, the company is excited about the launch of their new beer — Lazy Bear Blonde Ale — and dog accessories.
“This year we introduced a new set of furniture in our bamboo style,” Gosse said of their expanded designs.
“We are using bamboo wood, along with polyester. We combine durable fabrics with a durable and long lasting, sustainable, wood product.”
Gosse said the company is a hometown success story.
“We are absolutely proud to let people know we are an Edmonton company and a Canadian company, and that we are growing. Not only regionally — not only just right here in Alberta — but also in all of Canada and all of the U.S. too.”