Design, Develop, Produce
Starting as a dream in small-town Wisconsin, Chief Gear was founded to provide the market-disrupting quality at an affordable price to tackle every need outdoorsmen and women have.
Jake Lindemann has been an entrepreneur and an outdoorsman since he was sixteen years old. Born without a left hand, he sought to provide the world’s first front-loading, fully-customizable upland hunting vest.
A Powerhouse Combo
The Chief Upland hunting vest was designed & developed by the WERX team with guidance and direction by Jake, combining our experience creating packs and gear in the tactical, hunting and outdoor space with his in depth knowledge of the needs in Upland Hunting. The vest features a modular design that allows for customization and easy integration of additional carry solutions and accessories.
In the summer of 2019, Jake approached WERX with the goal of creating the most innovative technical upland hunting vest on the market. Jake had already been working on the idea for the vest since 2018 and had a rough prototype from another source, but knew it was missing the design & functionality that he desired.
Through several rounds of in-house and factory sample room prototyping and continuous improvement, the team was able to produce a market-disrupting product that was both high-performing and affordable, thanks to their relationships with factories and fabric mills that were able to provide the desired level of craftsmanship.
Simply put, your hunting vest should make you a better hunter while remaining comfortable.
As an avid upland hunter, the brand founder, Jake, was frustrated with the available options on the market and knew that by teaming up with WERX Design's, there was high potential that they could produce something unique and groundbreaking. The end goal for Chief Gear was to create a vest that excelled in comfort, durability, and ease of use while maintaining a competitive price point
For Chief Gear was to produce a high-performing hunting vest that met the needs of comfort, different body shapes, and freedom of carry customization, while also maintaining a competitive price point.
The challenge of producing a vest that met the needs of comfort, durability, and ease of use while maintaining a competitive price point, WERX Design conducted a market analysis to identify areas where popular brands were lacking and to understand consumer preferences.
WERX Design's modularity solution for the Chief Gear Vest was similar to what WERX had previously utilized in tactical bags, now creating a core upland hunting vest system and a selection of accessory carry pouches.
WERX streamlined the process by utilizing in-house development using laser cutting, sewing, and construction prototyping techniques to flush out someone initial concepts to then hand over to one of our factory partners in Vietnam to turn the prototype into a commercially successful product. The vest was then refined until it met the desired standards.
PLACEHOLDER PARAGRAPH WERX Design's modularity solution for the Chief Gear Vest was similar to what WERX had previously utilized in tactical bags, now creating a core upland hunting vest system and a selection of accessory carry pouches.
We eventually landed on using a similar modularity solution we’ve used in military gear, with creating a core vest system and a large selection of accessory carry pouches. From there, we made mock up samples and worked with one of our expert bag factories in Vietnam to complete the development of the vest system, into a commercially successful prototype that we would be able to get on to users to put through several rounds of testing until the product was perfected.
Where are they now?
Our first and second production of vests and pouches sold out before they arrived at the Chief Gear warehouse. The vest system has been written up by several publications as the top upland hunting vest available on the market.
Chief as a company is fully self-sustaining and profitable, expanding the collection into new markets and categories, with a +300% growth annually. We continue to be strong partners expanding the line into new categories that are being requested by the consumers and internal desire to continue the improvement of products within this category.