Klaus Obermeyer

Living in the moment

Klaus Aspen Moutain, 1950


On the side of a mountain, knee deep in bottomless powder - 
Klaus Obermeyer, a young aeronautical engineer, extreme mountaineer, and skiing aficionado had arrived in Aspen.

While he had cut his teeth developing landing gear, designing Maybachs, and rock climbing the Alps, he was lightning-struck by the Colorado snow, the golden sun, and the freedom of schussing down the mountain on skis. THIS was living in the moment, out of time, and in tune with nature – a profound feeling he was determined to share

Though as a ski instructor, Klaus couldn’t keep his students on the hill for even a full day. By the end of what should have been dreamy powder runs, his skiers’ woolen suits would become cold, dank, and discouraging. Yet like every problem this young engineer had ever faced, he reveled in the possibility of a solve.

Grabbing the down blanket his mom packed for him when he left for the States, Klaus craftily stitched together the world’s first down jacket, and Sport Obermeyer was a go. 


historic photos of klaus wearing down parkas

But the parka was only the first breath of a company whose prolific innovations would come to define the sport, and inspire an industry.

With each and every product Obermeyer has introduced – from the turtleneck, high-altitude sun block, and mirrored sunglasses, to soft-shell jackets, dual-construction ski boots, and the first Gore-Tex fabrics – the purpose has been constant: to get people out of the forced hot air by making spending time outdoors easier and more comfortable. 

timeline of obermeyer innovations to the ski industry