Humans and dogs have evolved together for thousands of years as an inseparable DUO. We figured it was time our gear evolved together also!
DUO Technical Gear was founded by Raj and Gio . We are both designers and inventors and as California natives grew up surfing, snowboarding, climbing, hunting, racing cars, hiking and exploring everything the California weather affords.
We met at Art Center College of Design after both abandoning careers in science. I (RAJ) was pursuing molecular biology and bio-informatics while Gio was in the process of completing a BS in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating Gio worked as a product designer for a variety of companies including Easton, where he designed sports protective gear. I currently work in Hollywood as a concept artist for big budget films, including The Avengers, Thor, Black Panther and Westworld.
We came together to form DUO after we noticed the only times we weren't behind the screen, was when we took our dogs out. Pups forced us to stop working, put down the phone and get back out into the world. We would be doing weekend hikes, climbing trips, daily walks and of course, as designers, were constantly searching out and testing new gear. I was also consistently reading articles and books about dogs and how we co-evolved. Some believe it was our relationship with dogs that helped humans surpass the Neanderthal. To this day, as we grow and change, dogs follow us on the journey.
Its an intimate love story, and DUO is an homage to this everlasting relationship.
We set out to create a line of technically innovative gear, for you and your dog. Our human and dog gear is meant to both interact and solve problems that we constantly encountered while out with our dogs.
Our gear is designed to fall under the same brand umbrella and aesthetic. We literally NEVER leaves our dogs behind. They go with us everywhere, and we felt that a product line that bonded you to your dog was in order.
Our packs and MPC panel were created as a reaction to multiple experiences. Firstly, I was in constant need of a dedicated 'dog' pack that had all the stuff I needed for a trip with my dogs, without switching packs, and searching for stuff. We wanted it to be compact, refined but rugged, modular and most of all simple. Two pockets, molle if you want too add a few attachments, and compact enough to feel like you can toss it the truck without tearing off your arm. Additionally, extreme wildfires and earthquakes are a legitimate concern in California. Many people abandon their pets in the face of a quick evacuation and suffice to say, I was never going to be one of those people. I wanted to have my dog GoBag ready.
Second, I can't tell you how many times I've either had to carry, or seen others carrying, their dogs because of an injury, heat, climbing tricky sections, deep water or simply exhaustion. Just recently on an upland bird hunt on the east coast we had to carry a dog out, around 30 pounds, in the snowy woods after he became hypothermic. Even at that weight, it's cumbersome and if you have to go long distances, can be exhausting. We needed to keep him warm, carry him on extremely uneven terrain, lugging shotguns and other gear. The MPC panel allows you to shift the weight of your carried pup to your hips, and with the aid of your hands can be transported for long distances. We also thought it unrealistic to carry your pup on your back and move your pack to the front like in other systems. I want my hands on my injured pup to help manage their anxiety.
We wanted the MPC panel and the pack to interact and function as both a traditional pack/compression panel AND an emergency system to carry a medium sized dog or smaller. Dogs over 45-50 pounds require a different system, but this is our start.
The Eclipse harness aims to fill a niche we noticed in dog gear. We wanted a rugged, designed, tactical harness without being too overtly military. We wanted heavier duty materials (500-1000D cordura and hypalon), an underside skid plate and parts that don't crack. We chose ITW for all the plastic parts. The Eclipse is the first in a line of American made harnesses of this style. The next is the Ascent which will solve the 'larger dog' evacuation problem.
The ADAPT Harness was designed to address the need for a restraint that was next to impossible to wiggle free from for a reactive dog or a 'houdini.' See the story at our blog
Lastly we are manufacturing as much as we can in the US. Our goal is eventually to manufacture entirely domestically, in light of the harsh treatment many dogs receive abroad. Why would we want to make dog gear, in places that don't really like dogs?
In summary, our brand is about our intimate relationship with dogs, the outdoors and the gear we use to interact with both!