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ONE PLANET®’s Decades of Making Outdoor “Art”

ONE PLANET®, a partner of Australian Camps Association, is an Australian company known for its gear: rucksacks, sleeping bags, rainwear and tents for bushwalking and outdoor education. 

In 2023, some of its products – a Polar Pyramid tent, Cocoon sleeping bags and Tarkine rucksack – could be found far from their native bush habitat, hanging on the Design Wall of the National Gallery of Victoria’s ‘Melbourne Now’ exhibition alongside other ‘new and ambitious local art and design’. 

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Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Victoria. Photographer Tobias Titz.

So how did outdoor gear made in Melbourne end up as part of a ten-year retrospective showcasing the latest art, architecture, design, and cultural practice shaping the city? The answer lies in the company behind the products, and the choices and approach that have shaped its 40-odd year history.

In 1997, three independent Australian outdoor companies brought their knowledge, machinery and products together to form ONE PLANET®. Twenty-seven years later, ONE PLANET® is thriving, still making seriously good equipment designed for Australian adventures and outdoor education. 

The gear is designed in Melbourne by passionate outdoor types who know the pranks and pitfalls of the region’s wild places: that straps get caught on everything, that fabric needs to be tough enough to handle scrub, wildlife – and teenagers!  

The ONE PLANET® outdoor education range has been finessed over more than three decades, with feedback from teachers and institutions used to continually improve. As with all ONE PLANET® products, the emphasis is on making quality products that perform well and last. 

Video: Nick Covelli

Managing Director Andrew King, says, ‘We believe it’s not good gear unless it works here. We’re proud to make products tailored to how Australians enjoy the outdoors, whether that’s on expeditions or school camps.’

Examples of ONE PLANET®’s world-class, innovative and exceptional gear abound. Outdoor education leaders across Australia choose the Tarkine and Toolangi packs for their waterproofness, reliability and comfortable harnesses, with the EXACT FIT harness system still the only large rucksack harness to be endorsed by the Australian Chiropractic Association. ONE PLANET® has been working with the Australian Antarctic Division since the early 2000s, developing a polar range designed to cope with conditions in the toughest environment on earth. 

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Images: White Desert

ONE PLANET® Outdoor Education Range

All of this experience feeds into the outdoor education range, designed to cater to the very different needs of the industry. We start with what works for the kids: reliable, well-priced gear that is simple and intuitive to use, comfortable, long-lasting and serviceable in the field. We build on this base to make life easy for the leaders and institutions: colour-coding for easy identification; personalisation with logos or development into custom products. 

And then there’s the rest, designed to work for everyone, as well as the planet. Most ONE PLANET® products are made in Australia, allowing quick turnaround and delivery, excellent quality control and service. Our Melbourne factory also has a servicing and maintenance service dedicated to keeping gear in tip-top condition (from individual packs to huge gear fleets) and stocking a large range of spare parts. ONE PLANET®’s large bulk hire fleet has everything from stoves, to rainwear, sleeping bags, tents and tarps. Letting organisations hire instead of maintaining their own gear, while our www.camplist.au service lets individuals hire gear instead of buying it outright. We produce videos and other resources on everything from setting up tents to packing rucksacks and DIY servicing, giving confidence to kids and parents, and making life easier for leaders. 

What sets ONE PLANET® apart is not just our heritage, expertise and experience, but also our knowledge and understanding of the outdoor industry. We work with the sector to respond and innovate to changes, using our local manufacturing base to make it swift and seamless.  Whether that’s developing lighter sleeping bags and packs, making accessories that just work, or helping to manage risk-management profiles, ONE PLANET® can help.

We have a deep understanding of how the outdoor education industry is changing, from many angles: gear manufacturing, sustainability, risk, the climate and its impacts on courses and camps.  We're listening and always learning, using industry feedback to innovate and improve.  We're proud to work directly with schools and camps, helping to create better products that can improve the lives of both students and leaders.


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Image: Cab Lamb

ONE PLANET®’s inclusion as ‘art’ at the NGV was a great acknowledgement of its history, innovation and exceptional product design. But it’s not a full stop. ONE PLANET®’s story shows that manufacturing great gear is both an art and a passion, and that there is a bright future for local design and manufacturing. 

We’d love to hear about any outdoor ed-related ideas, or issues that we can help to solve (Or anything else, really!). Please get in touch.

Ben or Ian 

Get in Touch with ONE PLANET®

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Latest News

ONE PLANET: Decades of Making Outdoor “Art”

ONE PLANET®, a partner of Australian Camps Association, is an Australian company known for its gear: rucksacks, sleeping bags, rainwear and tents for bushwalking and outdoor education.

 
 
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