Mountain Safety Research

Mountain Safety Research, or MSR, is a producer of camping, hiking and mountaineering equipment, such as portable stoves, water filters, snowshoes, and tents. While specializing in lightweight and technical equipment, MSR’s gear is designed for a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts from novice to expert mountaineers. It is located in Seattle, Washington and owned by Cascade Designs.

Mountain Safety Research, Inc.
Subsidiary of Cascade Designs
Industrysporting goods and outdoor gear
FounderMalcolm Smith 
Seattle, Washington
Key people
Larry Penberthy, Founder
OwnerCascade Designs 


MSR began as a newsletter in 1969 that covered topics around mountaineering safety.[1] In 1973, Larry Penberthy (1916–2001) developed the MSR Model 9 camp stove, a design which was relatively efficient in cold weather.[2] He separated the stove burner from then small fuel tanks, and then pressurized auxiliary fuel bottles as the tank, and used a better wind screen. He also designed an ice axe that was supposed to dig into the ice better and stop a slide. Penberthy also introduced metal-shafted ice axes; metal axes have replaced earlier wooden-shaft designs.[3]

The company was acquired by REI in 1981.[3] In 2000, MSR merged with Edgeworks, the manufacturer of Moss, Walrus and Armadillo tents. Shortly afterwards, these brands were discontinued and all tents by the company sold as MSR. In August 2001, MSR was acquired by Cascade Designs.[4]


  1. "A Brief History". MSR. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  2. "Timeline". MSR corporate website. Archived from the original on January 31, 2008. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  3. Mapes, Lynda V. (December 4, 2001). "Inventor, mountaineer Larry Penberthy dies". The Seattle Times. Retrieved August 4, 2008.
  4. Virgin, Bill. "REI sells outdoor-gear maker". Retrieved 22 January 2018.

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