Dear THLETE Customer,

Thank you for both believing in the THLETE brand and your continued business. THLETE has grown quickly because of your support, and we are excited to announce a new chapter for our company. THLETE has been acquired by Ares Outdoors, LLC, which is focused on the outdoor enthusiast and ensuring they have the highest quality, most technically advanced apparel, products and equipment. Both of us share a passion for the outdoors and hunting, and we know that effective, functional apparel helps ensure the success of the hunt.

Ares Outdoors plans to make significant investments in THLETE to bring you even more new offerings.  You should expect to see an expanded product assortment incorporating an additional camo pattern, solid colors, new state-of -the art fabrics that will be applied to base and mid layers, insulating and outer layers, and rain and hard-shell wear.

What isn’t changing is that the THLETE brand will remain dedicated to quality, innovation, comfort and functionality in all of our products

The process of creating the THLETE brand has been a wonderful journey  – This new chapter in the growth of the brand will be no different. You are invited to follow along with us through updates that will be posted regularly on this website and our social media channels.

Thanks for being a THLETE customer! We look forward to your input as we continue to meet your hunting needs.

Here is a link to the press release.

– William Spalding, President of Ares Outdoors and Mike Zaudke, THLETE founder

Will and Mike


(THLETE: pronounced “athlete” without the “a”)

“THLETE” exemplifies a cornerstone concept that hunters are in fact athletes, and athletes are a product of strength, stamina, determination, and hard work that demand the highest innovation and quality to match whatever their pursuit is.


We work hard, we hunt hard. Our drive comes from the determination to create an end product that exemplifies precisely what we envision – the best of the best. If a particular item works well, it will consistently find a place in your pack and on your hunt; at THLETE, we recognize the value that this holds and strive to make gear that not only meets but exceeds your high expectations.

The tradition of the sport and the passion that we have for the outdoors is the heart of our brand. We are dedicated to applying that same devotion to the design of THLETE products.

We focus on brand innovation and progression, providing our community with a superior, first-rate product. There was never a question as to who we are; our apparel is designed with purpose.


Our core principle is simple – to always seek perfection, allow the consumer to be the heart of our brand and to put the best possible product in the hands of outdoorsman who both know, and rely on, the best-of-the-best gear.

Perfection may not be obtainable, but we sure try. By never accepting satisfaction, we continue to develop better gear for outdoorsmen who rely on quality equipment.

We hunt, which both aids in the design process and fuels our drive to make better equipment. If a particular feature does not work, we eliminate or improve it.


To offer a finished product that exceeds the expectations of the end-user and be at the forefront of our industry through forward thinking and innovation.

Outdoor apparel is all we do. Our ambition to provide innovative outdoor gear is what drives us to make new and better equipment that exceeds your expectations. We are always open to customer feedback because you are the ones who can help us build superior and innovative apparel.


The inspiration for THLETE is strongly influenced by the experiences we have had while hunting across the world. The design/concept behind the majority of our outerwear is a direct result of the gear we have used in the past and/or dream of.  We know what works, and we will continue to build our brand on that cornerstone concept.

We know that hunters are hard on their gear, and the demand for rugged hunting apparel that can withstand heavy use and still maintain its structural form and functionality is of paramount importance. By allowing members of our staff to beat the living daylights out of our apparel, we know what works and doesn’t. Some of the most influential product alterations have come while we were crawling through a drainage ditch or climbing into a tree; a rendition of backcountry R&D if you will.


We test our products on people!

If you’re an outfitter, a guide, or just like to hunt…. GET IN TOUCH!

The feedback that we receive from outfitters, guides and outdoorsmen holds tremendous value to our brand. By using hunters in the field, we can get immediate and unbiased feedback on the gear that we manufacture which holds value in the design process of each item that we make. We do not believe in pro-staffs, but rather a team of backcountry enthusiasts that are able to test and critique each piece of equipment that we make.


“Do something you love, and you will never work a day in your life”

The main reason we do this is a love for the outdoors, plain and simple. We set out to build a brand around the lifestyle that we enjoy so much. While the above quote does ring true to an extent, this endeavor has been one hell of a lot of work. But with the work has come an overwhelming amount of gratification.

I want to provide our customer with a product that he/she is proud to wear and I hope my passion for the outdoors translates into the gear that we manufacture.

– William Spalding
President, Thlete Backcountry Athlete