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About Us

OUR MISSION at Mountain Side is to get people outdoors without going broke buying good gear (or buy cheap, "That was the worst trip I every had" gear at a -Mart of some kind). We want you focused on planning and plotting your outdoor adventure, while we outfit you with the industry’s best camping and backpacking gear. 

From shipping the gear to anywhere you may need it, to outfitting you in our store, Mountain Side has the gear you want. If you need more information on how this works, please check out our Rental Information page.

If ever we can help with route planning on a Colorado trek or get you to the campsite of your dreams we are here to help.

How It Started

Mountain Side Gear Rental (MSGR) was created in 2010, when self-proclaimed camping guru and outdoors-lover John Hildebrandt realized the cost of good outdoor gear is a barrier for many who want to spend time outdoors. This realization came about when, as a Scout leader, John was discussing the summer camping plans with several parents who said spending money on expensive camping gear for possible one-time use didn’t make financial sense. The exchange stuck with John, and he soon found himself outlining a plan to invest money in high-quality camping gear, not for himself, but for outdoor enthusiasts like him.

In  2017, two of John’s friends invested in the company, expanded MSGR’s rental inventory and bringing a burst of a retail-products to Mountain Side’s first store, which continues to bring new, innovative and essentials product

In 2019, John decided to head down a new trail head toward a new career venture and that has taken him away from Mountain Side Gear & Rental.  He continues to be a great friend and ambassador of MSGR!

Today, Mountain Side Gear & Rental stands behind its original mission – to make outdoor experiences affordable, accessible and memorable. Adventurers from around the global in need of camping tents, backpacking gear or any other camping equipment, find value in our inventory of premium brand name equipment, including award-winning gear from brands like Mountain Smith,  Big Agnes, GSI Outdoors, CAMP U.S.A, Lawson Hammocks and many more!

Matt Byers

The Proprietor of the Outdoor Experience. Born in Ohio, but bred in Colorado from 3 months old, Matt grew up in Monte Vista, CO where he developed his love and excitement for the outdoor experience.   Matt met some of the most important people in his life in the San Luis Valley including his wife Bridget, as well as one of the co-owners of MSGR.  Matt’s Southern Colorado life let me experience the wonders of camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, and hunting.

Matt graduated from Metropolitan State University here in Denver, CO in 2003.  Matt has two little girls and is a proud Father, Husband, Friend, Coloradoan, and American.  Matt is passionate about MSGR and the Colorado lifestyle, and is excited to continue to grow this company along with John & Phil.

Phil Sanchez

El Prez of Awesome. Born and raised in Southern Colorado, Phil has traveled and explored nearly every part of this beautiful state and has visited all of the lower 48 states. Fortunate that the mountains have always been an important part of his life.  Enjoyment, adventure and the challenge of the outdoors has been a significant influence in the person Phil is today, and he endeavors to enjoy as many activities as possible in the Colorado backcountry, from skiing(snowboarding), mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, fishing, snowshoeing,…he needs to focus on a couple… eh… the more the better!

Phil has a full-time career in Wood/Sport Flooring industry for an amazing company, but Phil greatly enjoys his role with Mountain Side Gear & Rental and working to get more people outdoors.  Phil is passionate about fostering a company that encourages people to adventure hard, while having a focus to preserve natural areas to keep them beautiful for future generations.  So, if he is is ever around the shop, we know he looks forward to any opportunity to meet and to help like-minded individuals who enjoy getting outdoors for adventure.   After all, Mountain Side Gear & Rental is the “Official Outfitter of Great Times” and Phil is committed to ensure all customer experiences will be a positive one and the memories will last a lifetime.