Founded in 1967 by Irv Davies—the inventor of the world’s first Floater™ Coat—in Vancouver’s Gastown, Mustang Survival’s roots in what it takes to survive in harsh marine environments are 50 years deep - and firmly planted on Canada’s West Coast.
From day one, being at the epicentre of the environment Mustang Survival gear was being engineered for was crucial to success.
The story goes that while building the first FloaterTM Coats, Irv would head down to the docks and test the jackets with tugboat drivers and deck crews. Going straight to the source and iterating through real-time feedback from people navigating work and life on the water was immediately baked into the Mustang DNA .
From the shores of the Burrard Inlet—a busy hub of shipping and cargo movement where tugboat drivers, ship mechanics, and safety personnel spent their days exposed to the water—in the late 1960s to the current head office and Waterlife Studio in Burnaby, BC, the company’s proximity to water hasn’t changed, because it drives everything they do.
Choosing to keep the headquarters in British Columbia has been a commitment to staying in and near the environment, and the elements, Mustang gear ultimately protects its wearers from.
Their ability to purposefully design and obsessively engineer every item—whether for the military and public defense communities or our recreational users—comes from understanding the nuances of the many bodies of water Mustang’s gear goes to work in.
Being situated with access to rivers, oceans and lakes, in a climate that can test even the most rugged expeditioner’s will to continue is at the core of Mustang’s research, innovation and development.
A team of highly skilled and innovative problem solvers and waterlife advocates use the access to water as development grounds to test theories, explore possibilities, iterate ideas and expand what they know about building world class PFDs, dry suits, flotation coats and water-life apparel that help real-world superheroes live life beyond land.
From Maritime Professionals to Special Operations Forces, Airforces to Navy Seals, NASA astronauts to recreational offshore and inland marine adventurers, and everyone in between, Mustang Survival gear is the trusted sidekick for those chasing the feeling of freedom that comes from being on the water.
Yes, there’s water, and people living the water life all around the world. Which may beg the question: ‘Why BC?’
For Mustang Survival, it’s about heritage—being in the backyard of where the business started—and keeping their solutions real, and well crafted; honouring their Canadian roots and building gear that can take any adventurer out onto the water with confidence, knowing its grit and performance has been tested by real people in some of the toughest waters and weather.
We shared our story and toured our facility with MLA: Hon. Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology this week. We appreciated the opportunity to showcase what we do and engage in dialogue on the achievements of our companies and our industry. We hope that these tours have reinforced the importance of the apparel industry to the province’s economy.