Raidlight is the pioneering French trail running brand, founded in 1999 by Benoît Laval, a passionate outdoor enthusiast and international level trail runner. Benoît has raced more than 100 trails on all continents and was selected for the French Trail Team in 2010.
With a team of 55 passionate employees (March 2016), perched at 1000 metres in the heart of the Chartreuse mountains, Raidlight continues to develop products that are ever lighter, practical and different to offer a complete equipment range (footwear, clothing, backpacks and accessories).
Raidlight is the first brand to open its team to all runners who want to promote the brand. It is also the only outdoor brand that fully integrates users into the design of its products with the collaborative R & D through using a dedicated area on the website. Thanks to these two innovative collaborative aspects, Raidlight has become a strong presence in Trail-Running.
Today, our company is present on both the internet with a community site (6,000,000 page views in 2013) and a network of about 500 specialist stores in France. Using our know-how,25% of our sales come from international export, with more than 500 sales outlets in Europe, and more than 70 countries delivered to each year via the Internet.
We base our growth on innovation and on a strong differentiation of products that are designed to meet a specific need, be ergonomic, and often lighter than the competition.
With 10-20% growth per year, even during the current economic climate, our team is expanding month by month, with sales of €7 million in 2016.
Humane, innovative and passionate, join Raidlight and share the Trail Running experience!
15 years of success:
- 1999 : Raidlight is created.
- 2001 : First employee is hired.
- 2004 : The company expands with a network of dealers.
- 2006 : First distributors for export (Spain and UK).
- 2007 : First research and development project with Sporaltec collaborative.
- 2009 : Benoît Laval receives the Trophée de Entrepreneur of the Loire.
- 2009 : Benoît Laval becomes Vice-Champion at the French Trail Championships
- 2010 : Raidlight joins the “OSEO excellence, The finance network for entrepreneurs “moving forward”.
- 2010 : The Vertical brand becomes part of Raidlight.
- 2010 : Benoît Laval is selected to take be part of the French Trail Running Team.
- 2011: Move to St Pierre-de-Chartreuse and open the first ever Trail Station in Europe.
- 2012 : Creation of the national network of Trail stations, awarded the Trophy for innovation from Bref Rhône-Alpes and the Janus award from the French National Design Institute. Creation of the first European Ski touring area
- 2013 : Creation of the national network of Ski touring areas.
- 2014 : Creation of "Outdoor INO-Fab", our new technology design workshop in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse.
- 2016 : Raidlight-Vertical becomes a part of the Rossignol group.
Why Raidlight ?
In 1999, Benoît Laval created Raidlight, a company dedicated to trail running and racing, using his textile engineering skills (gained from working as a subcontractor to leading sports brands) and his passion for mountains and running that has been a part of his life since he was just 10 years old.
With the design and manufacturing skills in one hand, and passion plus experience in the other, the desire to make his own prototypes emerged. Raidlight started off life in a simple way, with just 10 products designed in a garage, a small website and two tables set up at various race starting points.
Raidlight, what does it mean? A brand name is simply a blank canvas which is filled with words and pictures. We were looking for a design which projected our core goals - light products designed for adventure, and from the start Benoît Laval desired an internationally recognisable trademark. English was therefore the preferred language as it was already synonymous with "modernity", “innovation" and perfectly suited to an already established global dynamic.
The hardest part was finding an available brand name because of the thousands which are already taken at the INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property)! The name RAIDLIGHT was free, had a good sound and stood out due to the “What you see is what you get” nature of the title:
- "Raid" is a nod to the origins of the brand: trail-running, nature and orienteering as well as Racing,
- and "Light" highlighting the main innovation point of the brand: designing lightweight products to improve comfort for all runners.
The stylized compass logo completes the full circle of origin. The 4 arrows in 4 directions symbolize both the cardinal points of orientation and the taste for adventure around the world.
Our goal at Raidlight, as passionate runners at all levels, is to design products with the best technical / price ratio, and still be able to offer a light and ergonomic result..
- Why lightness? Consider this; 100g saved allows a trail-runner, during a 40km run, to save 4 tonnes of thrust force on the thighs. Imagine the size of the saving which 50g over a distance of 160 km like the Tour du Mont-Blanc would bring? For us and our customers, this lightness is therefore not a luxury, but a necessity.
- As far as ergonomics are concerned, it is vital to bring the best possible comfort. We design products to make the users life easier, enabling the equipment to work with the runner during a race rather than against them, allowing them to meet the challenges that they have set for themselves, whatever the circumstances and level of the individual.
With these views at the forefront of our minds, since 2008 we are the only brand to fully integrate our community members into our design processes (to improve existing products or bring new innovations), allowing you to share your ideas through our collaborative R & D. We also created the first online community of trail-running enthusiasts, via our community space at Raidlight.com which has a forum, personal blogs and expert advice blogs on nutrition, training and more. We would love you to join the Raidlight community and the 1st Open to All team; become a part of our ethos Together, Let's Share the Trail Running Experience! !
It is due to this core philosophy that our new premises, the Outdoor Lab, in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, is as close as possible to the trail-running and hiking trails. Come visit us and discover our R & D workshop, where you can learn about our various technology and materials, and also test our equipment out for free! Not only can you benefit from our technical facilities but also the fantastic trails around the Chartreuse Trail Station or the Chartreuse Ski Area, depending on the season!
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