Himalayan odyssey of Mr. Josef Rakoncaj began in 1977. To equip an expedition with quality clothing which would prevent the climbers from freezing conditions of world´s highest mountains, and at the same time would enable climbers to move freely while climbing, was almost impossible and extremelly expensive. Climbers were very often helping each other with equipment.

Josef Rakoncaj has never relied on given quality. That is why he has started sewing his own expedition and climbing clothing  back in 1971. At the beginning only for himself, later for his mates and friends. He has used all his experiences from expeditions, he has been adjusting fitting, creating practical details which help climbers move during heavy conditions and in high altitudes, seeking for new materials.

In 1974 he has unofficially founded Rakoncaj company which was one of the first of its kind specializing purely on production of special down expediction high altitude clothing and accessories. Immediatelly after the Velvet revolution (communistic break-down) in 1990 when the political sitaution allowed, he has officialized his enterprise under new name Sir Joseph. The production has started in tiny production facility and with home-based workers.

His products have become very soon due to their quality, functionality and affordability the bestseller amoung Czech and Slovak high altitude climbers. Very soon the interest came also from abroad. Production started to grow so Josef Rakoncaj could set up larger workshop. In 1994, the son Lukas, and in 2001, the daugher Lucie, started to work in the company.

Sir Joseph company belongs to the world´s leading down producing companies specializing on expedition segment. It has its own development and production facilities in the Czech Republic. In the specialized expedition segment it influences and sets the trends in equipment significantly.

Although Sir Joseph cannot compete in size with the world´s largest clothing companies, thanks to its unique products raised from pure mountain experience of Mr. Josef Rakoncaj, thanks to the best available materials, components and tradition of textile production based in the Czech Republic, it has fought its place among world´s most known producers of outdoor equipment and clothing.

P.S. And how was the company name founded? In base camp under one of the himalayan giants in eating tent, a local cook was preparing food for the expedition members. Every plate with food he accompanied with small hand-written paper with the person for whom the food was: Sir Peter, Sir Jiri, Sir Joseph etc.

And that is how the brand started.


Joseph Rakoncaj (*1951) - Czech Republic

  • The founder and owner of the Sir Joseph company.
  • He has summited 8 eight-thousanders and made a many winter and summer ascents of mountain peaks and rock faces all around the world.
  • He was the first person in the world to climb twice the most feared eight-thousander K2.
  • On principle he avoided high-altitude climbing with oxygen mask, and normal route ascents. Quality has always been more important to him than quantity. If he was not able to make a new route, he has chosen to climb challenging routes and tried to move his limits forward.
  • He has been producing outdoor gear and clothing since 1974.
  • He has published five books and partricipated in several movies about his own climbing achievements and the achievements of his friends and colleagues.
  • Nowadays he also enjoys his second biggest hobby – flying ultralight airplanes build by himself.

The most significant ascents

  • 1971 – Piz Cengalo, North Pillar, Bergell, Switzerland
  • 1972 - North face of Matterhorn, Zermatt, Switzerland
  • 1973 - Elbrus, Highest peak of Europe, Caucasus, Russia
  • 1974 - North face of Triolet, Chamonix, France
  • 1975 – Koshtan traverse – Tau Dych – Tau, Caucascus, Russia
  • 1976 - Rimon route of Trollrygen, first winter ascent, Norway
  • 1976 - Schara, South face first ascent, Caucascus, Russia
  • 1977 - Kalanka, 6931m, North face first ascent, Garhwal Hima
  • 1978 - Pik Oshanin, 6400m, East face first ascent - alpine style, Pamir
  • 1980 – Mt. Agner, North face, first winter ascent of Messner route, Dolomiten
  • 1980 - Yerupaja, 6630m, West face first ascent, Peru
  • 1981 - Nanda Devi, 7816m, North wall first ascent, Garhwal Himal
  • 1982 - Petit Dru, NE couloir, first winter ascent, Alps
  • 1982 - Mont Blanc du Tacul, Super couloir, Alps
  • 1982 - Jagnob, West face, Fanskie gory, West Pamir
  • 1983 - K2, 8611m, North face second ascent, China
  • 1984 - Lhotse Shar, 8400m, South face first ascent, Nepal
  • 1986 - K2, 8611m, Abruzzi ridge, alpine style, first person twice ascent
  • 1986 - Broad Peak, 8040m, West face SOLO, Karakorum
  • 1988 - Annapurna I, 8092m, South face, Bonington route, Nepal
  • 1989 - Manaslu, 8163m, South face, Nepal
  • 1990 - Cho Oyu, 8200m, West face, Nepal
  • 1990 - Shisha Pangma central, 8016m, North face first ascent,Himalaya
  • 1990 - Kilimangaro, Highest peak of Africa
  • 1991 – Mt. McKinley, Messner couloir SOLO, Highest peak of North America
  • 1991 - Aconcagua, Argentina, Highest peak of South America
  • 1991 - Ski crossing Upper part of transcontinental glacier Hielo del Sur, Patagonia
  • 1991 - Mera peak, 6400m, snowboard expedition, Nepal
  • 1992 - Nanga Parbat, 8125m, Diamir face, Pakistan
  • 1998 - Mt.Asgard, East face, Baffin island, NW Territories, Canada
  • 2000 – exploring of Kalymnos island, Greece
  • 2002 - Lotus Flower Tower, NW Territories, Canada
  • 2011 – Moses, Canyolands, Utah; Castleton Tower, Moab, Utah; USA