Benoît LAVAL, CEO - Raidlight

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Raidlight French brand is the pioneer of the Trail-Running, founded in 1999 by Benoit Laval, avid runner who ran up over 100 Trails on all continents and selected Team France Trail-running in 2010.

With a team of 55 employees with a passion for Outdoor, perched at 1000 meters altitude in the heart of the Massif de Chartreuse, Raidlight continues to develop ever more light products, practices and different to offer complete equipment (shoes, textiles, hardware , backpack and accessories) all trail-runners.

First brand to open its Team to all runners and trail enthusiasts, Raidlight is also the only brand that fully integrates Outdoor users to design its products through collaborative R & D. With these two innovative collaborative aspects Raidlight has become essential to offer you the best of trail running.

With this dynamic and successful practitioners from trail running, Raidlight seized the opportunity to buy the French brand Vertical spurred Benoit LAVAL. Vertical then represents a good opportunity to use the same know-how to offer a different light and all practitioners of mountain sports equipment, including cross-country skiing and backpacking.


Back to the Future

In 1999, Benoit LAVAL creates Raidlight brand of Trail and Raids born from the combination of his skills textile engineer (used at the time in a subcontractor of sports brands), and his passion the mountain and running that practice in all its forms since the age of 10 years.

Design tools and manufacturing in one hand, and practice the sport experience in the other, the desire to make their own prototypes proved obvious, and so Raidlight started in a garage with 10 products, small website, and two trestles to finish races.

Today, between noon and 14 hours, do not try to contact Benoît Laval to his office. The boss Raidlight - Vertical eaten stride Trail summer and winter in the altitude ski touring. Now voluntarily based in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse in the heart of the massif, it is an important part of the employees who do the same. 


Benoit LAVAL, founder Raidlight CEO Raidlight-Vertical, is:

  • Sportsman-level enthusiast Trail and mountain since the age of 10
  • Entrepreneur, founder Raidlight (1999) and takes over the company Vertical (2010)
  • Network designer Resorts © Trail (2011), and the network of spaces ski de rando © (2012).

Professionals and sports projects are ongoing in parallel with the keywords sharing the passion and experience. More information about and



Benoit LAVAL, born May 14th1972, from the Paris region (but Corrèze and peasant roots), launched in 1982 at the age of ten years in pursuit of his father marathoner and that of his friends with whom he ran Wednesday afternoon. On track. 1,000 m, 1,500 m, 3,000 m steeplechase distances were his first choice. He swallowed kilometers as others raise pounds of cast iron. For fun.  passion of the mountain was already there for every holiday, and for a month in August 1993 Original passed only through the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean in three weeks running with a bag Backpack.

After five years of studying engineering at the Graduate School of Industrial and Textile (ESTIT-HEI, valedictorian) in Lille techniques, he began his military service in the school of Saint-Cyr in Coëtquidan he fate also valedictorian, choose to become an officer alpine hunter in Bourg-Saint-Maurice: the opportunity to run in the mountains, to discover (finally) mountaineering and ski touring in high doses.

Staying close his new golf course, he decided to anchor in the Rhone-Alpes and find an exciting job for him at Saint-Etienne: Charge d'Affaires in stéphanoise company which designed and manufactured backpacks, tents, bags Sleeping for major brands.

In 1999, in parallel with his job, Benoit LAVAL creates Raidlight brand of Trail and Raids, born from the association of textile engineering skills (used at the time in a subcontractor brands sport), and his passion for the mountains and running that practice in all its forms since the age of 10 years. Design tools and manufacturing in one hand, and practice the sport experience in the other, the desire to make their own prototypes proved obvious, and so Raidlight started in a garage with 10 products, small website, and two trestles to finish races.

 At that time, his record had two lines and Raidlight had ten product catalog. Both increased in tandem in the same direction. Sport advances and needs Raidlight Raidlight do participate in races around the world, such as the Marathon des Sables.

Mountain sports and endurance trails, orienteering raids, mountaineering, ski touring and ski mountaineering mix well to suit weekends, with strong performances as a 2nd place in the Grand Raid Reunion, Champion France to snowshoe, 11 wins in the Challenge de l'Oisans ...

Raidlight develops expertise "open innovation" (collaborative innovation with users) through its websites, and develops its social communication around a large community of users , Team Raidlight open to all (more than 6,000 runners in 2013 ). 

  • In 2009, Benoit LAVAL became Vice Champion of France of Trail, and is awarded the prize Entrepreneur of the Year of the Loire.
  • In 2010, Benedict LAVAL supports the future of both companies, since Vertical (trademark mountain, formerly Francital) became a subsidiary of Raidlight. Also, Benedict LAVAL strenna the jersey of the team of France Trail, in Davos, Switzerland. 
  • In 2011, the two companies merged and moved to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse in an eco-friendly building custom built to accommodate the thirty employees in the Raidlight-Vertical Outdoor LAB center for interactive tests with customers.


Within this project is created the first Station Trail in Europe (concept developed by Raidlight), which will see more than 6,000 Trailers in the first year, and about 10,000 a year now. The concept of Station Trail turns into a national network with the establishment of new stations in other massifs (27 in 2016), the device being recognized as a true product of economic and tourism diversification. 

In 2012, it is the passion of the cross-country-touring and Vertical experience in this area that is shared with the creation of the area of cross-country-touring, always in Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse. Space for ski-touring also declined rapidly in networks with 5 stations in 2016.


Sporting achievements

-> See the complete results


  • 1 cap for France Trail
  • Vice-Champion of France Trail
  • Winner of 3 races of the Championship of France
  • Winner of the Annapurna Mandala Trail
  • 2°, 4° and 5° at the Grand Raid Reunion 
  • 5° at the Gobi Ultra Trail (400km)
  • 11 wins CHALLENGE OF Oisans 
  • Participation at the Barkley (2 rounds)



  • Fifth in the Championship of France 100km
  • 13th 100km Millau 



  • World Champion IOF Raids
  • Vice-Champion of France of Raids Guidance (x3) 



  • France champion snowshoe (x2) 
  • 6th to the EUROPEAN CUP of Snowshoe 



  • Pierra Menta-2000 (winner mixed with Corinne Favre)
  • Multiple outputs in different ranges. 



  • Solo expedition to Aconcagua (6.985m)
  • Solo crossing of the Pyrenees (520km)
  • Bivouac at the top of Mont Blanc 
  • Multiple outputs in different ranges.


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