General gripe

Buddha.

None of this matters
I have been buying some military surplus stuff recently. Mostly the ECWCS. The base layers are great and really inexpensive. The level 5 pant and jacket are super comfortable and lightweight. Only downside is everything is camo but it works well. All American made and very functional. I'm also a big fan of the Eddie Bauer First Accent.
I liked the waffle layer which didn't look too bad in brown. The Michelin man puffy jacket was great and I was the only one in my unit that got one for some reason. Lots of cold jealous stares.
 

kulana

New member
I try to buy American made and don't mind spending on quality, but it's very hard in the technical category. I did discover Duckworth and I am a huge fan of their brand with about five shirt acquired around Christmas time last year, all on sale. They're great for wool, along with a number of wool sock makers (Darn Tough, point6 and Fits). But pants are the bane of my existence. Fjallraven is okay (when on sale) and not always made in China. It's very hard to find good women's clothing in the technical, but not too technical looking space.
 

jgatliff

Father, Husband, Outdoorsman, & Adventurer.
I remember when climbing shops used to be holes in the wall packed full of hardware but now even the best outdoor shops are like shopping at the Gap with all the clothes racks. It's a sign of the time I guess.
Having worked in the outdoor industry for over 25 years I can tell you why, that’s where the stores make their money and it’s what is keeping their doors open. Most people don’t buy numerous stoves or sleeping pads, or sleeping bags, or etc but clothing... everyone buys several pieces of each item.

It’s a trend I dislike also but if it allows the smaller outdoor gear stores to stay open then I support it.
 

PhillySMB

Member
I used to manage an independent outdoor store, selling climbing gear, paddling, backpacking, etc. Hard goods like that generally had a 25-30% markup. They usually are higher ticket and so cost more to stock. They don’t sell quickly. And they take a lot more staff time to sell (pack fitting, explaining features, etc.). I could spend an hour selling and fitting a $150 backpack and make $45 or no time selling a $150 Patagonia jacket and make $75 (50% margin). Plus the pack cost $105 to stock, while the jacket only cost $75.

And nowadays someone will come in, take an hour of your time getting help with a pack, and then go buy it online to save $15. Thankfully my time in the industry was pre-Internet and we only had the Campmor catalog to contend with.


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I have a 10-year+ HardWear soft shell with a pit zip that delaminated. I was concerned that the lifetime guarantee wouldn’t be honored since they were bought out by Columbia. Dropped them an email, shipped them the jacket, and they repaired/returned it quickly, no cost. Still a good company! 👍
 
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waveslider

Outdoorsman
Orvis? That's a surprise.
I have found recently that Orvis appears to have found their way again. In my lifetime they went from a company that made excellent, long lasting (if not overly technical) gear that worked and was dependable.......to boutique overpriced crap that wasn't worth a dime and would fall apart the first couple of times you used it.....and then back to a company that stands behind their gear and its quite good (and a it more technical). I had written them off and find myself recently appreciating their gear and their support more and more.
 
I remember when climbing shops used to be holes in the wall packed full of hardware but now even the best outdoor shops are like shopping at the Gap with all the clothes racks. It's a sign of the time I guess.
Too old now for hard core stuff, but Marmot used to be good -are they still around and what is their reputation.
 

axlesandantennas

Approved Vendor
Seen a few comments about military surplus. I was wanting a nice wind and waterproof shell. Big name brand was well north of $300. I used to wear Gortex in the Marines so I went and found what I needed at a local MilSurp shop for $50. Sure it's camo, but in East Tennessee, everyone wears camo.

Lots of good base layer stuff too. All US made by military contracts. Good heavy duty stuff.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
Seen a few comments about military surplus. I was wanting a nice wind and waterproof shell. Big name brand was well north of $300. I used to wear Gortex in the Marines so I went and found what I needed at a local MilSurp shop for $50. Sure it's camo, but in East Tennessee, everyone wears camo.

Lots of good base layer stuff too. All US made by military contracts. Good heavy duty stuff.
The same principle applies to vehicles. You can buy a $250,000 truck for $250,000 from Earthwhatever, of you can buy a better one for $15,000 off the GovPlanet auctions...
 

ITTOG

Well-known member
I have never owned anything from North Face that was worth the money spent to buy it, even when it is on sale for 50% off.

It is very difficult to find good gear anymore. I always look for merino wool clothing and it is almost impossible to find. Everyone wants to mix it with synthetics.

Anyone ever purchase from Stellar Equipment? I saw it on facebook the other day but have never bought anything from there. I have been looking for some good mid-layer clothing.
 

axlesandantennas

Approved Vendor
I have never owned anything from North Face that was worth the money spent to buy it, even when it is on sale for 50% off.

It is very difficult to find good gear anymore. I always look for merino wool clothing and it is almost impossible to find. Everyone wants to mix it with synthetics.

Anyone ever purchase from Stellar Equipment? I saw it on facebook the other day but have never bought anything from there. I have been looking for some good mid-layer clothing.
Not sure of the Stellar brand, but what I have found with NF and the other top tier brands is that they seem to offer two quality type: 1) Big box retail, like dicks or academy. These tend to be name brand only and very below the stuff you get in 2) an actual outfitter. And the actual outfitter quality is normally eye wateringly expensive.
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
I've been going to Cabelas, Columbia and just found a store called Mountain Warehouse. Just depends who's got what on sale at the time I'm looking. (I'm cheap, haha)

 

alanymarce

Well-known member
Eddie Bauer make good kit, North Face is over-priced and not that good in the real world. Craghoppers make the best clothing we've found (we took two shirts and two pairs of trousers with us for a total of 19 months travelling in Africa and Australia and will take them with us on the next trip). Lippi also make good clothing.
 
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