Eddie Bauer - just thinking back

12:52 p.m. on November 13, 2006 (EST)
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hey - I see that Eddie Bauer is being sold - anybody else remember when they were "Eddie Bauer, expedition outfitters" and sold some of the highest quality goose-down insulated clothing available? I'm goin' way back here - before the yuppification - before they started selling trinkets and nick-nacks - before their name was emblazoned on Ford SUV's. I remember being a kid and reading how their parka was worn on K2 or Everest -

Of course - at that time LLBeans didn't sell Christmas ornaments or trees, Orivis didn't sell kitchy Irish stuff and REI was pretty hard core as well ....

Such are the mighty diluted ...

Steve

6:43 p.m. on November 13, 2006 (EST)
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Steve -
Ya gotta look back through the threads. There have been several of these "I remember when" discussions. You will discover that I still have, and sometimes use, my Bauer Karakoram bag, a -40 deg down bag that was a favorite for expeditions. I got it in about 1959 or 1960. But I use my Feathered Friends down bag these days for expeditions and backcountry ski tours - much lighter and much warmer.

And when I joined REI, it was still a single store plus the warehouse from which mailorders were shipped. The climbing section in the old Pike Street store was about half the size of the entire REI that recently opened about 2 miles from my house, but their current climbing section is half the size of my garage.

I bought my original Kelty Backpacker (which I still have) from Dick Kelty in person, when he was still running his business out of his garage in Glendale (I was an undergrad at the time a few miles away in Pasadena).

And in looking through some of my climbing hardware, I found I have several Holubar angle pitons in the closet. Another name long gone.

11:00 p.m. on November 13, 2006 (EST)
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Yes, I do. And REI and Bean.

11:29 a.m. on November 14, 2006 (EST)
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Bill you've got quite the collection of gear tucked away. I've sold a number of vintage Eddie Bauer down jackets (I'm a thrift store junkie) on ebay and they tend to sell quite well. Eddie Bauer made some very well constructed clothing in their day. Thankfully other companies come along and take their place at the front of the line. Today it's Western Mountaineering, Feathered Friends, and Integral Designs. 20 years from now we may all be lamenting the Feathered Friends boutique at the local mall.

2:26 p.m. on November 14, 2006 (EST)
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alan said, "Bill you've got quite the collection of gear tucked away."

alan, you don't know the half of it! We can hardly move around the house for all the camping and backpacking gear. Most people think of garages as places to park cars (well, ok, not in California, where cars are parked in the drive alongside the boat and in the street). Half of our garage is devoted to our collection of bicycles (anyone want a 1964 Follis 19-inch frame, small diameter road racing bike? great collector item with mostly original gear? Or a 1980 Santana tandem with child-back conversion - young son is now 27 yrs old and won't ride with the raised pedals). One corner of the front room ("living room" to some) has quivers of skis (track, tele, AT, downhill, multiples in some cases for the 2 of us), and the opposite corner is musical instruments (Young Son's collection of violins from 1/8 through full size, my own violin, couple guitars, mandolin, cornet, etc etc). What used to be young son's bedroom is now the storage area for sleeping bags, sleeping pads, etc, while the other back bedroom is ham radio gear, packs, climbing gear, and library (mostly outdoor and photography books). Forgot the shelves on one wall of the garage that have tents and stoves.

We need a bigger house! Heaven forbid that we should get rid of stuff.

8:07 a.m. on November 15, 2006 (EST)
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Re: Eddie Bauer - just thinking back - or are we just pack rats?

I still have an "arcitc hat" that my parents bought me from Eddie Bauer years ago - down insulated with mutton earflaps (and, as a curiosity, a mutton brim, which I never understood). It's still warm.

Sounds familiar - garage is occupied by bicycles (including my last "sponsor" bike - a 1981 Raleigh team pro - sad to say that its silks haven't felt pavemement for quite a few years now!), plus family camping equipment, most of my backpacking equipment (save the sleeping bag), tools, lawnmower, various motorcycle bits, a couple racks of climbing hardware (including a bolt kit .... and some original "friends", plus the normal assorment of pitons and hex nuts and stoppers), a wood shafted ice axe, at least one pair of crampons, a few sets of cross country skis -

The master bedroom walls are lined with my guitars - (well, two of the four are). I've got nine - and pointed out to my wife that there's room for "three or four more" - she pointed out that I only ever perform with one or two of 'em - so I'd better start bringing the rest out if I want to justify adding to the collection ....

Living room? In the "main area" things appear pretty normal - however - lurking behind the sofa is a veritable museum (albiet a disorganized one) of personal computer history and evolution ....

11:48 a.m. on November 15, 2006 (EST)
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We are just pack rats!!!

OOOooooo, Steve! A 1981 Raleigh Team Pro! I have one of those. And I even ride it occasionally, though the Trek 5500 is my usual training bike these days. I sometimes ride my Masi Criterium, too (1976), which was a sponsored bike when Barb and I were riding for Betat (she has a Masi, too).

On your Friends - I found out a couple years back that some of my earlier batch of Friends were recalled. Wild Country looked at them (or rather photos of them) and declared they were indeed part of the recalled group. So you should check before using yours again.

As far as old computer gear, since the Computer Museum is only about 6 miles down the road (at Moffet/NASA Ames), we have unloaded virtually all of our old junk, errrr, historical relics, on them. And some of it is actually on exhibit. It's kind of fun to see some of the "supercomputers" I worked on years ago and realize that my cell phone has more computing power and memory, as do my PDA and GPS receivers.

Ok, we are getting way off topic. Maybe we better quit.

4:12 p.m. on November 15, 2006 (EST)
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Re: We are just pack rats!!!

Bill if I'm ever in your neck of the woods I'll have to stop by, although I am afraid I may freak out at seeing all the cool stuff. I only have 3 bikes - "only" is what I say to the misses. My first, and main, bike is a 1980 Trek 412. This summer I bought a 1969 Raliegh 3 speed so I could ride in the Lake Pepin 3 Speed Tour next spring. Last month I found a 1989 Trek 520 at a Goodwill for $6.99 and it now resides in my garage. For the most part I'm trying to keep my stuff to a dull roar with minimal net gain; that is, I sell off pieces on ebay as I acquire new and more interesting pieces.

8:44 p.m. on November 15, 2006 (EST)
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Re: We are just pack rats!!!

Bill, A Masi? I haven't seen one of those in years. I've got a Univega Superlight aluminum road bike from the mid 80's. A really nice ride-welded small diameter tubing, unlike the Cannondales and Kleins, with Shimano 600 running gear. Don't ride it much, but can't bring myself to part with it.

I've still got my old Mac SE in the closet. For those who haven't seen one, it looks kind of like a little toolbox or portable tv. 9 inch B&W screen,40MB(yes MB)hard drive and a whopping 2.5MB of memory. Hard to believe I paid over $2K for it and a dot matrix printer. I think my $20 DVD player has more computing power than the old Macs.

6:56 a.m. on November 21, 2006 (EST)
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Re: We are just pack rats!!!

Interesting collection of bikes and other gear - my "regular riding" bike is a Panasonic touring deluxe (1980 or so - pre-indexed shifting) - that inner chainring is a blessing to my old, corn-cob cluster busted knees (nothing like setting your road bike up with a 46/52 up front and a 13-18 on the back and THEN riding hills) - I'd really like to find an old Cannondale mountain bike - remember the early ones with a 26" front wheel and a 24" rear? Had one many years back - they were great for trialsy riding ...
Masi cycles - always wanted to own one of them - hmmm ... maybe I'll air up the silks and take the 'pro out for an appetite building ride before Thanksgiving dinner ... maybe I'll even be smart and glue some fresh tires on tonight in anticipation of riding it Thursday ....

Cheers

Steve

10:04 p.m. on November 25, 2006 (EST)
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You know, I have a 2 in 1 parka from Eddie Bauer that I got...I guess about 7 years ago now. It has held up through many overnight and 3-4 day backpacking trips. I got it originally because it was less expensive than a Columbia or North Face, and it is still going very strong. The only thing even remotely going bad is the zipper. I never waterproofed it, yet I have never experienced a leak or had wet clothes under the jacket. I most definitely got my money's worth and more from it...

3:29 p.m. on November 28, 2006 (EST)
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Hey wait stop the train, I have a $25 eddie Bauer gift certificate, are you telling me they aren't around anymore?
Jim S

4:17 p.m. on November 28, 2006 (EST)
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No, Jim, Bauer is still around. Just in a different form from what we knew and loved a few decades ago. Want fancy, yuppy, "outdoor style" clothes? They got it. Want real backpacking clothing, sleeping bags, and such? Long gone. Want an "Eddie Bauer" logo on your Sport Ute? It's available.

Not sure what you can get for your $25 gift certificate, though. Last time I was in an Eddie Bauer store (chain, with shops in your "best" shopping centers), the prices were a bit beyond that for almost everything.

5:30 p.m. on November 29, 2006 (EST)
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Bill S
speaking of long gone prices... I see that you now pay 20 to 30 dollars for a really thin wool balaclava to wear under your ski/board helmet. You can barely buy socks for $25 with tax - fortunately we have no sales tax in Oregon - ha ha.
I went cross country skiing three days last week. It take me about fifteen minutes to drive to a snopark...
Jim S

2:08 a.m. on February 15, 2007 (EST)
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I have an Eddie Bauer down bag I purchased at one of their Seattle stores in 1980. Actually, my parents purchased it for me, since $200 was $180 more than I had available at the time - I had blown my previous balance on a Marmot All Weather Parka (shell). It still seems like a nice sleeping bag albeit a trifle heavy. The EB label notes "Premium Quality Goose Down" but I no longer recall the loft rating. I recall that it was about a 10 degree bag. I guess this is why manufacturers wisely stitch the rating into the ends of their bags now. Just in case the products outlive their owner's wits!

Jim B.

10:34 a.m. on February 15, 2007 (EST)
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Vintage down bags are every bit as good as their modern counterparts. The biggest change is that a modern bag will generally be lighter. The weight savings is due to lighter weight nylon and the ability to use higher grade down. All of my down bags are 25-30 years old and in excellent shape. Last week I found a vintage Snow Lion bag for $3.99 at a thrift store. This is the style with the double zippers covering the draft tube. The bag will be good to 20 degrees and weighs in at just over 3 pounds.

2:00 p.m. on February 15, 2007 (EST)
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What alan says about the gear being just as good is very true. Take a look at the photos in my report on Antarctica (in the News section of this website). The 4 guys we had with us who did the first ascents in the Vinson Massif brought their Eddie Bauer expedition down jackets, and some had their Bauer down shirts and down pants as well, along with Brian bringing his Kelty pack and John and Sam bringing their original ice axes. It all worked very well.

There were some updates - most of the group were using Feathered Friends sleeping bags (the exception being Brooke, with his Stephenson bag), combination of closed cell foam pad plus Thermarest (exception again being Brooke, who had the down-filled inflatable that Stephenson includes with that multi-convertible bag, with its light liner, VBL, and heavy bag), double plastic climbing boots with thermofit liners (several were the Millet and La Sportiva all in one with built-in gaiter), and more modern crampons.

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