Arcteryx is giving me a HEADACHE!

9:51 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I dunno if its just me, no, its not just me, I've asked others and now we all have headaches over this.  Why is it when you goto the Arcteryx website they simply have way too many jackets to choose from?  How is anyone to decide which one to buy?  How many $500 Gortex jackets can a company come out with?  I think its overkill now.  Whats the difference between the Sabre jacket and the Crossbow jacket?  The Sting Ray jacket and the Sabre?  The Stinger and the new Vertical?  Oh and look, their all made now in China?  I give up

10:36 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
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Sounds like you need to try a new brand.

11:00 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
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The inevitable candy shop dilemma.

11:04 p.m. on October 5, 2011 (EDT)
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I think is just to lull us into the "jeez, just buy sumthin for $500 cause I'm on sensory over load now syndrome".  I don't know,  but if you rename the same thing over and over and change the color you have lots of different things to sell.  Just a thought.   I do know that at one time Arcteryx semed to be the go to jacket/coat/shell.  Much like TFN use be the go to jackets/coat/shell............Use to...................

5:08 a.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Totally agree with apeman.  Two words sum them up now: Over Rated.

7:17 a.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Yea, but they've got that really cool name with the accent thingy in the middle of it that nobody really knows how to pronounce. That's got to be worth a couple hundred bucks.

9:46 a.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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This is an interesting phenomena that's happening in a lot of consumer products: too much choice.  I think companies have been really sold on the idea that the more choices equal more sales.  Taken to the logical conclusion, this leaves us with products whose differences are pretty insignificant.  Worse, people that are new to going outside get the idea that there is a "perfect product" and get decision paralysis. I'd almost like to see companies offer less choices!

12:02 p.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Seth said:

This is an interesting phenomena that's happening in a lot of consumer products: too much choice.  I think companies have been really sold on the idea that the more choices equal more sales.  Taken to the logical conclusion, this leaves us with products whose differences are pretty insignificant.  Worse, people that are new to going outside get the idea that there is a "perfect product" and get decision paralysis. I'd almost like to see companies offer less choices!

 +1000

12:57 p.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Auhhh come on.  It'll give you something to do on a 100+ degree day;)

2:31 p.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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it's a shame if their quality has dropped.  i toted a small pack of theirs around for years, my day pack of choice.  it's still taking a beating today, hauling someone's rack and rope.  well made and designed, comfortable, virtually impervious to damage. 

3:02 p.m. on October 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Chouinard talks about saturation of product in his Let My People Go Surfing.  Great book, really.  He also states for each new item, they need to create 2.5 new jobs in order for it not to negatively affect the overall quality of operations and the dedication to other products.  Of course, if they add a new item and discontinue an item, they don't create any new jobs.  etc.  So to choose to add an item to a product line, it's quite an involved decision, and many companies make a lot of mistakes because they don't fully understand that; though you'd assume there is no way they couldn't understand it, especially for a long-established company.  Doesn't seem to always be the case, though.

11:06 p.m. on October 7, 2011 (EDT)
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I have several items made by Arc'Teryx ... clothing.   A nifty jacket and several pairs of trousers  ("pants" are what women wear).

NONE were made in China.   I checked, before ante'ing-up the tariff.

Although, not inexpensive, the fit is what won me over in my decision to purchase.   THAT -- along with the obvious quality of materials and detail.

I was comparing their offerings, side-by-side with TNF, Patagonia, Rab, Mountain Hardware  and Marmot.   Not "shoddy" company.

I DID opt for a couple Patagonia insulated mid-layer pieces ("puffy's"), which had a better fit for me.   Interestingly, I found almost identical mid-layer pieces at the nearby LL Bean outlet store, and bought them, as well.    They were priced less than half of the Patagonia and were insulated with my favorite, "PrimaLoft".   A good deal.   NOT made in China, either  (Patagonia and the LL Bean pieces were made in Thailand).   ALMOST IDENTICAL. stitching, baffles ... and both with PrimaLoft.   (One Patagonia was down-insulated, the "Nano Puff").

Hmmm ....

In-any-event, I agree with the OP, here.   Arc'Teryx has a confusing number of products that are very similar.   Very minor detail differences ... and NONE were inexpensive.

Hmmmm ....

~ r2 ~

9:42 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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R2

Often one company makes and supplies more than one retailer.  The company often comes up with its own designs and sells them to more than one retailer.  They just make minor changes like colors, logos and quality of material. Probably what happened with you.

Ever look at a Primus EtaSolo stove and a Jet Boil side by side?  If I'm not mistaken they are made by the same Korean company who came up with the part of the design.

10:25 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Correcto mundo, John  ("ocg") .

In some cases it is VERY obvious.  

I buy / sell / trade / re-furb brasswind instruments (horns).   The "big name" manufacturers, such as Bach, Conn, Selmer, make instruments under different labels, with minor changes.   In the trades, we call these "stencils" or "clones".

(Sorta like the IBM "ThinkPad" clone by Lenovo ... right, John? ).

Interestingly, Yamaha DOES NOT do this.   Nor, the MOST sought-after 'collector'-level horn, Martin  ( the "Miles Davis horn").

In the case of hiking / camping / backpacking gear ... the LL Bean "puffy" mid-layer with PrimaLoft is almost exactly the same as the Patagonia product, other than color choices ... for half the cost.  Oh,  "one more thing ... " (to quote Steve Jobs) ... the Patagonia version has a small, zippered chest pocket (cell-phone sized).   But, 'Ya wanna pay $60 for a little pocket that is inside your shell-layer, and not so easy to get to?     You go right on with yourself,  Bubba.

~ r2 ~

5:34 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Another interesting area of "cloning" is cosmetics.  I was talking to a woman who had worked one of the counters at a department store and she told me that the men's products were identical except scent and color and were usually about half the price.  Guess which ones she used.

As for the IBM Thinkpad.  Lenovo is actually the only PC that is not a clone. IBM sold their PC division to them.  Lenovo was allowed to say "IBM made by Lenovo" or something to that effect for a while.  My guess is that Lenovo was the manufacturing company for IBM originally. 

12:11 p.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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All I know is that when I bought my Arc'teryx Theta, there were only like 3 maybe 4 other models of jackets at the time.  Furthermore I am glad to know the mine was made in Canada prior to the China-ship-off.

8:01 p.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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D&G in the Smokys said:

All I know is that when I bought my Arc'teryx Theta, there were only like 3 maybe 4 other models of jackets at the time.  Furthermore I am glad to know the mine was made in Canada prior to the China-ship-off.

  Some are made in Bangladesh.

~ r2 ~

9:16 p.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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skibum12 

I've been watching steepandcheap.com and noticed some Arc'teryx on sale.

12:30 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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On the sale / clearance rack there is far less of a selection.

10:15 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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If you can afford Arcteryx you can probably aslo afford a consultant to assist you with your purchase decision.  I am available, PM for my fees schedule.  :)

12:04 p.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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But still $500 jackets?...... $20 worth of materials, $15 worth of labor, $15  worth of shipping................$450 worth of profit..........though I must say,  it is your money after all.  All I know is I can find a way to buy 2-10 quality jackests for that kinda money.

If you can afford to be buying $500 Jackets you can afford a bottle of aspirin and that will solve the headache problems.  ;-}>

So what's the problem, just buy one of each!!!!!  ;-}>

2:55 p.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I just wait till they show up at thrift stores...$4.50 max

10:04 a.m. on October 14, 2011 (EDT)
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While I do not have personal experience with Arcteryx, one of my climbing friends swears by them. I use a combination of TNF, Patagonia, and Marmot. All 4 of these companies are pretty much on equal footing as far as price and quality. 

I really don't mess with anything less than the flagship lines from these companies, and I am always ready to lighten my wallet when something needs replaced. That being said I am still climbing in a Marmot jacket that I bought 15 years ago, and I have put the thing through the ringer. Winter ascents in the Tetons and Winds, chimneying on Devils Tower. Being crammed in a pack, hung out to dry. Even just everyday wear. It is still warm and still sheds water.

I do agree with too much choice sometimes, however $500 for a piece that is going to offer me that kind of protection and durability for 10-15 years, I don't have a problem with. Basically I have had a great jacket for $33/ year.

So while you are recovering from sticker shock, consider how long that article could possibly last you. Like I said, I used mine HARD and I got 15 years. Someone who treats their gear a little nicer? 20 years +?

Just something to stir the pot. :)

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