Let's get high...

6:05 p.m. on December 3, 2017 (EST)
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I've seen too many posts on the internets recently from folks very displeased with a certain product or manufacturer. People rightfully peeved, and publicly calling out the accused. Whole threads dedicated to empathy around displeasure.

I propose we elevate ourselves and relate our own outstanding experiences of exemplary kinds. That is, I find many things in the world bring me joy through being well designed and well made by people who care about what they're producing; I suppose you do, too. I'd be pleased, then, if this conversation...you know...took the high road and centers on the gear--or its makers--that rise above the rest.

6:07 p.m. on December 3, 2017 (EST)
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I'll start by saying that over the period of four or five years I've found the quality of Z-Packs gear consistently high for the price and construction/weight. I've also found their customer service to be responsive and professional, bar none.

10:28 p.m. on December 3, 2017 (EST)
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I like it.

# 1 Clark Jungle Hammock - It does everything the manufacturer said it would. Kings wish they could waste the days away lounging in such heavenly comfort! $500

#2 Hilleberg nammatj-3 Gt wow what a wonderful condo to spend those winter weekends and vacations at and never have to worry about reservations or over booking $800

#3 Brunton Raptor stove- always ready to cook for you with no hassles and always ready on time$29

#4 Gregory packs always up for a haul and ready to make you feel like you just slid into you favorite chair. Just plain comfy $369

#5 anything made by Marmot- man do they understand what we do and why we do it.

Rain Jacket& pants$295

#6 Petzl myo-xp headlamp $79

all are at least 5plus years old and still rocking the trail. $2072.00 not including tax and man do I wish I had more $$$ to throw at them they make me look a whole lot smarter than I am cause they covered everything I didn't know. In short they idiot proofed their gear.

and the list goes on

who's next?

9:00 a.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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I have been a Patagoniac, appreciating their products starting with pitons and carabiners.  I bought my first fleece jacket in 1981, and several items since then.  i do appreciate Chouinard's conservationist philosophy and their efforts to defend Bears Ears.  I would say that their clothing line has become more fashionable and "trendy" of late, although they still produce good outdoor stuff.

I agree about Marmot - fine items.

Zebralight headlamps are the cat's meow...

9:43 a.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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Patagucci, Pendleton, Filson and some others.  Sure they cost a lot but you only have to buy them once. 

10:36 a.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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Second or third many of those above...a couple of additions:

- Mountain Hardwear gave me fantastic customer service when an old tent fly had issues.  Couldn't repair so offered me a good credit toward a new tent (which I declined) and then to other equipment (which I declined) and then they sent me a check!

Let's not forget the kudos for those cottage manufacturers that make excellent products and I think made some of the big boys (and girls) in the industry take notice and ramp up their offerings:

- Trail Designs - including the fantastic Caldera Cone variations in alcohol/esbit/wood stoves.

- Feathered Friends - I sleep in a cloud of warm air thanks to these folks!

- ULA Equipment - one of several manufacturers putting out excellent backpacks

- NEMO - Some excellent air mattresses

- Tarptent - Still in my first year with a new TT tent but already the craftmanship and quality and thoughtful design are clearly evident

I am sure I have left some out...

2:05 p.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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Yeah I have to give a shout-out to Patagonia as well. I can't think of anything I've bought from them that didn't meet or exceed my expectations. It is often the case that when I'm assessing an item for review I use a Patagonia product as the standard for comparison.

4:09 p.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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Western Mountaineering!

 

11:45 p.m. on December 4, 2017 (EST)
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Zpacks, pattagucci, marmot, Enlightened Equipment, Gregory, Zimmerbuilt

12:37 p.m. on December 5, 2017 (EST)
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I'll chime in with a brand oriented shout out.

MSR - good value product - superlative standing behind what they sell.

Vasque - They only issue I ever had with their foot ware was due to extreme off trail incursions with sharp scree - which will thrash any foot ware.  But a trip to the cobbler fixes cut stitching.  Otherwise the welted sole boots will last decades if resoled, while the non-welted boots are good as long as the soles last. 

Marmot - Was superior back when they first they started as a cottage operation in the early 1970s, and still crank out good stuff.  Cannot comment on their warranty policies, as I never had problems with their gear.

Sierra Designs - good price/weight/quality ratio.

Black Diamond - Pricey, but often the best solution.  My BD purchases have been mostly technical items: tele skis/boots hand tools, rack hardware, and tarp pyramids before cuben textiles came along.

Mountain Laurel Designs - Well designed cuben fiber products, good craftsmanship, and offer customized mods to their products upon request. 

Ed

 

2:59 p.m. on December 5, 2017 (EST)
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I would have to agree with Phil ULA makes a very good product...

Mountain Hardwear for some items I own by them

Msr has their stuff  together well like Ed said...

Pretty much love western Mountaineering...Be giving feathered friends a shot this spring....Sure be the same excitement and delight WM...

Way to many to think through at this point...Got lucky with people recommending outstanding companies

8:30 p.m. on December 5, 2017 (EST)
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I can't argue with anything posted. I will throw my two cents in based on 20+ years of outfitting a family of four, which requires you to be on a budget. 

Kelty: I couldn't have dumped weight off my back and on the kids without them.

Merrell and Keen: kept them from going barefoot

Slumberjack: sleeping bags that kept us safe without a bankruptcy lawyer

Columbia: Kept us warm and dry year round in anything Southern Appalachia could throw at us.

Eureka: well built tents that didn't cost a fortune...they just weighed a fortune.

10:00 a.m. on December 6, 2017 (EST)
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A little THC has never hurt anyone. 

8:02 a.m. on December 7, 2017 (EST)
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GrandTrunk--ENO gets all the love and attention (better marketing), but I think GT products are superior. 

DreamHammock--While I can give props to GrandTrunk, my DH DangerBird remains the best hammock I have ever tried, with the exception of...

Clark Jungle Hammock--wish I could afford one of these!

Dutchware is innovative and fantastic

Cottage industry companies in general are superior and deserve the love of our $$. 

1:09 a.m. on December 9, 2017 (EST)
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Thermarest - Sleeping pad and Thermarest are nearly interchangeable

Sawyer - I remember when filters were bulky and prone to failure

Patagonia - Mainly for their innovation of low-volume fleece...but they set the standard for layered clothing

ULA - I love my Ohm!

Z-Packs - Great workmanship (razor fine)...so many tarp options!...and the prices make DIY not worth the savings.

Six-Moons Designs - They immortalized Grandma Gatewood with a shelter that captures her converse and shower curtain gear choices...but also because they make great lightweight tents.

December 10, 2017
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