About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

Astronomical gear prices

7:36 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,679 reviewer rep
1,137 forum posts

Why is everything made by ARCTERYX so much more expensive?  Is it really worth it to pay $50 for a beanie? Or $100 for a pair of shorts? $500 for a WPB jacket? Really? A $60 t-shirt?

Help me out please.  How much better can this stuff be?   Is it custom tailored?   Does it climb the Mtn for you?  Maybe I'm just a Goodwill shopping, deal loving cheapskate.  I just can't see gear being THAT much better.  Anyone able to help me understand this?

11:33 p.m. on March 24, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,073 forum posts

I consider myself frugal, some call me cheap, but prices such as the above are just nuts.  I think $350 for a wpb jacket is steep, $500 is over the top.

8:28 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

I get  worked up by these conversations. :) Many moons ago....... I bought a tent for my little 5-6 year old daughter. It was a cheap $15 job. We went camping every weekend spring though fall in the midwest. Though many bad storms and wonderful sunny days. We saw many tents fail, including mine many times. Every one would be out drying the sleeping bags and repairing shelters. And then my daughter (now 16) would come out of her little (toy) tent dry. This tent showed me what to look for when buying a tent. It had the very first bath tub style floor that I had seen.

I now go out and check out these big ticket idems to see how they fit, stitching, bells and whistles...... Then compare them to less expencive stuff. Many times the cheaper stuff is the same, if not better. Now many times here you will hear "you get what you pay for" And  70% of the time it is the warm and fuzzy feeling of wearing that label on your jacket, tent, or other gear that you have.

There is some gear that is way better than the norm out there. And then there is gear that is just junk. But 70-80% of the time people will buy the name alone. It is the way we have been conditioned to buy.

9:24 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
171 reviewer rep
223 forum posts

Arcteryx has one of the best finition in the industry and some of it is made in Canada. Just like you I the price tag or the absence of double zippers are deal breakers for me. Those are just two of the things I dislike, but... The gear they make, for some people is still the cats ass. I know a lot of the climbers around here go bat shit crazy  about their Bibs for ice climbing. I can understand. When you find something that fits you pay the price it is. 

Mikes comment hits the spot. If it's to pricey, its not for you. But when youve tried tens and tens of jacket and the only one you find is an arcteryx... I guess it explains why some people are sold to the brand.

Considering the price tag, I'd justify my purchase with extra love when asked about it.  ;-)

 

9:43 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Arc'teryx is overpriced, of course. I imagine the profit margin on their ****tex and polartec jackets is spectacular. Much less so on the packs etc. The top spot used to be Patagonia, didn't it?

Which is not to say that it isn't mostly good stuff, with a lot of thought going into gear that is quality controlled at the bottom. But only a rich person or narcissist would pay retail for their clothing as it is usually on sale at 25% within six months of release. Walk-in stores will only stock it for the prestige as it isn't a big source of income, it just makes the shop look classy.

I just wish they had smaller labels. Marmot are the same: Hugh Jass logos that you never own (copyright), just rent for the duration so that you can look like you fell out of a gear catalogue featuring expeditions to high places.

Coghlan's is the next Arc'teryx.

10:57 a.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
3,925 forum posts

I remember when Goretex first came out in the late 70s, my first goretex jacket cost $120 in 1978 and my GT pants cost $80. That seemed really expensive in those days when minimum wage was about $1.65 and I was only making $132 every two weeks before taxes. With rent,grocery's and all it took me two months to buy both products.  But the gear lasted about 20 years before I replaced them. Actually the pants were replaced for free under warrenty in 1996 by TNF. The jacket was Sierra Designs and they didn't honor gear bought as first generation goretex, from 1978.

My first mtn tent was $300 from TNF in 1979 and it lasted me 27 years before a bear in Wyoming destroyed it looking for food.

So to me the high prices are worth the long lasting life time of the gear.

12:12 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
42 reviewer rep
312 forum posts

Anyone able to help me understand this?

This may aid understanding, even though it is obviously out of date, as the basic principles still apply:

SWPL entry number 87

12:33 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

If one NEEDS the gear then they should buy only the best. They arnt into the fashion of wearing it. It is life or death for them.

 I see so many people out here on the coast wearing TNF jackets and parkas, it's nothing more than a clothing fad. I walk proudly by wearing my dry ducks that I use while out backpacking all winter long. Lets think here, $170 or $17.99? And I bet that few if any of those people even do day hikes.

Once a label becomes a fashion the compainy must increase poduction to meet demand. And quality well drop, prices will increase.

Pathloser: Coghlan's the next Arc'teryx? Thats just too funny!

And Gary, it is true that some gear is made to last. I had luck with my old Coleman tent. One year it was up 70% of a year. I was homeless. It kept going for another ten years before the UV rays got to it. As the saying goes "it was used hard and put away wet". Cost $39

7:00 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,679 reviewer rep
1,137 forum posts

Pathloser.  That article is TOO funny and SO true!  LMFAO! 

Personally I always wear my Mannut Mamooks to the movies with my soft shell jacket.  I keep the crampons attached just in case.  Ya never know when you're going to need to perform a crevasse rescue with no time to change.  An ATC makes a nice keychain holder. 

 

8:56 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

I guess I don't see the purpose in gear that expensive either. My WPB shell jacket cost me $60, and it is waterproof at any point on the jacket - zippers, pockets, hood, sleeves - with up to 30 feet of water standing on it.

 

My waterproof shell pants cost me $25 from columbia and have never given me an issue.

 

I have fleece layers, polyprop pants, techwick base layers, and a soft shell jacket - all of those combine cost me less than $300, with the soft shell being the most expensive for $99.

 

My tent has held up to a storm which saw snow, hail, and 70 mph sustained winds, it's made by High Peak, and it cost me $75.

 

There's no reason AT ALL to pay outrageous prices for these products - people are too stuck on name brands, and by doing so, it keeps the name brands in business and allows them to charge whatever they want.

 

Do the research and buy off brands or lesser known brands for cheaper prices. If everyone did this and stopped brainwashed loyalty to brands that mark their prices up 500%, then those companies will lose their monopolies and will have to make their prices more fair.

10:05 p.m. on March 25, 2011 (EDT)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

You can get brand names off craigslist.com and at garage sales. All it takes is a little patience. I just saw an ARCTERYX pack on craigslist.com used two times for $50.00. I looked it up and it's worth $150.00 new. I may email them and see if they still have it.

Keep an eye out and you will get some deals.

 

3:12 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
TRAILSPACE STAFF
397 reviewer rep
962 forum posts

This topic has long been of interest to me.  Often, I'm willing to pay a bit more for things that are made in the US, are made sustainably, or have the right mix of features.  Of course, prices that seem a bit foolish to those who aren't passionate about a particular hobby seem reasonable to those who are.  I've been told by "knife people" that a 500$ handmade blade was worth every penny.  I don't think they were lying, either.  To them, it was certainly worth every penny.  The question is: Is the price of outdoor gear and equipment a function of it's "necessary qualities?"

I suppose the reason that this discussion is happening is because we each share different ideas of what the "necessarily qualities" of outdoor gear and equipment are.  For some, a jacket that keeps the water out is well and good.  Others need vapor permeability, pockets, different fits, colors, etc..

One thing I do worry about is that the perceived need to spend a lot on outdoor gear and equipment keeps some folks inside.  For instance, I consider synthetic clothing a "must" for backpacking.  It's hard to get a set of synthetic tops, undies, and pants for less than 100$.  Nearly identical clothing can be purchased at most chain stores and thrift shops for less than 25$.  I think it's up to those of us "in the know" to clue newbies in to this.

4:15 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I can definitely understand where everyone is going as far as the initial cost of things but you also have to look at it from another perspective. The companies that make the high end equipment typically stand behind their products. Take Osprey for instance, regardless of how old the pack is, regardless of whether it was a defect or user negligence they will fix it....Regardless of how old it is. Now if ya take a bottom end pack and something shreds a year down the road you are buying another one. Why? Because the 90 day warranty ya had was gone 9 months ago. Now if ya take that into consideration in the long run you are saving money. 1 pack at $250 or who knows how many at $50-$75. I personally would rather spend the money to get a product that the company stands behind and have it for 10+ yrs. It saves me time and money in the long run. Its just hard to swallow the initial cost.

Now I am not arguing the point that one does not have to break the bank in order to get quality. But if I am out for a week on day 3 in the middle of nowhere in the fall/early spring and my zipper busts on my no name sleeping bag it could cause a big problem that may not have happened if I had spent the extra money for a higher end product. I dunno, I think alot of it has to do with the reassurance that one purchased a solid quality product that will not fail when you know what hits the fan. Plus people like bells and whistles. Alot of it has to do with necessity and how, when, & where the product is being utilized. There are so many deciding factors into making a purchase and how much one is willing to spend.

Hey Seth, I am right there with ya on the point of there being deals out there. I just ordered a daypack at a substantial discount because the new 2011 model has an updated design. :)

4:31 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
3,925 forum posts

When I used that TNF tent for 27 years I wasliving in it about 6-9 months of the year, whether I was backpacking or living in it to save rent costs. I used to camp 280 average days a year 1980-2006. I have been living indoors now since August 2007. I hike and camp a lot less than I did before I turned 50. But hope to get out and hike/camp more starting in 2012. I don't like living in a house 99% of the time!

4:32 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

As far as the mark up on products.... Everything we use in life is marked up even if we get it at sale price. If it wasn't companies wouldn't be selling it in the first place. You should see the mark up on my wifes wedding ring.

I have to ask... iClimb how is your jacket waterproof with up to 30ft of water standing on it? My second question is what did the testing procedure consist of to come to this conclusion? Not poking a jab, I am just confused.

5:53 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

it's a BC-100 first ascent eddie bauer jacket. It is discontinued because the BC-200 was released, but if you go on eddie bauer's website and look at the technical specs on the BC-200 you will see what I'm talking about - I actually believe the BC-200 is even better.

 

6:00 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

here's the cut and paste from the website for the BC-200

 

The best weather protection. Lighter. Stronger. For strenuous activity in extreme conditions. The first number in its 20,000/25,000 rating is the waterproofness: The fabric can withstand 20,000 mm of water suspended over its surface before moisture seeps through. The second number shows its breathability: In 24 hours, it allows 25,000 grams of water vapor to escape per square meter of fabric.

 

 

 

I believe the BC 100 I have is 10,000/20,000

 

20,000mm is equal to 65.6 feet, 10,000 mm is equal to 32.8 feet.

6:28 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I have their catalogs. I was looking at the 200. Also their downlight sweater caught my eye. I like their products from what I can see. The Ranier Storm Shell looks decent too.

6:52 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts
8:44 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

Rick -

 

The products are really very good, and decently priced. If you have any local EB's near you, check and see if they carry first ascent, and you might be able to find good deals - that's where I found mine, versus online.

 

I met someone on the trail who carried the sweater with them for a little extra warmth, he said he liked it, and I know the storm shell is great.

8:55 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

The storm shell is around $350 give or take. I like the sweater plus its a pretty good deal when compared to others with the same fill etc. My wife just told me we have an outlet 45 minutes from Pittsburgh.

8:57 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

ouch I don't think outlet's have the first ascent line...

9:33 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I'm gonna call tomorrow and see what I can find out. I thought we had an Eddie Bauer somewhere in the area.

The Ranier is not cheap though.

10:58 p.m. on March 26, 2011 (EDT)
75 reviewer rep
306 forum posts

I think Rick has pretty much stated how I feel.  I also am willing to spend more on a product that I know has great, not good, customer service and makes a product that will last.  Even if it doesn't last, at least the company (ie Arc'teryx, Gregory, Osprey) will fix or replace regardless of how old something is, as long as it had their name on it and you didn't pour gasoline on it and set a match to it.  If you can afford it get if not, get what you can.

12:35 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
200 reviewer rep
3,925 forum posts

I met a guy once in the backcountry of the grand canyon whose choice of raingear was nothing at all. It was pouring rain in September and he was in his birthday suit with boots and a hat on with his pack.

2:03 p.m. on March 27, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

iclimb, BC100 on clearance for -$50

http://www.eddiebauer.com/EB/Clearance/Mens-Clearance-Overstock-Outlet/Outerwear--Jackets/index.cat

I didn't look at sizing so it maybe limited.

8:02 a.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I'm fortunate in having an L.L. Bean outlet store nearby. 

I frequently peruse the offerings, some of which are returned or close-out items.   I do get great deals, and I get to try items at a cost which may cause me to 'flinch' at times.  I use the term, try, because I save the tags and labels, as well as the receipts.   They have a fine return policy, as long as the article is not damaged.

I read 'gear-reviews' on the internet, as well as in outdoor-oriented magazines, such as Backpacker.

Years ago, I frequented the old Army-Navy stores.   A few still around; and, they have great deals on military surplus gear.   Not the lightest, nor the latest 'hi-tech' uber-expensive stuff, but very durable.   I've hiked the AT in US Army 'jungle boots' in warm weather.   Never a problem with them.   I think I paid under $25 the pair, and they were new.  These stores always have lots of wool and the old polypropelene cold-weather clothing.   Be ready for a major case of the 'stinky-poo's' with the polypro- stuff, though.   I stick to the wool.   The wool stuff sometimes has a small percentage of nylon interwoven, and it is incredibly durable.   Just like the old 'rag-wool' clothing.   Amazingly comfortable ... and lasts a long, long time.   The prices are very modest.   Good value.

11:12 a.m. on March 28, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

Gary - that's pretty funny, and skin is waterproof and very protective, so if it's warm enough that guy may have a pertty good idea.

Rick - if you're looking for one I'd snatch that up - mine has proven to be a great shell thus far.

2:20 p.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,264 reviewer rep
1,247 forum posts

everyone has their issues, but i agree, expensive isn't always better.  i'll spend on a winter tent so the wind won't destroy it, but i can't spend a lot on 3 season tents.  15 years with a eureka timberline, the last several with an REI camp dome 2.  easy to set up, good aluminum poles, perfectly fine in bad weather, and it hasn't leaked yet.  sure, it's kind of narrow and kind of heavy, but all i do in it is sleep.   it doesn't belong above treeline in a gale - but neither do I!

2:40 p.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

My business partner and I got sick of dealing with the same issue.  High priced gear that only gives you half the functionality you were looking for.  We decided to take matters into our own hands and started Rock On.  We make high quality gear for climbers and backpackers, priced for climbers and backpackers.  We made a conscious decision to lower our margins and pass the savings on to the end user, we did not skimp on quality.  Our chalk bags retail for only $13, it's a chalk bag it doesn't need to cost $30.  We also have waterproof, insulated soft shell jackets for $110.  Both products include all the extras real climbers and backpackers need.

I know this is a shameless plug but after reading this post for a week, I just had to jump in.  Check us out at www.rock-on.com or www.facebook.com/rockongear.  Sorry again for the plug, but it fit the content.

2:55 p.m. on March 30, 2011 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

I have recently got into the habit of researching and testing products for a week before purchasing high end products. I also find the lowest price for the product. I want the best and will pay the price for it, but I will not be hasty. I used to be an impulsive buyer, but have gotten wiser in my older age. Your gear is your life, so I feel my life is worth the higher prices for a true "quality" item. I see the higher prices being a problem if one is a "gear head", or wanting the new and improve item. I also realize that each individual has their own income level, so the research is even that more important to find the best quality for the price one can afford. I find myself having to do this on a number of occasions.

As far as expensive but inferior products,

I use to teach customer service. I use to tell the audience that if a customer has a bad experience with your business, they tell 10 more people. Those people tell 10 more and so on. Well, we can also do this on sites like trailspace. These days businesses are failing due to poor customer relations and inferior products. I do not feel sorry for such companies, especially when their products involve the safety of it's customers.

11:02 a.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
1,633 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

D-Dog, I totally agree. Word of mouth advertisement can completely make or break a company. I worked in sales for quite a long yime and was very successful at it. No matter what I always made sure the customer wzs happy. Sometimes I had to go above and beyond to make a customer happy or just to gain them as a customer in the first place.

6:50 p.m. on March 31, 2011 (EDT)
REVIEW CORPS
476 reviewer rep
283 forum posts

Years ago, when I lived in Jackson, WY, I saw Yvon Chouinard now and again.  I asked him once why Patogonia clothing was so expensive.  His reply was someting of a shocker.  He said he'll charge "as much as the market will bear."

8:17 a.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I was also in sales, and successful.

When asking the reps about high MSRPs, I was often told, "It's because of R-&-D (Reseach & Development) costs".    

Hmmm ....

 

r2

 

... The beatings will continue ... until morale improves !

6:53 p.m. on April 2, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1 forum posts

Hi I'm new here

I live in Queens NY I mostly day hike, Mt bike,Bass Fish etc.I'll Make a formal intro later.I have a cool story that just happened yesterday.

 I'm pretty cheap and I needed a new fleece.I really liked the Denali,but no way was I paying I paying $165 for a fleece.My cousin has had one for 5 years and loves it ,he let me borrow it for a fall trip Upstate,and I fell in love  too.But still thats too much $.I scoured craigslist and e-bay and they were all sold, fakes or flakes.

  I went into The Sports Authority on 3rd and 50th, just to look around.I saw TNF 40% off I'm thinkin maybe if they have my size(med) and the color(Anchorage Green)  I'll think about it.Lo and behold  they  have it.I try to do the  math in my head as I look at the tag,That cant be right $79.97. I check it for damage, it's mint. I go to the register thinking  it's gotta  someones idea of an April Fools joke.

 She scans it. It's no joke,with tax I paid $83.47. Plus I got a $10 giftcard.

Sorry its kinda long,but I thought it was really cool.   

3:13 a.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,236 forum posts

There really is no reason the price of gear in this country and economy.  Because of people who have the need of buying the best every time something new comes out, I have the chance of buying almost new items at 30-70% of list plus I don't pay tax.  I have a lot of gear but have only bought 1 new item (gear wise) in the last 15 years and that was a tent (DW satallite) that I got for 50% off.  If it was the best last year it is just as good of an item this year.  I even buy stuff (used) that I'm not going to use if it's a screaming deal and then trade it for the things I wan't.  The only reason things are so expenxive is cause people keep buying the stuff.  It's the Walmart theory, if they make and  stock it someone will buy it.  Works with cheap stuff, works with expensive stuff.  I have friends that buy a new I phone everytime a new one comes out.  What's up with that?  It does however give those of us who might want a I phone a great deal on one.  I did just score a TNF gortex coat (minus the lining) for $25 -30%coupon at Goodwill.  I found TNF linings/fleece  for $25 on ebay.  I know a lot of people here don't like Ebay but I do all my shopping on Ebay, Craigslist, Trailspace, Goodwill, and barter/trading?  I've never not found what I was looking for , just takes a little while sometimes.

8:44 a.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I agree with you, apeman.   Gear is waaay too expensive, new.

Like you, I peruse the GoodWills, the Salvation Armys,  and other thrift stores.   I do hit 'pay dirt' every-once-in-a-while, with gear I don't really have a burning need for ... but, use it for barter / trading, which is not easy.   I have a running post-topic here, with "Gear swap-meets / flea-markets".

I only wish these were more popular.

10:48 a.m. on April 6, 2011 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Well I just picked up my secondhand store steel of the year. A new (ok never used) Kelty Trekker backpack. It looks like it wasnt even worn. Papers included.

$15

10:33 a.m. on April 7, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
25 forum posts

I consider myself frugal, some call me cheap, but prices such as the above are just nuts.  I think $350 for a wpb jacket is steep, $500 is over the top.

I agree 100%!!!!

4:08 a.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
63 reviewer rep
190 forum posts

Well I just picked up my secondhand store steel of the year. A new (ok never used) Kelty Trekker backpack. It looks like it wasnt even worn. Papers included.

$15

 

Nice find mikemorrow, that is one hell of a steal.

11:12 p.m. on April 8, 2011 (EDT)
122 reviewer rep
69 forum posts

I would definitely agree that high priced and/ or brand name products don't necessarily stand up better to the wear an tear of outdoor life. I have found that lower priced products tend to last longer. 

 

12:28 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
282 reviewer rep
273 forum posts

Yes and no.

 

Yes, I'll pay the extra tariff for my WM down Megalite bag B/C t's SO damn good.

No, I won't pay TNF over $200. for a GTX PacLite parka when I can get a Cabela's PacLite parka that is AT LEAST as well designed and well made as the TNF parka for $99. (well, $79. 5 years ago).

Yes, I like Cuben fiber's light weight.

No  I won't pay the steep price to Six Moon Designs but will buy a silnylon TarpTent Moment tent for 1/2 the price.

 

Yes, I'll soon get an REI Kimtah eVent parka.

No, I won't pay Integral Designs a lot more for an eVent parka.

It all depends on whether it is TRULY worth it or if there is a nearly as good a product for less. I TRIED an MH Phantom 32 sleeping bag but ret'd. it to REI and went elsewhere for the WM Megalite 30 F. bag at $100. more. And was very happy I did later during several nights on the PCT at 24 F. and in Colorado's Indian Peaks at 15 F. (with extra clothes.)

 

But you DON'T always get what you pay for. Sometimes you get less.

 

 

10:33 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I guess the nerdy, IT-geeks that get hired by the so-called 'upscale' outdoor-products marketers,  having to have their salaries underwritten by the 'profit-margins' are partly to blame.   Not THEM per se, but those that hire them.   Also, the R & D departments have substantial clout in the budgeting.

Do we absolutely NEED 'cutting-edge' gear?

Look what Mallory and Hillary used on Everest,  75 and 50 years ago.   Shackleton at Antarctica 100 years ago.

Would seem SHOCKINGLY PRIMITIVE by today's standards.

Hmmmm .....

Yogi Robt

11:38 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
126 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

The old adage 'you get what you pay for' is a two edged sword. You usually pay a bit more for good quality, but the market demand also pushes prices up. My ex-wife worked in a high end clothing store and was in charge of sorting out the newly arrived items. The big name items were all off-shore manufactured and sometimes the costs from the factory or wholesaler was still tagged on the clothing item. I verified this was the actual cost to the store to stock these items. The markup was unreal. I regularly saw tags of $3 - $15  items marked up to $75 - $150 dollars. The funniest part was they couldn't keep these items on the racks. As an example, the products produced in India have a factory number which identifies the factory an item is manufactered. Jackets of a certain style ( and factory number) sold at this "boutique" sold for $200 - $300 dollars; leather ones near double that. Down the road a very similar style (almost identicle), same quality, and the exact factory number were 75% less. The brand names tags were not the same. One was a name associated with high end gear, the other a bargain brand. Both excellent quality, same materials, and made on the same machinery, just one would apeal to those hung up on 'branding'. So, yes you get what you pay for and what one values. If branding matters, you will pay for it as well. Caveat emptor also applies. Sorry for the ramble  just my two cents worth.

11:48 a.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
121 reviewer rep
582 forum posts

mountain man - your insider knowledge on the brand name tags brings up a good point.

 

Lots of people think that the cheaper priced companies are merely copy cats of the more expensive brand names - the cheap companies just steal the designs and fabrics from the brand name companies.

 

In reality, the brand name companies are stealing the design and fabrics too. The design and fabrics are almost always made by a different company which sells those things to the brand name company for dirt cheap. Slap a sticker or tag on the fabric so it totes the brand name, and BAM - mark it up 3000%.

 

Brand name buying and those who swear by it is just a status thing. It's snobbery in a way. I don't care what brand I'm wearing or sleeping in, as long as it does the same job.

 

I think part of the problem is people don't want to admit they've been scammed for hundreds of dollars, but the problem is that since a young age, we've all been brainwashed to believe known brand names are better than the rest.

 

We can thank mass media and advertisement ploys for that.

2:39 p.m. on April 22, 2011 (EDT)
126 reviewer rep
10 forum posts

Yes, I agree that we can thank mass media for "branding" us. Up here in Canada on CBC Radio 1 there is a program called "The Age of Persuasion". It talks about advertisment from the 1800's to today and the psychology and tools used to "brand us". It's quite an art that forms our opinions.

2:14 a.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
90 forum posts

Back in 1971, I paid the then outrageous price of $250 for a pair of Limmer boots. In 1994 I paid $450 for new pair when I sent my original pair in for the third set of of resoles.

I took the original 1972 boots out the other day after getting them back from Limmer from their 4th set of soles. Uppers and lining leather is really perfect still.  Let's see....$250/40years=$6.25 per year for boots that after 16 miles on the out trip from Upper Jean Lakes in the Winds to the trailhead.....  I kept my Limmers on while we pop open a few brewskis. Every one else took their boots off instantly upon hitting the asphalt.

My wife has an ~$400 Arcteryx parka....I look at it with envy. She looks at my $350 Integral Designs  Dolomitti jacket the same way.  Yes good gear can cost but really good gear is worth it in the long run. I never want to be caught sitting in a raging storm thinking about the 100 bucks I saved while I'm freezing my buns off. 

I did that just ONCE.....

Back to subject...I'll walk those Limmers into the sunset at this rate.

8:39 p.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
12 forum posts

Hi, I'm the gimpy newbie,

I've worked in high end camping stores since the mid 1970s. During that time I've seen large corporations gobble up what were once decent gear companies. For example, when Boss gloves bought Dana, it lowered quality and raised prices so quickly Dana mysteriously disappeared in about a year. (Yes, I know that was a bad pun.)

Dana was never cheap, especially since the stores which sold it were in the business only to make money. The technical clothing departments I've worked in (at 4 different stores) assume a mark-up of 60% is minimal. The camping departments expect a 50% mark-up.

What I find interesting isn't that everyone is chasing the dollar but that the entire ethos of the business has changed so much. When I first started selling gear, the guy who owned the store (later stores) would shut down over holiday weekends like President's Day so we could go play. Those days are long gone. What has taken their place is spreadsheets. At the place I last worked, each employee was tracked by computer and ranked by sales/hour, number of items per sale, and total number of sales. Roughly 10-15% of my income was dependent on how well I looked on the spreadsheet. Over the span of 30 years, I watched an industry go from being focused on the customer's needs to being focused primarily on profit.

Also long gone is the idea that, except for very specialized activities like ice climbing, one's normal clothing was also one's trail clothing. Now one's tech wear is one's normal clothing. That means there are people who rush to buy a $500 ***-tex jacket so they can walk their dog. And it means that customers lose their minds: a mother and boy scout son came into buy a $40 lighter. When I suggested that the son might also want to carry a $0.79 Coghlan's match safe, the mother yelped that her son would not carry such a cheap item.

I suppose the kid also carried only a GPS and couldn't use a compass.

meh,

derjoser

8:53 p.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
314 reviewer rep
1,124 forum posts

Wecome to trailspace.

9:25 p.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

 

* sigh * ... the "good 'ole days" ....

I used to run a couple surf-shops, here along the Atlantic in Rehoboth Beach, Dela and Ocean City, MD.

When surf was 'UP', we'd close the store ... hang a "Gone Surfin'" sign on the door.

That probably doesn't happen these days.

Yogi Robt

9:27 p.m. on April 25, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
223 forum posts

Welcome to Trailspace Derjoser, I look forward to hearing more of your 30 years of opinions.

11:39 p.m. on May 5, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
12 forum posts

Thank you for your words of welcome. I am old, cranky, and opinionated. Especially after having to disappear from here because of those dang tornadoes. I hope I am more than a fair weather friend. If someone could pierce my fog and tell me where one posts a intro, I'll gladly do so. Question: how hard will you all laugh when I admit to still having a construction sign orange colored, first effort at taping Gore seams Marmot shell?

11:35 a.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
90 forum posts

Robert Rowe said:

I guess the nerdy, IT-geeks that get hired by the so-called 'upscale' outdoor-products marketers,  having to have their salaries underwritten by the 'profit-margins' are partly to blame.   Not THEM per se, but those that hire them.   Also, the R & D departments have substantial clout in the budgeting.

Do we absolutely NEED 'cutting-edge' gear?

Look what Mallory and Hillary used on Everest,  75 and 50 years ago.   Shackleton at Antarctica 100 years ago.

Would seem SHOCKINGLY PRIMITIVE by today's standards.

Hmmmm .....

Yogi Robt

 For a while Ibex was making a Ventile Cotton parka that is the same fabric that Shakelton used in his Burberry jackets in  Antarctica.

Speaking of Burberry...a plastic pvc women's purse is 8-900 bucks. Check it out sometime but don't take your wife with you or you will be very sorry. In either case, our beef with gear prices pales in comparison but I digress.

I was able to get one of the Ibex Ventile cotton parkas before they were discontinued. Guess they didn't have the cachet of **tex.  Actually a little heavy by today's standards for packing around compared to say Marmot Membrane stuff but lighter than the 60/40 I used to carry 40 years ago. It is perfect for in town or the trip at the cabin where it is raining or snowing or I need to go get wood for the stove....and the weave is so tight that it does shed water and is windproof.

I'm rather pleased to have it,  especially since it violates the old adage that "cotton kills"....

11:51 a.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
190 reviewer rep
122 forum posts

I just want to add that I feel there is no need to spend more than $200 for any one piece of gear, and still get quality. Then again, I get in only about 2-3 trips a month (usually from 1-3 nights).

1:15 p.m. on May 6, 2011 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

I have noticed the same as with a waterproof back pack.  I found one to suite me just fine for a price for about a tenth.  I know that is a really big difference.

If you have somwe time and it does not take too much time with internet access.  Go online and start searching for alternatives.

Go to the stores that have them and although it may cost a little time and fuel I am guessing you will be ahead on dollars.

7:42 a.m. on May 7, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Mazama said:

Robert Rowe said:

Look what Mallory and Hillary used on Everest,  75 and 50 years ago.   Shackleton at Antarctica 100 years ago.

Would seem SHOCKINGLY PRIMITIVE by today's standards.

Hmmmm .....

Yogi Robt

I was able to get one of the Ibex Ventile cotton parkas before they were discontinued. Guess they didn't have the cachet of **tex.  Actually a little heavy by today's standards for packing around compared to say Marmot Membrane stuff but lighter than the 60/40 I used to carry 40 years ago. It is perfect for in town or the trip at the cabin where it is raining or snowing or I need to go get wood for the stove....and the weave is so tight that it does shed water and is windproof.

I'm rather pleased to have it,  especially since it violates the old adage that "cotton kills"....

 

I live in Easton, Maryland -- home of a world- famous annual Waterfowl Festival (1st week-end in Nov).

You wouldn't believe all the people (probably over 10.000 attendees) wearing Barbour coats. 

If you're not familiar with them, you have undoubtedly seen folks wearing these fairly heavy, dark-colored brown and loden green, waxed-cotton garments. Usually, plaid-lined.   Made in the U.K.

I have a couple, myself.   Saw a chap walk by wearing a  Barbour vest yesterday.  A local boutique shop selling high-end Italian shotguns and carbon-fibre fishing poles ($1500 !), carries the Barbour line.   I have stopped-in to get the small tins of the Barbour wax needed to treat the coats, from time-to-time.  Amazing water-repellency.   Instructions urge one not to launder the garments, unless absolutely necessary.

Sorta like the Bavarian lederhosen.   Always wanted a pair of those.   I would probably need to learn how to yodel, though, and wear one of those green-felt, pointy hats with the little feathers, and badges.

Yogi Robt

___________________________________________________

As long as the idiots don't like you ... it proves you're not an idiot.  -- Ted Nugent -- outdoorsman, rocker

April 18, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: DIY Rain Jacket Newer: Deuter ACT 90 backpack?
All forums: Older: East Coast spring break trip Newer: Family awarded $1.9 million in bear attack lawsuit