Dow Williams wrote:There you go Welle, good post, I knew you could discuss the subject at hand versus worrying about how many homes I might own....dude, the post is about why some of you guys get conned into paying $600 for a jacket or $1000 for a bag that, in my (and many others opinion who spend a lot of time in the field testing clothing systems in harsh elements) do not serve you well. Some of you are mislead that you can buy a bag or jacket that will save your life (one such guy stated same in this thread!). Learning how to properly dig a snow cave might save your life, but not some $1000 bag over a $200 bag made of the same friggin material. For $600, I guess you think you are buying a bomber jacket....but as already pointed out, that does not do anything for you but make you sweat more. Sweat kills. Keeping dry should be your utmost concern. Agreed that if you are not climbing hard, but more or less going at a steady hiking rate, it is not as much of an issue. But as you progress to more technical routes....layering becomes that much more critical. And if you are climbing a lot, worrying about putting a hole in your $600 pants or jacket should be the furtherest thing from your mind. It is marketing. It is hype. It is branding. There are many great brands out there, but dird bird is not one of them in my opinion.....their proud logo wearing customers remind me of the same folks who use to pay twice as much for the same Landrover model that had the exact same engine in it than the lessor priced model. The lower priced model, everyone concurred, was so much more durable when put to the test in west Africa. Yes, I always express my opinions openly and without sugar coating......and never worry about who is insensitive enough to think they were shit on personally. Some love it, some loath it. It is no act.
Actually, Dow, as far as I can tell, your main gripe seems to be about people not knowing how to dress and layer appropriately in the mountains, not about the functionality of higher priced clothing. The usefulness of wearing a particular article of clothing at a particular time is quite different from debating whether between two articles of clothing--each serving more or less the same function--there is good reason to purchase a more expensive one. Yes, people need to learn dress right for the alpine. Sweat kills, wear layers; we all need to learn that, but each of our bodies respond differently to cold and exertion. A jacket or sleeping bag that may be too warm for you may be just right for someone else. Getting self-righteous about that seems pointless.
Now is it worth it to pay more to get, say, a windshirt from Patagonia or Arcteryx rather than from Walmart? It might be. For example, I find that Patagonia stuff just fits me much better than other major clothing manufacturers. I don't like baggy jackets, the extra fabric gets in the way, and thus I prefer Patagonia's athletic fit. Moreover I appreciate their corporate ethics. What about that chain of reasoning makes me a wanna be poser that could never climb hard? Nothing. The fact that I can afford more expensive clothing, although like everyone here I only buy from sales, does in fact mean that I work a job and am not a dirtbag. But since when are only dirtbags allowed to climb? Since when do only dirtbags climb hard? I admire people that have chosen climbing over career. I often wish I could do the same. But the fact that I'm a weekend warrior does not make me a superficial materialist scumbag. You seem to insist that there is inherent causal relationship between what you wear and your ability, perhaps even your worthiness, to climb. But you know what? That makes you as much of a prejudiced, superficial jerk as the guy who thinks that his $600 shell makes him a bad-ass alpinist. If you want us to believe you that gear has nothing to do with climbing ability, that logos don't matter, then stop looking at what everyone else is wearing and go climb. Your insistence on judging everyone by their appearance gives the impression of a deep insecurity or jealousy on your part. Shut up and go climb like the hardman you are. We'll respect you a lot more then.