Feathered Dead Birds....

Post climbing gear-related questions, offer advice. For classifieds, please use that forum.
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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by HeyItsBen » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:19 am

Dow Williams wrote: Who are these folks who spend $500 on jackets and $800 on sleeping bags? Do they climb routes above 5.6?

What does the rating of the climb have to do with jackets and sleeping bags? Seems like weather/climate is the bigger variable here, not the rating of the route. A better question would be, "Do they spend lots of time in harsh weather, beat the crap out of their gear, like to go as light as possible, and don't feel like wearing 4 layers while sleeping?"

Not that I would ever drop $800 on a bag or buy a "dead bird" product, but I dropped some coin on a WM bag and was pretty happy I did. Questioned it big time before I did though...


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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by Buz Groshong » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:25 am

I'm mostly just a hiker and I don't go for the expensive stuff if I can avoid it. I don't skimp on boots, socks, and some outerwear. I buy the cheapest when it comes to some items (like rain pants) because they are also the lightest. I have to admit to owning a titanium knife, fork, and spoon set though - mostly bought them as a spoof on the absurdity of all of the shit made out of titanium, or, worse yet, the shit that has the name "titanium" as a brand name.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by Muddeer » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:15 am

Dow Williams wrote:(somebody needs to explain to me what these fancy bags do for you....if there is a collapsible mini bar in there, I might want one)

A couple of years ago, I was in Escalante, UT around New Years with low temps hitting single digits F and snowing lightly. I was sleeping on a picnic table with a canopy over it in my Feathered Friends bag. Woke up in the middle of the night with water splashing on my face. There was a pool of water on my chest, on top of the bag. Apparent snow drift that melted by my body heat. I rolled over to empty the water and went right back to sleep. Checked the inside of the bag in the morning, and it was completely dry.

While I agree with much of your point, there are some expensive stuff that's worth the money.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by dskoon » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:29 am

It's obvious from Dow's posts that he's been drinking again. . .
That, or he's just an unhappy climber. . . My sympathies.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by drpw » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:58 am

full retail is dead. i don't buy unless its 50% off or more.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by WouterB » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:46 am

Dow Williams wrote:somebody needs to explain to me what these fancy bags do for you...

I'd say on two occasions, it's kept me alive. Something I quite value.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by splattski » Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:18 pm

There was a time I climbed in clothes from the "Salvo" (Salvation Army) but something changed. Mainly, I got old.
And along with that, I got a real job. So these days, I can afford to buy myself nice stuff for the mountains. I scrimp other places. And yes, I think some 'expensive' stuff fits better, works, better, is more comfortable, performs better, and even is more durable.
When I was selling bicycles, our motto was "The only expensive bicycle is the one that sits unused in the garage." Based on that philosophy, I like to think my 'expensive' stuff is actually quite reasonable because I use the hell out of it. Just don't ask my wife....

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by welle » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:23 pm

MoapaPk wrote:I go through about two pairs of approach shoes, and one pack, per year. Perhaps they aren't totally failed; but big rips in packs (like between the shoulder blades) and worn-thin fabric, and flat or flapping soles on trail runners, usually signal time to look for another deal. The culprit is usually abrasion from siliceous limestone, volcanic rock, and sandstone chimneys.

Moapa, maybe you need to talk to Crackers and get a real pack that lasts. Like someone above said "Buy it nice or buy it twice". There are still pack makers around that build things to last and not get replaced every year.

FortMental wrote:Blame outfits like Patagonia, Mountain Hardwear, and others for promoting the "Outdoor Lifestyle", even when your hobby is interiror decorating and you insurance for a living.

What the hell is that, anyway... the outdoor lifestyle?

Actually, it's not apparent to us climbers/skiers/paddlers because we read our activity specific magazines etc., shop at specialized stores and talk about it on online forums, but Patagonia does not advertise to masses (only in climbing specific outlets). They have also been known to promote "Buy second-hand" and "buy less" credo. Don't mix MH and Pata into one mold - MH is owned by Columbia, a publicly-held company, who are concerned about their bottom line.

And yeah, if a yuppie buys a t-shirt, beanie with my favorite company logo, thus supporting them meet their bottom line and survive, so they could still sell their technical gear at reasonable prices and be viable for years to come, more power to them.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by crackers » Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:41 pm

bearbreeder wrote:the thing with the outdoor gear industry, is that they are there to sell you more, more and more ... even when there is no real practical benefit?
in this economy, id rather the money be spent on more practical things, and someone who doesnt know better doesnt think he needs a BD. dead bird, patagucci, etc ...

thank fully enough for actual climbing gear there is much less bull than for clothing ... probably because it all needs to be tested, and specs of the gear are known ... thus allowing for more comparison and less mumbo jumbo

a person should know that they dont needs the newest fancy dead bird gamma or south butt kistwar softshell to climb, as a windshirt and fleece will work better and be cheaper in most cases

marketing in the outdoor industry exists to separate a fool from his money ... you really dont believe they sponsor all those bums out of the goodness of their blessed made in china hearts do ya now ;)

Dude. I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I don't think it's "marketing in the outdoor industry..." because marketing is the same everywhere. Well, OK, marketing is better in other industries than it is for outdoor sports stuff. People still give money and gear and trip funding to really ugly dudes and heinous looking women who can climb inspiring stuff rather than just beautiful people. And let's face it, beauty or sex sells product across the world.

As to your statement that "id rather the money be spent on more practical things..." I have to say you're free to write that because you've already spent the money on the clothing!

Remember this? Bearbreeder wrote the following a little while ago:

i own and use
- fission AR
- Beta AR
- gamma SV
- Alpha SV pants
- Gamma LT pants
- Gamma SK pants
- Atom LT hoodie
- Solano jacket
- Gamma LT jacket
- Tau Jacket
- 3 various dead bird fleeces
- 4 various dead bird polartec sweaters
- dead bird 350x harness

That's a heck of a lot of Arc'Teyrx stuff dude. Even if you got it at the outlet, wouldn't you be better off by your logic with a no name windshirt and fleece? Or is the dead bird stuff better? I thought I had too many jackets and stuff, and I don't have ANYTHING like the collection you've got.

And in my humble opinion, tearing a pair of pants or sticking them with a crampon is not 'using to failure' it's normal use and abuse. Used to failure means you can't fix it, you can't make it work in the field, it's gone. Check out the below image (taken onone of SP'er Damien Gildea's many trips doing first ascents in Antarctica) for my version of "used to failure"...Image

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by bearbreeder » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:03 pm

i fell for their marketing ... ill admit it ...

got 2 gamma jackets ... and found they dont work like diddly squat unless its below 0F ... otherwise you overheat ... polartec powershield

somehow all those outdoor gear "reviewers", mag "award" winners, etc ... forgot to mention it ...

i see all the latest and greatest gear awards for the kistwar jacket, powershield pro which is even LESS breathable than the original one

there's a sucker born every minute ,,,, or reborn with every pay check

how many times do you see a critical review? ... almost never ... ask yourself ... is gear really that good?

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by welle » Wed Dec 08, 2010 7:52 pm

wow, that's a lot of Teryx loot, and why do you have two Gamma jackets? Fool me once...

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by bearbreeder » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:06 pm

outlet store sale ... both were on sale ...

said to myself ... "all these great reviews on the gamma ... and dead bird is a great reputable brand .... cant go wrong" ... unfortunately no one tell you that youll likely overheat in them on approach with a 30 lb pack, guess it doesnt matter when most people just walk around the shopping district with em

hmmmmm .....

the gamma weave pants on the other hand are very good ... no regrets there

let play a game called tell me how much better it is ....

patagucci R1 hoody ... $150


http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/pat ... 0072-0-616

mec expedition hoody ... $62


http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_deta ... 4302888491

both polartec powder dry ... same material, similar features and fit, similar weight ...

one more than double the price ... what's a brand name worth?

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by welle » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:09 pm

Few things: superior stitching, superior fit, signature ironclad guarantee, chest pocket, hood comes up to the chin, recycled materials, 1% for the Planet and I don't have to pay shipping and customs for getting stuff from Canada.

I agree though, the MEC hoody would probably suffice, but I'm not in Canada and can't go see/touch/try it on, so I'll stick to whatever is accessible. Sometimes you just want to pay premium for that customer service, piece of mind and time - like for example, you know the prices are slightly higher at the corner store than at the supermarket, but you still go there for they know you by name, sell you things on credit when you forget your wallet and throw an occasional goody in your bag.

BTW, if you are looking a for a great Polartec hoody, check out Wild Things - they're on sale at their store in N. Conway $50 made in N. Conway.

In any case, back to Dow's point, true dirtbag hardmen really don't care and probably don't even have those $62 to spend on a polartec hoody or even have time to dick around online shopping/gear review sites to find a $62 alternative to a $150 shirt. Fact is they're still climbing in painter pants, wool mittens, straight-shaft tools and rigid friends and hexes.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by coldfoot » Wed Dec 08, 2010 9:24 pm

MoapaPk wrote:I had an eye-opener when I ordered some synthetic wicking, soft-touch shirts with our club logo printed on the back and front. They are great shirts, and the price with printing and shipping came to $27 each. I see similar shirts in REI for $40.

Then I discovered that the unprinted "blanks" sell wholesale to printers for $5 apiece, and those are likely marked up in price by the wholesale distributors.

Admittedly, shirts are simple items, not requiring a lot of human-involved manufacturing. The mark-up you see at REI on such items covers the cost of keeping inventory, paying for the employees, the building of the stores, paying the downstream costs of Nike, TNF or whomever, etc.

Typical retail markup is about 100% so this doesn't seem out of line. That is, if a shirt costs a store $20 at wholesale, they sell it for $40. As far as I know, this varies for high dollar items/hardgoods. For example, in bike shops, the markup on the accessories, parts and clothing might be 100% and the markup on the bikes is much less. The bike shop doesn't stay in business by selling bikes, but by selling all the other tchotchkes, and services (repairs etc).

A 100% markup seems like a lot but most retail stores are running pretty close to the edge, especially if they aren't a big box store, so that tells us something about just how expensive/high overhead it is to provide brick-and-mortar retail service.

Another aspect of this is similar to the accessories subsidizing the sale of bicycles issue - we can bitch about people buying lifestyle gear, but for manufacturers bigger than a cottage industry, they need that to stay in business. I assume that all the people buying Patagucci pants are effectively subsidizing the much smaller production of parkas, belay jackets, ice climbing shells, etc. (And this isn't a slam of Patagucci - I like Patagucci. Especially if they have a half-off sale.) I can't waste much time worrying about what other people wear, and manufacturers can't stay afloat selling only to cheap bastards like me. But what's nice for cheap bastards is that softgoods depreciate more than hardgoods - with that, I am off to troll ebay for a pair of gently used ski pants.

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Re: Feathered Dead Birds....

by bearbreeder » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:05 pm

welle wrote:Few things: superior stitching, superior fit, signature ironclad guarantee, chest pocket, hood comes up to the chin, recycled materials, 1% for the Planet and I don't have to pay shipping and customs for getting stuff from Canada. .

i actually dont find there to be much difference in the quality ... Mec caries both the r1 anf their knockoff

mec's warranty is the same as rei's in practice ... i've returned gear there years afterwards

as to contributing ... Mec was instrumental in contributibg to the smoke bluffs prov park in squamish to protect climbing and recently helped protec the malamute there

the way i look at it with the $88 i save i can donate half of that to a charity of my choice, get a tax writeoff and still save $44 dollars

Eb first ascent has a powderdry hoody that is functionally the same for $99 with their great warranty .... Not to mention their crazy after xmas sales

what are we really paying for when we buy these yuppie brands?


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