/ Which outdoor company do you trust the most...
Just interested in peoples perceptions of different brands and what makes people trust them.
For me I think it would be RAB but I couldn't tell you specifically why.
Interested to hear peoples thoughts.
'Trust' is far too nebulous a concept to just say "I trust company x".
What am I trusting them to do?
Scarpa and Sportiva for me because everything I've bought from them both has been great.
If you are talking about an outdoor company, the the Epicentre in Ambleside is my local(ish) outdoor company living in Blackpool.
If you mean the actual company itself, as apposed to the gear then it's hard to trust a whole company, it's just a business. At the end of the day companies are made up by people, most of them are good to deal with whatever brand you're talking about.
At the end of the day the only thing you can reasonably trust shops and gear manufacturers to do is to try and make money, they are businesses after all.
I’m not sure about the word “trust” but for brands that I go to first when looking for a product:
Clothing – Mountain Equipment and Patagonia (Patagucci less so now as their products are getting more gimmicky and they’re using the same fabrics as everyone else)
Rack/Gear – DMM (and latterly Black Diamond)
Skis – Scott (Lively and pop-y punter skis, perfect)
It doesn’t mean that I necessarily will only buy from them but they generally have a lot of products I like and are in tune with my opinion (there are a lot of them) on gear.
I think it's difficult to pin down one company does all type of thing.
But then when I actually thought about all my outdoor gear and clothes I'm quite brand loyal without consciously trying to be.
Patagonia, Rab, Scarpa, Petzl, Five Ten, Black diamond and DMM.
I wouldn't say that I am shop loyal though, I try and hunt down the cheapest deals at the time.
A novice question on this topic, when you're buying stuff like screwgate karabiners, does it matter much what company you buy from so long as it's CE marked? I've bought a selection, partly for experiment. DMM ones were lovely to handle, but much cheaper Fixe ones (from barrabes.com) were not bad either.
Ultimately safety is the defining parameter, so would people see any difference between brands or can one just go for the cheapest?
Its true that outdoor gear companies are there to make money but they are also made up of people that are passionate about the gear they produce in most cases I would like to think.
Maybe the term rely on is better than the word trust?
Would I be right in thinking that as companies have got bigger and sold out to larger parent companies that trust decreases?
the company i 'rate' most - to get away from the 'trust' word - is Alpkit: i rate them the highest because i feel (perghaps niavely) that they are the company that works hardest to give me the best product they can (and by product i mean the whole thing - R&D, customer service etc) rather than the minimum they can get away with for the largest price possible.
there are other compaines that produce things that i know will do the job, and won't break (DMM, La Sportiva, Berghaus etc), but that is trust in the product, rather than trust that the company has done its absolute best to make that product all it can be, rather than just 'good enough' for what Ballsac needs, and then sold it to me for the minimum price it needs to get to pay for the product, the R&D, customer service, respectable profit etc...
i have no doubt that if i rang Alpkit with some ridiculous demand - like i needed a Kangri tent and a headtorch, but i needed them today, and i'd be passing their factory at 7pm tonight - they'd try harder to work something out than, say, Berghaus, who'd just say 'sorry, we're closed'. they might not be able to, but i don't doubt they'd try.
I think just because you can trust the product doesnt make the company a trustworthy one in other areas such as customer service
broadly, yes - as long as the product meets the baseline technical requirement (the Kangri tent and Sleeping bag being the obvious 'big money' purchaces that i've done with Alpkit) - then i'd rather go to Alpkit than anyone else.
as an example, the difference between a top-end Alpkit SB and the corresponding Rab bag (Alpkit Pipedream 800 @ £190 vs Rab Expedition 800 @ £470) might be £280, but the Rab won't be anything like 150% 'better' than the Alpkit, in fact in performance terms it probably won't be noticably different.
> i have no doubt that if i rang Alpkit with some ridiculous demand - like i needed a Kangri tent and a headtorch, but i needed them today, and i'd be passing their factory at 7pm tonight - they'd try harder to work something out than, say, Berghaus, who'd just say 'sorry, we're closed'. they might not be able to, but i don't doubt they'd try.
Reminds me of when Cioch Direct opened up their factory shop specifically for friends who wanted to buy some of their stuff and a Sunday was the only day they could visit. They not only opened up the shop but gave coffee as well!!
The folk that own Black Diamond were fined $30m for selling defective body armour to the US military.
Trust in manufacturers of personal protection equipment is an interesting thing, isn't it?
I just hope they're not thinking Mmm, nice ass.
There are times when I might buy something that may not be the best the 'bests in the test' but I just want it... again, thats my justification which is enough for me!
For outer layers: Paramo - does what it says on the tin.
For footwear: Salomon and La Sportiva
For base layers: Icebreaker
For tents: Terra Nova
For sleeping bags: Mountain Equipment
For rucsacs: Karrimor
Consistent quality from all these brands. Have had various of the above products from other brands but it's the consistency of the above brands that gives them my vote.
For clothing, Buffalo. For footwear, Scarpa.
As for retailers, I don't have any real trust when it comes to the Tisos, Cotswolds and GO outdoors of this world. They would quite happily sell you junk. Small independants (the only one I can personally recommend is Macpherson mountaineering but I'm sure there are other good ones) that give good advice and won't BS you are worth the extra money.
Oh, and Patagonia at num 1. Even with their tendency to replace a great product with only a good product.
dmm rock climbing gear based in llanberris..i think their stuff is great
I trust Arcteryx and Scarpa... well I ought to, I've invested more money in them than my house mortgage.
Interesting no one actually trusts climbing rope manufacturers and by association their products!
not to mention Montane, Rab, Vaude, GoLite, Helly, blah, blah, blah!
In terms of Brand loyalty (in that I've repeatedly chose to buy from the same company):
Red Chili rock boots although this is a 'fit' driven decision rather than 'trust'
Black diamond for large cams
Wild country friends for smaller cams
Mammut Genesis rope
Other items I've been happy to flit round brands as and when offers occur.
On that basis DMM/WC seem to have a good attitude and I'd trust them to do the right thing. Their policy over recalls seems to err well on the side of safety.
Alpkit make some good products at very sensible prices and I've heard many stories about them going the extra mile.
I've had good service from Lyon equipment (petzl) and The Mountain Boot Company (OR) when I've had issues with a couple of items.
This thread got me thinking.
Scarpa - I have had 4 pairs or boots replaced for Goretex failure. They were replaced quickly and without fuss. I now buy boots from Scarpa not thinking that they will be great but thinking if/when they fail, they will get replaced.
Mountain Equipment - I have had 3 jackets replaced for Goretex failure. They were replaced quickly and without fuss. I now buy clothing from ME not thinking that they will be great but thinking if/when they fail, they will get replaced.
Seal Skinz - I have had 7 pairs of waterproof socks replaced for leaking. They were replaced quickly and without fuss. I now buy socks from Seal Skins not thinking that they will be great but thinking if/when they fail, they will get replaced.
There seems to be a trend here. Maybe I believe more in customer service than in product reliability.
Hmmmm- goes off to ponder
Oh yeah. I forgot. I don't trust Goretex! (and I know Seal Skinz aren't Goretex)
xxxxxx brand is great they replaced my YYYYYYYY is a common theme nowadays
as is, my xxxxxx leaks and ZZZZZZZ wont replace it, rubbish people
> Maybe manufacturers are replacing so people dont go dissing their product all over the internet, sceptical maybe but...
I guess in a way the reasons don't matter.
As to the original poster I have a number of items that I have abused and have just proven to be bombproof, a 2001 Northface duffel even now is going strong and it travels with me 40 times a year on planes. An a pod cragsack from 2002 that is still in great shape.
Maybe its a factor of lightweight materials or poor production standards after manufacture was shifter to cheaper overseas workshops (Rab,Mountain Equipment,Rab,POD) Its just that stuff now doesn't seem to be as well made.
DMM for hardware
Black Diamond for everything they do
Rockfax for excellent guidebooks ruthlessly ripped off from the local hippies
Jennings for Snecklifter
Anything I've bought from Alpkit has always done the job I've expected from it and has the bonus of feeling relatively inexpensive.
I think it's a safe assumption to use the word trust in the context of 'I trust company x to deliver goods, services and customer service to a satisfactory standard.'
Trust is not a particularly nebulous concept when it comes to the purchase of sporting goods.
I mean, we're not talking about trusting the CEO of Nike to look after our kids or asking a shop assistant at Cotswold Camping to administer our investments for a month or two while we climb in Patagonia.
"Satisfactory" for purpose being the important part - ie not necessarily the highest spec. I fully trust Millets to sell me a waterproof which is more than satisfactory for taking cragging for instance.
I don't trust Goretex!
It's high time you tried Paramo then...
Another vote for Alpkit for things downy, sleepmatty, headtorchy and cookey.
Paramo for waterproofs
Aiguille Alpine in Stavely (Kendal) for bombproof British made rucsacks (and some open canoe gear).
Local outdoor shops. These are a bit like your Local Bike Shop (LBS) - a place you can go to get all touchy-feely with new kit, try it on or just have a good sniff. OK, they're probably not the cheapest compared to online, but you do get to look at the kit before you buy and hopefully much easier to deal with in the event of a problem. Just DON'T go in to try something on to check what size you need, then go and buy it online. Thats tantamount to sleeping with yer sister-in-law!
With regard to local stores I couldn't recommend Up and Under in Cardiff highly enough. Not only is it good karma to make use of small independent businesses, but it's just far more pleasant to go in and actually speak to someone who not only gives a s**t, but actually knows a thing or two about the practical use of the gear - not just what this new membrane does, or how that new harness is going to make you climb harder etc. It's just a shame that he online superstores can afford to undercut these businesses by so much, making them pretty much obsolete these days...
Sorry for going on such a tangent, I guess my answer is that I trust whatever brand I'm recommended by a sales assistant who (at least to some extent) is actually trying to be helpful, not just b*****t you into buying whatever will make them the most money!
> With regard to local stores I couldn't recommend Up and Under in Cardiff highly enough.... It's just a shame that he online superstores can afford to undercut these businesses by so much, making them pretty much obsolete these days...
These guys? http://www.upandunder.co.uk/Outdoor/
I used to use them a bit, they had good service and good prices. They were one of the early UK online sellers who shipped overseas and made the effort to show, or give, a price ex-VAT. Good to see they are still going.
Clothing - mainly Berghaus and Montane
Harness - Black Diamond
Metal work - DMM & Mammut
Shoes - Red Chilli (Climbing) Soloman (Approch)
Clothing is either Rab or Mountain Equipment, rack is mostly DMM, and shoes are Meindl or La Sportiva (I have feet like slabs of beef). None has let me down, and I'm happy to buy from all of those again.
Not sure about 'climbing' companies, but for cycling - Endura, quality kit that never fails, but mainly its a good price! Also Hope, again British manufacturing and customer service at its best :)
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