/ Fings ain't wot they used to be! My gear is falling apart!

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Sean Kelly - on 19 Oct 2012
I have been thinking about posting on this topic for a while now as I am finding that gear is just not lasting.
One thing that gets my back up at the moment, has to do with the velcro fittings on the sleeves of jackets. In the last year I have had 3 different velcro fittings give up the ghost on me. So after tolerating the annoying habbit of flapping velcro on my wrists, I eventually took a pair of sciscors to them. Problem solved but sleeves can't tighten up in bad weather. I will live with that for now. The velcro appears to give up before the jacket (one is as ME Changabang at over 300, another a Tog24, and the last a Berghaus, so all really well known repected brands). Also a Rab jacket, soft shell, began to disintegrate from abrasion at the waist, and this within a few weeks of buying it! So despite all this modern sales pitch about super materials/design and subsequent high cost, not to mention guarantee terms of reasonable wear, it all sucks! I don't seem to have much sucess when I return items and are nearly always fobbed off. Eg. Last month I returned a cam to Wild Country to repair a broken trigger wire. Could not be repaired because of H&S! So that's another 60 down the drain. FFS the trigger wire is no way effecting the safety of the Cam! Is it me or is it all because the stuff comes all the way from China and so the tight quality control is not there. I don't recall having all these problems years back.
It's the same with approach shoes/boots. 2 were purchased August '11, binned July'12! Totally disintegrated. If you bought this stuff on the market you might perhaps understand but we are paying through the nose in all these up-market gear shops. And if i ever see another 'Sale' posted outside a gear-shop I know that is is nearly all XXL size! In fact there is a shop in the Lakes where I have never purchased anything, no absolutely nothing, not a single solitary thing from one of their so called 'Sales' since they opened! Nothing remotely fitted. But then I am a normal size, not a teletubby or anorexic.
Rant over.
jon on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Velcro is the work of the devil. It won't work when it sees snow. The only way to stop it picking up fluff and stuff is to make sure it's pressed together when it's in your sac. The Friend you can repair yourself, I think, with a kit. Someone will be along in 30 seconds to tell you how. Wild Country refused to repair one of my Friends on account of it being older than anyone who was working at WC at the time!

My sympathy though Sean, I feel your pain.
ledifer on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to jon:
I'm not letting wild country anywhere near my rack then!
Sean Kelly - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to jon:
The Friend you can repair yourself, I think, with a kit. Someone will be along in 30 seconds to tell you how. Wild Country refused to repair one of my Friends on account of it being older than anyone who was working at WC at the time!
Sorry Jon your friend is wasting their time as my Friend was binned!
jon on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

That Friend did a sterling job in California a few weeks ago. Get yours back out of the bin. Look, it's one of these:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=206451
Ben Sharp - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: You sound like a guy who's seriously in need of some good quality duct tape.

FWIW, if you throw a cam away just because a trigger wire is broken you're mental. A quick google would have found you a 10 kit to fix a few broken wires, if it was just the wire then 10 mins and a bit of fuse wire would also have worked.

Kit has always broken, the difference now is that people throw it away instead of fixing it.
Sean Kelly - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Ben Sharp: I should add that it was Wild Country that binned the wire!
misterb - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:
its true about gear not lasting anymore,in the continual race to make everything lighter/comfier/prettier/supposedly more functional etc the manufacturers have had to compromise on the durability of most product out there whether it be clothing or equipment.
This is partly driven by competition between brands (more of them) and consumer expectation that a product could or should be improved/developed every couple of years when it blatantly isn't the reality of the situation.
Timmd on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: They binned the wire or the friend?

Think there's a couple of companies which fix outdoor gear and goretex gear.
Timmd on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to madbaza:

Less durability definately seems to be the flipside of lighter gear.
cuppatea on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

I think I've read that WC won't even re sling Friends that are more that 10 years old.

If this is the case, is it s safe DIY job?
Ben Sharp - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:
> (In reply to Ben Sharp) I should add that it was Wild Country that binned the wire!

Ah, you did say "...my Friend was binned!" which I thought meant you'd thrown the whole thing away.
3leggeddog on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

Ignore expensive repair kits, fix the friend with strimmer nylon. Really easy
mike123 - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: I with you on approach shoes. before having kids i used to really hammer kit and so would be happy to get a season or "year" out of most things apart from hardware. however i had a couple of pairs of old school salomon shoes that just refused to die. i reckon they d mixed kryptonite into the material. i finally finished them off on a house reno. my latest pair of salomons, which were supposed to be well over 100 quid are falling apart after just over a year of fairly light use. not a building site in sight.
mike123 - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to 3leggeddog: evening fatty
tallsteve - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:
Most big brands are just fronts for Chinese manufacturers. I made the mistake a few years ago of popping round to the Karrimore factory in Accrington to get a rucksack repaired, only to be told they were now a "marketing company". The factory had been shut and the workers sacked. At one time you could pop by with your ruck sack and get it repaired under the lifetime guarantee. No more.

The big brands are often made by the same people on the same line in the same factory in the same town in China or Korea or where-ever.
tallsteve - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:
p.s. as all we're buying these days is cheap sh*t made in Asia then you may as well pay cheap prices. I'm a big fan of Gelert. Cheap as chips, and lasts as long as you'd expect. No false pretensions. When it falls apart so what - you never paid much for it anyway.
Ben Sharp - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to tallsteve:
> (In reply to Sean Kelly)
> p.s. as all we're buying these days is cheap sh*t made in Asia then you may as well pay cheap prices. I'm a big fan of Gelert. Cheap as chips, and lasts as long as you'd expect. No false pretensions. When it falls apart so what - you never paid much for it anyway.

There may be some truth in what you say but firstly just because something is made in china doesn't mean it's cr*p. It isn't the 80's any more and while conditions in asian factorys aren't what they are over here the construction can be of good quality. Quite why anyone would automatically assume that something is rubbish because it wasn't hauled down the construction line by a uk worker on minimum wage is beyond me.

Secondly there are plenty brands out there that surpass "cheap sh*t". Compare the stitching on a pair of Meindl boots to a pair of hi-tecs, compare the laminated seams on a regatta jacket to those of a mountain equipment, I own a great gelert tent, it's better value than a similar spec tent from say, terra nova. It is however a lot worse quality and anyone with eyes can see that.

Is a snugpak insulated jacket better quality than a mountain hardware one because it was made in the uk? Is a RAB sleeping bag better quality than a Mountain Equipment one because it was filled in the UK? Is patagonia stuff cr*p because it's made in China/India/South America? Are Brasher boots the same quality as regatta boots because they're made abroad? Icebreaker make their clothing in China, does that make it the same quality as the stuff you get in aldis? Have a look at a RAB fleece and a regatta fleece, both manufactured in China, both of obviously differing quality.

I'm not saying the cheaper brands aren't better value, often they are. It might not always be worth the extra money to get top of the range stuff but to say that it's all the same is inaccurate.
climbingpixie - on 19 Oct 2012
In reply to tallsteve:

> I made the mistake a few years ago of popping round to the Karrimore factory in Accrington to get a rucksack repaired, only to be told they were now a "marketing company".

Just as a counter to that I'd like to mention that I'd like to give a positive recommendation for Equip UK. I emailed them a bit ago to say that one of the straps on my 4 year old (used most weekends and even been run over once) Pod Cragsac was wearing through. They suggested I post it back to them but as I was travelling through Alfreton a few days later I said I'd pop into the site to drop it off. Nipped in with the bag and 5 minutes later the machinist had replaced the strap while I waited. I'd like to say it was free of charge but I might have accidently bought a half price Rab Shadow hoodie from the outlet shop while standing around...
jcharles - on 20 Oct 2012
In reply to jon:
> (In reply to Sean Kelly)
>
> Velcro is the work of the devil...

...and, it's a rip-off.
ads.ukclimbing.com
cas smerdon - on 20 Oct 2012
In reply to jcharles:
> (In reply to jon)
> [...]
>
> ...and, it's a rip-off.

nice one
;)

Christheclimber - on 20 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Sorry Jon your friend is wasting their time as my Friend was binned!

Threaten to sue them as it was your property!
wilkie14c - on 21 Oct 2012
In reply to cuppatea:
> (In reply to Sean Kelly)
>
> I think I've read that WC won't even re sling Friends that are more that 10 years old.
>
> If this is the case, is it s safe DIY job?

Quite correct. on the WC site there is the production codes that'll tell you how to age you cams. Over 10 years and WC consider them too old for repair. I don't blame WC for this, yes they have to make sales and they wouldnt do so repairing everything reguardless of age but also this is 'our' own fault too - we as a nation are the ones who sue everybody for everything thesedays!
Trigger wires are perfectly safe to repair at home as they are not part of the structure of the design. Strimmer wire is a popular and cheap fix, If anyone wants a 'proper' repair with stainles wire and crimps then mail me, I have a 'cam doctor' set up from the states and replaced many a trigger wire for cost, P&P and a couple of quid in a MRT box. Its something like 8 quid a cam
jp6789 - on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to Sean Kelly: Having worked for Wild Country, the Friend repair issue is interesting. Wild Co is an ISO9001 registered company, which is a guarantee of industrial quality, and covers all aspects of goods that leave the premises bound for retailers and consumers. Therefore, anything leaving the factory/warehouse would have to pass the required examinations required by this standard. Clearly, they'd be stupid to jeopordise their entire reputation by sending out kit that is too worn to pass. The big problem I remember with Friends was cam wear; the cam lobes are aluminium and the axle is a steel alloy. Therefore the axle hole in the cam lobe gets bigger over time and the cams start to 'wobble' on the axle. If they get loaded at a slight angle in an uneven placement, they can break at a frighteningly low figure (seen it demo'ed myself). Check out the 'wobble' on your old cams!
Timmd on 23 Oct 2012
In reply to jp6789:

It doesn't seem like it'd be really difficult to put a steel metal 'eye' where the hole is so the cams don't wear?

Perhaps it might be...

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