/ Which outdoor company do you trust the most...

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gcandlin - on 15 Nov 2012
and why?

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.

Gareth
Taurig - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: To be honest I wouldnt have Rab at the top of my list, had too many little things go wrong with their stuff. I reckon its designed well and the warranty is good, but quality control means you may have to use it. Id probably say Mountain Equipment or Scarpa.
victim of mathematics - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

'Trust' is far too nebulous a concept to just say "I trust company x".

What am I trusting them to do?
I like climbing - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
Scarpa and Sportiva for me because everything I've bought from them both has been great.
bluebealach - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Marmot and Patagucci.

If you are talking about an outdoor company, the the Epicentre in Ambleside is my local(ish) outdoor company living in Blackpool.
Ben Sharp - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Depends what you mean by trust, if you mean trust their gear not to go wrong then none, every bit of gear has a failure rate. Admittedly some more than others and I would "trust" the usual suspects over the cheaper companies. Having said that I've had faults on ME jackets and RAB zips that have given up long before they were due. It's like saying you trust someone not to cheat on you, if you choose carefully you'll have a better chance but there's always the possibility you'll end up disappointed.

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.
wheelo - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: another vote for ME and I rate outdoor research too
galpinos - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

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.
novik - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: ME, Marmot, Salomon.
matejn - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Petzl, Montane, Scarpa, La Sportiva!
cyberpunk - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Gear 4 Rocks, I love their prices and you can get their stuff is always available on eBay.
goldmember - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: I love alpkit
Gazlynn - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

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.

cheers

Gaz



michaelc - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
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?
gcandlin - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Some interesting answers, surprised that some people have an issue with the word trust. I trust some outdoor gear companies and I suppose when I say trust, I mean that I can be confident that the piece of equipment will be well designed, do its job well at a fair price and last for a period of time i consider acceptable for the amount of use.

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?
ballsac - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

yes, probably.

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.
gcandlin - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to ballsac: So what your saying is that it's more about the customer service ethos than necessarily the product although clearly that is important too.
chlobach - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

I think just because you can trust the product doesnt make the company a trustworthy one in other areas such as customer service
ballsac - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

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.
Mr. K - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Alpkit. If we were in prison together I know they'd be watching my back in the showers.
Climbing Pieman on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to ballsac:
> (In reply to gcandlin)
> 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!!
Mike Highbury - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to galpinos:

> Rack/Gear – DMM (and latterly Black Diamond)

> 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.

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?
winhill - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to Mr. K:
> (In reply to gcandlin) Alpkit. If we were in prison together I know they'd be watching my back in the showers.

I just hope they're not thinking Mmm, nice ass.
Bloodfire - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: I generally look towards buying products from companies that are known to excel in particular fields. I have an arcteryx jacket, a Lowe Alpine bag, An MSR stove a Terra Nova tent and Black Diamond Cams. If black diamond started making jackets, I wouldn't really consider them... It maybe the right or wrong way of deciding what to buy but eveyone has their justifications.

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!
ohsmeg on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
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.

Roberttaylor - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

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.

R
Nick Harvey - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Interesting thread because I just had a rant on my blog about the amount of things we have had delivered recently (after buying our first house) that have been damaged, or wrong or just not delivered. And it did dawn on me that I don't ever recall this happening for climbing kit (and boy, have I spent my fair share).

Oh, and Patagonia at num 1. Even with their tendency to replace a great product with only a good product.
iksander on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin: Grivel, because their "marketing" consists of Stevie Haston looking like an idiot. And their products happen to be shit hot
colina - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:
dmm rock climbing gear based in llanberris..i think their stuff is great
muppetfilter - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to colina: Except when their cams are recalled ...
ads.ukclimbing.com
sbc_10 - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

I trust Arcteryx and Scarpa... well I ought to, I've invested more money in them than my house mortgage.
jimtitt - on 16 Nov 2012
In reply to gcandlin:

Interesting no one actually trusts climbing rope manufacturers and by association their products!
FrankBooth - on 16 Nov 2012
When I thought about it for a moment, the list of brands I use is pretty huge:
  • Black Diamond (harnesses, crampons)
  • Red Chili & Scarpa - climbing shoes
  • Scarpa - B2/B3s
  • Terra Nova & associated brands - tents, gloves
  • OMM - rucksack
  • ME - gloves
  • Alpkit - lots of camping stuff
  • Lowe Alpine - ruck sack, some clothes
  • Petzl - ice axes, screws, helmet
  • Grivel - crampons, helmet (winter)
  • DMM - protection and general hardwear
  • Beal - rope

    not to mention Montane, Rab, Vaude, GoLite, Helly, blah, blah, blah!
  • GrahamD - on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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
    WC nuts
    DMM wallnuts
    Mammut Genesis rope

    Other items I've been happy to flit round brands as and when offers occur.
    another_mark on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin: I think that anything can go wrong - so it is how they respond to issues and how open they are that appeals to me. With so many manufacturers being outside the UK, perception has to be partly of the importer/distributer.

    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.
    Gwilymstarks on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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)
    gear boy - on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to Gwilymstarks:

    > There seems to be a trend here. Maybe I believe more in customer service than in product reliability.
    >
    Maybe manufacturers are replacing so people dont go dissing their product all over the internet, sceptical maybe but...

    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

    Gwilymstarks on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to gear boy:
    > (In reply to Gwilymstarks)
    >
    > [...]
    > 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.

    muppetfilter - on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to Gwilymstarks: I guess your experience actually demonstarates more about the exagerated promises of W L Gore corporation than faulty manufacture.
    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.
    janiejonesworld - on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin: n reply to gcandlin: Patagonia for clothing
    DMM for hardware
    Black Diamond for everything they do
    Rockfax for excellent guidebooks ruthlessly ripped off from the local hippies
    Jennings for Snecklifter
    Fat Bumbly2 - on 16 Nov 2012
    In reply to janiejonesworld: No longer with us - but I am thanks to their gear -
    Mountain Technology.
    ajones - on 16 Nov 2012
    My feet seem to get on really well with Scarpa boots and FiveTen climbing shoes, so whenever I need to replace footwear it's probably those brands that I'd go to first. Based on my own personal experience with them I know they have tended to make stuff that fits me and is likely to last a reasonable amount of time.
    Anything I've bought from Alpkit has always done the job I've expected from it and has the bonus of feeling relatively inexpensive.
    Julian Wedd on 22 Nov 2012
    In reply to victim of mathematics (Pedant):

    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.
    GrahamD - on 22 Nov 2012
    In reply to Julian Wedd:

    > ..... to a satisfactory standard.'

    "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.
    Meikle Partans on 23 Nov 2012
    In reply to Gwilymstarks:
    I don't trust Goretex!

    It's high time you tried Paramo then...

    cousin nick - on 23 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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!
    ti.williams - on 24 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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!
    Damo on 24 Nov 2012
    In reply to ti.williams:
    > (In reply to gcandlin)
    >
    > 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.
    LennyJ1 on 24 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    Clothing - mainly Berghaus and Montane
    Harness - Black Diamond
    Metal work - DMM & Mammut
    Shoes - Red Chilli (Climbing) Soloman (Approch)
    sean1 - on 25 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin: When all is said and done you really do get what you pay for. For starters it is great to support your own country products that are made in your own country, if they are good this usually transpire them into been more expensive. There are smaller companies that make great gear but don't have the exposure, turn over and advertising clout of multi national companies. By people buying these products and paying the wee bit extra they will grow in to global conscience companies like DMM. This is ultimately the way of the future.
    TryfAndy on 25 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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.
    geologist - on 25 Nov 2012
    In reply to gcandlin:

    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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