/ The price of gear...
The cost of equipment seems to be escalating rapidly. I earn a reasonable salary yet still I find the amount footwear and crampons in particular cost now is eye watering. I just had a look at the latest offering from Petzl which has an alleged RRP of £250! For crampons! Seriously??!
An example; five years ago you could buy a pair of Sportiva Nepal Extremes for £200 (usually on sale regularly for £180) and Grivel G14s for around £120. Nepals now are commonly £300 and G14s £150.
Saw a pair of new ladies mantas go for £80 t'other day. Buying last season is the way forward.
But weren't they that much 15 years ago? I pretty certain mine were half price at 100 quid in 2000.
Buy less gear?
I'd say in general, it hasn't risen above inflation, it was just held stagnant for a while (as I notice Toby has said above).
Yeah its been that way past few years and its only going one way North.
Clocked the Hille Akto up to £490 up £65!! Keen eye on Flebay or the classifieds,Gumtree worth a browse also
You charge what you can get away with in the same way that you wouldn't turn down a pay rise.
In all honesty, if you compare climbing gear to technical gear in other arenas, it's an absolute steal: I can buy a cam for under forty quid, that may save my life and which is pretty much guaranteed against faults for life (ref the recent wires recall). I recently bought a decent 70m single rope for less than 120 quid, delivered. You can also get a serviceable pair of crampons for well under a hundred, if you know where to look.
On the other hand, £500 jackets are only made for two types of people: really cutting edge climbers (all three of them) or punters with no sense. But it's a victimless crime.
This is a conversation I enjoy bringing up with reps whenever I can, it's not the £500 jackets I have a problem with. They're no better than the £300 ones so it doesn't really affect anyone on a standard income and/or of reasonable mental function.
It's the £300 jackets I have a problem with, or rather it annoys me why you can't take a £60 jacket, put a bigger hood on and size it to fit a human, instead of a square, for any less than £200 extra. The response is usually something along the lines of- "Oh but look at all the body mapping...this zip was developed with NASA...we've got this new machine that weaves these fabrics into...all the research...blah blah blah". I get that that costs a fair bit and is justified in making a great jacket, but could you please take a normal jacket, cut a half moon out of each side of it and put a bigger hood on for an extra £20 please?
Oh, you should see how (veterinary) pharmaceutical companies operate. For a bit of light reading, have a bash at Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre.
The problem is that those brands which put a bit of thought into their gear, and thus charge a little more - to compensate for overheads - get frozen out by the kind of consumer who tracks down bargains and then goes into GO Outdoors to use the 10% off promotion. And then moans about lack of thought from gear companies ;-)
I think it's a problem with us as well - as long as we can pay that amount for a jacket (or whatever), they will charge us so. Overtrousers are even worse:
~50 pounds for decent half zip trousers.
less than 100 pounds for decent 3/4 zip trousers.
200+ pounds for decent full-zip trousers.
I guess even NASA does not charge that much for zippers.
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