/ Brands - Which brands to buy which brands to avoid

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L Danchapman - on 21 Nov 2016
just wondering for advice on gear in general - is there any climbing brands to favour or avoid
shouldbebetter - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:
I don't know about what to avoid, and would not want to sully the name of any climbing companies without hard evidence, however I can tell you the brands I love.

For hardware:
I LOVE working with DMM gear, as I always find it well designed and well made. The other is Black Diamond, for which I also have a lot of love.

For ropes:
I've used Mammut since the mid-90's almost exclusively, and have a lot of positive things to say for their durability and handling. The 10mm Galaxy is my workhorse.

For 'soft goods' I lean towards Mammut and Arc'teryx.

Largely though these are only personal preferences. Although Black Diamond has an exceptional QA program, so I'm pretty confident in their kit.
Post edited at 18:51
TobyA on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to shouldbebetter:

> Although Black Diamond has an exceptional QA program, so I'm pretty confident in their kit.

Considering their mass recall earlier this year, that seems an odd claim to make! In fact I heard their QA manager interviewed recently who said basically, yes - sorry, we really messed up.
Pursued by a bear - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

The only worthwhile advice you'll get on an internet forum to a question as hopelessly general as this from strangers who don't know you is to favour the ones that fit you, suit you and work for you and to avoid the ones that don't.

Sorry and all, but there is no one-size-fits-all answer. You need to be a bit more specific to receive advice that can help you. What's your main interest, walking, climbing, camping, backpacking, extreme ironing...?

T.
Fredt on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

Rab - I have bought some absolutely fantastic down gear from Rab, the best, thoroughly recommended.

Rab - I have bought some absolutely crap waterproof gear from Rab, don't go there. (eVent anyone?)
Greasy Prusiks on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

Personally I don't buy any safety gear that's made outside of Europe. From experience I think it's far easier to monitor and maintain quality when you're based at your factory.

Always found DMM gear to be the business and the one bit of hagloffs gear I own is superb. Montane seem to know what they're about as well.

If you want a cheap way to stay warm then I have to say all the Hi Gear stuff I've seen/used has been really good for cragging.

There aren't many companies I haven't got on with but I'm pretty disappointed with my North Face coat. They seem to be going much more 'lifestyle apres climb' than actual climbing to me recently. I'm sure their expensive stuff is better but it's a lot of money!

Probably completely irrational but I don't buy Black Diamond after their recent issues. It's almost certainly fine and I'm just being a wimp but there you go. Also who puts wire on hexes?!

Haven't used anything arcteryx but for in my judgemental and ill informed opinion they seem to be playing a one sided game of "plus 100 to whatever you say" with mountain equipment ;-)
bouldery bits - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

Buffalo are awesome
L Danchapman - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

Main interest is in climbing, i understand there is no one size fits all but just seeing is there are brands that people prefer as normally people steer you towards brands they like and dislike due to previous experience and this helps when buying gear
elliot.baker - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Fredt:
I've seen so many posts slating Rab waterproofs, and I've got a Neutrino Endurance down jacket which I love to bits, and a Latok Alpine waterproof, with eVent and I also love that.

I'm starting to worry that I don't play hard enough to make it not good enough!

I do only hike in it to be fair, and mostly only when it's sunny... ;)

ha no I do love it though seriously.

edit: I have some Rab trousers as well that I love. I would recommend them.
Post edited at 21:00
Bulls Crack - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

Forget all these johnny-come-lately outdoor brands; I recommend: http://www.moons.co.uk/apparel/heritage-collection/estate-tweed/
Michael Hood - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to Bulls Crack:

Wonder if Ben is any relation, they both do apparel
shouldbebetter - on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to TobyA:

The thing to note there is it is exactly their QA program which caught the error, and they issued a voluntary recall. No units failed in the field.

They recalled the entire line of cams, free replacements, based on "possibility of product irregularities".

But yeah, point well taken from you that no company is perfect. I'd rather buy from a company with a QA program which is investigating, and recalling on the possibility of something not being right. You know they are looking at things with a critical eye (as one would hope).

Also: I have no affiliation with BD. I'm not a shill for them, I'm not the Kelly-Anne Conway to their Donald Trump.
TobyA on 21 Nov 2016
In reply to shouldbebetter:

Yep, can't think of a gear manufacturer who hasn't had a recall. There must be some, but all the big players have them sooner or later it seems.

There is something vaguely attractive about Kelly-Anne Conway though, although perhaps it's just that perverse attraction to the thing you find morally abhorrent. (Is that the definition of kinky?) ;)
Pursued by a bear - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

> Main interest is in climbing

Good, that helps. Now are you interested in shoes, harnesses, ropes, helmets, cams, wires, krabs, slings, trousers, shirts, windproofs, waterproofs, belay jackets, gloves, guidebooks, bouldering mats, beanies or something else?

Despite what it may looks like I'm not being short-tempered, it's just that the more specific you are, the better the advice you'll get. For example, despite the love for Buffalo clothing expressed here, that won't help you much at a gritstone edge on a sunny summer Sunday. So what, more precisely, are you after?

T.
L 8dreams - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

I got two products from Salewa and I will never ever buy anything more from them:
1) "28cm" long quickdraw. In reality it turned out that the webbing is a normal 14cm one. What they were referring to being 28cm is the webbing before being folded and sewed together (assuring a safe quickdraw). Great!!! And mind you, it was not the specific web shop, everywhere else it was advertised as 28cm... They could as well use weaker webbing, fold and sew it in four and advertise it as four times the actual length. Or even better - present the weight of a carabiner as the weight of its gate for example. I still cannot believe how they can go for such a cheap and disgusting tricks...

2) My second purchase was chalk block from them. I thought "ok, I know I decided not to buy anything from Salewa anymore but chalk is chalk, how bad can it be". Well, let me tell - it can be pretty bad!
GargoyleFeet - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

> ...climbing brands to favour or avoid

I thought your question was quite specific to be honest.

Personally I always read around and gauge opinions about kit I'm thinking of buying. Some brands are great at some stuff, not so great at others. Makes no sense to stick with one. Clothing is a little different because a brand may fit you better and that's reason to stick with it.

For example I have some DMM wallnuts and offsets and wanted to double up for winter, etc. Rather than buy another set though I went for WC Rocks as they should give me a broader range of choice alongside the DMM nuts. I've never bought WC gear before - or considered it really - but I know from reading that they are very good at their job and I can trust them.
captain paranoia - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to 8dreams:

> 1) "28cm" long quickdraw. In reality it turned out that the webbing is a normal 14cm one.

Might this confusion not arise from the problem of defining the length of slings; can be used to refer to the length of tape used to make the sling, or to the end-to-end length of the sewn sling. The latter is the more common modern usage.

I remembered the possible confusion, and a quick google found this comment:

http://www.dicksclimbing.com/products/dmm-8mm-dyneema-sling
Michael Gordon - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

Slings you expect to be measured all the way round as you often use them that way, i.e. put over spikes etc. But quickdraws you don't so the key length is the doubled length. I doubt this was a deliberate ploy from Salewa but it's certainly misleading considering how most climbers are likely to judge quickdraws (and you might have expected them to know that).
captain paranoia - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to Michael Gordon:

I too doubt it was deliberate. I wonder if it's a regional usage issue, Salewa being German. Any German climbers able to comment?
L 8dreams - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

Indeed, I would have understood it if it was about a sling, but I bought a quickdraw. More precisely this one :
Salewa Express Set Alpino 30cm
It is listed as 30cm , whereas it is actually 15cm long. Why would anyone advertise it as 30cm if it is not supposed to be used as 30cm (not even possible to be used as 30cm as it is already sewed)?
I have seen this thing only on Salewa quickdraws. Does anyone know any other brand using the same "terminology"? If not than imo either Salewa have no idea about the market, or they are doing it on purpose...
baron - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to 8dreams:
I bought some Clog slings that turned out to be twice the length I thought they were!
There's only so many times that you can fold/twist a sling and still carry it!
richard_hopkins - on 22 Nov 2016
In reply to 8dreams:

Perhaps the distance between the corners of the karabiners is 28cm and not the length of the webbing? It sounds believable that each karabiner might be around 7cm across the corners, so two of those plus a 14cm webbing makes the 28cm?
Dorchester on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:
I think these days when buying most things you get what you pay for. There is a 'sweet spot' in terms of value and function for most items. Outside this some cheap brands I would not touch some are expensive hand have a degree of snob value.
Where to spend your money is a better goal, two items I would not skimp on are boots and hooded waterproof jacket. The jacket will probably spend 90% of its time in your rucksack but the time may come when your life will literally depend on it. It gives confidence and peace of mind.
MG - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Pursued by a bear:
> For example, despite the love for Buffalo clothing expressed here, that won't help you much at a gritstone edge on a sunny summer Sunday.

Sacrilege. Heathen! Burn him.

jimtitt - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

It s different for sure but in the product description I m seeing it does say overall length 30/45cm and sling length 15/30cm.
captain paranoia - on 23 Nov 2016
GrahamD - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

The only brands I avoid are expensive ones (usually ones that call trousers 'pants'). There is a place for all cheapy brands depending on use (my crag belay jacket cost 5 from Peacocks - it does a job and I 'm not worried about ripping it or wiping my feet on it and I have a cheap Peter Storm shower proof that lives in the bottom of my pack. Good enough to get off the majority of crags in an un planned retreat.

In terms of protection I tend to chose DMM, WV or BD but mainly because they are the most readily available. I tend to steer clear of fancy shaped wires on my travels because I've never found anything I like as well as Rocks and Wallnuts for placeing and removal.
sparkass - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

Levi 501s!

Duncan
L Danchapman - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Pursued by a bear:

warm gear ( waterproofs, windproof , belay jack, trousers, beanies) and quick draws and ropes
ads.ukclimbing.com
Hay - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:
You could do worse than:
Warm stuff from Rab
Waterproof stuff from M.E.
Windproof and Trousers from Montane
Quickdraws from DMM
Ropes from Edelrid or Mammut

Bruce
stp - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

I would say for clothing to climb in it's best to avoid all climbing brands as most of it is designed for posing rather than climbing. It's thus not ideal. It's also likely to be very overpriced.

The one exception I know of is Verve from the US which is designed for actual climbing - very lightweight, stretchy fabric, hardwearing. However it's very hard to get over here and with the exchange rate it's going to be pretty expensive now too.
Mick Ward - on 24 Nov 2016
In reply to Hay:

> Quickdraws from DMM

Hmm... I had 24 krabs from 12 quickdraws corrode horribly. OK I climb in an area prone to salt air but I've never seen any comparable corrosion on any other krabs - some much older. Keep meaning to send 'em back and see what DMM think.

Also got a Rockfax sized guidebook holder from DMM. The zip went after very little usage so I threw it away.

Sorry to report two negative experiences. I'm sure they're untypical.

Mick

samwillo - on 26 Nov 2016
In reply to Mick Ward:

Might be worth sending them in Mick. A friend of mine left his DMM draws in a route on Kalymnos for a few days, during that time they suffered some weird corrosion / salt crystallisation which created a razor edge on some of the draws. (He noticed this irregularity whilst hanging 30 m and seeing his brand new rope had been cored - doubtless an exciting few moments)

He has since sent they in to DMM who by all accounts have been very good and are investigating further.
wbo - on 26 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman: interesting that people say to spend money on waterproofs when they dont wear them most of the time. Following another i went to look at some very expensive waterproof jackets and was quite underwhelmed by what I saw. I did not see where the extra hundreds of pounds went over the Goretex I use, and I wear mine a lot more than most people, and for rougher use

Dont confusing cost with value. I have some Arcteryx stuff I think is good, some that is average and some I would go so far as to call tat.

Andy Long - on 26 Nov 2016
In reply to Danchapman:

I see nobody's mentioned Paramo yet. I've never come across anything like it for heavy driving rain. Repairable with needle and thread too. Oddly though it doesn't seem to work in salt water, as I found to my cost on one of our fabulous "storm walks" along the cliff-tops in a force 10.
Mick Ward - on 26 Nov 2016
In reply to samwillo:

Many thanks. Will send 'em in. I'm one of these people who just hate taking stuff back or anything like that. But, having mentioned it on here, I really should do so and see what they think.

Thanks again.

Mick

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