/ New company making high end down and shell products

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olddirtydoggy - on 28 Nov 2016
Today a new company popped up on my radar via social media after a friend tagged me on one of their posts. Anyone heard of 'Stellar Equipment'? Looking at their product list they seem to be very similar to Phd. I noticed they managed to get their hands on the rare 1000 fill power down and some pretty impressive stats on the outer materials. I'd be curious to know who is making the kit and if the down is ethical.
I personally don't need any more kit but a good friend of mine is in the process of kitting up so I'm keen to find out if anyone on here has bought from them. Just for the record, I have no connection to this company whatsoever.
m0unt41n on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

I am rather cynical about these super duper down claims. Apart from anything else, you would need incredibly thin fabric so that the down can loft to anything vaguely like its claimed fill power. But then the fabric would be too thin for wearing outdoors. Always seemed better to get something with a more believable fill power claim and really good construction. Which would be cheaper anyhow.
nutme - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> I'd be curious to know who is making the kit and if the down is ethical.

Out of curiosity how down can be ever ethical? It would always involve the murder of the bird.
captain paranoia - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to nutme:

Relatively speaking. Either post-mortem harvested, or, for ultimate ethical points, collected from discarded nests (which the birds line with down by plucking themselves).
captain paranoia - on 28 Nov 2016
In reply to m0unt41n:

Ah, but is there a correlation between fill power and Mie scattering...?
Post edited at 21:23
galpinos on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Never heard of them but having looked at their website, I'm not sure whether they are like PHD? There's no info about who they are or where things are made. They seem more like Jottnar did when they arrived, small company with no known pedigree with a direct sales model.

PHD, however, is run by a guy who's been doing it for thirty years. They do have a direct sales model but they also do all their manufacture in Stalybridge.

m0unt41n on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to captain paranoia:

Could well be, since above 700 connection to reality seems a bit tenuous ......... Had to Google that as it sounded like a esoteric insult. Forgot how wide the scope of knowledge on UKC is.
GarethSL on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

They're based in Åre, Sweden... few hours up the road from me actually. IIRC they outfit the lifties/ ski patrol at the resort, or perhaps some of the other resort staff. Klättermusen is also based there (Hyper environmentally friendly, but pricey and falls apart if you wash it).

The guff is the same and boring, "We set out to make extraordinary high-tech outdoor equipment, uncompromising in quality and design. We also wanted to use the best materials available. Of course, that's what everyone says, so we didn't stop there." Their products aren't anything extraordinary and given the spiel quite underwhelming, the designs very Scandinavian as are the materials (Dermizax is seems quite popular among outdoor brands here) and the build quality is generic. Prices are quite reasonable however cause of their direct supply model, you can only buy from them.
Goucho on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to galpinos:

> Never heard of them but having looked at their website, I'm not sure whether they are like PHD? There's no info about who they are or where things are made. They seem more like Jottnar did when they arrived, small company with no known pedigree with a direct sales model.

> PHD, however, is run by a guy who's been doing it for thirty years. They do have a direct sales model but they also do all their manufacture in Stalybridge.

PHD is run by the legendary Pete Huchinson - founder of Mountain Equipment. I doubt there's anyone on the planet with his expertise and experience in producing down gear.
Ian W - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to GarethSL:

I'm also looking for a new down jacket, so thought i'd look at this lot. I asked them where they manufacture; they were very open and honest, and replied within the hour that they source their down and outer jackets from Shanghai, and the softshell stuff with the clever fabric from Lithuania.

yesbutnobutyesbut - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> PHD is run by the legendary Pete Huchinson - founder of Mountain Equipment. I doubt there's anyone on the planet with his expertise and experience in producing down gear.

Rab Carrington
Goucho on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> Rab Carrington

Learnt from Pete Hutchison in the ME factory in Glossop.
olddirtydoggy - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Thanks for the responses so far. As stated, my main interest in this company is to help a friend source kit to get himself geared up.
Goucho on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> Learnt from Pete Hutchison in the ME factory in Glossop.

Love to know the rationale behind the dislike for this?
jsmcfarland - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to nutme:

I love the mega dislikes in favour of animal cruelty. People... ;)
GrahamD - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Geared up for what ? surely if they are in the market for high end gear they already have a bit of an idea what they are looking for and replaceing what a bit more specifically.
olddirtydoggy - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

The outdoors and no, they don't really.
Rick Graham on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> Learnt from Pete Hutchison in the ME factory in Glossop.

He may have worked there for a while ( and also with the Argentinian guy making down gear).

In ten years when I was selling down gear in the trad, customers went from asking for ME gear first to just buying Rab's.
Goucho on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Rick Graham:

> He may have worked there for a while ( and also with the Argentinian guy making down gear).

> In ten years when I was selling down gear in the trad, customers went from asking for ME gear first to just buying Rab's.

I think not only did Rab produce superb kit, but also around the same time, ME took a bit of a dip in terms of quality - even when Pete was still there.

Only goes to show that nostalgia and brand loyalty only lasts as long as the quality does.
Ian W - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to jsmcfarland:

> I love the mega dislikes in favour of animal cruelty. People... ;)

There are ethical ways of sourcing down; its just more expensive (unsurprisingly). It doesnt have to involve the death of the animal either directly or indirectly. Check out the Yeti website for details *

*other down producers available.........
Rick Graham on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to Goucho:

> Only goes to show that nostalgia and brand loyalty only lasts as long as the quality does.

One only needs to look at an old climbing magazine to realise the fluidity of business strength and how many firms have stopped trading over the years.
GrahamD - on 29 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Do they really need "high end gear" to go outside ?
olddirtydoggy - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to GrahamD:

That depends on what we're doing and how comfortable we want to be. Wages vs disposable income also plays a part. Needs and wants are another debate.
Scott K - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Stick to PHD. Great quality and service and made in UK. No point spending money on a relative unknown who isn't based here if you do have issues. PHD also do the bargain box and sales a couple of times a year so you can get stuff at a good price if you are lucky.
ads.ukclimbing.com
GrahamD - on 30 Nov 2016
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

> That depends on what we're doing and how comfortable we want to be.

Yes indeed. So what are you doing ? because the validity of people's opinions on "high end gear" will vary depending on whether they have used the gear in the environment you are contemplating. If its high in the Himalaya there are relatively few who have the experience to make a valid comment, whereas if its like most "high end gear" and being used to belay at Stanage then everyone will have a say.

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