/ Stuff that's been better than you expected

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bouldery bits - on 11 Nov 2017

So, around about 2007... I purchased a camelback cross 20 rucksack at a hugely discounted price. The reason for this was simply that the pack included a camelback bladder and it was cheaper to obtain it this way. The rucksack was a bonus.

I realised today that I have been using that rucsac regularly ever since and I have absolutely hammered it. It's been to lots of Europe, it's been used for running, day walking pack, swim bag, uni bag, work bag, cycling bag, gym bag, and a taking stuff to the wall bag.

I have absolutely battered it and it's still completely fine. A small amount of fraying, but unbelievable considering.

This got me thinking, anyone else got some piece of gear that has absolutely surprised you?

kmhphoto - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

As a decades long brand snob I was shocked at how good a £40 down jacket is from Decathlon.
gethin_allen on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

I could say the same about my circa 2003 camelback trailblazer. I bought it because I wanted a rucksack with a drinking bladder and this model was discounted. Since then it's had a proper hammering and the bag itself has been brilliant even if I had to replace the bladder about 7 years ago. One of the zips is starting to fail a bit now but I think I've had my moneys worth over the last 14 years. I actually bought an Osprey syncro to replace it recently but after a few uses I'm back using the camelback because it's more comfortable.
AlanLittle - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to kmhphoto:

Simond Jeans, also from Decathlon. Best climbing legwear I've ever had.
purplemonkeyelephant - on 11 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Got a Mountain Warehouse synthetic jacket, sort of equivalent to a Patagonia Nano, for £19.99. The build quality is total junk, the zips failed me on the first and current, literally fell apart within the first few weeks. However the actual jacket is incredible, so warm for it's weight, has lasted years and still keeps me warm down to about 0C. The small was a bit too large for me but actually that worked out well because it sort of works like a belay jacket and fits over anything, it's so versatile. Can wear it on a cool summers day over a t-shirt, or over all my winter layers.

My girlfriend laughs at me about how much I go on about what a bargain it was. If only the zip pull didn't fall off it would be a 10/10.
Piskobrod on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Decathlon/Simond synthetic belay jacket, £35 in the sale, and does the job perfectly. I don't think they make them now.
Trangia on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to kmhphoto:

My £40 Regatta breathable waterproof jacket was just that, compared to my £250 Berghaus jacket which made similar claims and leaked the first time I used it
Stiga - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

Decathlon/Simond Cliff back pack. Cheap as chips, durable-ish and very nice to wear while climbing. Also most of the Simond gear I have bought.
davidbeynon on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
Snugpak sleeping bag I bought for 50 quid about 17 years ago because I couldn't afford anything fancy. Other gear has come and gone or been relegated to summer use, this thing is still exactly as bulky, heavy and warm as it was the day I bought it.
Post edited at 09:38
DerwentDiluted - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:

A pair of soft shell trousers from Decathlon, approx £35, bought for MR use as cheap throwaways to get sacrificed on urban searches to the golf course gorse and brambles. Rapidly promoted to No1 hill leg wear and still going strong 8 yrs later.
captain paranoia - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to kmhphoto:

> I was shocked at how good a £40 down jacket is from Decathlon.

They claim to be using 800fp down in it this year.

I'd add any of the Decathlon stuff I've bought, only I stopped being surprised a long time ago...
purplemonkeyelephant - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to Piskobrod:

I have one too, they were such good quality, no idea why they stopped doing them!
Wanderlust - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
I got some Karrimor KSB walking boots for D of E when I was 15. Bought with some growing room but they are still spacious 16 years later (also still waterproof despite never being cleaned or re proofed)

Edit: even the laces are original!
Post edited at 18:49
zmv - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to bouldery bits:
I got some of the hiking Quecha trousers from Decathlon. They costed very little (maybe 20 or less from memory) however, feel significantly better than my older posh ones which I got for 70 pounds (at 50% off ).
I use them for climbing all the time.
Post edited at 19:28
Ciro - on 12 Nov 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Simond Jeans, also from Decathlon. Best climbing legwear I've ever had.

I thought the jeans were terrible... after a couple of months on the road I'd gone through the arse, patched it, and gone through it again, as well as putting holes in both knees from barring.

The Simmond "rock pants" on the other hand are astonishingly hard wearing. I bought two pairs and lived in them for two years on the road, and they were still good as new until I accidentally stuck them in a hot dryer at the levanderia and ruined the elastic. I bought two more pairs immediately

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