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    The publication date for issue 289 is the 10th of December, meaning subscribers should receive their copies during the week leading up to that date. It is also available from caving suppliers such as Inglesport and Starless River, or from our new website

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Choice of outdoor gear brand

Pitlamp

Well-known member
It's what also happened to Karrimor. I remember the good old days of the factory at Clayton-le-Moors near Accrington, where you could take your ancient Karrimor rucsack or whatever and Belle in the repairs department would weave magic on it and make it good again.

Anyway, aren't most items of equipment these days fashion items? (For a lot of purchasers, at least?)
Walk down the high street of any town on a wet day and you could be forgiven for thinking many folk you encounter are on their way to some far flung expedition.
 

underground

Member
It's what also happened to Karrimor. I remember the good old days of the factory at Clayton-le-Moors near Accrington, where you could take your ancient Karrimor rucsack or whatever and Belle in the repairs department would weave magic on it and make it good again.
Patagonia will do that although it's not quite as simple as taking it to the factory. Can take to the shop if there is one or post it off to somewhere in Belgium. They offered that option to me when a bag zip got stuck, or to refund me the cost of getting it done locally
 

JAA

Active member
After sale service from Osprey is excellent too for packs, they will often repair very reasonably or send out bits for nowt. Not that I’ve managed to break more than a belt clip with some serious abuse!
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
Yes, Berghaus once mended a rucsack of theirs for me and made a good job of it. (It was a paid job, as I'd damaged the sac with "beyond" normal use; as I remember, what they charged was very reasonable.)
 

caving_fox

Member
Thermarest honour their lifetime warranty - they replaced my years old mat when it delaminated. I love Patagonia gear but it's very expensive (or perhaps shows the full cost of things that others are hiding with cheaper prices).
 

Steve Clark

Active member
There's a lot to be said for companies that stand behind their products. Patagonia seem to be proud to see people wearing their gear that's 25 years old. So much so that they have started selling 'retro' looking gear so the fashion conscious can join in.

I like the idea of pay once and get gear that lasts. I think the key is to identify brands that have the quality early on in their development and buy when the price is reasonable and set to create growth. Later on, the firms seem to realise their niche and the price goes up. I bought some dive gear from Halcyon in the early 2000's when they'd just started to import to uk dealers. A bombproof twinset wing for £150. After 8 years and 500 dives it started to fray on a stitched seam in the outer bag. I just sent it in and it came back with a new outer. Good as new, no cost at all. Still diving it now after about 15 years. However, a new one today is £550, not helped by the woeful exchange rate.
 

wormster

Member
It’s all very well buying expensive long lasting kit *IF* you have the budget, not everyone can afford top notch, and have to buy Millet’s budget kit instead
 

menacer

Active member
Ironically, fewer people will be able to afford Patagonia clothing with the fight against plant food in gaseous form, partly responsible for increasing the prices on everything. 😏
 

Mark Wright

Member
I think I've mentioned this before but, we had a saying at one of the rope access companies I worked for in the 80's;

Vile Emptum Bis Emptum (pardon my poor Latin)

The translation went something like, 'Buy cheep, buy twice'.

After getting through 3 x cheep ratchet spanners on one job Steve Thomas took the executive decision to buy a new Snap-On spanner. It didn't go down very well when he put his expenses claim in but it was still going strong 15 years after he bought it and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't still in use today.

I have a Rab bivvi bag that I bought in 1992 which is still going strong, despite some abuse. The 2 x Patagonia waterproof jackets that I bought in Dublin in 2002 are as good today as the day I bought them.

As wormster says, not everyone can afford to buy top notch but, as soon as you can afford it, buy it, you will (usually) never look back.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
The translation went something like, 'Buy cheep, buy twice'.

After getting through 3 x cheep ratchet spanners on one job Steve Thomas took the executive decision to buy a new Snap-On spanner. It didn't go down very well when he put his expenses claim in but it was still going strong 15 years after he bought it and I wouldn't be surprised if it isn't still in use today.

It does depend on what it is, though. Cheap ratchet spanners are universally awful. Whereas if what you need is a fleece, the latest all-singing all-dancing £100 fleece is not _that_ much better than a £10 Decathlon one...
(Powerstretch excepted as it is genuinely great)
 
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