Apr 1, 2006 at 8:58 am #1218205
Does anyone have any experience with Summit Shelters [Big Sky]. I am looking at the Evolution 1P as a possible purchase. It’s lightweight with either the option of alum poles or carbon fiber. Concerned with condensation and durability.Apr 1, 2006 at 4:05 pm #1353954
Robert MolenBPL Member
BackpackGearTest.org is currently reviewing our Evolution 1P shelters… we have a link to the reviews at the bottom of the Evolution 1P web page:
We will also be happy to answer any questions you have.
Thanks for your interest,
bobApr 26, 2006 at 10:21 am #1355490
Two questions– How do you set the tent up with just the fly? What do you recommend for reducing slippage on the sil floor? MaryApr 26, 2006 at 11:03 am #1355492
Several months ago I favorably commented on my Evolution 2P as being very storm worthy. I had no condensation problems in a heavy rain and wind storm. I recently used it on a fishing trip in the deep South, where mosquitos are already thick (mid-April). With the flaps up and the doors zipped, I had great ventilation and not a skeeter inside. So far so good on durability, but I have not used it enough to say more. I’m still very happy with my tent.Apr 27, 2006 at 12:25 pm #1355547
Placed an order for a 2P-EX with BigSky last December. Haven’t received product yet. Not quite sure what the real holdup is. Be prepared for a long wait, and a lot of song and dance.Apr 27, 2006 at 8:41 pm #1355567
Any word on the Znorkel version?May 22, 2006 at 11:20 am #1356741
Still no Big Sky product. Going on 6 months now.
Starting to wreak of a big rip off to me. Can I also play with my $250 too Bob?
Sorry, just getting a bit disgruntled here.
Has anyone received their 2P as “promised” yet?May 22, 2006 at 2:36 pm #1356752
no tent, no refund, very little communication and then nothing but a song and a dance. Be safe with your $’s and look elsewhere.May 22, 2006 at 8:12 pm #1356779
Steve RobinsonBPL Member
I ordered in Jan. for April ship date and nothing yet. Email response to questions prior to ordering was good, but now …. still waiting.May 22, 2006 at 8:41 pm #1356782
Add me to the list of unsatisfied Big Sky orderers with no product. I got an email about the new revision D of the Evolution 2p but no info on WHEN.May 22, 2006 at 10:34 pm #1356790
I’ve asked them twice via e-mail for a refund but they will not respond. Needless to say, I’ve yet to receive either the refund or the tent. At this point I don’t want the tent no matter how good it might be. I want me $’s back. The way they are handling this whole situation is not doing much for their image to say the least.May 22, 2006 at 11:33 pm #1356794
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
First off, only just jumped into this Thread by reading the 22may Posts. Didn’t bother to read the earlier ones. Also, I’m not familiar with either the specifics or the time frame of anyone’s dispute with this company. Here’s some advice that may help (it helped me a few years ago).
If you have paid by CC, you should get the bank that issued the CC involved.
I did this a bit over 5yrs ago with good results. First, i disputed the charge and didn’t have to pay it. Second, the bank contacted the merchant and threatened to have their ability to process M/C and Visa removed. This would seriously hamper their business. Third, since over 180days had expired and no delivery of product, no refund to my card as i requested them, and no responses to my attempts to contact them, the bank also threatned to have criminal fraud charges brought against the company. Apparently, there are laws regarding this type of thing and according to the bank that issued my VCC, criminal fraud was now involved. It may be so in your case also. I don’t know your specifics. If the transaction crossed state lines or used the internet, maybe it’s even a Federal Criminal Fraud issue, but that’s one for law enforcement, and prosecutors to figure out.
If you’ve been nice all along trying to be civilized in resolving your conflict, then maybe it’s time to “play hard ball”. For some people, this is all that will get their attention – i.e., big-time criminal lawyer fees, fines, and prison time have a way of waking up some people.
You’re the best judge of what actions to take next. In my case, over six months, no delivery, and no return contacts to my many civilized requests for resolution. So, at that point i chose to get my bank involved. If you’ve used a CC, you might want to follow my advice. If you used a personal check, then contact the BBB or State Attorney General’s offic of your state and whatever state the company is located in to find out what steps to take next.
Hope this info helps.May 23, 2006 at 9:44 am #1356805
@jordanhurderLocale: Southern California
… But part of dealing with cottage industry product is waiting out long lead times on product revisions. I’m definitely not trying to tell anyone that they shouldn’t be mad about having to wait this long, but a company like Big Sky just doesn’t have the resources that someone like Marmot has to keep a steady stream of production going, especially when they are revising product continually in order to bring the best products to market. I have worked with (and for) companies like this in the bike industry, and let me tell you, predicting ship dates from Asian suppliers, especially when you’re small, is impossibly difficult. A ship date in mid-June that was promised by a supplier in April is not rare. The Big Sky people, from the sound of it, need to be better about responding to emails, but, in their defense, they may also be in Asia working with suppliers (or finding new ones that can meet hard deadlines), and they may not be in touch over email. Regardless, once you get your tent, you’ll still have, according to BPL, one of the lightest, most useable tents on the market, so that’s pretty cool. Ultimately, I can understand why you guys are pissed, but I’m just trying to offer another perspective.May 23, 2006 at 10:12 am #1356807
gathering trying to sell more tents they don’t have.
here is the last correspondence I received from them on 5/16
Thank you for your email…. we are traveling to and from a backpacking gathering. Email is not always available so it may be a few days before we are able to respond.
Thank you for your patience,
I may not be as wordly as some but I think one can still send and receive e-mails from China. Maybe scheduling does not permit same day response, but at least a response some day.May 23, 2006 at 10:22 am #1356808
I’d certainly like to see Robert Molen weigh in on this. It’s apparent he reads this forum from his earlier response. When he’s done with his reply here, I would also invite him to respond to a similiar thread posted LWBP site too. Then he can get out his check book and send me a refund on a tent I ordered and paid for on Dec. 31 expecting a March/April Delivery that still has not arrived.May 23, 2006 at 11:09 am #1356812
Henry SBPL Member
At the risk of stoking a flame, I’m going to weigh in on this because this situation hurts all of us — customers/users and gear makers. I think the biggest problem here isn’t order delay per se but rather order delay in conjunction with lack of communication and CASHED CHECKS. A cashed check puts an order into an entirely different category with accompanying buyer expectations and seller responsibilities. IMHO, there is no excuse for cashing a check (or running a credit card) on an order without very prompt delivery of product or very high level of communication explaining a delay if, by some Act of God, delivery isn’t possible within expected timeframe. In addition, it seems highly unethical to me to ever cash a check prior to delivery unless moneys are needed by the vendor to satisfy a CUSTOM ORDER that requires materials or labor that falls outside normal product offerings. If I were such a situation as a buyer, I would certainly ask for my money back with interest.
-HMay 23, 2006 at 11:22 am #1356814
@cbertLocale: N. California
that would be my main beef.
I noticed that at mountainlaureldesigns, Ron has stated that they will only take 1/2 payment if they are in delay on orders & will include small items as thankyous for waiting when product does shift, only collecting 2nd half payment when item ships.
Details like that go a long way – shows somebody is there and they are aware of your long wait and are sensitive to it.May 23, 2006 at 3:02 pm #1356828
@mn-backpackerLocale: Land of 12,000 Loons
It sounds to me like Big Sky is financing their business startup with customer money, which is not a good way to do business.
They just got an interest free multiple thousand dollar loan from a bunch of backpackers that just wanted a tent.
Not cool at all if you ask me.May 23, 2006 at 3:14 pm #1356831
Ken HelwigBPL Member
@kennyhel77Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Before I read your post that is what I thought too.
In all fairness though, we really should wait and see what happens here. It would be prudent for Big Sky to answer some of these post and or emails explaining the situations. I almost bought one of their tents and at this moment I am glad that I have not due to the problems that I have read about. Big bummer for ALL involved.May 23, 2006 at 4:07 pm #1356835
@pjLocale: LazyBoy in my Den - miss the forest
Kudos for Mr. Shires. Weighty words from an honest business man, and a man of integrity.
I believe too often such pre-purchases are used as an interest free loan instead of attempting to obtain a loan from a financial institution.
Now, i’m no big fan of borrowing money, particularly at interest, and can readily understand the reluctance to do so. I would guess that IF one’s business plan was deemed sufficient to obtain an interest bearing loan from a bank in order to start up a business, the end cost to consumers for fine UL products would undoubtedly be more. The question is “Would we consumers be happy paying more?” For many, the answer would probably be “yes”!
Communication is the key as someone else has already stated. Keep customers informed within a reasonable period of time and also the reasons for a delay, the corrective actions being taken, and provide the lastest info from the suppliers as to when they expect to deliver and a customer will feel better about waiting longer in order to be part of the first production run of a product just being introduced to the market. They (i.e., any business) should also be more up front about the fact that they really don’t have a product yet – only a design and a handful of prototypes. In the software field, we call this “vapor-ware”. So, here, maybe it’s “vapor-gear”. Having a few prototypes only is just a small step above “smoke and mirrors”.
More than once when dealing with other companies, I have written back after receiving letters of apology about delays, that I understand that they are only passing on info that they themselves are being given by their suppliers. I don’t personally hold the small startup company responsible when in good faith the make a committment based upon info given to them by their suppliers. They really do hope to deliver in the promised time frame, but are at the mercy of their suppliers. I do however, expect them to be responsive to my emails and/or phone calls, and i expect them to immediately cancel a pre-purchase and refund my CC if i ask them to, though i know that this may further exacerbate a cash-flow problem, and perhaps they really don’t even have the cash on hand any longer.
I’m speaking just generally and really don’t know how much of this applies in the particular instance referred to in this Thread, not personally being involved.May 23, 2006 at 4:21 pm #1356837
Mark RegaliaBPL Member
@markrLocale: Santa Cruz
I emailed them last month asking about lead times. They said that an order placed then would be delivered in June. However, anyone who is still trying to set up production in China is suspect in my mind. I have worked with the Chinese a bit and have a friend who does regularly. Unless you know what you are doing you are going to be very upset with the results. Just ask Karhu. They lost a years production according to a rep I talked to when they moved production to China.
Also, in my opinion no company should charge a CC or cash a check until they shipped a product. That is standard procedure with repuable companies. The only company who I have ever caught charging my CC for a back ordered item turned out to be the most crooked mail order company I have ever had the misfortune to deal with. Pure outright crooks. That’s not to say these guys are. I want one of their tents. I keep hoping to hear that they delivering.May 23, 2006 at 4:32 pm #1356838
Tom KirchnerBPL Member
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Boy, it’s comforting to know I’m not alone! My story is pretty much like everyone elses except that I sent them a check in March to take advantage of the 10% discount offer. I emailed a couple weeks later to verify that they had received my order and got what was to be the only response to my inquiries to date. Bob replied that they were in Asia lining up production facilities and that he would check the mail when he got back and let me know if my order was there. That was supposed to happen by mid April. By the end of April I was getting a little nervous so I emailed him(no response), then called(voice message said still in Asia), then checked with my bank(check not cashed, whewww). So I waited until May 21 and called again(new voice message said they were off on a backpacking trip). That’s when my patience ended. I stopped payment and, other than being $29 poorer for the experience, my worries are over. Still, a disappointing experience. Can’t figure out what’s up here, but they’ve sure dug themselves a hole from the sentiments I’ve seen expressed in this forum. My sense is that it’s not dishonesty or they would’ve cashed my check. Incompetence? Immaturity? Overwhelmed? Whatever. I wish ’em well, but not on my dime.May 23, 2006 at 7:46 pm #1356853
Mark LarsonBPL Member
@mlarsonLocale: Southeast USA
Tom, and everyone else, thanks for sharing. I had been wondering if anyone had given Big Sky’s telephone a try. (888-535-7085, 10a-3p MST) I haven’t placed any orders with them, but I’m keeping my eye on it. Seems like a great product I’d be interested in, but the current situation gives me pause–disappointing, by all accounts. Hopefully this won’t turn into another bad experience a la Wanderlust Gear. Keep us updated.
-MarkMay 24, 2006 at 2:37 pm #1356913
Just a quick THANK YOU. I am SO incredibly happy to see that the comments did not overflow into the greater cottage industry community! I think a major tenet of our business philosophy and practice is integrity. While we may be as slow as a boyscout with a 70 lb pack, we work hard to operate in a manner that is moral and ethically just. Thanks for not shunning the majority based on the behavior of the minority. MUCH appreciated.
Brian @ ULAMay 25, 2006 at 7:08 am #1356938
Robert MolenBPL Member
First, I would like to apologize for this delayed and incomplete response… I am driving from back from Trail Days, Damascus, Virginia to Wyoming… about 2,000 mile… this is being sent from a public internet site along the road…. below is what we have been sending our customers the last couple of weeks:
“First, we like to apologize for your delayed shipment from us… we want to thank you for your patience.
What we hoped would be a nice surprise for you, backfired on us…
Our plan was to ship a new version of our shelters, “rev. D”, in the March/April timeframe. Numerous issues have delayed your shipment… the biggest issue has been the unexpected extra time and effort we have had to make to improve our product… we are very meticulous. We believe the new “rev. D” is a major revision and is worth the extra time and efforts we are expending, i.e. improved design (more storm-worthy), improved pattern (tighter), and improved materials to name a few of the improvements… but still keeping it the same very light weight product.
I just left our factory after approving the final design… attached is a picture… I apologize for my poor photography skills. We expect to have more details of the new “rev. D” version on our web site in the next week or so…
We are pushing our factory to get your Evolution 2P shipped but we will not sacrifice quality in the process.
As a side note, Outside magazine included Big Sky’s “Evolution 2P” shelter on page 111 of their 2006 Buyer’s Guide. It was the only shelter that earned a “Killer Value” rating from Outside magazine!
Thanks again for your patience,
Note: Of course your order takes precedence over any new orders. (Our web site lists estimated ship dates for new orders placed, this is not your ship date.)
Note: We will be announcing new products in the next few weeks; your order takes precedence over shipping these new products. If one of these new products better suits your needs, you are more than welcome to convert your order, but it will be considered a new order and will ship after we fill our order backlog.”
Again, I apologize for the brief response; I will log back in again when I get off the road in a few days.
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