Feb 20, 2013 at 10:38 pm #1299518
I know the brand Arcteryx by reputation, but I wanted to get some first-hand experience from the backpackers out there who commit to Arcteryx. From what I can tell, there's people who don't bother with Arcteryx, and there's people who don't bother if it's NOT Arcteryx.
So, for those of you who lay down 50% more clams for dead birds, why? How's the long-term use of your gear? Do you get more mileage per dollar spent?
If it's worth it to me, I'll be patient and save up to buy more Arcteryx stuff, since I'm a bit of a durability nut when I'm not counting ounces.
Looking forward to the discussion! Feel free to hate on the brand here, too. All opinions welcome.Feb 21, 2013 at 12:05 am #1956748
look a each particular item … and pay for that
not for the fancy name or logo … or even the "service" which any MEC/REI/EB/OR/lands end/LL Bean will beat
i own and use some dead birds … almost all of them i got at 50%+ off … i would never pay full price or anywhere near for one
there isnt any thing on this gods green earth that a dead bird (or patagucci, or OR, or MH, etc …) can do that another similar "brand" cant do just as well …
the person is what makes the difference, not the brandFeb 21, 2013 at 3:37 am #1956759
What I find more relevant is the different brands 'fit' based on body type and personal comfort. I have tried some Arcteryx stuff, but I never liked the fit of the items and thus moved them along. MH, Montbell, GoLite tend to be the brands that fit me well. Arc, Pata, not so much. And that could just be the way I like my garments to fit and not so much if they fit, if you get my meaning. It just seems that the garments that stick around my gear list start grouping towards certain manufacturers. So far I haven't found any of brands that were particularly less durable than others (considering the materials used, of course).Feb 21, 2013 at 4:01 am #1956761
@timdcyLocale: Gore Range
"there isnt any thing on this gods green earth that a dead bird (or patagucci, or OR, or MH, etc …) can do that another similar "brand" cant do just as well …"
I may be the only one, but I have hard time grouping OR in with Pata or Arc-whatever.Feb 21, 2013 at 4:59 am #1956764
Maybe I'm turned off by the hoards of city slickers in Vancouver wearing the brand, but I think the innovation slowed years ago. They certainly don't help the fashionista vibe with their $165 cotton t-shirts and $695 sport jacket/blazer line (Veilance). So there's still some nice items, but less and less great ones. I see them more focused on meticulously styled gear rather than functional innovation.
I see Arcteryx married to GoreTex when there's better options in the WP/B market. I see them using cheap uretek zips on jackets priced far too high not to have a quality waterproof zip (ie. RiRi Aquazip). Why does the $850 Micon jacket have a low end zipper that's going to leak in a couple years? Why are full length fail-prone zippers being added to their high end backpacks (Naos)?
So Max, you certainly don't need to pay these prices for durability. The correlation between durability and price is very loose if it exists at all.Feb 21, 2013 at 5:17 am #1956768
I'm a big fan of Arcteryx and own a lot of gear from them, but it seems kind of silly to consider limiting yourself to one brand like that. They're not the best at everything, to be sure. So shop around for something that truly fits your wants and needs rather than just buying Arc's version of it.Feb 21, 2013 at 5:40 am #1956774
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
The only thing Arc'teryx does better than Rab is pick colors.Feb 21, 2013 at 6:04 am #1956778
@eugeneiusLocale: Nuevo MexicoFeb 21, 2013 at 6:55 am #1956788
A few things appealed to my common sense already, but the reiteration was nice:
1. Get them on sale- My first Arcteryx piece, a lightweight fleece, was 40% off. It's a very nice fleece.
2. Fit- I expected the large to be too big after seeing some reviews about sizing down, but it actually fits me perfect. After struggling with a Columbia fleece with huge-ass cheap zippers, a rising bottom hem that put cold air down my back, and a cheap-o collapsed collar, this fleece feels like a Rolls Royce.
3. Separating technical garments from fashionable garments. Yup, I can do that.
Any particular Arcteryx items you've been really happy with? How is their SL baselayer?Feb 21, 2013 at 7:19 am #1956799
after seeing aaron cross running around in arcteryx gear in 'The Bourne Legacy' I decided to throw away all my Patagonia gear and replace it with arcteryx.
Oddly enough everyone I see at Whole Foods did too.Feb 21, 2013 at 7:30 am #1956803
thanks for the great laugh this morning eugene…Feb 21, 2013 at 7:40 am #1956804
Hilarious Eugene! I love Dumb and Dumber.
The quality of Arcteryx is worlds better than Rab. The zippers are perfect, the stitching is perfect, the fit is perfect for athletic builds. I am not sure what Dave C smoking.The problem is the cost. But like Eric, I find Arcteryx at 25 to 50% off and then can justify the cost.Feb 21, 2013 at 8:48 am #1956840
I may be the only one, but I have hard time grouping OR in with Pata or Arc-whatever.
youre right … OR has superior warranty, they state specifically there are no limits and you can return it even if your dog ate it … which has happen … they cover anything which they made, no matter where you bought it
if you have ever been to a dead bird "factory" sale here, youll find out that they dont cover stuff that they soldFeb 21, 2013 at 9:30 am #1956853
Backcountry.com has a good return policy, so I'll make up for Arcteryx warranties there.
I mean, the fleece I have is pretty flawless. The zippers are awesome, too, so I can't agree with the zipper critique yet. It's almost TOO easy to zip and unzip. Very smooth.
My hardshell is a Gore-Tex Paclite shell from Patagucci, so I don't think I need to replace that anytime soon. Or, at least, I better not. I think Arcteryx's reputation hinges mostly on those hardshells, but the other items I've seen so far all seem good. I would love to know if anyone uses their SL baselayer.Feb 21, 2013 at 9:35 am #1956854
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Dead bird is one of those brands that seems to me that they could not possibly deliver a product that is worth the prices they ask, even when on sale. I'm with Mark on fit–certain brands fit me better and I'll pay more for those, but there comes a point where the extra $$$ is just going towards the cool chest embroidery…arcter'x seems like one of those. As for durability, I'm still kickin' a pair of $30 LaCrosse boots I bought in a hardware store 15 years ago…there CAN be a correlation between price and durability but I wouldn't spend the money on a pricey item unless that's been proven true (i.e. McHale packs).Feb 21, 2013 at 9:37 am #1956855
>Dead bird is one of those brands that seems to me that they could not possibly deliver a product that is worth the prices they ask, even when on sale.
I'm not saying their stuff isn't good, but Lord, those prices are ridiculous!Feb 21, 2013 at 9:38 am #1956856
Yeah, the zippers are awesome.
I wore my Atom LT today to work and looking at it with its fleece inner and strategically placed stretch panels, it really is a perfectly made garment. The hood cinches down nicely for use without a helmet and then flowers out to cup a helment when required. Reminds me of the Feathered Friends hoods on their sleeping bags.
Oh, and absolutely no issues with Arcteryx warranty. Eric has a little bit of hate on for them for some reason but they replaced my 8 year old Theta AR when I tore a hole in the back due to a decent ski wipeout into a tree. Once again, they replaced the jacket free.
OR is incredible as well, FWIW.Feb 21, 2013 at 9:41 am #1956858
All I'm looking for is items I can rely on. Minimalist backpacking means everything I carry has a purpose, and if it fails, I could be up a creek. When the entire shoulder seam on my Marmot Super Mica failed at once on a winter trip, I replaced it with Patagonia's super cell jacket, which was substantially burlier.
If I buy an Arcteryx baselayer, I want it to do its job without shredding and pilling under pack straps. If I buy an Arcteryx hat, I want it to last without unraveling (and my Contrail has, so far, but it isn't exactly mind-blowing in terms of quality).
Pants are a huge one. If I step up and put down $150 for pants, they'd better make it over some granite. There's peace of mind in not having to think about my gear when I'm actually in the outdoors. Knowing that I'm guaranteed is a good feeling, like an insurance policy. I'll pay for that rather than being surprised when something cheap DOESN'T crap out.Feb 21, 2013 at 9:42 am #1956859
You can drive a Hyundai Accent or a BMW 335. Both will get you from A to B, but the latter will provide measurable increases in quality and durability. Arcteryx is similar in that you do get a much higher quality and fit and finish than competing brands. However, clothes from competing brands will do the same basic thing. Whether you want to afford it is up to you.
Now where did I put my Cuben underwear?Feb 21, 2013 at 9:46 am #1956862
well i did just meet someone at the crag whose dead bird harness had the lower tie in points wear out quickly again, a common problem on that $$$$$$ harness, i blew out 3 of em in a year and a half myself … i told him to take it back to dead bird
i blew out a dead bird pack in 2 months … doesnt matter how fancy the logo when the sides are 100D and they recommend it for ROCK climbing
dead bird work no better or worse than any other brand in general … you dont see people climbing or doing whatever any harder, longer or stronger in them than without them
if it fits, does what you want, costs what you want, and they take care of you … then go buy it regardless of the name or logo
it certainly isnt the "best", nor does it have the "best" service, etc …
outdoor gear is so good in general that brands are irrelevantFeb 21, 2013 at 9:53 am #1956869
You can drive a Hyundai Accent or a BMW 335. Both will get you from A to B, but the latter will provide measurable increases in quality and durability.
a good civic or corolla will beat the BEEE-MAHHH any day for reliability … and do the same job for MUCH cheaper ;)
just saying =PFeb 21, 2013 at 9:56 am #1956870
"outdoor gear is so good in general that brands are irrelevant"
Interesting and probably true!
I wouldn't get a pack from Arcteryx. or a cotton T-shirt, or a baseball cap. That's where you can tell they're just marketing the brand. Which is alright by me! I mean, if your brand becomes synonymous with status, you have the right to capitalize on it a little. I will stick with what I consider their "specialty," which to me is technical garments with innovative fabrics.Feb 21, 2013 at 9:59 am #1956871
I too left Arcteryx for Rab a long time ago…never looked back. Fot the average individual (e.g., Konrad1013 not Conrad Anker) Rab gear is durable, the cut is great, the fabric technology is superior…and the price point is better (not taking into account sale prices)
I don't agree that Arcteryx gear is bomb proof and justifies their high price. This exact problem happened to me and many many other users out there:
Mind you, this was on their top of the line $600 Alpha SV jacket. Why they decided to laminate the hem and not just stitch it like every other company is beyond me. You know how there's stupid light? This is an example of stupid innovation.
Arcteryx Warranty is a pain in the ass. If you live in the US, you have to ship it to Washington, where it gets picked up by a contractor, then transported to Canada, where Arcteryx in their sole discretion will decide to replace or repair. O yeah, then there's the 6 week wait time if you're doing the warranty in their winter busy season.
OR warranty is miles ahead. This is a typical OR warranty issue:
Me: Hi, I blew out the stitching on my XYZ (this has happened to me twice)
OR: Ok no problem we are sending a replacement pair to you in the mail tomorrow. Just return your old pair when you get the chance
Me: Thanks, bye.
Quite frankly, I'm surprised people don't try to rip them off more. I always wait for my replacement pair before sending back my busted pair. I doubt they would follow up with me if I never sent back the duds.Feb 21, 2013 at 10:00 am #1956872
"I wouldn't get a pack from Arcteryx…..That's where you can tell they're just marketing the brand."
Interesting you say that, yet you just bought a fleece from their casual line.
As for the base layers you're asking about – if you mean the Phase line: yes the SL is a great material. Super lightweight and really pulls the sweat off of you and distributes it throughout the fabric quite well to evaporate off. I've got a phase AR hoody as well that is super nice.Feb 21, 2013 at 10:05 am #1956873
I picked up some Phase base layers on huge discount from BC, and a fleece. Could not be happier. The base layers are super warm for their weight, and very comfortable. The fleece is bomb proof. Can't bring myself to pay full price, though.
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