Jan 10, 2014 at 6:49 pm #1311988
delJan 10, 2014 at 8:31 pm #2062360
@kalebcLocale: South West
Insert sarcasm here_______
What a bargain for a lightweight pack
3 pounds 6 oz
Or 2 pounds 10 oz (without BFF "best friends forever?" What?)
$500Jan 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm #2062362
@bolsterLocale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
That's not half the deal that a 3+ lb, 20F bag is, for only $800.
BUT: it'll show up on sale, as the market will eventually apply the needed correction to our friend Eddie.Jan 10, 2014 at 8:37 pm #2062363
@kalebcLocale: South West
2014 New Years Eddie Bauer new year resolution
Spend more, carry moreJan 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm #2062369
@phstudioLocale: So. Cal.
A 20 degree Western Mountaineering Ulatralite weighs 1 lb 13 oz and costs $485
A Therm-a-Rest Xtherm weighs 15 oz and costs $189.95
Total weight = 2 lb 12 oz
Total cost = $674.95 retail
Yeah, no thanks to the Airbender. With an integrated pad I imagine it fairly awkward to pack.Jan 10, 2014 at 8:58 pm #2062372
Interesting stuff. Nice to see EB continuing to pursue lightweight gear.
I'm not totally sold on the bag/pad integrated idea for a few reasons:
1) My bags usually outlast my pad. If a baffle comes unglued 3 years from now the whole thing seems total
2) $800 is crazy.
3) Why put synthetic insulation under the sleeping pad? Seems like a waste of weight – just stuff down or synth insulation into the pad where it will be more effective.
Cuben is a bad idea for a 3.5 lbs pack. Using cuben in packs is a compromise (weight-durability trade off). I'd much rather have a few less zippers and a more robust fabric for the same weight.
The rain jacket looks decent. 9.6oz isn't terribly light, but it appears to have a longer cut than most rain jackets which is a welcome improvement. $300 is a lot for a no-name membrane.Jan 12, 2014 at 6:43 am #2062640
EB's First Ascent line is targeted directly at everyone who is willing to pay Patagonia prices for gear. But it mostly seems built from a "technical mountaineering" standpoint. So everything is a bit overbuilt for lightweight backpacking. Even the stuff that is labeled "lightweight" is meant in the sense of "lightweight for technical mountaineering".
That stretchy 2.5 layer rain jacket sounds appealing to me. I have their BC-200 rain jacket and think it works great (except that it doesn't have pit zips.) For my purposes, I don't see much value in the other stuff…. but I might pick up that softshell if I can get a good deal on it…
I live just down the road from one of the few Eddie Bauer Warehouse Stores. It is where unsold product goes to die. They have a scratch and dent room with super deep discounts. They have a standard "outlet" store section. And they have the warehouse store section where I can get pants for 12 bucks and shirts for 5 bucks. Pretty sweet deals, so most of my clothes are Eddie Bauer. They also have a First Ascent section where everything is always at least 50% off. Add in the special sales that the have for their Eddie Bauer "Friends" discount program….
I have lots of EB gear
EB 800 FP down jacket (primary winter coat for every day)
EB Weather Edge Parka (primary every day rain jacket and every day winter shell)
FA merino long johns
FA windstopper pro fleece
FA lightweight grid fleece (patagonia R1 style)
FA cap 3 style long sleeve shirt
As my other hiking gear dies, I am slowly replacing it all with mostly first ascent gear, because I can get it for dirt cheap and it is durable and functional… and I can buy it 2 miles from my house….Jan 12, 2014 at 6:55 am #2062644
I agree with Mike but I don't get the steep discounts he does, I just wait for the sales that they have on a fairly regular basis. I have several of the FA garments, including the Emperor Parka (not a backpacking item as its built like a tank) which has been the warmest parka I've ever owned and kept me warm in the 0 degree days of recent here. I have the Hangfire Hoodie which to me is a far better deal than Patagonia, and I wore it daily on a Foothills Trail trip. At a 40% discount this Christmas I made lots of EB/FA gifts for my wife. I think the quality of the FA garments are top rate and other than the RAB pieces I bought this year, are certainly money well spent. Certainly if I need a replacement piece I look at the FA web site first.Jan 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm #2063530
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
EB has a practice of offering their First Ascent goods on sale. The EB down jacket (in my avatar) was purchased on sale 3 years ago for $89. (yep, not a typo).
BUT, I think EB needs to begin pricing their First Ascent gear somewhere around REI prices, maybe a shade above at most. High prices translate to low sales. Backpackers are a lot more parsimonious than, say, Ma and Pa Motorhome.Jan 16, 2014 at 4:28 am #2063739
I agree and disagree with your comment about EB's FA pricing.
I agree with you that and I would not pay full price for first ascent gear. The pricing is too high and I can get by with cheaper gear. I do not equate them with Patagucci or other similar high end gear lines. When my current puffy gives up the ghost, I will be wearing a FA puffy similar to yours, but I will pick it up from the warehouse store for at least 50% off retail.
I disagree with you because I don't think you and I are their intended market.
I think they started FA because they saw how much of a premium Patagonia/North Face and other outdoor brands were charging just for their names. Since they are already a respected clothing brand, they thought they were halfway there already. They can put FA gear in their retail stores and people will pay the premium (over and above what they would pay for a similar EB branded item) because it aspirationally associates them with high adventure mountain climbing, even though they never intend to use it for that purpose…
Kinda like all those people who buy jeep's, but never take them off road….Jan 16, 2014 at 1:40 pm #2063853
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
"Kinda like all those people who buy Jeeps', but never take them off road…"
Very well put, a perfect analogy.
I see these people in Boulder, CO every time I go there. Most of those
"Trustafarians" never get beyond the city with their Patagucci or TNF clothes and AWD Subarus. (Subaru is the unofficial Boulder car.;o)
BTW, Mike, I try like he!! to not pay retail for even REI stuff. I'm waiting now to get an REI Telus eVent parka specifically for alpine and backcountry skiing and save my light(er) eVent Kimtah parka for backpacking.Jan 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm #2063860
I have a couple EB items I like to hit the trail with. I picked up a 550 fill (surprised they bother to advertise it at that level) down sweater for $25 last year. Heavy at 14oz but warm and will work until I can afford something lighter.
I just picked up a nice 9 oz daypack last week for $25 on sale.
As mentioned above, I think their FA products look great but I can find lighter products of equal quality for the same money.Jan 16, 2014 at 6:10 pm #2063914
@tracedefLocale: Southern California
@eric: Jah! Trustafari! Ever living…. ever loving … Truuustafari!!!Jan 17, 2014 at 5:21 am #2063986
The backpackinglight.co.uk podcast just did an interview with somebody from RAB and they talked about the reasons for the current increase in down prices. They said it was partly due to the current fashion trend for down jackets, and it was partly due to a decrease in demand for goose meat. They said it is not economically viable to raise geese just for their down because the lions share of the profit for raising geese is selling their meat.
So all those boulderites decking themselves out in the finest goose down so they can walk around town…. they are making our sleeping bags and backcountry puffies more expensive….
So am I a trustafari? I drive a 2003 subaru forester…. I wear 800 fill down jackets to work…. ahhhhh…. no… I have a job. I'm just a poor working schlub who dreams of getting out of central ohio to enjoy the mountains a few times a year.Sep 7, 2014 at 11:42 am #2133370
@anthonywestonLocale: Southern CA
building the pad into the bag is an interesting idea.
Now if I could get a zpacks bag with an xlite built in
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