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post #16 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 11:56 AM
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I don't think that deadbird is worth the premium of the retail price. There are lots of other companies making as good or better products. The outlet store makes the prices reasonable (or getting pieces as gifts for, say, completing a PhD .
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post #17 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Brianrieta

Base functionality between say a MEC jacket or pair of pants and an Arc'teryx piece is the same but I'm sorry, you're deluded if you think that the MEC piece is just as good. It is perfectly adequate for the vast majority of people, but it's not as well made or as good. Why aren't there all sorts of these threads about how silly it is that Western Mountaineering or Feathered Friends sleeping bags are twice as expensive as MEC's? Because you don't wear your WM or FF bags around. In my eyes it's envy, pure and simple.
how is dead bird any better?

i do own and use both dead bird and mec gear ... extensively (the pieces i have anyways) ... and i would like to know cause i havent seen any great superiority in my dead birds ....

dead bird 350a harness, dead bird gamma lts, MEC T3 top, Mec baselayers, etc ... in the rockies this summer ...

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post #18 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:03 PM
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Personally, I find ArcTeryx's product line a bit confusing and I'm not really sure which garments would work well for me, so I haven't really considered their products.

Then there is the price. Gore-Tex has worked VERY hard to ensure that people say they're wearing a "Gore-Tex" jacket, not an "Arcteryx jacket." This has been very successful, and it has hampered manufacturers effort to differentiate themselves. Patagonia was a hold-out, not wanting to have Gore dictate their designs, but I see that even they have given in to the Gore juggernaut. So, why is a Gore Pro-Shell jacket from ArcTeryx 2X the price of an MEC or OR jacket? Same fabric? Well, yes and no. There are differences, but enough to justify the large price gap? Personally, not for me.

There is fit. I have found MEC brand garments don't fit me well, and I'm not sure why. At 6'/155lbs I look like the typical climber, so I expected MEC designs to suit me, but they're baggy in the wrong spots. Maybe too "mass appeal" in their house brand? Maybe I need to fatten up? I tried on some Dead-bird stuff, and yes, it fit nicely. But, is it that critical so that I'd spend that much more? Actually, Outdoor Research fits me pretty well, so no, I have found much less expensive brands that fit me.

Longevity? I used to buy expensive German cars. I was a huge Mercedes fan, and owned a series of them. I drove big mileages for work, and having a car that would go 400-500K without repairs made economic sense. I paid more upfront, but in the long run, it was cheap driving. Is ArcTeryx like this? Do their garments cost more, but last long enough so that you save money in the long haul? Not having owned any of their clothes, I can't comment. Anyone help out here? I know the Patagonia clothes I've had have justified the premium (though I bought all of them at discounts) through good fit and long wearing.

Brand? I know a few folks that like having the logo. ACMG guides operating in the Rockies are/were (OR has made big inroads with them) plastered in ArcTeryx, and I knew a few people that wanted to look all boss like the guides. I couldn't care less, but some people do.

Craftsmanship? I closely examined a Dead-bird hardshell one day. The taping was perfect. Evey stitch was perfect and seams with smooth. Try an ArcTeryx hood. They are adjustable and can fit perfectly. It was clear that in terms of construction, a lot of care and quality had gone in. I think that's worth something, but to my pocketbook, not enough to warrant the premium. It might be for others.
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post #19 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bearbreeder
i do own and use both dead bird and mec gear ... extensively (the pieces i have anyways) ... and i would like to know cause i havent seen any great superiority in my dead birds ....
So I'm curious to know then why you own those pieces then if they weren't better, either in fit or initial quality?

I will say that I LOVE the gamma pants. My new MX's have gotten a fair bit of use this winter and my LT's are my go-to pant year-round in the alpine. I despise umbrellas, and wearing clothing around the house (this comment will make sense next sentence). When I go to the store to get groceries and it's raining outside, I'll even put on my Gamma LT pants and throw over a shell. Grotesque overkill? Yes, but there isn't a single pant that I've tried on at MEC that I would use around town like that as well as while hiking or climbing. I'm by no means hating on MEC either, at the price point they provide an excellent product with as john mentioned, often curious fit. I happily use the Lightweight 2 merino pants and shirts and used to have t3's. I should clarify that I'm not defending every Arc'teryx piece's superiority over others. I have been very happy with my new MH Jovian jacket after looking at Alpha's this winter and I strongly recommend people take a look at it as well as the Snowtastic. For what I wanted it's perfect, but I'm under no illusions that an Alpha SV isn't a more durable and bombproof jacket.

Bear, I should clarify that my comments were more directed at "$300 was way too much for me and that jacket is going to be with me until it falls into shreds on the trail as i hike." Spending 300 dollars on a jacket and using it until it falls apart is great, but my point is that spending 500 on an equivalent Arc'teryx jacket would mean that it would likely be nowhere near falling apart at that same time. While I have friends using old Arc'teryx clothing, I've only been wearing mine for a few years now - although my 10 year old Bora looks as good today as it did a decade ago. It's that sort of history with the company that means I'm not at all careful while wearing my Atom LT hoody, fairly comparable to the Mont-bell Thermasomething or another line which I mention because I had a friend tear a long strip out of his jacket from an errant branch. I just feel that there is a level of durability there that not every company is able to claim for most of it's gear.

I'm not here to try to claim that deadbird is better than anything else, I just despise having to defend my decision to purchase items to people who tunnelvision in on the cost alone.
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post #20 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Their fabric looks kind of siliconized, thats interesting.
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post #21 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by johngenx

Longevity? I used to buy expensive German cars. I was a huge Mercedes fan, and owned a series of them. I drove big mileages for work, and having a car that would go 400-500K without repairs made economic sense. I paid more upfront, but in the long run, it was cheap driving. Is ArcTeryx like this?

Craftsmanship? I closely examined a Dead-bird hardshell one day. The taping was perfect. Evey stitch was perfect and seams with smooth. Try an ArcTeryx hood. They are adjustable and can fit perfectly. It was clear that in terms of construction, a lot of care and quality had gone in. I think that's worth something, but to my pocketbook, not enough to warrant the premium. It might be for others.
I really wanted to use an automotive analogy in my second post but I decided against it at the time. I put 65k a year on my last two BMW's and while I could have spent way less to commute in a Civic or Corolla I can say with certainty that they wouldn't have been as comfortable and way less fun. I equate that to having an Arc'teryx shell over a for the sake of arguement 'lesser' shell. If it fits, it fits. The hoods are adjustable in all the right ways, the arms have full mobility and don't bind the material in any way, the zippers work flawlessly (this is one of two major flaws with my TNF Leonidas jacket, an otherwise exceptional light shell) and provide pockets in areas that are planned out to be useful and useable for the activities that the shell is designed for. Sure, you could use something cheaper, but just like every time that I opened up the engine to effortlessly pass someone on the highway rather than mash the gas and hope that I can get into a hole in traffic, every time that something goes just slightly wrong with that lesser jacket I'd feel like I made a mistake in not purchasing something better to begin with. It's particularly evident in something like Arc'teryx's gloves. Unobtrusive and minimal seams mean that I'm never stopping what I'm doing to be frustrated at how uncomfortable my fingers are, which is something that I always hated years ago. I've got Delta SV and Alpha SV gloves and while I could extol the virtues of them, maybe the single best thing I can say about them is that I can't find anything explicitly wrong with them (something I tend to do with almost everything in the world).
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post #22 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Brianrieta



So I'm curious to know then why you own those pieces then if they weren't better, either in fit or initial quality?

I will say that I LOVE the gamma pants. My new MX's have gotten a fair bit of use this winter and my LT's are my go-to pant year-round in the alpine. I despise umbrellas, and wearing clothing around the house (this comment will make sense next sentence). When I go to the store to get groceries and it's raining outside, I'll even put on my Gamma LT pants and throw over a shell. Grotesque overkill? Yes, but there isn't a single pant that I've tried on at MEC that I would use around town like that as well as while hiking or climbing. I'm by no means hating on MEC either, at the price point they provide an excellent product with as john mentioned, often curious fit. I happily use the Lightweight 2 merino pants and shirts and used to have t3's. I should clarify that I'm not defending every Arc'teryx piece's superiority over others. I have been very happy with my new MH Jovian jacket after looking at Alpha's this winter and I strongly recommend people take a look at it as well as the Snowtastic. For what I wanted it's perfect, but I'm under no illusions that an Alpha SV isn't a more durable and bombproof jacket.


I'm not here to try to claim that deadbird is better than anything else, I just despise having to defend my decision to purchase items to people who tunnelvision in on the cost alone.
the gammas were on sale at the outlet .... and they are in no way bad pants ... just way overpriced at retail IMO

the dead bird 350a i bought 3 years ago at mec, because i was looking to save some weight on a full featured harness ... fortunately MECs warranty made what could have been a very bad decision into something i just kick myself over ... the first 2 had issues with the drop seat wearing out really quickly ... i exchanged it for the same model as dead bird has supposedly been the "best quality" and it was made in canada ... the last one was the final straw, the lower tie in loop wore out in about a year to the underlying red warning fabric ... several other people i know had this happen to them as well ... note that in the newer model dead bird harnesses, i believe they REINFORCED the drop seat and lower tie in loop ... so its a known issue

im not saying that dead bird overall makes "bad" gear ... far from it (with a few exceptions like any other manufacturer)

what i AM saying is that you can get the same performance, functionality, functional quality (westcomb actually has the best quality ive seen), and perhaps even locally built gear at lesser prices ... and many people do and use such gear successfully

if you notice the "best" athletes in the world they use any brand that sponsors them .... its the person that makes the difference, not the logo

i realized that one time when some old fart with torn up pants, old rigid stem friends, kmart jacket, etc ... easily outclimbed and out scrambled me despite all my shiny "brand name" gear

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post #23 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 01:20 PM
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Why someone would buy an Arcteryx parka when you could get 5 or more North Face Ventures for the same amount of money is beyond me, except for those who feel having Arcteryx products will impress others.

People I know who have Arcteryx parkas have had so much trouble with them, they seem even less reliable than cheaper stuff.

My views are not colored by my ability to afford Arcteryx, because I can. And I don't think Mercedes or BMW's score anywhere near the top of the charts for reliability.
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post #24 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 01:30 PM
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If you spend a grand for a jacket I figure you'll do anything to convince yourself it was worth it no matter what the truth is. Kind of like the $400 bottle of wine, is it worth 20 times more than the $20 bottle of wine? To some...
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post #25 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 03:10 PM
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Arc'teryx is cheaper today then it was 5 years ago and cheaper then Marmot was 8years ago.

Theta AR today $550 3years ago $650 made in Canada
Marmot Alpinist 3 climbing jacket in 2003 was $700

Proshell is as inexpensive as it has ever been.

Don't forget TNF, Marmot, OR, Westcomb, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, RAB all make Shell Jackets that are over $500.

The Ventii $1100 was designed to go against uber expensive ski brands in posh markets where Arc'teryx was the least expensive.

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post #26 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 04:56 PM
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I think the $500 mark is important. At MEC, it was nearly impossible to sell a shell jacket priced over $500. Of course, MEC's demographic is very "middle of the road" and so they don't sell the so-called premium brands, other than perhaps Patagonia. Now, MEC taking on the brand put huge price pressures on Patagonia products in Canada, to the benefit of consumers.

ArcTeryx, as Mike noted, often markets to a different demographic than most that frequent back-packing or climbing forums. There is a certain status that comes from certain garments, and the price can be an important part if that status.

As an example, I own several Brioni suits back from when I was an executive. A Brioni is a badge that says "I am successful." Yeah, the fabrics are terrific and the fit is essentially custom tailored, but honestly, I owned (still expensive) suits half the price of the Brioni that are nearly as nice.

That Ventii jacket is not marketed to most outdoor enthusiasts. It's for front country skiers that own vacation condos and their ski-hill transport is a Cayenne.
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post #27 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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I dont disagree that the dead bird demographic is more affluent ... And if those people want to buy it, its their choice

However i cant think of anything that you can do with a dead bird that you cant do with another often less expensive brand ... Can you?

And its not like these other brands are poor quality ... OR has one of the best warranties in the business as does MEC, patagucci is considered top notch, ueli uses MH, etc.... Wrstcomb even double stiches their hoodies

So whats the premium im paying for? ... Its used to be for something made in canada, but westcomb has that covered much better ....

Put it this way ... Dead bird doesnt make me climb any harder, and i doubt using my $99 OR hardshells will kill me rather than using a dead bird one ....

Theres nothing wrong with dead bird, except the price and some issues i had with a few products ... I do find something wrong with people who blab on about how it or any other brand is "the best"

The "best" gear is the one that you have the most fun in
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post #28 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 06:11 PM
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If you wanna see something crazy check out Veilance from Arcteryx Again not for the outdoor or even ski market.
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post #29 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Mike Valhalla

If you wanna see something crazy check out Veilance from Arcteryx Again not for the outdoor or even ski market.
They have massive discounts on that line at the factory outlet store... massive as in $2,000 for $200. And even then it's way overpriced. (Don't get me wrong, I love their outdoor gear; their yuppie wear on the other hand...)

-Ryan
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post #30 of (permalink) Old 12-17-2011, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bearbreeder


However i cant think of anything that you can do with a dead bird that you cant do with another often less expensive brand ... Can you?

And its not like these other brands are poor quality ... OR has one of the best warranties in the business as does MEC, patagucci is considered top notch, ueli uses MH, etc.... Wrstcomb even double stiches their hoodies

So whats the premium im paying for? ... Its used to be for something made in canada, but westcomb has that covered much better ....
You are correct you can do anything in an Arcteryx jacket you can do in a less expensive jacket.

All the brands you mentioned are all great and have the same warranty and all stand behind their product. They also make a $500 Shell as well as a $150 shell.

If you compared all of the $500 shells to a $500 Arcteryx shell you will find with the Arcteryx shell you are getting a better face fabric (no not all proshell is the same) better stitching which ends in a better fit and longer lasting jacket.

If all you need is a TNF Venture for $130 and it suits your need then that's exactly what you should get.

I have an Epic Jacket ($150) from Mountain Hardwear that's 3 years old I wore it backpacking in the summer and spent most of the time in my pack it's toast not waterproof and delaming at the neck. I have a 6 year old Arcteryx shell used for skiing, hiking, fishing and it looks like new.

Everybodies needs are different and like you said if you enjoy your gear it does't matter who made it
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