North face Base Camp Duffel New Colour
Hi Everyone, new to forum, so id thought id bring a bit of an argument to the table lol
Found on Outdoor action facebook page a sneak peak at one of the new North face Duffel bags for 2013 in a very unusual colour, now i know North face can be a bit quirky at times but what you think. Could be usefull when trying to find your luggage at an airport?
North Face Kit in general
Overpriced, under specced and (sadly) now high street tat.
And, No, I dont have a facebook thing either.
(Andrew, I apologise in advance if this isnt the case) but I do find it strange that someone comes on OM, has a completely blank profile (no interests or anything), has messages disabled and then points at a retailers (not the manufacturers) page on another website. If you work for NF or Outdoors whatsit, please be honest, if you dont please declare you have no connection with either.
By the way - Gelert travle duffels are remarkably similar to NF duffles - and much cheaper
Well i have to disagree, i have a north face duffel bag already and it has been through allot, and nothing has gone wrong with it, so i am very happy with mine. i have a number of other items from north face which i love. So to say they are cheap tat is a bit harsh really. i have tried similar cheaper ones and they are deffinatly cheap tat. You could say that about allot of brands out there.
No im not part of either, but i have to start somewhere when it comes to posting comments. And im sorry if it looked like that. Just trying to make conversation. and i thought this was a good subject. Im not asking anyone to add the facebook group, just an opinion on an unusual colour never seen before. My profile is blank again caus i am new, and the more i get used to the forum i will kepp adding items, again takes time.
Bought two medium bags a week ago and took them back at the weekend. The coating was missing on several places along the line where the bag folds down for storage/transport (and this was on both sides of each bag). When i returned them i checked another couple of bags (in a different colour) in case they were ok for a replacemnt but alas they sufferred from the same manufacturing fault. Considering these are around £100 each at full price, I think TNF need to be looking at their Quality Control procedures.
TNF makes some nice stuff. Calling it high street tat is just gear snubbery in my opinion. Plenty of their kit is perfectly fine. I have a few of their things, including a small duffles and it has all stood up fine.
My NF duffle is in reasonably good shape after being on and off planes for 10 years or so; a useful bit of kit.
I think you guys need to read my reply more closely.
I didnt say it was cheap tat - I said it was expensive high street tat.
TNF was, in the past, top end in performance and value - these days much less so and having gone to a couple of TNF shops in the last few years I have been underwhelmed - Hutchie seems to have a similar view.
I think - but have no event to hang it on, the rot set in about 5years ago plus/minus. Its a bit like Karrimor - but we can all point at a date as to when the quality went through the floor there and we are only just seeing quality rise now. If you have TNF gear more than 5 years old, it will probably be excellent. If not...Ummm.
The Gelert one is £30, TNF version between £60 and £100.
Your money, your choice (I have a Gelert version and have used it as a professional instructor/mountain leader - got it on the recommendation of a couple of mates who are still professional instructors. I have had mine 4 years, theirs are older).
Too much of a generalisation there, GOF. Sure TNF has gone for the outdoor fashion and travel market, and an awful lot of what you see is that part of the range - I guess that's where a lot of commercial volume lies. And a lot of us would think of a lot of that as tat.
But some of what they make is still very well specced, functional, high performing gear, and not particularly expensive, no more so than other respected brands. The problem for us is that the good stuff gets swamped by the ordinary / tat, and doesn't get widely stocked, but imo it's wrong to completely write off TNF as a quality outdoor brand (or more accurately, perhaps, an outdoor brand capable of quality).
I've got quite a few bits of TNF gear, both "technical" (base layers, fleeces, gloves) and casual/travel (trousers, shirts), all of which I bought because it seemed well designed and made, and reasonably priced. None of it's let me down, and some of it has seen a great amount of use. Equally there are some TNF items I just wouldn't buy, including the Base Camp Duffel, which seems very over-priced for what it is. So that would make TNF just about the same as most other gear firms imo.
Guy Hurst wrote (see)
So that would make TNF just about the same as most other gear firms imo.
So that would make TNF just about the same as most other gear firms imo.
Absolutely, the majority of manufacturers now make equipment for mountaineers, weekend warriors and high street adventurers! I think it comes down to the usual problem where outdoorsy folk write of a brand should someone dare to wear it on the street rather than on K2. Afterall, why would you want a goretex jacket in town?
Not at all. I am very happy that brands will have different markets and different market niches and I am also very happy that some tertiary brands brands produce some remarkably good kit - my favourite tent is an Argos Hike-Lite at £19.
What I do have a problem with is where there is a suggestion that because the product is from a prime brand name (TNF) ergo it is a high quality product justifying a premium price. In TNF's case I think that is now hard to argue - but I read other's comments with interest. On the other hand, if the quality was consistent - who cares if they have a high street niche market - I get my base layers from Aldi!
Hard to argue with that I would argue that TNF is a high quality product but are better at some things than others. I think a lot of manufacturers are trying to make everything and not everyone can be good at everything! So, I guess one has to figure out what each manufacturer is good at and that tends to be what they started out making! I havent had any TNF gear fail on me yet.
Having said that, older TNF kit did seem more solid... but is that just because new lighter materials are used and thus in comparison new gear seems a bit fragile?
Coming back to the duffle bag, when I bought mine I was adviced byt the sales assistant not to store it folded up as it was likely to crack the material... perhaps this should be made clear by TNF since they say it can be stored away folded and deliver them to the shop folded!
TNF have really lost the top end of the market. 10 years ago I used to have a Summit Series XCR jacket. Whilst I really had no gripes about it I noticed that the TNF down insulation became THE thing to be seen around town in. As it gained popularity on the high street it lost favour in the climbing community.
I live close to Manchester and several assistants in the outdoor retailer have commented that staff members avoid the stuff like the plague as they see who comes in and buys the stuff these days.
Tris, I don't understand. The staff dont buy TNF jackets because of the people that buy them. How does that deminish the TNF quality?
Tris Douglas wrote (see)
TNF have really lost the top end of the market. 10 years ago I used to have a Summit Series XCR jacket. Whilst I really had no gripes about it I noticed that the TNF down insulation became THE thing to be seen around town in. As it gained popularity on the high street it lost favour in the climbing community. I live close to Manchester and several assistants in the outdoor retailer have commented that staff members avoid the stuff like the plague as they see who comes in and buys the stuff these days.
So is that brand snobbery or social predjudice or a bit of both?
To say north face is poor quality when all it has is a fashion high street following is not good.
I buy the brand becasue it works. Every brand has had a fashion following at some point, sprayway had it about 5-6 years ago. berghaus have it excatually the same as North face. Unfortunatly people cant seem to see beyond the person wearing it, and look that actually some of there pieces are actually really good. I spoke to a reetailer not so long a go and he said the majority of the clothing sold will never see what it was actually designed and intended for. Thats just the way the outdoor clothing stuff has gone.
I agree with you Kopte - thats not what has been said though. A number of posters have, basically, said TNF have moved focus from outdoors to highstreet and in doing so have, possibly, lost the technical edge they once had but not the premium price. Thats fine - for that market they may not need the technical edge but then there will be "outdoor" focussed competitors who will gain a technical, price or both edge which will mean TNF will loose the outdoor market in time.
If it works for them, thats fine. It may not - one of my kids works in fashion and Burberry are now used as a case study of how to get it wrong. They promoted a "cheap" range of accessories (baseball caps, socks and the like) thinking they would sell to the aspiring masses. They did. The market that bought the expensive high margin stuff then went elsewhere. It cost Burberry a lot of money. You can argue the rights and wrongs all you like, but thats what happened and thats the market for you - there are very few "brand blind" people out there.
Well having a big 'high street' market then logically means that you produce a range of stuff more aimed at such folk, and that the mainstream, high street shops tend to then stock that stuff.
It doesn't mean that they don't produce good technical bits too (they do seem to) but you often won't find them terribly easily.
They're (nearly) all at it of course, because the general use market is so much larger. Pataguici a massive non technical range, Haglofs some bits, Norrona an entire (often odd) portion of their range etc.
Everyone doing everything is a very notable trend and I guess a large part of it down to everything being made overseas. It's very much easier to do when the factories/expertise to make X already exist!
Agreed Martin, they hvae some good value stuff and they produce performance equipment which comes at a higher price.
GOF - I think a lot of the time TNF is not a premium price compared to the rest of the outdoors brands. I think they are pretty well priced.
My post was not my opinion but a statement of fact.
There is such a thing as brand snobbery but it works both ways!
My favourite shell is my Mountain Equipment Kalanka. It is a full Pro Shell Stretch affair with RiRi zips etc; it has a rrp of £360. That is £70 less than the equivalent TNF Half Dome Pro stretch jacket that I referred to and a massive £140 less than the Mammut Norwand! So the ME shell is 83% the price of the TNF equivalent and 65% the price of the Mammut. (I honestly do not see where Mammut get their prices from.) All three jackets have near enough the same specification but there is a huge difference in price. I believe you are paying a premium for certain brand names.
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