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GoLite Revamps Apparel Lineup for Fall 2007

Improved fabrics, lighter weight and lower prices - too good to be true?

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by Don Wilson | 2007-01-27 22:38:00-07

With the Fall/Winter 2007 lineup, GoLite is revamping their apparel lines, dropping many of their long time products, and introducing new products with generally lower prices all across the line.

Notable among these changes is GoLite's decision to drop the Xirtam jacket from their lineup; a bold choice given that the Xirtam received the Backpacker magazine editor's choice award just a year ago. Replacing the Xirtam, with similar functionality in stretch, waterproof/breathable jackets, are two products - the Gamut and Paradigm jackets. Both jackets feature GoLite's new Trinity 3 layer stretch waterproof/breathable shell fabric. I am anxious to try the Trinity fabric in the field - it is lighter than the Xirtam fabric and was genuinely stretchy. The Gamut features hand warmer pockets, an adjustable articulated hood, taped seams and a separating front zipper. The Gamut weighs in at 12 ounces (size M, women's size M is 10 ounces) and will set you back just $100. In comparison with last year's prize-winning Xirtam, it is lighter, cheaper and, according to GoLite, has significantly improved fabric. The Paradigm jacket is the top end of the new stretch, waterproof/breathables. It weighs 16 ounces in a men's medium (15 ounces for women's size M) and adds pit zips, Velcro cuffs, an MP3 player internal pocket and a more adjustable hood to the features in the Gamut. The Paradigm has an MSRP of $150. The Paradigm is pictured at right (bottom photo).

Continuing this trend, GoLite has a new series of lightweight synthetic fill jackets. The Buzz jacket, a staple of GoLite's lineup for several years, is gone. Replacing it are two jackets; the Salsa jacket and the Tango Hooded jacket. These jackets are lighter and less expensive than the Buzz. But in this case GoLite has chosen to use lower performing - and less costly - insulation and shell material. The Salsa jacket uses Thermolite Active insulation and a simple rip-stop nylon shell. But at 13 ounces (11 ounces for women's size M) and only $100, it may offer good performance for your dollar. The Tango Hooded jacket is a hooded version of the Salsa. It weighs in at 14 ounces (13 ounces for women's size M) and has an MSRP of $125. The Tango Hooded jacket is pictured at right (top photo), with a look at the patterned hood lining in the women's model.

A third example is GoLite's Wisp wind shirt. The Wisp will get a slight update this Spring. The front zipper will be increased from 7 inches to 10 inches. And a zippered side seam pocket will also be added. The specified weight of the Wisp wind shirt will rise from 2.5 ounces to 3 ounces. But the price of the Wisp wind shirt, already reduced in 2006 from $70 to $50, will remain at $50. There are other changes in GoLite's apparel lineup; new 800 fill down jackets and new performance layers. We'll get the best of all these products out into the field and report on their performance.


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"GoLite Revamps Apparel Lineup for Fall 2007," by Don Wilson. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/02737.html, 2007-01-27 22:38:00-07.

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GoLite Revamps Apparel Lineup for Fall 2007
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Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
GoLite Revamps Apparel Lineup for Fall 2007 on 01/27/2007 23:32:02 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

GoLite Revamps Apparel Lineup for Fall 2007

René Jeninga
(renjen)

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Golite 2007 on 01/28/2007 04:02:58 MST Print View

I was on the new Golite site and is it correct that the wisp wind shirt gained weight?

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Golite 2007 on 01/28/2007 07:55:35 MST Print View

Rene -

GoLite does show an increase in specified weight, up from 2.5 ounces to 3 ounces. In conversations with GoLite they did not mention any changes to the Wisp wind shirt, but it does look like they have increased the depth of the zipper from 7 inches to 10 inches. The fabric, Wisp HP, is the same. I will go by the GoLite booth again today and double check for any changes to the wind shirt.

The specified weight may have changed just to be more conservative. In 2005, we reviewed the Wisp and found the actual weight to be 2.8 ounces - so GoLite may have changed the specified weight to be more in line with actual production weights.

Don

René Jeninga
(renjen)

Locale: Near the coast in the Netherlands
Golite 2007 on 01/28/2007 09:35:09 MST Print View

Don on the new Golite site it says that the Wisp wind shirt is 4,48oz/127 gram and the Ether wind jacket 5,6oz/158,9 gram.I will hear from you after you checked it on the Golite booth,thanks Don!

Edited by renjen on 01/28/2007 09:36:06 MST.

Carol Crooker
(cmcrooker) - MLife

Locale: Desert Southwest, USA
Re: Golite 2007 on 01/28/2007 10:52:59 MST Print View

GoLite has made a change to the Wisp (a welcomed one) that will add a few tenths of an ounce. The too short zipper has been replaced with a longer one.

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Re: Golite 2007 on 01/28/2007 21:26:04 MST Print View

There are several inconsistencies between the new web site and the updated Wisp wind shirt specs we received at OR. I think the 4.48 ounce spec on the web site is incorrect. I will update the article with our latest information from GoLite.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Where are Golite heading? on 01/28/2007 21:47:08 MST Print View

Why do I get a (very sad) feeling that GoLite are heading down the mass-market street-fashion path? Does this impression come across on the floor?

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Where are Golite heading? on 01/28/2007 21:53:52 MST Print View

I'm not so sure this is the case. Picking through their gear sale last year it was clear that they do sell a lot of stuff that's not focused on the ultralight crowd but so far they've maintained a few items that are really nice: Reed pants, Virga jacket, new Ion pack (and maybe the Jam2 also?) come to mind. Simple with a purpose and no extra "features" that aren't necessary.

You've got to accept that any major company is out to make money. If they have to sell a bunch of softshell jackets and overzippered insulation pieces to have the volume to still make those few nice ultralight pieces of gear then great. I bet the heavier paclite pants outsell the Reeds by a large margin but I'm pretty sure Coups heart lies in the UL and SUL gear and tries to keep those items coming out as much as possible.

Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
Re: Where are Golite heading? on 01/29/2007 04:20:38 MST Print View

Actually, that's the feeling I've got. I'm hoping it's just not what is actually happening. My hope is that, instead, GoLite is trying to get some products mainstream so traditional backpackers will use them, get to know GoLite's quality, then transition to lighter pieces as they come to understand that ultralight doesn't necessarily mean ultraflimsy.

But time will tell.

Tom

Matthew LaPatka
(gungadin) - M

Locale: Pittsburgh, PA
Re: Re: Where are Golite heading? on 01/29/2007 05:56:00 MST Print View

It would certainly be disappointing to see an innovator in the UL field like Golite go to becoming mainstream and less free thinking. But that would be typical of a lot of companies, however. When it comes down to it, most people are in the business to make money first. The larger a company gets, the more this is an issue due to more people getting involved. It is a symbol of the times we live in (which is unfortunate). Frankly I don't care if they make gear for "everyone" as long as they make something for the truly lightweight and devoted hiker. A company like Patagonia is a very positive model in my opinion. They make casual products and some for more novice outdoors people (still good and expensive stuff just less technical) and other advanced products which are top notch in comparison with any company. If Golite goes in that direction, then I will be very happy. If they forget what got them to where they are, then that will be truly unfortunate. I won't give up hope yet!

Don Wilson
(don) - MLife

Locale: Koyukuk River, Alaska
Re: Where are Golite heading? on 01/29/2007 07:24:07 MST Print View

Here's my two cents given what we've heard from GoLite.

It is certainly possible to put a negative spin on some recent changes inthe product lineup, and clearly they are looking to expand into a more mainstream market. Most revealing in that regard are the changes to the synthetic fill apparel. But I'll choose to be an optimist from what I have heard. They will expand into larger markets. But GoLite has taken a different approach from many other leading manufacturer's. They offer some good products at excellent prices - both for the mainstream and the hard core user. And I think they will follow the Patagonia model and keep a focus on their core, original user base. We heard a lot about products that are currently in development - and many of those sounded like products the hard core user will find appealing. We'll continue to work with them and provide feedback on product directions via reviews and other dialogue.

Thomas Knighton
(Tomcat1066) - F

Locale: Southwest GA
GoLite news sounds promising on 01/29/2007 07:31:08 MST Print View

Don,

That certainly sounds promising then. I sincerely hope that they do just as you suspect, and not as I fear. I like GoLite products, they've been my first stop for just about everything I've needed, and other products had to top GoLite's line to go into my gear closet.

Thanks for the reassurance!

Tom

Aaron Granda
(Throckmorton) - MLife
Carol on 01/29/2007 12:24:18 MST Print View

Why is Carol so angry in picture #1? Is the jacket really that ugly?

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: Carol on 01/29/2007 20:14:17 MST Print View

Carol is looking angry in that photo because another one of the BPL staff scored the review on the product.

GoLite asked "who wants to review this?"

Carol sneezed while Will or somebody else blurted out yes.

Carol was too late.

Carol has a cold, and it cost her some schwag.

Erich Foster
(erichlf) - F
Golite Ion on 02/08/2007 17:06:01 MST Print View

Check out the ION Pack. I wish I knew what size this pack was. I am liking it a lot.
http://go-lite.com/product/productdetail.aspx?p=PA5250&s=1

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Golite Ion on 02/08/2007 18:30:58 MST Print View

Erich,
There are several places that now have the Ion for sale.
They all say they are 1500ci.

Backcountry.com is selling them for $50.

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/packdetail.cfm/GO9113

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Golite Ion on 02/08/2007 18:38:22 MST Print View

When you need detailed info, skip Golite's website and go to a retailer site instead. Per backcountrygear.com, the Ion has a capacity of 1,500 c.i. and weighs 9 oz.

I hope Golite is reading this.

Christopher Plesko
(Pivvay) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Golite Ion on 02/08/2007 18:50:28 MST Print View

My size large Ion weighs 9.2 oz with some small trimming potential IIRC. I posted the exact weight around BPL somewhere. I've only used it once but I'm really digging it. I've got a race next weekend that is supported so after that is over I'll begin training with my normal packed weight and bulk to prepare for the summer multi day stuff. I'll give the Ion a good beating then and make sure it holds up.

doug colacicco
(fangtooth) - F

Locale: ventana wilderness
golite on 12/28/2007 16:03:35 MST Print View

hello all perhaps when ray left golite the lite part went with him

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Re: Where are Golite heading? on 12/28/2007 16:58:02 MST Print View

I am pretty disapointed in a lot of the changes in golite's line.

I think they were at a good point a couple years ago, almost everything on their site, I felt I needed to have. but lately, their gear has not been as appealing to me.

anyone else feel this way?

I am happy to see the new sleeping bags, but what is the deal with the shelters? I hope they dont loose their lair, and poncho-tarps.

Some of the new clothing looks pretty cool, but has golite completely abandoned using anything other than their proprietary fabrics? where did there outstanding powersheild softshells? (Im glad I got ahold of a kinetic jacket, but I missed out on the propel/oen pants)
what happened to the c-thru clothing?

where are the Dawn and 24 packs? two I really wish were still available

my final complaint... The colors... I miss the classic golite colors, sun, fire, sea.. ect. but these were all replaced by less apealing, pastel colors, in both the clothing and packs... (the one thing the Jam2 did not improve was the looks IMHO)

sorry everyone, just needed a place to express my anger/dissapointment.