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Gear Price Increases For 2013
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Matt Dapkus
Gear Price Increases For 2013 on 01/04/2013 00:55:04 MST Print View

Taking a cursory look at some gear today, I noticed price increases amongst some companies:

Six Moon Designs- Was going to purchase Skyscape X as soon as it became available but with the increase from $450 to $550 I'll be content with my Skyscape Trekker for some time. Cuben products are realizing a price increase. SMD released a statement regarding this.

Katabatic Gear- Price increase across the board. Looks to be around $15 or so dollars if memory serves correct. Was going to purchase the Sawatch, but with pricing just shy of $500, I believe I'll be purchasing a couple ounces of down to overstuff my EE quilt myself.

Enlightened Equipment- Small price increase (can't exactly remember template for last year's quilts). New features on quilts for 2013. What caught my eye was the reduction of space between baffles. I like the idea as my 2012 quilt baffling I didn't quite care for too much. Of noticable improvement is an increase in down amounts per temp/size.

Zpacks- Pricing seems to be the same. Took a quick look but correct me if I'm wrong on some items.

Gossamer Gear- Retained 2012 pricing thus far.

Popping around different websites, what price increases have you fellow ULers observed?

Edited by mattdz on 01/04/2013 01:03:42 MST.

(raisins) - F
Katabatic on 01/04/2013 01:47:10 MST Print View

The Katabatic Alsek has gone up by $40; the 5'6'' version was $380 several days ago :(

(jpovs) - F

Locale: Arrowhead
Re: Gear Price Increases For 2013 on 01/04/2013 05:56:10 MST Print View


Edited by jpovs on 06/27/2014 22:31:07 MDT.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Katabatic on 01/04/2013 10:14:50 MST Print View

Well, that sucks about the price increases with Katabatic. I myself was actually considering paying their already obscurely high prices to get an Alsek (even though for the price, the quilt weight is way to high). That pretty much eliminates them from my consideration now. Those quilts would need to be stitched with gold thread to justify a $40 increase on top of an already outrageous price.

Looks like Enlightened is now going to get my business. Good to see that Tim is fine tuning his quilts. THAT is a justification for a price increase. Time and resources dedicated to improving a quilts performance.

I really can't believe Katabatic though... *shakes head* There is a point when someones pricing is just crazy and they were already sitting on that tipping point with last years prices.

Javan!!! Please start making quilts again!! PLEASE!!


Edited by f8less on 01/04/2013 10:23:41 MST.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Prices on 01/04/2013 10:44:34 MST Print View

I'm often surprised at how low the prices are for high quality, Western made gear.
Folk have got used to the prices of gear made in sweatshops. Those days are passing, as other cheap labour countries improve their standard of life.
How much would YOU charge for something that took 6 hours of your labour, plus material costs?

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Prices on 01/04/2013 10:51:59 MST Print View

"Folk have got used to the prices of gear made in sweatshops."

It seems good to get cheap stuff made in sweatshops from low wage countries,

but then the number of jobs here is reduced which makes our economy worse and then we have less money to spend

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Re Prices on 01/04/2013 10:57:11 MST Print View

I guess that's where the thinking that capitalism will eventually kill itself, comes from Jerry.
When there is no longer any low wage economies to exploit, what happens?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
yet on 01/04/2013 10:58:41 MST Print View

and yet the stuff made in "sweatshops" work perfectly fine ... many of em last just as long and have better warranty than "cottage" stuff ... and you can often find em on DEEP sales

buy and use what you want ... but chances are that quite a bit of the gear that cutting edge alpinist or other such pushing the limits is made on some "slave nation" ... gear that their life depends on

generally gear is getting CHEAPER once you factor in the intrawebs sales

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Prices on 01/04/2013 11:01:23 MST Print View

Even if I paid myself a very satisfactory amount of $45/hr (@ 6 hours of work), I don't see how the cost of materials to produce an Alesk quilt would be $165, especially buying fabric, down and tread in bulk.

I honestly can't make an educated guess as I'm not versed in material costs and what other costs Katabatic incurs. Maybe I should shut my mouth, but compared to others out there the price seem very high...even with them being produced here in the States.


Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Prices on 01/04/2013 11:26:13 MST Print View

There are many things that go into price besides actual cost. The basics are cost + profit. Cost includes design cost not just the cost to build something. So the time that Aaron spent modifying designs, doing destructive testing etc...You are paying for a little bit of that design cost in each bag he sells. In addition, supply/demand enters into the picture. Prices go up not necessarily because actually cost goes up but the amount of demand exceeds supply.

I often wonder how many in the cottage industry actually have full time jobs outside their company. I have a hard time imagining that Aaron makes enough money from Katabatic to be his sole income. If that is the case then I personally would charge a premium for my time.

(PNWhiker) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
SMD on 01/04/2013 11:36:21 MST Print View

I've been waiting and waiting for the Skyscape X and now this! I'm really unhappy. It's left a pretty bad taste in my mouth regarding these guys. Zpacks has been great on the other hand and I'll take a deep look at their options. Sigh.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: on 01/04/2013 11:53:13 MST Print View

To be fair, I think SMD did lower their pricing on a couple other items. From what I've read, their demand for cuben products was very high this year which usually means an increase in price is soon to follow. Don't get too upset about it, we would do the same thing in these people's shoes.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 01/04/2013 11:57:16 MST.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Gear Price Increases For 2013 on 01/04/2013 12:47:46 MST Print View

I just wanted to shed some light on the increase in quilt costs.

Down has gone up a lot since last year. My supplier raised his prices so i checked out the major supplier Katabatic, WM, Hammock Gear, UGQ, Arrow Head and goosefeet all use and their prices were much higher than even the increased price i will pay this year. I couldn't believe the cost honestly for 800-900 fill down.

My price increase actually wasn't much affected by down costs as like i said my supplier has a great price even at the slight increase over last year, but has more to do with the fact that my prices last year were based off a bad model that needed correction. It didn't make sense to me to just raise the price so i set out to improve the product so you were getting more when you paid more. My guess is high end down costs are only going up and you may see price increases every 6 months from companies using the "BIG" supplier. I only hope I don't out grow my current supplier or i will too be faced to charge a lot more. Fingers crossed!!

We need a larger source of this high power down as the source shrinks the cost just drives up. Regulation is good but this is the result.


Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Where my money goes on 01/04/2013 15:08:41 MST Print View

One of the great things I've gleaned from this site is learning about cottage manufacturers in general. Previously the best I could do was thinking I was doing well by spending my hard-earned money at least it *kind of* wasn't one of those awful multinational corporations with nothing but profit for motive...

And while I regrettably don't make enough money to ensure everything I buy is properly sourced (do you have ANY idea how much a single pork chop costs at a farmers market??!!! Goodness gracious!!), I do feel happy to give my money to true small businesses (not necessarily Romney's idea of a "small business") who do the work themselves and take pride in what they build. That pride is reflected in their product, their customer service...and it makes me feel much better about shelling out $500 for a shelter, or $250 for a quilt...

Anyway, just my little shout out to stuff NOT made in third world sweatshops by nameless slave labor. Thanks guys, and keep up the good work. Ill keep buying your stuff as long as I can afford to...

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Tim on 01/04/2013 15:11:40 MST Print View


Any additional information about the new straps and how they function?



Edited by f8less on 01/04/2013 15:14:17 MST.

Josh Greninger
Re: on 01/04/2013 19:51:15 MST Print View

I just received my '13 enLIGHTened equipment quilt today, and I have to say that I absolutely adore the new features. I owned one of the '12 quilts as well, and this one is a nice step up and a refinement of what was already a nice quilt. Well worth the price bump. Thanks, Tim.

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 01/04/2013 22:32:26 MST Print View

How would the cottage industries make their goods without raw materials like nylon, Epic, dyneema, cuben, etc that are sourced from international corporations?

RE: capitalism: no exploitation or greed in the good 'ol USSR or other centrally planned worker paradise, no sir!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Gear Price Increases For 2013 on 01/04/2013 22:42:36 MST Print View

Six Moon Designs actually dropped the prices on other models, including the Lunar Solo. By $35. This would be a gear price decrease.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Re: Gear Price Increases For 2013 on 01/04/2013 22:58:38 MST Print View

Is the SMD Lunar Solo one of the shelters Ron has made overseas? That could explain the generous savings there to the consumer. Either way, a decrease in price is good for anyone looking for lightweight affordable backpacking gear that works well.

So, if goose down costs are increasing as demand rises, will there be an impending synthetic insulation boom over the next few years as a response? I'd like to see improved synthetic insulation incorporated more into jackets and sleeping bags. PL1 has proven to be a really good alternative to down in some applications.

Matt Dapkus
Response on 01/04/2013 23:11:11 MST Print View

@Kenneth- I was going to buy a Kat Sawatch last year when they were $450 for the 6'wide. Held back and heard good things about Tim and EE so I decided to try it out. Fast forward to this winter, after testing out my EE, I was going to drop the hat for the Sawatch again, but $450->$480->$495 increases in one year swayed me otherwise. I would like to try the baffling and draft tube on the Kat for cold weather, that's about it really. Originally I was looking at the Alsek vs EE 20* fwiw. I agree, too, where's Javan?

@Rich- I hear ya. Skyscape X is out of my shopping cart. I have been overly excited for SMD to have it ready for shipment and now not so much. Shy of 25% price increase overnight is just too much. I do agree with Ryan though; SMD has seen demand for their cuben products. Wonder if this will work for round 2? Without refinements (Kat in mind) the price increase seems, well, monetarily selfish. Which is fine. We will see how this business maneuver works for them in 2013. I wish the best. As for Zpacks, I'm continually impressed with Joe for pricepoint, customer service and innovation. I'm just hoping he produces something similar to the Skyscape this year; I'm in for that.

@Tim- Thanks for chiming in, always great to hear from you. Your price increase really doesn't need any explaining but thank you for "enlightening" us (I just had too). The enhancements to your product are very cut and dry. I think it's a great evolution for your product and the pricing warrants that. Reworking the baffles has brought my interest back to your quilts. I'm still on the fence for quilts vs. bags in cold temps. I firmly believe 2013 will be an outstanding year for EE; you have a great momentum going and it will continue. I probably don't stand alone with this though- your forum presence here at BPL is admirable and certainly swayed myself towards EE. You're not an enigma; it's like meeting the farmer selling their vegetables at the farmer's market. I'm more likely to buy from such a vendor. Congratulations and may this year be tremendous for you.

David- I wonder if the price drop for the Lunar is to garner more interest from beginners? Not sure.

@All- I try to buy American as much as possible, particularly in the camping segment. We have seen great innovation, and now refinement. It's very nice to support these folks that have quit their full time jobs or are doing it on the side. Another bonus is we can often call them up real quick and speak to them directly, or someone who works there without resorting to an automated program. That's worth something, right? My friends and family, particularly my Dad, are pretty impressed at how much of my camping gear is American made. The materials are a different debate though... In the end, yes, these folks do have to make a living and furthermore make it worthwhile to some degree. Without them we would have some wonky looking MYOG (at least myself lol)!

Edited by mattdz on 01/04/2013 23:40:23 MST.