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Should I be carrying more Dead Birds?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Should I be carrying more Dead Birds? on 02/20/2013 23:38:57 MST Print View

I know the brand Arcteryx by reputation, but I wanted to get some first-hand experience from the backpackers out there who commit to Arcteryx. From what I can tell, there's people who don't bother with Arcteryx, and there's people who don't bother if it's NOT Arcteryx.

So, for those of you who lay down 50% more clams for dead birds, why? How's the long-term use of your gear? Do you get more mileage per dollar spent?

If it's worth it to me, I'll be patient and save up to buy more Arcteryx stuff, since I'm a bit of a durability nut when I'm not counting ounces.

Looking forward to the discussion! Feel free to hate on the brand here, too. All opinions welcome.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
gear on 02/21/2013 01:05:28 MST Print View

look a each particular item ... and pay for that

not for the fancy name or logo ... or even the "service" which any MEC/REI/EB/OR/lands end/LL Bean will beat

i own and use some dead birds ... almost all of them i got at 50%+ off ... i would never pay full price or anywhere near for one

there isnt any thing on this gods green earth that a dead bird (or patagucci, or OR, or MH, etc ...) can do that another similar "brand" cant do just as well ...

the person is what makes the difference, not the brand

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Re: Should I be carrying more Dead Birds? on 02/21/2013 04:37:05 MST Print View

What I find more relevant is the different brands 'fit' based on body type and personal comfort. I have tried some Arcteryx stuff, but I never liked the fit of the items and thus moved them along. MH, Montbell, GoLite tend to be the brands that fit me well. Arc, Pata, not so much. And that could just be the way I like my garments to fit and not so much if they fit, if you get my meaning. It just seems that the garments that stick around my gear list start grouping towards certain manufacturers. So far I haven't found any of brands that were particularly less durable than others (considering the materials used, of course).

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: gear on 02/21/2013 05:01:33 MST Print View

"there isnt any thing on this gods green earth that a dead bird (or patagucci, or OR, or MH, etc ...) can do that another similar "brand" cant do just as well ..."

I may be the only one, but I have hard time grouping OR in with Pata or Arc-whatever.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Arcteryx on 02/21/2013 05:59:16 MST Print View

Maybe I'm turned off by the hoards of city slickers in Vancouver wearing the brand, but I think the innovation slowed years ago. They certainly don't help the fashionista vibe with their $165 cotton t-shirts and $695 sport jacket/blazer line (Veilance). So there's still some nice items, but less and less great ones. I see them more focused on meticulously styled gear rather than functional innovation.

I see Arcteryx married to GoreTex when there's better options in the WP/B market. I see them using cheap uretek zips on jackets priced far too high not to have a quality waterproof zip (ie. RiRi Aquazip). Why does the $850 Micon jacket have a low end zipper that's going to leak in a couple years? Why are full length fail-prone zippers being added to their high end backpacks (Naos)?

So Max, you certainly don't need to pay these prices for durability. The correlation between durability and price is very loose if it exists at all.

Edited by dandydan on 02/21/2013 07:10:47 MST.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: Should I be carrying more Dead Birds? on 02/21/2013 06:17:03 MST Print View

I'm a big fan of Arcteryx and own a lot of gear from them, but it seems kind of silly to consider limiting yourself to one brand like that. They're not the best at everything, to be sure. So shop around for something that truly fits your wants and needs rather than just buying Arc's version of it.

Edited by 7sport on 02/21/2013 06:17:47 MST.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: brands on 02/21/2013 06:40:17 MST Print View

The only thing Arc'teryx does better than Rab is pick colors.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Should I be carrying more Dead Birds? on 02/21/2013 07:04:50 MST Print View


Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Dead Birds on 02/21/2013 07:55:02 MST Print View

A few things appealed to my common sense already, but the reiteration was nice:

1. Get them on sale- My first Arcteryx piece, a lightweight fleece, was 40% off. It's a very nice fleece.

2. Fit- I expected the large to be too big after seeing some reviews about sizing down, but it actually fits me perfect. After struggling with a Columbia fleece with huge-ass cheap zippers, a rising bottom hem that put cold air down my back, and a cheap-o collapsed collar, this fleece feels like a Rolls Royce.

3. Separating technical garments from fashionable garments. Yup, I can do that.

Any particular Arcteryx items you've been really happy with? How is their SL baselayer?

arcteryx on 02/21/2013 08:19:47 MST Print View

after seeing aaron cross running around in arcteryx gear in 'The Bourne Legacy' I decided to throw away all my Patagonia gear and replace it with arcteryx.

Oddly enough everyone I see at Whole Foods did too.

josh wagner
(StainlessSteel) - F
lol on 02/21/2013 08:30:18 MST Print View

thanks for the great laugh this morning eugene...

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: re: brands on 02/21/2013 08:40:34 MST Print View

Hilarious Eugene! I love Dumb and Dumber.

The quality of Arcteryx is worlds better than Rab. The zippers are perfect, the stitching is perfect, the fit is perfect for athletic builds. I am not sure what Dave C smoking.The problem is the cost. But like Eric, I find Arcteryx at 25 to 50% off and then can justify the cost.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: gear on 02/21/2013 09:48:14 MST Print View

I may be the only one, but I have hard time grouping OR in with Pata or Arc-whatever.

youre right ... OR has superior warranty, they state specifically there are no limits and you can return it even if your dog ate it ... which has happen ... they cover anything which they made, no matter where you bought it

if you have ever been to a dead bird "factory" sale here, youll find out that they dont cover stuff that they sold

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Return Policy on 02/21/2013 10:30:48 MST Print View has a good return policy, so I'll make up for Arcteryx warranties there.

I mean, the fleece I have is pretty flawless. The zippers are awesome, too, so I can't agree with the zipper critique yet. It's almost TOO easy to zip and unzip. Very smooth.

My hardshell is a Gore-Tex Paclite shell from Patagucci, so I don't think I need to replace that anytime soon. Or, at least, I better not. I think Arcteryx's reputation hinges mostly on those hardshells, but the other items I've seen so far all seem good. I would love to know if anyone uses their SL baselayer.

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
fit, function, diminishing returns on 02/21/2013 10:35:34 MST Print View

Dead bird is one of those brands that seems to me that they could not possibly deliver a product that is worth the prices they ask, even when on sale. I'm with Mark on fit--certain brands fit me better and I'll pay more for those, but there comes a point where the extra $$$ is just going towards the cool chest embroidery...arcter'x seems like one of those. As for durability, I'm still kickin' a pair of $30 LaCrosse boots I bought in a hardware store 15 years ago...there CAN be a correlation between price and durability but I wouldn't spend the money on a pricey item unless that's been proven true (i.e. McHale packs).

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: fit, function, diminishing returns on 02/21/2013 10:37:53 MST Print View

>Dead bird is one of those brands that seems to me that they could not possibly deliver a product that is worth the prices they ask, even when on sale.


I'm not saying their stuff isn't good, but Lord, those prices are ridiculous!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Return Policy on 02/21/2013 10:38:01 MST Print View

Yeah, the zippers are awesome.

I wore my Atom LT today to work and looking at it with its fleece inner and strategically placed stretch panels, it really is a perfectly made garment. The hood cinches down nicely for use without a helmet and then flowers out to cup a helment when required. Reminds me of the Feathered Friends hoods on their sleeping bags.

Oh, and absolutely no issues with Arcteryx warranty. Eric has a little bit of hate on for them for some reason but they replaced my 8 year old Theta AR when I tore a hole in the back due to a decent ski wipeout into a tree. Once again, they replaced the jacket free.

OR is incredible as well, FWIW.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Durability on 02/21/2013 10:41:24 MST Print View

All I'm looking for is items I can rely on. Minimalist backpacking means everything I carry has a purpose, and if it fails, I could be up a creek. When the entire shoulder seam on my Marmot Super Mica failed at once on a winter trip, I replaced it with Patagonia's super cell jacket, which was substantially burlier.

If I buy an Arcteryx baselayer, I want it to do its job without shredding and pilling under pack straps. If I buy an Arcteryx hat, I want it to last without unraveling (and my Contrail has, so far, but it isn't exactly mind-blowing in terms of quality).

Pants are a huge one. If I step up and put down $150 for pants, they'd better make it over some granite. There's peace of mind in not having to think about my gear when I'm actually in the outdoors. Knowing that I'm guaranteed is a good feeling, like an insurance policy. I'll pay for that rather than being surprised when something cheap DOESN'T crap out.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Re: fit, function, diminishing returns on 02/21/2013 10:42:24 MST Print View

You can drive a Hyundai Accent or a BMW 335. Both will get you from A to B, but the latter will provide measurable increases in quality and durability. Arcteryx is similar in that you do get a much higher quality and fit and finish than competing brands. However, clothes from competing brands will do the same basic thing. Whether you want to afford it is up to you.

Now where did I put my Cuben underwear?

Edited by FamilyGuy on 02/21/2013 10:43:48 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Return Policy on 02/21/2013 10:46:42 MST Print View

well i did just meet someone at the crag whose dead bird harness had the lower tie in points wear out quickly again, a common problem on that $$$$$$ harness, i blew out 3 of em in a year and a half myself ... i told him to take it back to dead bird

i blew out a dead bird pack in 2 months ... doesnt matter how fancy the logo when the sides are 100D and they recommend it for ROCK climbing

dead bird work no better or worse than any other brand in general ... you dont see people climbing or doing whatever any harder, longer or stronger in them than without them

if it fits, does what you want, costs what you want, and they take care of you ... then go buy it regardless of the name or logo

it certainly isnt the "best", nor does it have the "best" service, etc ...

outdoor gear is so good in general that brands are irrelevant

Edited by bearbreeder on 02/21/2013 10:48:46 MST.