Forum Index » GEAR » Big Agnes "Q Core SL" REALLY DISSAPOINTED!


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Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Exped vs Q Core Sl Comparison on 03/07/2013 20:16:49 MST Print View

I just picked up the Q Core SL the other day and while I thought it was extremely comfortable it seemed like something was off. Sure enough after stumbling across this thread I dug out the SL and my Exped UL7 for comparison.

Q Core Sl vs Exped UL7

There's clearly a difference of over an inch where at least one full tube is lost. After laying them side by side I am seriously reconsidering my Q Core SL purchase.

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Tried it at rei on 03/07/2013 20:25:13 MST Print View

I also gave it a test drive at my local REI...I am not a wide person (5'7", 145 pounds) and when I laid on the mat both of my arms just naturally fell to the ground. At no point were my arms able to be on the pad if I was on my back.

I rolled to my side, but then my butt and my knees were totally hanging off, too.

So then I tried the regular Q core. This is an amazingly comfortable pad...but also a little shy in the width department. Not as bad, but I was still pushing the boundaries of the edges.

I think I may go with the downmat. Quite a shame, actually, because I really like big Agnes.

Ryan S.
(badscooter)

Locale: New England
Length Difference on 03/07/2013 20:37:16 MST Print View

I couldn't get a good photo of it but there's also a difference in length of about 1.25 in between the Exped and the Q Core SL. The Q Core will definitely be heading back. Too bad.

Mark Barnett
(beyondsundaymorning) - F

Locale: Way Down South In Dixie
SOLVED! - Big Agnes Q-Core SL Size Issue on 03/25/2013 12:58:09 MDT Print View

I am a BIG fan of Big Agnes and their sleeping system. My family has several of their bags and pads and so do some of my fellow scout leaders. I use the original, gray Q-Core Pad and love it. Best sleep I have EVER had outdoors. I have been waiting for my REI dividend to purchase the new Q-Core SL and lighten my weight a bit. Unfortunately, on several sites I have been reading that there is a size difference in the new Q-Core SL versus the original gray Q-Core pad so I just called Big Agnes and asked them directly. They were very helpful as usually and did indeed state that the SL pad is narrower than the original Q-Core. They said that there was an issue with the mold that was used for the new SL pad being too narrow and they did not realize the problem until the first runs of the pads were already finished. They did say in the future the pads should be the same size as the original Q-Core pad but it wouldn't be until they went through the stock they had from the first runs. I asked if they had an expected availability date for the wider pads and they did not. I will definitely check back in a few months to see if the wider pad is available. I LOVE the Q-Core pad and can't wait to get the new (correct sized) SL version to lighten my carry weight. On the plus side, they did say that although they came out a little more narrow than stated that means they are lighter than stated as well. I have broad shoulders or I would go ahead and get the new SL. If you aren't very broad shouldered then you might be able to use the narrower one with no problems. Hope this clears things up on this issue for some of you. I do appreciate Big Agnes telling me exactly what the problem was and admitting that there is indeed an issue. I love their products and their customer service.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
Re: SOLVED! - Big Agnes Q-Core SL Size Issue on 03/25/2013 14:31:50 MDT Print View

Mark, that's great info you've passed along. My current plan, now, is to use the BA air-core I've got for another season and get the improved Q-SL next year. I need the full width,inasmuch as 20" is "full", ha ha!

James Walton
(Backcountryasm) - M

Locale: south
Solved!! LOL? on 03/25/2013 16:19:53 MDT Print View

That is great information. I too love BA products but I still question this heavily of their character though. Why would they intentionally sell a product they knew had a production run error? They could have done a lot of things, to include maybe advertising the proper size of the pad (18" x 71" ?), Not accepted the production run and wait for the new ones to come out before sending out to retailers. But they did not. By the way!! The rep saying OH! the fact that they are a little bit tini widgy smaller means they are lighter sounds like smoke blowing up my A!#^*>!^ double talk.

Do those people they sold pads to get to return their improperly manufactured pad for a credit or swap for the newly made, revamped super duper, we got it right this time pad!

Edited by Backcountryasm on 03/25/2013 16:26:28 MDT.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: Where the air is thin
Re: SOLVED on 03/25/2013 16:25:09 MDT Print View

Seems to me that although BA are willing to admit on an individual basis that their flagship pad is underspec, they have no plans to recall their falsely labelled products from the market. Maybe they're hoping that the average REI / EMS punter doesn't realize, or assumes that this is how all 'UL' equipment is.

I'd like to be able to support BA, as a local (CO) design and fulfillment company, but since they got wall-to-wall coverage by Backpacker magazine a few years back, they have blundered a number of times. 'Tis a shame, as they got me started on the path to lightweight hiking.

Edit - ha, James beat me to it.

Edited by lotuseater on 03/25/2013 16:27:18 MDT.

Mark Barnett
(beyondsundaymorning) - F

Locale: Way Down South In Dixie
Re: Solved!! LOL? on 03/25/2013 17:06:48 MDT Print View

Well I knew it wouldn't take long for someone to give 'em hell about not pulling their product or advertising the correct width. Honestly, I don't blame you guys for "calling them on the carpet" for that. I thought the same thing. Then after I thought about it I gave them the benefit of the doubt (maybe I shouldn't have) that the amount of money invested in the first run was too much to just throw away. I then thought they should have at least advertised them at the correct sizing but I thought what a disaster that could become when so many websites carry their product and some would change their specs and some would not and then begins the mass confusion and all the phone calls, questions etc. why some places say it is one size and others say it is another. No I don't work for them and they aren't paying me to take their side. Honestly I am not taking their side. I just work in sales with the public and I know situations like this have no real good answer sometimes. It's easy for us as the consumer to say well, they just should have done this or that but sometimes the answer is just not that easy. I think you both are right that they should have either pulled them or correctd the advertised sizing but I wasn't involved in the pros and cons of either decision so I don't know what they were up against. All of that said, I wanted to reply to a couple of other comments. As many sites, such as REI, etc. offer a "No Questions Asked" return policy, people who purchased them could return them if they are unhappy with them. Many purchasers are smaller people and won't find it a problem anyway as evidenced by the very high ratings the new SL pad gets on some sites. Also, at least from their Warranty wording and my personal experience with Big Agnes customer service I cannot see a problem with someone returning it or exchanging it for something else if they had to go to Big Agnes directly. So although I cannot speak for Big Agnes, I think those who purchased one are in the clear if they want to pursue a refund or exchange somehow. Also I wanted to comment on what the Big Agnes associate told me about it being lighter. I work in sales so I am very quick to notice when someone is blowing smoke up my A!#^*>!^. This gentleman was in no way doing that. As a matter of fact, he was almost apologetic for the problem and I could tell he really hated that it was an issue for their customers. I think he was just trying to say that if someone could use the more narrow pad it had a plus in that it was lighter as well. I can't speak for the company or every associate at Big Agnes but the person I spoke with was genuine in his concern for their customers.

Mark Barnett
(beyondsundaymorning) - F

Locale: Way Down South In Dixie
Re: Re: Solved!! LOL? on 03/25/2013 17:15:41 MDT Print View

Let me say also that I have not seen or compared the size of the new Q-SL pad. We do not have any stores in my area who carry these. I don't know if we are talking 3/4", 1", or 2.5" difference. If the difference was minor that may have played a part in them not pulling them or not changing the advertised sizing, but if it is major then I agree there is no excuse. Something should have been done. With my comments above I assumed it was a minor difference, maybe 1" or less narrower. I guess minor or major is different in the eyes of each purchaser though, so again, I really don't know the answer. I just hope they get the size correct before too long because I could shave close to a 1/2 lb off my carry weight with just a change to the new pad.

Dena Kelley
(EagleRiverDee) - M

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
"Big Agnes "Q Core SL" REALLY DISSAPOINTED!" on 03/25/2013 17:35:08 MDT Print View

I have the wide/long version on the way - I decided even if it was narrower than published that as long as it was at least 23" wide I'd be fine with it. But I assume they use a different mould and this may be true to published specs. When I get it I'll post up, just in case anyone else is curious about the wide/long version of the Q Core SL.

James Walton
(Backcountryasm) - M

Locale: south
Re Re Re Solved LOL on 03/25/2013 17:47:19 MDT Print View

Mark,

I must agree with most of what you say. I am a fan of BA and really love their products. I too am in sales and to boot and I am my own boss. My word is all I have. There is no real answer and I can only say that I would hate to work for BA in their customer service dept. and have to field these calls. Those of us that obsess over our gear really only represent a minority (I admit I am guessing on this one) and as long as the massess are happy then all is good. I believe this forum is here for us to use so we can educate ourselves and others while we obsess, judge, breakdown, critique and condense over the very few pieces that we bring with us into the backcountry. After all, we hike our own hike dont we!

By the way, you say your from way down in Dixie? Wherebouts? Bama/Georgia?

Edited by Backcountryasm on 03/25/2013 17:48:45 MDT.

Mark Barnett
(beyondsundaymorning) - F

Locale: Way Down South In Dixie
Re: Re Re Re Solved LOL on 03/25/2013 18:44:11 MDT Print View

James, I am from Bama, northern Bama actually. Where is "South" for you?

I was wondering if you have tried out your NeoAir XLite yet? I bought that one just before I made the final decision to keep the original Q-Core. I was pretty comfy but I laid on it in the floor at home and it was really crinkly sounding. I didn't know if that noise would be a problem with me sleeping outdoors or not so I ended up sending it back and going with the Q-Core. Hope it is working well for you though. Since I have been waiting to get the SL I have also been looking at the Exped Synmat UL 7. I saw it in the package at an REI while traveling (they didn't have any on display) and it packs really small. Do you have any experience with Exped? I saw the pic Ryan posted in this thread. Maybe he could comment on the comfort level of the Exped UL 7 compared to the Q-Core.

I need to take more time to read in these forums and ask others for advice. I am an Asst. Scoutmaster and have been backpacking with my boys for about two years now. My first backpacking trip I took 53lbs into Bankhead National Forest and almost killed myself. I was completely new to backpacking and had no idea what I was doing. Unfortunately there wasn't anyone around who knew enough to tell me anything much different either. Since then I have been reading, experimenting, buying lighter equipment and just leaving things at home and it has made a real difference in how much I enjoy going into the woods. I try to educate anyone who will listen by explaining my mistakes so they don't make the same ones, but you know how it is, sometimes you just have to do it wrong to learn. I read somewhere once that each time you go into the woods you should leave something different at home that you normally carry and try something different. I try to do that every time I go. Some of the scouts and other leaders chuckled at me when I pitched my tarp with trekking poles instead of a tent on our last backpacking trip but I wanted the experience and truth be told, I think it's good for them to be exposed to something different too so they see there are alternatives to everyone carrying the same heavy load. Thanks for listening.

James Walton
(Backcountryasm) - M

Locale: south
RE RE RE RE on 03/25/2013 20:44:12 MDT Print View

Mark,

Set up your PM and we can email so we do not hijack the thread! I am from Birmingham and am an Eagle Scout and an ASM as well. We just came thru your neck of the woods as our troop did Shiloh this past weekend. 14 mile day hike in the rain with 20 boys. Awesome weekend even in the rain!! Ha Ha. or you can contact me at James @ R E L I A B L E R E M dot C O M

Derek Musashe
(dmusashe) - F - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Has the width issue been fixed yet? on 11/24/2013 04:53:12 MST Print View

Does anyone know if the width issue has been fixed yet with the Q-Core SL?

Steven Johnson
(dannynoonan) - M
Still undersized? on 01/05/2014 18:35:18 MST Print View

^ I was wondering about this as well. Anyone purchase one recently?