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enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept.
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Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 10:00:27 MDT Print View

Hey BPL community I have some questions for you

The price of down is blowing up yet again and in Sept I will be forced to change prices to reflect this raw material price increase. I would like your input on my purposed changes and I would love a logic check to be sure i am staying true to what the market needs/wants

RevX is currently 30D nylon/850 down in KARO baffles w/20% overstuff weights 16oz-33oz $175-270 depending on sizes and temps

This is my biggest seller due to its low cost and high performance ratio (not the cheapest {cheapest quilt but not sleeping bag} or the highest performance but a good bend) In order to keep this ratio similar I am proposing the following changes, please give your thoughts about this change

RevX 30D nylon/750 down in KARO baffles w/20% overstuff weights 17oz-36oz $180-$290 (down is same price i pay now but it takes a little more so price goes up a tiny amount and performance down a small amount)

Im planning to keep the Revelation the same with 850 down in KARO baffles w/20% overstuff using 10/15D nylons with weights between 13oz-33oz with a higher cost of $250-$390 (quilt stays the same performance at a higher price due to down price only)

Im also designing a new down quilt that will use my same generous sizing but offer a sewn footbox and unique new baffles design which allows no overstuff (i'll do 5%). This quilt will be 10D nylon and 850 Downtek (might get 900 too). In 850 the weights will be 11oz-24oz for 40*-0* but with the sizes being 5'10" and 6'4" with my current REG and WIDE widths to start. Price on this will be more in line with what you expect from Zpacks and Katabatic at ~$360-$535 but this should be lighter.

I have a prototype of this design im currently testing that is 6'4" WIDE 50* (to test down shift in sew through baffles) that weighs 10.05 oz. A few small tweaks will be made to the production one and an option of more weather proof condensation stripes will be offered but the weight should be very very low.


Do these offerings make sense as a full line of entry level, med, and high performance down quilts at respective price and weight points? There is nothing i can do about the down cost but my thinking is these changes will keep me positioned with the most affordable higher performance quilts and I will once again be back in the running for highest performers with this new design

Does the Epiphany have a place in our lineup? New baffles with 850 Downtek could make it very light but allow us to go back to sewing the baffles for a more durable product with down that will resist the small amounts of moisture that can penetrate the liner. Thoughts?

Anything else i should be considering as I make these tweaks over the next month?

-Tim

Jason Mahler
(jrmahler) - M

Locale: Michigan
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 10:42:50 MDT Print View

Tim, your post alone is a great reason to use EE for your quilt needs. You not only let everyone know about a price increase well in advance, but you ask the people that are buying them what they want. I tried to answer a couple of your questions below, but am not that experienced, so may not be that helpful.

RevX - People buy this because they are looking for value, so I don't see why adding 1-3 ounces and keeping the price low would be that big of a deal. Looking at the market, I don't see much competition at these weights and prices, so I think you still have something with this one.

Rev - The new price point still seems like it is considerably below the market, but I have not compared weights that much. You may have already done it, but putting together a market study (products this line is competing with, price, weight, features, etc) could help you out in regards to understanding how this one will sell. One trick is understanding if your competitors will be increasing prices in the future as well or if they have some type of hedge against down prices (doubtful, but you never know).

New Quilt - I like the idea of you offering a super light weight downtek bag. I have read that 900 isn't that big of an improvement over 850, but not certain if this is legit. I like the versatility of a non-sewn footbox, so likely wouldn't want this. Could you get most of the weight savings by losing the zipper, snaps, and draw cord and go to a button style. You could fold the two lower corners under the quilt and button at the centerline. This would leave a point at the the end where you could button this under creating a footbox of sorts. It would reduce the length a bit, so may not work, but an idea.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 11:03:59 MDT Print View

As someone who has been looking at the RevX 10* for the rare occasions I venture into cold weather, I wouldn't mind at all if you switched to 750 FP down (upping the final weight) in order to keep the price from rising too much. For me, the RevX is all about the value, not the absolute weight. I think you're making the right call on that.

Adam

Keegan D
(nageek18)

Locale: Bay Area
offer choices in down on 07/22/2013 11:28:51 MDT Print View

Maybe this isn't cost effective since I don't know anything about business, but why not just give them the option to choose which down to use so customers who want more premium down can pay the price increase and the ones who want more of a value product can get the cheaper down.

Corbin Camp
(heycorb)

Locale: Southeast
Quilts on 07/22/2013 12:58:44 MDT Print View

+1 on letting your buyers weigh in. I couldn't be happier with my Rev 40. Being able to tweak it here and there when I ordered it coupled with the price is what drew me in and will be what brings me back (will need a Prodigy soon). Offering different types of down would give more customization options (if feasible).

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: offer choices in down on 07/22/2013 13:23:30 MDT Print View

I'm with Keegan on this, you already give the option of size, width, inside/outside fabric. I don't think it would be too difficult to implement a choice of down and would be really nice to select as a customer. I understand keeping the necessary inventory of down/fabric/etc could get burdensome though.

tyler marlow
(like.sisyphus)

Locale: UTAH
interested in the new design on 07/22/2013 13:39:32 MDT Print View

I've been interested in a closed footbox version of your quilts for a while.

Ive just started looking around for a new quilt for doing fall trail work in Colorado and may wait for this new design.

If youve got any prototypes for sale, I'd be real interested!

As per the RevX I say up the price a bit and keep with the high quality down, still the best quilt deal around. Maybe set a max price at $200 and use the best quality up to that cost?

Edited by like.sisyphus on 07/22/2013 13:40:08 MDT.

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 14:32:47 MDT Print View

See, Tim...I told ya' :)

Matt

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 14:58:38 MDT Print View

Offering a choice on down is a good idea in theory, I'll have to think on it as i'm nervous how it would work in practice. I'll have 750, 850 and 850 Downtek (and maybe 900)but for the Revx i could only offer 750 or 850 i wouldn't put the highest end down in the lowest end product, gotta force that upgrade :)

Assuming i go the 750 Route (even if i still offer options) and the quality is equal how do you guys feel about ducks vs geese. Today i confirmed a source for 750 Duck and have a sample on the way. I'd never considered duck because its always low end but the price on this is enough that I wouldn't have to raise prices at all and 750 is the fill number i was keying in on already. The goose down is 90/10 and the Duck 85/15 but know i won't choose either unless they meet my quality expectations. I'm testing some samples of 750 and 800 goose this week.

One of my biggest concerns with offering both downs in the RevX is since its THE entry level down quilt on the whole market most of my customers on that product aren't BPL savvy gear head types. I get tons of questions about things like what does the D mean next to the 30D. Offering 2 downs on this lowest cost product is sure to sell me a few more but get me a thousand more emails like that. "Which down should i choose" type questions i can already see them flooding in :)

-Tim

Tanner M
(Tan68)
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 15:03:05 MDT Print View

I don't really like to camp in warm weather. A closed footbox is okay with me. If the zipper/closure goes down quite close to the end of the quilt, it is still easy to slide feet out...

I think your plan better differentiates your models.

- - Other gratuitous stuff: Sounds like you have the design in mind. I made a square/perpendicular footbox for my quilt. Doing it again, I think I would angle the top of the quilt out. This would be a way to add a little effective length without much extra material. A bit like a Korean War Sabre. Maybe...

Isn't there a quilt called a Burro or Burrito..?
Maybe name yours Scabbard :^)

Added: Eider..?
I agree that duck doesn't have the cachet
I might keep the base model simple...

Edited by Tan68 on 07/22/2013 15:06:00 MDT.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 15:18:31 MDT Print View

I can't find any source that posts fill power claims for Eider down. Maybe i haven't looked hard enough but i won't be spending the crazy high price for it without a fill power guarantee. In my mind its just not realistic. If i got it and started selling it like crazy they'd just jack the price on me anyway:)

As to the footbox, im looking at a more simple sewn footbox like i used on my summer blanket and like Zpacks uses. Just a simple sewn end. My testing on it has been great so far. It saves a lot of weight not by cutting the zipper out but by making the quilt 6" shorter. My 6' template make a 6'4" quilt in the new design.

SO while im at it let me test the new name out on you guys.

ENIGMA

it keeps a similar direction as my current naming scheme and since everyone is going to be asking me how i did it, crazy light weights and new innovative baffle design, i might as well just embrace it.

-Tim

Tanner M
(Tan68)
Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 15:37:48 MDT Print View

I am interested in the baffle design...
I volunteer to be the mystery inside an Enigma.

Yeah, I only know what Eider is from a book I read. Maybe it was Journey To The Center of The Earth.. Anyway, I haven't ever come across it on the market; I don't [can't..!] shop at those kinds of places.

I do think duck would be a harder sell. Just because.

I thought about different weights in the base model... I would buy a base model because the difference in weight isn't that great and it is a good price. I am weight conscious but apparently fall into the market for a base quilt :^)

My thoughts when buying the quilt with the 'cheaper' material is feel. Will the more expensive quilt feel better. If it feels just as good, let me/customer know.

If I were going to fracture anything (fork, I guess for the penguin ppl), I would consider a color choice for the base quilt. Either way, you got a stocking thing to consider... It may be that 'customizing' color a little is just as interesting [as choice of weight] to that group of people...

I decided to sew in a footbox because it weighed less. For my synthetic quilt it made a pretty noticeable difference!

I think keeping a zipper or some way to open the formed/shaped box is a good idea.

Edited by Tan68 on 07/22/2013 15:40:34 MDT.

Ben H.
(bzhayes) - F

Locale: So. California
Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 15:39:39 MDT Print View

I love the enigma name.

I agree with the sentiments above to allow the choice between 750 and 850 down. I know when I was looking at your revx I was sold on the 850. I was seriously considering paying the upgrade price to katabic, but everything was so close, except price, that I was sold.

I am not too nuanced, so I wouldn't care what kind of bird you pull them feathers from. You are trying to keep the revx as competitive a price as possible, so it makes sense to use the cheaper down if performance isn't taking a hit.

Edited by bzhayes on 07/22/2013 15:40:12 MDT.

Cole Crawford
(CDC43339) - F

Locale: Omaha
Wonderful work on 07/22/2013 15:43:50 MDT Print View

I haven't taken the plunge on a quilt yet, but I love the customer facing you're doing here. If more companies focused on treating customers this way - from beginning of production all the way to delivering a product - they would get rave reviews and repeat customers. Offering lots of choices - down FP, different models, different color choices - is a great way to customize the product, which I love. Just don't let it become too confusing or time-consuming for you!

Tanner M
(Tan68)
Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 15:55:50 MDT Print View

When I was younger, I was all about the horsepower.

I ordered a car with the engine and transmission I wanted. Chevrolet sold the base model with the typical drive train options and they sold the performance model with the high HP engine.

Most people were happy with that, I guess. However, there is always someone that wants a base model with the engine (V8 Vega or 390 Gremlin, etc.). I wanted to pay base price and get my HP as well...

You had to make your own V8 Vega and the 390 Gremlins weren't a regular stock. Chevrolet allowed me to make my order.

Anyway, there is always a market for base + HP-whatever. If AMC stocked 390 Gremlins on the floor and they didn't cost much more, that would really blur product lines.

Then again, maybe AMC aint the best example.

Tim Marshall
(MarshLaw303) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota
Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 16:16:55 MDT Print View

Yeah,

It gets tough because 850 Down in a RevX is a screaming deal, really always has been. I was going to move to 750 last year actually as the markup on this product is so low i don't make much off it but its 80-90% of my sales. After sept it would be $200-$345 for the RevX in 850. This keeps it one of the best deals out there still compared to Kat and Zpacks but my Rev at $250-$390 is still a hell of a deal compared to theirs with similar fabrics and down. So if the RevX is right there in weight why do people buy my standard Rev? Ive always had this issue and i think 3 distinct quilts will fill 3 distinct roles in the market. I get that everyone always wants the very best for the very least but I think at every price point i will still have that going for me. I gotta think :)

The 3 roles i need to fill:
1) most affordable quilt-RevX-beats JRB, Hammock gear, and UGQ prices for similar fabrics and slightly more weight due to larger better coverage sizing and lower fill 750 down, also only one really made for ground sleepers without ordering custom

2) Competitive performance quilt-Rev-similar fabrics to Katabatic and Nunatak with better coverage due to larger sizing and still killing them on price right behind on weight

3) Maximum performance-Enigma-Jumps right next to Zpacks for lightest weights and still keeps the price in the range the high end user is used to dealing with while using the best water resistant down of any cottage brand hands down.

Im having a hard time thinking i should blur these lines too much by offering 850 in the RevX or Downtek in the Rev

Still thinking

-Tim

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 16:21:12 MDT Print View

Tim,

I would just go with you think is best, I think I can speak for most people on here that we trust your judgement :-)

Ross L
(Ross) - MLife

Locale: Beautiful BC
Re: Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 16:57:02 MDT Print View

Tim

How about 800 fill down, same as Montbell uses in their Spiral Down bags. They seem to have reasonable pricing on many of their down products too.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Re: Re: enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 17:05:08 MDT Print View

Agree with Stephen. Do what you think is best, you know the business better than we do. Sounds like you know your role/fit in the market place.

Ryan

Tim Hafner
(yucaipatim) - M

Locale: Southern California
enLIGHTened equipment product changes in Sept. on 07/22/2013 17:15:43 MDT Print View

Tim-

I think your on the right track with the idea of three market entries that position you favorably in all 3 categories as compared to competitors. I made the decision to buy the Rev X (which I love BTW) because I wanted to try a quilt and felt yours was the best entry level option. If a buyer is not sure that a quilt is the way to go, and wants to try one, the Rev X in 750 fill, with the low price point, will still be the best option out there. Also, once your Rev X buyer figures out that they do like quilts, they will probably be more likely to upgrade to one of your higher end models (because of the more clear distinction between products) rather than switching to a KAT, NUN or Z. Now that I KNOW that I like quilts, my 30 degree Rev X (22.50 ozs) needs to be replaced by something significantly lighter. It would make perfect sense for me to buy an Enigma when they are available. However, with your current line, I don't know that a Rev in 10D would be enough of a weight savings to keep me from considering one of the competitors.