Down more expensive?
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Doug Reeves
(strawman) - F

Locale: God's Country
Down more expensive? on 03/01/2014 13:48:30 MST Print View

I've been out of the sleeping bag market for a couple years but just noticed how expensive down bags are these days. For example, my WM Versalite Long was around $460 just a couple years ago, and now they're selling for $575. Other manufacturers prices seem to have jumped similarly. Other than normal inflation, anyone know the reasons for such drastic price increases?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Down Expense on 03/01/2014 14:12:52 MST Print View

Quantitative Easing....

Marc Britten
(yugami) - F
beef on 03/01/2014 15:18:24 MST Print View

A recent issue of Outside magazine I was flipping through said that the Chinese are eating less geese and duck so they're generating less down.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: beef on 03/01/2014 15:22:13 MST Print View

Yeah, I've seen the same article as Marc. Less plucks on ducks = less down = higher prices

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: beef on 03/01/2014 15:25:47 MST Print View

"A recent issue of Outside magazine I was flipping through said that the Chinese are eating less geese and duck so they're generating less down."
But doesn't explain why brands, like WM, also increased prices for down from e.g. Eastern Europe.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: beef on 03/01/2014 16:07:06 MST Print View

WM increase prices by 10% or so each year.

Babak Sakaki
(persianpunisher) - F
All over on 03/01/2014 20:18:23 MST Print View

It's a worldwide down shortage. Bird flu scares have reducing worldwide poultry consumption

Marc Britten
(yugami) - F
market dynamics on 03/02/2014 05:34:34 MST Print View

"But doesn't explain why brands, like WM, also increased prices for down from e.g. Eastern Europe."

When you reduce the overall amount of down available the price of what is left goes up.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
not enough on 03/02/2014 06:35:44 MST Print View

Odd that JacksRBetter and Hammock Gear have reasonable prices still isnt it?

I think a 20F quilt 55" wide with 850 water resist down from hammock gear is about $265.

Its not the down.

Woubeir (from Europe)
(Woubeir) - F - MLife
Re: market dynamics on 03/02/2014 06:36:01 MST Print View

That would be a good explanation if all down was the same. However, given the fact that there are diffent FP's and Chinese provide mainly the lower FP's, that explanation is not completely correct. Otherwise, that would mean that because their is a lesser supply of low FP Chinese down and WM does buy only high FP's with origin Eastern Europe, that lower supply of Chinese down and the corresponding price increase, would mean also WM increases prices.
If they do that, that's because they pay more, and that's probably because of a lower supply, a higher demand or both.

Marc Britten
(yugami) - F
It keeps going on 03/02/2014 07:01:46 MST Print View

More expensive low fill pushes people who would buy the cheaper gear into better gear which increases the demand for better gear which increases the price.

John Holmes
(pastyj) - F

Locale: North Central Florida
Maybe because it's worth it? on 03/02/2014 10:47:42 MST Print View

I purchased a WM Megalite in Nov 2005 for $310. I thought that was so over-the-top expensive that when asked, I was almost embarrassed to tell my trail mates the price.

9 years later and that bag is indestinguishable from new both cosmetically and functionally. I fully expect to be able to make the same claim 9 years from today. So maybe the price is what it is because it is (more than) worth it in the long run.

Charles Jennings
(vigilguy) - F

Locale: Northern Utah
Price of down on 03/02/2014 13:53:04 MST Print View

"But doesn't explain why brands, like WM, also increased prices for down from e.g. Eastern Europe."

Their prices for goose down have risen dramatically in the last five years.

I am an authorized dealer for WM and had the chance to tour their factory in San Jose a few months ago. Gary P. had explained to me at that time about their rising down prices that they are required to pay.

Doubt it will go down in price in the coming years, but hopefully it will stabilize in the future.

Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: All over on 03/02/2014 18:42:26 MST Print View

When there is less cheap down available from China, then people have to go to other sources, even if more expensive, such as EU geese. Thus a shortage in one area puts pressure on the supply in others. Remember China also made "high quality" down too, it just wasn't as transparent, consistent, or humane as EU geese. Add that bird flu stuff, animal rights concerns, etc and we've got current prices =/

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Down more expensive? on 03/03/2014 15:54:18 MST Print View

Is the price of down down or is down up?

If down is going up, then it really isn't down, is it?

--B.G.--

Doug Reeves
(strawman) - F

Locale: God's Country
Ha on 03/09/2014 17:51:04 MDT Print View

LOL Bob

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Ha on 03/09/2014 17:54:47 MDT Print View

That would be a downer.

--B.G.--

peter vacco
(fluff@inreach.com) - M

Locale: no. california
Re: Down more expensive? on 03/09/2014 19:05:39 MDT Print View

" Other than normal inflation, anyone know the reasons for such drastic price increases? "

what's wrong with 10% a year ?
isn't that "normal " ?
because when you look at how many untold billions of fake dollars have been virtually printed and tossed into the circulation of our stagnant gnp economy, it does not take rocket science to see that each individual dollar now represents a narrow and ever shrinking slice of the value pie.
it's not even math, it's like .. arithmetic.
your currency is losing value, and this effect will become more and more dramatic as the symptom of the printed money fiasco feeds ever more ferociously upon itself.

give this a few years (at the most), and that 10% inflation rate is going to look like kiddy play, from back when the world was a kind and gentle place.

your money is not going back up in value. so, if you want cheap down, buy it now.

good luck,
v.

Tipi Walter
(TipiWalter) - F
North Face Ibex on 03/09/2014 19:22:29 MDT Print View

Back in 1980 I decided to get serious about winter backpacking and sprung for the best bag I could get, which turned out to be a North Face Ibex goose down rated to -10F. It provided safety and security and warmth for the next 20+ years before I had to upgrade to a Marmot.

I paid a little over $300 for this bag back then, and it was North Face's second best bag, right behind the flagship bag called, simply, the North Face. How much was that $300 worth in today's dollars? A little over $900. See the below link.

So, bag prices have actually come down and they are made with much better quality down, zippers and fabrics.

http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=300&year=1980

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: 1980 on 03/09/2014 19:41:20 MDT Print View

Back before that same time frame, REI had been selling some decent down sleeping bags that were sewn in the USA using down imported from Poland. It was thought that mature Polish geeze had great down. Then China jumped into the act and started supplying the raw down to REI's soft goods factory company, Thaw. The Chinese down supplier told Thaw that they ought to just have the entire sleeping bag made in China, since the labor was much cheaper and the quality was just as good, so that happened. I think it has stayed that way now for more than thirty years.

There are still a few remaining North American sleeping bag manufacturers, but not many.

--B.G.--