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ACrowe
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ACrowe
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PostTue Jun 15, 2021 6:24 pm 
Riverside Laker wrote:
Ultralight and indestructible: mutually exclusive.

Completely agree, except you left out ultra expensive.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Jun 15, 2021 7:30 pm 
ACrowe wrote:
That's my biggest peeve with gear companies. They start out with great products that everybody loves then they come out with new improved versions that are garbage.

For many companies in the past the pattern was to start operations in the USA and then once popularity had built up to a certain degree to offshore the manufactoring to lower wage countries.   This transition has to be managed carefully to maintain quality standards.   Numerous companies had degraded their brand value in the process, others have managed to maintain their build quality.

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Randito
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Randito
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PostTue Jun 15, 2021 7:31 pm 
ACrowe wrote:
Riverside Laker wrote:
Ultralight and indestructible: mutually exclusive.

Completely agree, except you left out ultra expensive.

The old saw is "light, strong, cheap"  -- pick two.

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BigBrunyon
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PostWed Jun 16, 2021 12:43 am 
Strong and cheap is the way to go!!!

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YOU NEVER KNOW!!
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rossb
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rossb
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PostWed Jun 16, 2021 11:17 am 
Randito wrote:
The old saw is "light, strong, cheap"  -- pick two.

Yeah, exactly. When it comes to a particular product, sometimes you can save weight just by spending more money. Other times, the weight savings come from making it weaker. Sometimes it is both.

For example, consider a NeoAir. There are now a bunch of variations. Some people will want the lightest version. This may be accomplished by having fewer baffles on the inside. This makes it colder, but otherwise just as strong (the trade-off is obvious). Or maybe you try using really thin fabrics. But if you make it too thin, it will develop leaks. Next thing you know, everyone is returning their pads at REI, and REI is upset with Therm-a-Rest. Not to mention their reputation is sullied. It just doesn't make sense to do this -- at least not on purpose.

It is possible Big Agnes did this. They wanted to shave a few ounces, but did so in the wrong way. But it is also possible that it was just built poorly. I own an ultralight (cottage) tent, and the construction is outstanding. It gets its weight savings from very expensive material (what was then called "Cuben Fiber", but is now "Dyneema Composite Fabric"). But there are various types of that material. Everything from really thin and fragile, to extremely tough (I think you can get tougher versions than shown in this demo). It is really about using the appropriate materials and setting expectations accordingly. You could have really thin material for your tent bottom, but that wouldn't save that much, and it would need repairs almost immediately.

This may have been just bad luck with the Big Agnes tent. Or it may have been poor design decisions, or poor construction. Either way, if you are willing to spend the money, you should be able to get lighter gear that is still strong.

Of course, there are lots of other ways to reduce gear weight (the simplest is to just not bring stuff you don't need).

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Malachai Constant
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Malachai Constant
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PostWed Jun 16, 2021 6:43 pm 
Mountain Hardware was bought out by Columbia and quality went way downhill.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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brineal
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brineal
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PostThu Jun 17, 2021 2:25 pm 
ACrowe wrote:
Snowdog wrote:
Thread drift- but I wanna hear about this.  I have so many friends with Copper Spurs- UL1 & 2's that have been SO happy with them for years. High performance in all conditions & seasons.

Please share your story, and welcome to the site.

I bought my first Copper Spur in 2011 and it served my well for nearly 10 years. It's probably the best tent I ever had.The only problem I had was when I put a tear in the fly by a zipper pull, my careless fault. Big Agnes fixed it for free, no questions asked.

Last summer I retired it and bought the latest version of the Cooper Spur. It was pretty pricey but a little lighter, and based on past experience thought it was worth the price. As soon as it was delivered I opened it up and had some doubts. It really was nice and light but it sure didn't look like it would hold up rough weather in the long run.

I took it on a six week trip to the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Boulder-White Clouds Wilderness, Wind River Range, and finally Glacier Park. During this trip I was extra careful on selecting sites, setting up, and packing the tent. I figured if it looks so fragile a little extra effort might be needed. By the end of the Wind River part a small run and a few small holes developed in the mesh, and one of the loops which hold the stakes was severely frayed.

I might expect this kind of wear and tear after a year or two of use but not after only six weeks in good summer weather. Now I admit these flaws were very minor and I was hesitant to have it repaired. Bit I sent it in anyway and was surprised that they wanted to charge me. I pressed the issue that repairs on such an expensive tent with so little use should be covered free under the warranty. They reluctantly waived the cost for me.

Customer service insisted that the so called damage was my fault. They went on about their innovative high tech design and fabrics, and how extreme care must be exercised in using the tent. I went back and forth with them that they should stand by their products, and as a gesture of good will should have even gone so far as to replace the tent with a new one. In the end I was sorely disappointed that they would not budge an inch, would take absolutely no responsibility, and that there was no possible way that their design, fabrics, and workmanship could produce any flawed products.

I still think it's a great tent but only time will tell how long it lasts. Meanwhile every time I set it up I'll see the repairs and be reminded of a bad customer service experience.

It should also be noted that they sell a Crazylight Tiger Wall 3 Carbon tent for a whopping $1199.95. They even go so far as to state on their website that extra caution is needed to prevent punctures and tears. Now maybe I'm nuts, but if I buy a tent for $1199, or even $500 just to save a couple ounces that thing should be nearly indestructible.

That's amazingly terrible customer service.  For those dollars, you can get into a Hilleberg and be bomb proof.

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