I started this blog a while ago on the premise that I would start keeping an online record of outdoor gear bargains I have been able to find. In the coming weeks I will try to load up my bargains along with reviews. I have had a couple good finds on winter gear recently since people are still not thinking about the winter with the 90 degree weather we have been enjoying. Lucky for me that means good deals!
Marmot Alpinist Glove
Paid: $45 MSRP: $180
I had been looking for a light pair of gloves for light duty hiking and wet weather during the summer and had not been able to find anything I thought was a good deal. I came across these puppies one day at Wilderness Exchange in the Used Gear section. They are GoreTex on the outside, and have an inner liner glove that is GoreTex as well. I am in love with the liners by themselves because of their breathability and the fact that they’re waterproof. The liners are kept in place within the shell with a Velcro system, and when the liners are worn by themselves there are great fold over tabs to cover the velcro. When the shell is added you get a lot of wrist coverage, which I love. We spend a lot of time in backcountry bowls during the winter, and tend to take quite a few breathers in the middle of the trees, and sometimes getting off your butt in 3 ft of powder is a bit tough and I can see these gloves eliminating the dreaded cold, wet wrists. Typically I would not spend $45 on gloves, but the way I see it, I am getting 2 sets of gloves for the price of 1. Sure you can do that with a lot of other gloves, but when you are someone like me who sees the $180 price tag and then gets them for $45, there is at least the perception of value.
The only thing that I can see about these gloves is the fact that there is a “biner loop” on the back of the middle fingers so you can hang them up. If I were a stickler for weight I would cut them off and I don’t see any real use for them other than it makes them seem more “technical.” Finally, there were tags on the inside stating “2010 Fall Demo, Not for Resale” so I tried to see if that would save me some money at the register but I got shot down. Still, super pumped about this purchase.
Patagonia Fitz Roy Down Jacket
Paid: $40 MSRP: $140-$250
I had been looking into a Patagonia down sweater as my insulation layer but just haven’t found the bargain to make me pop on one. Amidst my search I found an 800 down fill Patagonia jacket at the Wilderness Exchange swap meet. It is much warmer than the down sweater that they make, and a classic in the Patagonia repertoire. I have seen them going new in stores for $199-$250 and now see that Patagonia has dropped the price to $140 at their online store which tells me they are phasing it out.
My particular jacket has light wear and abrasions but still seems to be in good shape, the fill holds its loft and doesn’t appear to be loosing any fill at the seams. The folks had lots of high end apparel and it all seemed appropriately priced for what it was and what kind of condition it was in so I thought I got a fair price after bargaining down $10.
I plan on using this as a cold weather jacket around town and as an insulation layer while skiing and camping on a regular basis in the Rocky Mountains this cold weather season. I think it will also make a great substitute to a down quilt as I continue to test my hammock camping skills this fall. It will also act as my pillow or foot warmer while in the tent this coming fall/winter. I feel this was a solid purchase because it is a warm, insulating jacket, it can also be used in many other ways depending on the situation. I do wish it would have had a hood and come down further in the back, but beggars can’t be choosers when the price is right.
Cloudveil Troller Gloves
Paid: $10 MSRP: $79.95
I was able to pick these up from a guy at: you guessed it, the Wilderness Exchange swap meet. They were moderately worn and broken in when I brought them home and only needed a 5 minute leather conditioning to make them just like new. Not much I can say about these other than the fact that I’ve always wanted them, the price was right, and they will be great while chopping wood at winter camps this winter. They will also be useful when cooking over a fire since I wont have to worry about any synthetic material melting which is always a plus.
Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
Paid: $14.83 MSRP: $89.95
These trekking poles will be used as in all seasons and I plan to beat the crap out of them, which I understand may take a few seasons. I am including them in my winter gear post because they came with powder baskets on them. These were found at an REI garage sale and were the trekking poles they include with their snowshoe rentals. There are so many reasons I grabbed these and am kicking myself for not getting 3 more pairs because the price was so good. These are great because they have the extended foamgrip below the handle which can help when adjusting to inclines/declines without having to adjust pole length and generally making them more versatile. The big thing that makes these so great are the Flip Lock system that Black Diamond was been working on. It is so much more convenient to adjust these poles than my others because they have eliminated all the twisting I used to have to do.
I splurged on full price Black Diamond Trekking Baskets ($4.95) at another shop so I’m in for about $20 for my poles that I will use snowshoeing, winter camping, backcountry skiing, year round hiking, backpacking, and as tent poles for my Sil Tarp. I hope they last.