UKH

PRODUCT NEWS: The North Face Advanced Mountain Kit range at Ellis Brigham

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Introducing Advanced Mountain Kit. The most sophisticated alpine climbing system The North Face has ever created. A specialist series, AMK incorporates apparel, accessories, and equipment. Collaborating with elite athletes, designers, and innovators, the collection redefines high mountain performance. Rethinking the needs of the world's best, Advanced Mountain Kit enables alpinists to push the limits of their potential.

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6
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

If only they hadn't trashed their brand image by selling total crap for years then maybe they'd be able to get away with charging ridiculous prices that make arcteryx look reasonable.

1
 GrahamD 21 Sep 2021
In reply to pancakeandchips:

I'm not sure they sold total crap.  They just targeted a more mainstream customer base.  Terms like "Brand Image" are a bit telling, I think.  Climbers seem a bit obsessed with it.

3
 VictorM 21 Sep 2021
In reply to pancakeandchips:

True story. I must say that backpack looks nice aside from the color but it does not look 515 pounds nice. 

These prices are ridiculous. 145 pounds for a pair of softshell gloves while specialist glove brands charge maybe slightly over half for a similar product. These products are clearly meant for those who equate most expensive with most bestest. 

I have a TNF Alpine 50 backpack which I quite like design wise but the construction should be much better than it is considering what I paid for it. Gonna keep using it until it falls apart and then it's going to be replaced by the most similar pack from another brand. 

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

They have to pay for that GUCCI collab somehow.. this looks like the scapegoat!

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

"Proprietary cut proof yarn". It's almost worth spending the 500 readies to prove them wrong...

 Pedro50 21 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

The sleeves of the pullover are clearly too short.

In reply to GrahamD:

> I'm not sure they sold total crap.  They just targeted a more mainstream customer base. 

I suspect they are still targeting them (or at least the ones with more money than sense). The idea is probably to give the stuff to a few ambassathletes to try to give it credibility, but I can't see many genuine climbers forking out their own money.

Post edited at 17:30
 GrahamD 21 Sep 2021
In reply to Robert Durran:

It always surprises me how many fork out for Arctyrex, though.

2
 tjhare1 21 Sep 2021
In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

Agreed, these prices are pretty silly. But it does also grate a bit when people slate TNF as being producers of garbage for the mass market. Yes, they do produce a lot of that, but they do and have in the last decade produced some of the best bits of kit I’ve owned or used. For example: mountain guide mitts are still by favourite belay mitt; apex icefall pants still my favourite euro ice trousers; my patched up inferno pants my go to rock trousers; my alpine project is still my best fitting and preferred softshell; redpoints weren’t bad light duty belay jackets; the list goes on.

So, just because a company thinks it’s commercially sensible to flog a load of naff stuff, should we condemn them even though they also produce some really great products? Surely not?!

In reply to UKC/UKH Gear:

I'm a big fan of TNF, always have been. Good technical gear and, not gunna lie, I do own some trackies, tees and hoodies because they're decent and comfy!

That purple pullover is an absolute beaut I just don't think I could ever justify that cost! Being this is the new season special item I expect the tech to filter down into a (much) cheaper offering next season that I will willingly pay for.

I do like to see brands bringing out cool and interesting stuff though. The same down jacket season after season or Gore pro offering does get a smidge dull so props to TNF for something snazzy!

 galpinos 22 Sep 2021
In reply to McKEuan:

> I do like to see brands bringing out cool and interesting stuff though. The same down jacket season after season or Gore pro offering does get a smidge dull so props to TNF for something snazzy!

1. These products are a loss leader. They are not intended to sell in large numbers nor make the brand money. They establish the brand credibility and encourage people to buy into the brand, but at a lower price point, where margin is higher and volume is expected.

2. You have to be a big enough company to produce these loss leader type product. Smaller brands are restricted, they need to make what sells, and "top end alpinism" is a very small market in which the entire customer base is either sponsored or broke. TNF can do it, as can Patagonia and Arc'teryx. Mountain Equipment and Montane, not so much

3. New products does not always mean innovation. There's a reason, for example, the R1 Hoody/Eclipse Hoody is still in the Patagonia/Mountain Equipment range. They are fantastic bits of kit not yet bettered. Don't praise change for the sake of change.

4. As the world continues to heat up and we look at our habits and what needs to change, consumption is right up there. Maybe "something new and snazzy" is no longer the way forward!

The North Face has always produced great kit, they just get shunned by punters worried their peer status as "crag hard man" will be affected by the fact they have the same jacket as the lads from the local estate.

1
In reply to McKEuan:

> I do like to see brands bringing out cool and interesting stuff though. The same down jacket season after season or Gore pro offering does get a smidge dull so props to TNF for something snazzy!

Your mindset seems totally alien to me!

1
In reply to Robert Durran:

Fair enough.

I'm guessing you don't like innovation?

3
In reply to galpinos:

> 1. These products are a loss leader. They are not intended to sell in large numbers nor make the brand money. They establish the brand credibility and encourage people to buy into the brand, but at a lower price point, where margin is higher and volume is expected.

Oh absolutely, who in their right mind is going to by a £500 quid rucksack and then thrash themselves in a Scottish chimney.

> 2. You have to be a big enough company to produce these loss leader type product. Smaller brands are restricted, they need to make what sells, and "top end alpinism" is a very small market in which the entire customer base is either sponsored or broke. TNF can do it, as can Patagonia and Arc'teryx. Mountain Equipment and Montane, not so much

I would argue that Mountain Equipment is much bigger than Montane and in terms of it's use of Gore tex alone has one of the largest offerings of waterproof jackets and when you look at the lightline which is probably one of the most SMU'd products in the UK I don't think they're broke at all just probably have a more sensible business model which doesn't involve loss leaders as they are so established.

> 3. New products does not always mean innovation. There's a reason, for example, the R1 Hoody/Eclipse Hoody is still in the Patagonia/Mountain Equipment range. They are fantastic bits of kit not yet bettered. Don't praise change for the sake of change.

Personally I'm not a fan of Patagonia, I find their products dull but that's me. 

> 4. As the world continues to heat up and we look at our habits and what needs to change, consumption is right up there. Maybe "something new and snazzy" is no longer the way forward!

I do agree with this and mass consumerism needs to slow down BUT are we now not allowed to even admire kit and innovation? I'm not going to buy any of this Barney the outdoor dinosaur outfit  as it's way to expensive but I think it's flipping cool. There's a strange balance between sustainable outdoors and producing kit that will last the test of time. I know so many people who have a piece of kit that is at least 15 years old and has never failed and will probably go on for another 10 years. On the other hand the newer fabrics with flurocarbon free DWRs and lightweights are, perhaps, not as sustainable as they won't last as long just on paper they have all the credentials. When I worked for Haglofs they where doing amazing things with Recycled gore tex and actually trying to strip the membranes off the face fabric to try and recycle it. 

> The North Face has always produced great kit, they just get shunned by punters worried their peer status as "crag hard man" will be affected by the fact they have the same jacket as the lads from the local estate.

In reply to McKEuan:

> I'm guessing you don't like innovation?

Nothing against innovation, but your post came across to me as just admiring shiny new stuff for shininess' sake. Maybe I misinterpreted it.

In reply to Robert Durran:

Sorry, my reply was very shitty.

I admit, I do like shiny kit.

 galpinos 22 Sep 2021
In reply to McKEuan:

> Oh absolutely, who in their right mind is going to by a £500 quid rucksack and then thrash themselves in a Scottish chimney.

I bet they grace the slopes of a certain few ski resorts though!

> I would argue that Mountain Equipment is much bigger than Montane and in terms of it's use of Gore tex alone has one of the largest offerings of waterproof jackets and when you look at the lightline which is probably one of the most SMU'd products in the UK I don't think they're broke at all just probably have a more sensible business model which doesn't involve loss leaders as they are so established.

I think they are about the same size, give or take. I don't think either are broke, but I think they have to be a lot more conservative in what they do. ME is part of OSC, which is bigger than Montane on it's own, but now Montane is owned by an investment company, who knows what'll happen. Ewquip is obviously bigger than them both.

> Personally I'm not a fan of Patagonia, I find their products dull but that's me.

Interesting. They brought grid fleece to the masses (R1), made a hooded baselayer the definitive winter choice (R1 Hoody), made belay jackets "a thing" (DAS Parka), the Nano Air was the first "breathable synthetic", they created the current line of lidless alpine packs with combined lid/drawstring combo and the Micro puff is probably the most cutting edge lightweight synthetic on the market? If only they could have a consistent sizing pattern........

> I do agree with this and mass consumerism needs to slow down BUT are we now not allowed to even admire kit and innovation? I'm not going to buy any of this Barney the outdoor dinosaur outfit  as it's way to expensive but I think it's flipping cool. There's a strange balance between sustainable outdoors and producing kit that will last the test of time. I know so many people who have a piece of kit that is at least 15 years old and has never failed and will probably go on for another 10 years. On the other hand the newer fabrics with flurocarbon free DWRs and lightweights are, perhaps, not as sustainable as they won't last as long just on paper they have all the credentials. When I worked for Haglofs they where doing amazing things with Recycled gore tex and actually trying to strip the membranes off the face fabric to try and recycle it. 

I think product care will become much more of a thing. My mother instilled the make do and mend philosophy into me so I am quite happy with mended holes etc. Betrafol makes you look rad!

In reply to galpinos:

> Interesting. They brought grid fleece to the masses (R1),

My R1 Pullover (bought half price) must be 15 years old now, and I've used it loads climbing, on trips etc. but it still looks like new, even smart enough to wear with non-tatty jeans for going to the pub or similar. Pretty good value, for something that you trust on your most serious climbing/skimo trips but also use casually. Then again, I still regularly wear my Patagonia Snap T which will soon be 30 years old!

> made a hooded baselayer the definitive winter choice (R1 Hoody),

Waited for a mate to be going to Canada and bought the MEC rip-off version for about a quarter of the price! For anyone who does want an R1 Hoody but can't afford one, I can personally recommend the Alpkit Griffon, 40 quid-ish versus 140 RRP on the Patagonia one. I've actually come to prefer it over my MEC R1 Hoody clone because the Griffon has a full length zip which makes it easier to put on and take off. But gridded micro fleece - just brilliant stuff.

> made belay jackets "a thing" (DAS Parka), 

I reckon my 2001 DAS is still the warmest jacket I have. If the weather is trying to kill you, you want a DAS! My opinion has really changed much since I wrote this 13 years ago: https://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/clothing/down_insulation/belay_jackets-1375 I haven't even seen the new ones let alone tried one, but I hope they are good as the original ones. 

 jethro kiernan 23 Sep 2021
In reply to TobyA:

Saved me a reply on both counts Das & Griffon 😏


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