UKH

Thoughts on North Ridge gear?

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 y2keable 05 Jun 2014
I'm new to this brand, It seems that it's only sold in GoOutdoors so perhaps this is their in-house brand/own label. I'm unsure about the quality of these producs (it comes across to me as another High Gear or Eurohike sort of brand) and I'm looking at the Altitude 2 Mountain tent.

Will I be better off saving a little more and getting a lighter tent with stronger fabric for a few hundred more or is this thing a bargin?

http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/north-ridge-altitude-2-tent-p188781

Any thoughts would be appreciated
Jay
In reply to Jayson Keable:

As with any own-brand, the majority of the goods are made by "normal" manufacturers. Just take a look at their axes and crampons, and it is clear they they are simply re-badged Grivel.

I've looked at this tent too - clearly based on the Quasar, but with amended flysheet design. Strength-wise I suspect it'll be excellent, but can't comment on the quality of the construction or materials.

Have you read the reviews? They seem pretty positive.
In reply to Jayson Keable:

I get the impression that it's more like Go Outdoors' version of higher-end Quechua gear. It's never cheap cheap cheap like Hi-Gear. Note that Go Outdoors sells cheap Hi-Gear tents, trekking boots etc. and dearer North Ridge tents, trekking boots etc. but never cheap North Ridge nor expensive Hi-Gear. That should tell you something. I was tempted by their £40 40l "mountaineering" sack, was wary of the brand, and ended up with a Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack which proved to not be very durable at all :-/
OP y2keable 05 Jun 2014
In reply to rj_townsend:

I've actually struggled to find any reviews, hence this thread.

I was hoping someone would confirm my suspicion that North Ridge is re-branded from various other quality brands. I know that brands like TNF don't make their own tents, they re-brand other companies designs and the customer ends up paying more simply for the TNF logo.

Cheers
OP y2keable 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> (In reply to Jayson Keable)
>
>Note that Go Outdoors sells cheap Hi-Gear tents, trekking boots etc. and dearer North Ridge tents, trekking boots etc. but never cheap North Ridge nor expensive Hi-Gear.

Good point
In reply to Jayson Keable:

> I've actually struggled to find any reviews, hence this thread.

Click on "All Reviews" next to the row of five stars underneath the product name on your link...

OP y2keable 05 Jun 2014
In reply to rj_townsend:

Hummm, yeah. I tend not to take notice of reviews on retailers websites, often allot of them are written by either the retail staff or the manufacturer staff. Any bad reviews are often deleted by the webmaster. I'm especially cautious with a massive company like GoOutdoors where it's all about the proffits.

Finding an independant website with North Ridge reviews has proven a little tricky.
 SGD 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jayson Keable:

Although I don't own this specific tent I do own 2 North ridge tents both of which have proved to be very good. 1 is a semi Geodesic mountain tent which appears to be very similar to the product you are considering the other is more of a campsite/tunnel tent (a large 2 man).

Both the tunnel tet and the mountain tent have been used in typical English weather and both for a couple of years now and neither is showing signs of needing rewaterproofing, seems going, poles replacing etc.
 galpinos 05 Jun 2014
In reply to Jayson Keable:
> I know that brands like TNF don't make their own tents, they re-brand other companies designs and the customer ends up paying more simply for the TNF logo.

I realise lots of companies sub contract design and manufacture but who's tents do TNF re-brand?
 gdnknf 05 Jun 2014
In reply to galpinos:

> I realise lots of companies sub contract design and manufacture but who's tents do TNF re-brand?

Nobodies, according to the rep. TNF design all their own tents apparently.

In reply to galpinos:
> I realise lots of companies sub contract design and manufacture but who's tents do TNF re-brand?

AFAIK they don't (although I'm more than willing to be corrected).

That said, I don't know what their tent design team is playing at, whoever they are. They are ditching a popular and proven product design (Tadpole) and jumping on the bandwagon of needing to have a 'new, innovative' design (Tadpole Pro) that seems a clear backwards step in strength and robustness.

However, going back to the OP's question. The tent is a direct copy of the well-established Terra Nova Quasar so performance wise it will be a pretty safe bet. The weight penalty vs cost saving trade-off is clear but for me the biggest issue would be the long-term durability (5+ years) of the ground sheet and fly. Unfortunately that is something I think you won't be able to get any info on so you'll just have to make a decision.
In reply to Jayson Keable:

I look at it like this, hi gear is Tesco own brand, north ridge is Tesco finest and freedom trail is value. Sometimes the own brand is pretty good, sometimes the finest is just as good as the branded, and some I wouldn't touch with a barge pole.

Tents, pretty good actually.

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