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      How much quality would you sacrifice...
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tjburns1
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02/23/2012 08:12PM
How much quality would you sacrifice in order to buy locally or made in the USA. These days, prices on equivalent gear, on the high end, seem to be about the same, whether made locally, nationally, or from far, far away.

So at what point do you buy for quality over domestic production? I've been looking at a lot of different gear, made all over and for me, it's a hard call to make. Do I spend $300+ on a tent from manufacturer X, produced in Asia but with impeccable customer service and reliability track record or do I buy from manufacturer Y who produced domestically but who's product has known to be prone to seam failure or faulty poles but who also has excellent customer service?
 
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02/23/2012 08:19PM
are there any tents still made in the US? im curious.

i know ccs leans are but to me they arent a "tent" as most people think of tents.
tjburns1
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02/23/2012 08:22PM
Big Agnes makes tents in Colorado.
tjburns1
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02/23/2012 08:23PM
quote tjburns1: "Big Agnes makes tents in Colorado."
Or they did. I have a BA tent that says made in America.
02/23/2012 09:07PM
I would buy the best tent I could afford no matter where it was made. A leaky tent sucks and after 4 days of rain that leaky tent will ruin your trip no matter where it was made. Tents and rain geat need to work no matter what, do not save a few bucks on those two items.
02/23/2012 09:16PM
I think you have to be realistic, manufacturing is all but dead in the US. There's ONE baseball glove made here. If you have a realistic option to put money in your next door neighbor's pocket vs somebody in Sri Lanka, hell yeh, go for it. There are also some items where the quality of our stuff clearly justifies a higher price, sometimes not, you just have to do what's best for you sometimes.
andym
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02/23/2012 09:40PM
Tarptent's tents are made in America. I would say that their quality and customer service is excellent. You aren't giving anything up except weight in your pack and the illusion that freestanding is necessary. If you are willing to spend $300+ on a tent and want them made in America then definitely take a look.

Tarptent website
Frenchy
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02/23/2012 09:48PM
Aren't Kelty Tents also Made in Boulder CO.?
thistlekicker
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02/23/2012 10:04PM
I've thought about this a little and more or less decided you have to pick your spots, and in some spots there aren't a lot of good options for American-made gear. I would love it if there were, but for things like tents, specialized footwear, raingear, it's tough to do. (note: I would love to hear about good, American-made manufacturers of any outdoor gear)

But canoe gear is actually a good opportunity to buy USA-made because it's somewhat of a niche market and the larger companies - which are often the ones outsourcing - aren't necessarily interested in things like packs designed specifically for portaging, canoe paddles, barrel harnesses, etc.

This might not help you find an affordable American-made tent, but keep your eye out for items where there are good alternatives to Made in China. You could also adapt your style/budget to the American-made gear that is available, like the Tarptent example above.
thistlekicker
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02/23/2012 10:19PM
quote Frenchy: "Aren't Kelty Tents also Made in Boulder CO.?
"


I don't know with 100% certainty, but seriously doubt it.
02/23/2012 10:23PM
quote tjburns1: "Do I spend $300+ on a tent from manufacturer X, produced in Asia but with impeccable customer service and reliability track record or do I buy from manufacturer Y who produced domestically but who's product has known to be prone to seam failure or faulty poles but who also has excellent customer service?"

Buy the best quality you can for wilderness trips. Excellent quality is the best customer service. Excellent customer service does not make up for a product that lets you down halfway through a 100-mile wilderness trip.
Naguethey
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02/23/2012 10:23PM
I would and do try to buy american when ever possible. But that's pretty impossible now adays sadly. And even sadder if the chinese crap would beat our own product. Been looking at all kinds of gear. And some of it techy. Which is pretty much all made in china ;(
thistlekicker
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02/23/2012 10:25PM
quote kanoes: "are there any tents still made in the US? im curious.


i know ccs leans are but to me they arent a "tent" as most people think of tents."


There is a company named Diamond Brand out of Fletcher, NC that does American-made backpacking-style tents for the US military. Not sure if they sell to the public or if they do, what they cost.
02/23/2012 10:31PM
quote thistlekicker: "quote kanoes: "are there any tents still made in the US? im curious.



i know ccs leans are but to me they arent a "tent" as most people think of tents."



There is a company named Diamond Brand out of Fletcher, NC that does American-made backpacking-style tents for the US military. Not sure if they sell to the public or if they do, what they cost.
"



They also do contract mfg for another tent company, starts with an N ends with an O
02/24/2012 06:55AM
Sometimes it isn't just quality that determines whether or not to purchase an American made product, it's the price too. I'm not a man of unlimited means so I have to get the biggest return for my dollar investment. Sometimes it's American and sometimes it's foreign. I would rather buy American always if I could but sometimes the equipment you need/want isn't made here. And does that "attitude" against imported products include items made in Europe? "Attitude" in this case being a problem with Chinese or Asian products vs. those made on the Eurpoean continent.
nojobro
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02/24/2012 07:59AM
quote maxxbhp: "I think you have to be realistic, manufacturing is all but dead in the US. There's ONE baseball glove made here. If you have a realistic option to put money in your next door neighbor's pocket vs somebody in Sri Lanka, hell yeh, go for it. There are also some items where the quality of our stuff clearly justifies a higher price, sometimes not, you just have to do what's best for you sometimes. "

But...aren't you putting money into the pocket of whomever owns the company? Not the poor bloke in Sri Lanka who's just making a (probably very small) wage. (I agree with you...but the person getting the most $ is not the dude in Sri Lanka)
02/24/2012 08:38AM
I wouldn’t sacrifice too much, I buy as much stuff made in the US as I can, I often have to wait for a deal to pop up but it’s worth it. If ever I’m considering 2 competing products and they are about on par I’ll always give the nod to the domestic made unit, even if it costs a little more. I would never buy an inferior product simply because it was made here, even if the customer service is great. A good company should not only have friendly people on the phone but also take (and use) feedback from its users. Having known issues with your products quality and having it go unfixed is the ultimate in bad customer service.

I also look at it this way, and I’m sure its unpopular, but many of these manufacturing jobs were never glamorous or high paying, sadly often done by undocumented workers anyways. If some of those have to go somewhere else in order for a company to reduce overhead and keep the high paying technology and development jobs then that’s just a necessary evil. A company that becomes stagnant due to crushing employee overhead is almost as bad as a company that just closes the doors.
02/24/2012 09:18AM
I buy the best I can afford, or perhaps more accurately, the product that gives me the most value for the money spent. I'm not willing to sacrifice quality. I purchased a Warbonnet Blackbird hammock that was made in the USA for ~$175, and as a test they also offered the same model made in China for ~$135. They were testing having them made in China because they were reaching a point where orders were exceeding their ability to manufacture the product and they were having difficulty finding the manufacturing capacity here in the USA. I'd rather have the one made in the USA, so that's the one I got.

Another option that I take advantage of quite often is to buy used, from someone in the USA. It doesn't matter where the product was made then, someone here receives the $ for it, and I can get much better quality than I would normally be able to afford.
HowardSprague
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02/24/2012 09:26AM
I generally use country of origin as a "tiebreaker". If the quality is known to be questionable, the product will not be on my list.
Once I narrow down my choices in terms of product and an acceptable price range, a product made in the US or in a European country will trump something made in a communist country (or any country with a disregard for human rights).
Savage Voyageur
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02/24/2012 09:30AM
I try to buy U.S. made things when I can. I think that it is a price thing most of us when we buy. I also try to buy quality things, the BWCA has a way of weeding out the junky gear fast.
andym
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02/24/2012 10:16AM
Eureka, as part of Johnson, also makes tents for the military. I think they are the same tents as the ones made by Diamond (probably a design given to them as part of the contract). I assume that the military tents get made in the US but I don't know how to buy them from Eureka. I don't know that this means that other tents by the same companies are made in the U.S.

For the military tents you are giving something up: they are a little on the heavy side.
tjburns1
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02/24/2012 11:14AM
This post had nothing to do with me buying a tent, that was just an example senario.

I personally buy the best gear I can afford. I often search out my gear with pretty specific requirements and don't always even look at where it was manufactured if I find something that meets my requirements.

I think buying used locally is a great suggestion, and something I do frequently.
Naguethey
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02/24/2012 01:32PM
On another note. I do most of my shopping online these days... And you guessed it ebay... In the settings on doing a search. At the very least if I can not buy american made. I buy from an american and won't buy anything that is not in the states. So the money atleast stays here hopefully.
tonyyarusso
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02/24/2012 05:59PM
None. If locals can't match quality, they don't deserve my money. I'm willing to sacrifice cost for quality, but not quality for source.
Scout64
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02/24/2012 06:36PM
I focus 100% on quality.
Beaverjack
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02/24/2012 06:43PM
quote tonyyarusso: "None. If locals can't match quality, they don't deserve my money. I'm willing to sacrifice cost for quality, but not quality for source."

Very few times Americans can't match quality - what they can't match is price. I'll pay a little more for American goods. I don't buy anything made in Viet Nam or Red China.
02/24/2012 07:51PM
Interesting subject, interesting topic.

So, I began to think about my camping/canoeing equipment. So, I checked.

Tent- Made in USA
Tarp- Made in USA
Packs- Made in USA
Stove and Cooking Gear- Made in Sweden
Axe- Made in Sweden
Saw- Made in Sweden
Sleeping Pad- Made in USA
Sleeping Bag- Made in China
Canoe(s)- Made in Canada
Paddles- Made in USA
PFD's- Made in USA
Knife- Made in USA
Long John's (Merino Wool)- Made in Sweden
Socks- Made in USA
Boots- Made in USA
Jeep-Made in USA

I was actually surprised that only one major item was made in China.
Naguethey
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02/24/2012 08:50PM
Your forgetting one part.. Only 30% or 40% of a product has to be made in the usa to be stamped made in usa.

But your still on the right track. Buying american or canadian or another decent forgein country that pays it's workers what they are worth. Rather than treats people like replaceable garbage like china and vietnam does.
Beaverjack
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02/25/2012 05:57AM
Don't forget the MIAs, torture of American POWs, and field execution of prisoners. I know I won't forget.
JJ396
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02/25/2012 09:46PM
quote nojobro: "quote maxxbhp: "I think you have to be realistic, manufacturing is all but dead in the US. There's ONE baseball glove made here. If you have a realistic option to put money in your next door neighbor's pocket vs somebody in Sri Lanka, hell yeh, go for it. There are also some items where the quality of our stuff clearly justifies a higher price, sometimes not, you just have to do what's best for you sometimes. "


But...aren't you putting money into the pocket of whomever owns the company? Not the poor bloke in Sri Lanka who's just making a (probably very small) wage. (I agree with you...but the person getting the most $ is not the dude in Sri Lanka)"


I will NOT put money in the pockets of a supposed "American" company that outsources manufacturing to some third world country. That company has sold out the American workers and does not deserve my money.
These companies outsource to save on labor, but the prices of thier products doesn't go down to reflect these "savings".

It is not always possible but BUY MADE IN AMERICA.
Naguethey
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02/25/2012 10:30PM
[ It is not always possible but BUY MADE IN AMERICA. ]

Hahaha that's for sure. Since this in an internet forum and the keyboard your typing on was made in chine most likely ;]

It's a shame that our government has pushed american business's out of our borders. It's truely impossible to buy just about anything that's 100% made in america now. Absolutely anything that has electronics has china made parts in them. Hell levi's, chuck taylor, and now supposedly redwings are all made outside our country. Who's left here that makes american gear.. Maybe that'd be a good thing to post and pin to a top of a forum.

A gear made in america by americans post.
PINETREE
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02/26/2012 08:14AM
The reason they moved is wages less than $1.00 or so a hour over seas. They had a special on TV about a back packing in Colorado and are own Granite Gear backpack canoe gear company. They both once had all there gear made locally and in the U.S.. They were very proud to have things made solely in America. They were very proud to hire people from the community. They said other like product companies in there business were getting equipment made over seas and under cutting them in price. The only way they could survive was to start out sourcing which they hated to do that.
I know Granite Gear is still trying to keep as much work locally as they can and they did get a multi-million dollar U.S. military contract for backpacks(where made I don't know). Maybe some of the packs are made locally now, I am not sure.

If you want to blame somebody,blame the trade system where workers get paid nothing,and work in unhealthy conditions over seas. I do think we are starting to see where some businesses are coming home.

I will buy locally and U.S. or Canada(I think of them as a extended family) products if I can,even if a little higher priced.
02/26/2012 12:17PM
I just saw a news report last week about how the wages over seas are going up so now it is becoming cheaper to bring the jobs back to the USA. The story made me happy. I believe it was ABC News. Good stuff. At one point I was considering Granite Gear but found out there stuff was not made in America. I have been spending my hard earned $ on packs from Kondos and will be purchasing from CCS soon. I have not used them yet but what I have seen so far looks to be very high quality.
02/26/2012 01:01PM
quote twston: "I just saw a news report last week about how the wages over seas are going up so now it is becoming cheaper to bring the jobs back to the USA. The story made me happy. I believe it was ABC News. Good stuff. At one point I was considering Granite Gear but found out there stuff was not made in America. I have been spending my hard earned $ on packs from Kondos and will be purchasing from CCS soon. I have not used them yet but what I have seen so far looks to be very high quality."

Saw a similar report a couple of months ago on a local TV show highlighting some MN businesses that kept manufacturing local and now they have a competitive advantage. Also an American worker with benefits and decent pay is at least 4x more productive than Asian workers (excluding the Japanese). With Chinese wages rising, less productivity, and oil prices rising it is not as cheap as it once was to ship jobs over seas.

I don't think this a big trend, the flip side of the equation is a lot of Americans don't want these jobs....They will never be what we consider high paying--even if the jobs come back to the USA. Who knows what will happen.

T
tjburns1
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02/26/2012 01:27PM
quote JJ396: "quote nojobro: "quote maxxbhp: "I think you have to be realistic, manufacturing is all but dead in the US. There's ONE baseball glove made here. If you have a realistic option to put money in your next door neighbor's pocket vs somebody in Sri Lanka, hell yeh, go for it. There are also some items where the quality of our stuff clearly justifies a higher price, sometimes not, you just have to do what's best for you sometimes. "



But...aren't you putting money into the pocket of whomever owns the company? Not the poor bloke in Sri Lanka who's just making a (probably very small) wage. (I agree with you...but the person getting the most $ is not the dude in Sri Lanka)"



I will NOT put money in the pockets of a supposed "American" company that outsources manufacturing to some third world country. That company has sold out the American workers and does not deserve my money.
These companies outsource to save on labor, but the prices of thier products doesn't go down to reflect these "savings".


It is not always possible but BUY MADE IN AMERICA."


I don't know if I can get down with "sold out the American worker". Sure it's cheaper to outsource, but the American education system and the drive for high paying, degree requiring jobs has made it nearly impossible to find enough workers willing to work in the manufacturing industry for even a livable wage. The American worker, in a word, has sold out himself in most cases with his high expectation in wage, work environment and benefits, overqualifications and the like.

Like everybody else, I would like to see more manufacturing happening inside our borders by legal residents of this country, for livable wages, but blaming the lack of it strictly on business owner is folly.
Woods Walker
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02/26/2012 02:26PM
I guess for me it boils down to who makes the best product for the money I have to spend. I will never buy an inferior product just because it was made in the USA. I work hard for my money & vacation time, so having a product let me down when in use really sucks.

Now if I'm looking at two items that are very close in quality & price... I would buy American even if the cost is a little higher (within reason).
JJ396
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02/26/2012 04:20PM
Here is a link about companies that do make products in the USA.

Made in USA
Beaverjack
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02/26/2012 04:56PM
This thread is mislabled. With American goods, it's not the quality that you're sacrificing. Frugality/greed is what drives people to purchase foreign goods, not the desire for better quality in 99.9% of the cases.
tjburns1
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02/26/2012 05:01PM
quote Beaverjack: "This thread is mislabled. With American goods, it's not the quality that you're sacrificing. Frugality/greed is what drives people to purchase foreign goods, not the desire for better quality in 99.9% of the cases."

The thread was not mislabeled. It may have evolved. But the question was posed hypothetically. If your numbers are right, then I was asking about the .1% or cases. While you didn't answer the question asked, I will say I'll add availability to the list of why people buy goods not made in America.
PineKnot
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02/26/2012 06:01PM
When I was younger, price mattered more than quality. As I got older and earned more money, I began to buy what I considered better quality stuff. Even today, I don't give much thought to where things are made. If the quality is good and the price is not ridiculously inflated, I buy it, regardless of where it's made. If it's American-made, that's nice, but not paramount.
jb in the wild
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02/26/2012 06:23PM
Exped Switzerland

BA sleeping bags Colorado


Tent Mt Alps Missouri

Canoe Canada

OTB Boots US

Packs Granite Gear Used to be US not sure anymore


Now I was just wondering about "The Taj" when I tried to find out where they were made all I could find on REI site was Imported. Does anyone know where they are made?


JB
Beaverjack
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02/26/2012 06:56PM
Availability is indeed a problem - nowdays. To answer your question directly, I won't sacrifice one iota of quality. I always told my kids, "Quality is cheaper in the long run." Boy, is our country ever learning that lesson the hard way.
BWPaddler
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02/27/2012 09:58PM
So... who's gonna start the thread and sticky it to the top of this forum? List BW gear that's made in the USA so those interested can prioritize as they wish. I think that's a great idea - someone mentioned farther up in the thread.
tjburns1
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02/27/2012 10:10PM
I've been cataloging American made outdoors gear, mainly compiling a list from what I've seen on this site and others. If theres interest, I can post the list. I'm sure it's really incomplete but its a jumping off point.
Naguethey
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02/28/2012 04:47PM
There's interest for sure. I for one would most definately do my best to keep money I spend in american pockets.
02/28/2012 06:00PM
quote Naguethey: "There's interest for sure. I for one would most definately do my best to keep money I spend in american pockets."
Yep.....if its made in the USA, I'm all over it. We need manufacturing industries and jobs here. I don't care who owns the company. I get somewhat PO'ed when people buying cars say: "I made sure the car had a "J" as the first letter of the VIN...that way I knew it was made in Japan."
JJ396
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02/28/2012 06:56PM
quote tjburns1: "quote JJ396: "quote nojobro: "quote maxxbhp: "I think you have to be realistic, manufacturing is all but dead in the US. There's ONE baseball glove made here. If you have a realistic option to put money in your next door neighbor's pocket vs somebody in Sri Lanka, hell yeh, go for it. There are also some items where the quality of our stuff clearly justifies a higher price, sometimes not, you just have to do what's best for you sometimes. "



But...aren't you putting money into the pocket of whomever owns the company? Not the poor bloke in Sri Lanka who's just making a (probably very small) wage. (I agree with you...but the person getting the most $ is not the dude in Sri Lanka)"




I will NOT put money in the pockets of a supposed "American" company that outsources manufacturing to some third world country. That company has sold out the American workers and does not deserve my money.
These companies outsource to save on labor, but the prices of thier products doesn't go down to reflect these "savings".



It is not always possible but BUY MADE IN AMERICA."



I don't know if I can get down with "sold out the American worker". Sure it's cheaper to outsource, but the American education system and the drive for high paying, degree requiring jobs has made it nearly impossible to find enough workers willing to work in the manufacturing industry for even a livable wage. The American worker, in a word, has sold out himself in most cases with his high expectation in wage, work environment and benefits, overqualifications and the like.


Like everybody else, I would like to see more manufacturing happening inside our borders by legal residents of this country, for livable wages, but blaming the lack of it strictly on business owner is folly."


I guess I don't consider expecting a decent wage for a days work means a worker has "sold out himself".

There are plenty to blame the loss of American jobs on. It isn't just the buisness owner. I think if people would take a little time to look for American made products it would help immensely.

I just don't like to send my money to other countries if I can avoid it.
Lymphocytosis
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02/28/2012 07:45PM
This has made me sit down and evaluate my own gear. Since I hammock, nearly all of my sleeping gear was either made by me or by cottage shops run by one or two people here in the States.

Most of my cooking gear is ultralight and again, either made by me or by small industries here in the US, namely a small alcohol stove and my Emberlit. The only thing that I can thing of that wasn't is my little Ti pot. Even my spork was made here.

My packs, all made in Lino Lakes by our own Dan Cooke or someone in his shop.

My clothing is where it starts to fall apart. A lot of my outdoor clothing is from Cabela's. All made in China. Probably my socks and boots are the only things made here.

I don't care so much about ONLY buying US made, but I do like supporting cottage shops from people that I know by name.
Coda1
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03/04/2012 09:11PM
I bought one of the only American made tents I could find about 7 years ago. It was a Marine two man combat tent from Eureka. Military tents are required by law (Berry Amendment) to be made in the USA. The quality is excellent and even came with the seams sealed. The only drawback is the weight since it is built to military specifications. I am sure it will outlast almost any tent on the market.

I believe this thread I started 7 years ago is the most complete list of American made camping gear on this site. Feel free to add anything not listed yet. Plus it bumps it back to the top of the forum.
Made in USA thread on BWCA.com

These are the American tents that I know of.

Tarptent - www.tarptent.com

Snow Trekker Tents - www.snowtrekkertents.com - Winter Tents

Kifaru - www.kifaru.net - Winter Tents

Eureka military tents http://military.eurekatents.com

ORC Industries - www.orcind.com

Diamond Brand http://www.diamondbrand.com/manufacturing/


quote Naguethey: "Your forgetting one part.. Only 30% or 40% of a product has to be made in the usa to be stamped made in usa.

From the FTC website on what can be labels as made in USA.
"that the product is all or virtually all made in the United States"



PINETREE
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03/05/2012 07:37AM
Interesting on the Military eureka tents. I know the timberline models are overseas,at least they use to be. I know Granite Gear(I really like their stuff) got a multi- million dollar military contract for backpacks,does anyone know where the military packs were made? I am very curious?
Coda1
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03/05/2012 05:05PM
quote PINETREE: "Interesting on the Military eureka tents. I know the timberline models are overseas,at least they use to be. I know Granite Gear(I really like their stuff) got a multi- million dollar military contract for backpacks,does anyone know where the military packs were made? I am very curious?"

I believe military packs are also required to be American made. I checked a couple of Granite Gear tactical packs on the following site and they were made in USA.
http://www.us-elitegear.com//brand.html?brands=111
PINETREE
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03/05/2012 05:33PM
Thanks.
Bdubguy
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03/08/2012 09:17PM
Interesting discussion... My feelings are similar to many, I will always prefer American Made. But as I think about my stuff, it's a hodge podge collected over the years, some good, some so-so. I buy the best I can justify at the moment.

I like this quote - "The bitter taste of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgetten"
 
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