In my quest to continue providing gear deal scans that will never yield one thin dime of income (I know what you’re thinking: cosmic justice!), I added one for Mountain Hardwear this morning. I figured since they’re based up in Richmond I’ve at least got a local angle. But after I had it all set up I found myself wondering: do typical hiker types of our ilk actually own any of this stuff?
I mean, sure, if you’re planning to climb K2 next year you might want to comb through their catalog, but how many people who haunt the trails in these parts have Seven Summits aspirations?
Mountain Hardwear’s Facebook page has over 4,800 fans, so they must be doing something right (or selling something right). Their blog features the usual heroic ascents and hair-raising expeditions — I know, that stuff sells parkas; it just bores me (the heroism is cool; the stamping-your-brand-on-Everest bit is tedious).
But anyway: do you own any MH gear, and what do you think of it? Worth the premium prices? Anything you’re lusting after? I’d like to think the efforts of our friends at the Richmond HQ are worthwhile to the outdoorspeople who spend more time here than in the Himalayas.
Share your wisdom with a comment.
We’ve got a couple of their bivys (should that be bivies?) – work fine but limited use for us – just snowcamping.
I have one of their synthetic hiking shirts which I like. It has a single Napoleon pocket. I would rather have two, but they are getting hard to find.
Well, a good portion of my closet is Hardwear, and I’ll never go anywhere near K2… If you want hiking gear that actually works – then Mountain Hardwear is gonna be worth every penny. I’ve put my clothes through countless miles in the Sierra and they’re all still going strong. No complaints at all.
Having that friends and family store in the area definitely helps! 🙂
I have one pair of Mountain Hardware neoprene gloves that I got on sale several years back. They’re fine, but it’s hard to get toooo excited about neoprene gloves. Most of their stuff is too logo-festooned for my liking.
Adam: I see what you mean, it’s almost as if after you pay the huge price you’re obligated to provide free marketing support as well.
Admittedly I’m a bit of an MHW brand whore because it’s good quality gear but only buy when on sale or clearance (really don’t care if it’s last season’s color), from Sierra Trading Post, etc. which helps keep it affordable. Also, twice a year MHW opens their factory store (normally “friends and family” only) at their Richmond HQ to the public Also nice that it’s a little less “trendy” than TNF.
My winter bag (-20) is a Mountain Hardware and I’ve been happy with it.
I’m pretty sure my ski bottoms and my heavy gaiters are MHW, and possibly one of my pairs of hiking pants.
My complaint about MHW (and THE NORTH FACE) is how obnoxious are their in-your-face logos. Besides price, that’s one main reason I try to buy REI gear: the logo is tucked away and small in most cases. I hate paying high prices to end up as a shill (billboard) for those brands.
Hmm…. their market research must tell them that a certain segment of potential customers is disgusted with the logo-mania, and that these are all sophisticated gear buyers who would seem to be a prime market segment.
Of course a “sophisticated” gear buyer would really have just three requirements:
1) does it do what it’s supposed to do better than its nearest rival?
2) is it available?
3) Is it worth the money?
I suspect the masses of gear buyers would prefer to be seduced by clever marketing, and those masses are the ones who drive sales, rather than the “sophisticated” shoppers.
A couple good comments just got added because I didn’t notice they were in the “moderation” queue.
Sound to me like if folks should grit their teeth and deal with the logo issues if MH has what they need. There’s a zillion ways to build a tent or a sleeping bag or what have you, and it doesn’t make any sense to rule out one company because their marketing schemes annoy you.
Down here in the valley, engineers take everything the marketing types say with a huge grain of salt, but they still try to build good stuff. The same’s no doubt true of the crew in MH’s HQ.
I love Mountain Hardwear. When I hike, bike, go rock-climbing, camp, all my clothes are Mountain Hardwear. For a hiking diva, the clothes are very fitted so they’re stylish. They have great colors and design. I’m pretty much a walking billboard for them. So is Closet Granola. He’s the one that got me into it.
The next friends and family event will be the weekend before Thanksgiving. For all the other Mountain Hardwear fans, hope to see you there.
I swear by my MH PCT 1 solo tent (now named Sprite I think) and my MH Subzero parka and some miscellaneous shirts. And I love finding a company whose quality I trust. So I hate to admit it after reading the above but when I see the logo I feel confident and l look for other stuff made by them.