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#188416 - 01/07/15 06:18 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? ***** [Re: TomD]
shua Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 26
Loc: North Dakota
Well I will say I have an Ozark 3 man tent i lugged that thing for miles, it was hell and i will never do it again, i would sooner roll up in a tarp. But what i can say is, first time out i got pounded by rain with it, the rainfly did not work well as we got fairly wet, so I bought some water seal spray and it works fine now, next observation is mine has been durable compared to what everyone else is saying, in North Dakota most camping is car camping and i use it a lot with my buddies on fishing weekends several times a summer, I'd guessential I've spent (90 nights in it and set it up at least 40 times and I have not broke any component on it, my guess is those broken tents you see are people who had no idea how to use a tent or set it up properly, (like most people who buy that gear) I would say it's a solid tent as long as you car camp, put a tarp under it and don't have sideways rain as the rainfly doesn't go all the way down really. But it is a solid tent if you are just setting up Basecamp and doing day hikes.

As far as sleeping bags i would say don't go cheap i slept in a cheap bag and in reality I did not sleep and that is miserable.

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#188431 - 01/08/15 12:50 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: shua]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By shua
As far as sleeping bags i would say don't go cheap i slept in a cheap bag and in reality I did not sleep and that is miserable.

Define cheap. I'm looking at the Kelty Cosmic Down 20/21 as an eventual purchase, and that's definitely about as much as I want to spend. Is that cheap, or did you mean more department store type bags?

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#188438 - 01/08/15 06:46 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: 4evrplan]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
The Kelty looks like a decent bag for the price. The down is low fill power, which requires more of it compared to high fill power down, but keeps the cost down. A big difference between this bag and a cheap bag from Wal-Mart.
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#188439 - 01/08/15 07:02 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6400
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
At least the Kelty Cosmic Down is EN13537 tested, so there are some relatively objective criteria for its temperature ratings. With most inexpensive sleeping bags, assume that the minimum temperature ratings dreamed up by their marketing departments are 15*F or more too low!

The Cosmic Down probably won't last as long as a high quality down bag, and is, of course, heavier. However, it should outlast most synthetic bags if well cared for. (Synthetic insulation doesn't recover nearly as well from being compressed.)

More on EN13537 ratings here.


Edited by OregonMouse (01/08/15 07:04 PM)
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#188448 - 01/09/15 02:28 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: 4evrplan]
shua Offline
member

Registered: 11/16/14
Posts: 26
Loc: North Dakota
Originally Posted By 4evrplan
Originally Posted By shua
As far as sleeping bags i would say don't go cheap i slept in a cheap bag and in reality I did not sleep and that is miserable.

Define cheap. I'm looking at the Kelty Cosmic Down 20/21 as an eventual purchase, and that's definitely about as much as I want to spend. Is that cheap, or did you mean more department store type bags?


I'm talking about a Walmart sleepingbag, i think a Coleman maybe? I took a buddy on his first trip and he said he had gear, that was what he meant a school backpack with a Coleman sleeping bad rated for 20 on a 35 night, and he shared a tent with me, he also brought a bunch of canned food and soda, well I wanted his first trip to not be to terrible, so I let him use my sleeping bag, and when he got fatigued i asked what was in his bag and ended up carrying his 2 liter Pepsi and a few cans of baked beans in my bag for him, I've tought him how to pack since.

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#188541 - 01/13/15 02:58 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: Roastduck]
robojoel Offline
newbie

Registered: 01/12/15
Posts: 4
We have an Ozark Trail family tent that has lasted a few seasons. I would definetly not want to cheap out on a pack though, as the pain can from improperly weighted / fitted bags can put a real damper on a hike.

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#190312 - 04/21/15 08:18 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: Roastduck]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I was at WalMart last week. I picked up a couple "Outdoor Products" collapsible water bottles and Britta filters. Those are my favorite water bottles. They generally last me a year and I use them everyday, not just for backpacking.

While I was there I took a look at their new packs. The biggest ones they had look a lot like Osprey's packs, and they look to be well made with decent material. I can't recommend them but wouldn't jump to the conclusion they're not usable or worth the money without first hand knowledge of them.

I've been very happy with my Kelty Lightyear Down 20 bag, but I've never seen a bag in a WalMart that was good enough for backpacking. I've used them for that, so I do have experience with those, but I knew they weren't up to snuff. I still wouldn't let that stop me from going on short trips though.
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#190317 - 04/21/15 11:10 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: billstephenson]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 242
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By billstephenson
I've never seen a bag in a WalMart that was good enough for backpacking.


Interesting. I see they no longer offer the OT 32 degree down bag for $80 anymore. That was pretty short lived. Great value, too, though it was closer to 40 degree, of course.

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#190319 - 04/22/15 12:49 AM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: topshot]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3889
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Yeah, the duck down bag they had online looked like a real good deal to me, but I never saw one in their stores here.
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"You want to go where?"



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#199649 - 12/02/17 04:21 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: billstephenson]
EMT Dave Offline
member

Registered: 11/24/16
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
I have not one, but two of the duck down bags. I have been planning to review them for awhile. Before continuing, I paid a big $30 for one and $20 for the other, discontinued.I originally bought one as a liner for weather just a tad chillier than my old two season bag would permit. I bought the second before trying the first.
First, I was astounded by the quality of the sewing on the bags. They are now sewn through, but box construction. The zipper seems of good quality and the design if not cutting edge, adequate.
But...and I should spell it BUT...the fill is grossly inadequate for anything perhaps but the warmest of summer. There are major areas in which there is no down whatsoever. Put you head inside and there is not even enough down to redistribute.
The fit around my shoulders is quite tight.
So, if you can find one cheaply, you are not wide through the shoulders and do not care about warmth, maybe it is a go. It might still work as a liner. I carried both of them this fall for a mid-fall excursion where the weather was supposed to be on the mild side of seasonable, and well, I did not freeze to death. (High praise that!)I put one inside the other and when I found the shoulder area too constricting turned the liner upside down and tucked my down sweater around my shoulders. I was adequately warm in a ultralight tent, despite not having had warm food.
You pay your money and take your chances.

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#199666 - 12/02/17 10:47 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: Roastduck]
EMT Dave Offline
member

Registered: 11/24/16
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
For many of us, renting is not an option and if, like me you are broke, you have to do something to gear up.
I do not think on the whole that Ozark Trails is a good idea in your situation.
I have been terminally broke most of my 65 years and I do not expect it to change much. Never less, I have decent, even excellent gear.
My main packs were bought on eBay, both excellent packs, one Kelty, another Lowe for under $60, discontinued models.
Other gear has been more problematic. I have haunted stores for returned merchandise (REI has garage sales periodically), bought used or aftermarket on eBay and otherwise. I have occasionally had to return merchandise that did not work out, including a large internal frame pack from China. Alternatively the Chinese multi-fuel stove I bought seems an exact clone of a pricey US stove. (Were they made in the same factory?)
Basically you have to be careful and hunt with cunning and patience. When you see a remarkable buy, spend even if it will pinch for awhile.
I would avoid Ozark Trails sleeping bags (see what places like Dick's Sporting has in off season-I know, Dicks is not great, but they handle Eureka, which is considerably better than OT).
Avoid OT tents, the reviews have them as fragile and leaky.
For a stove, buy a Amazon/Chinese propane stove if that is your choice of fuel. Mine is small, light and so far reliable. It sold for around $10.
I like the Chinese copy of a Trangia alcohol stove I bought for something like $10, likewise on Amazon.
Ozark Trails sleeping pads are about as good as the big name and it will save you maybe $10. What can go wrong in a closed cell pad?
OT packs look good in the store. I might use their daypacks or overnight/weekend packs for daytrips where failure of the pack would not be a catastrophe. I looked at them earlier and they seemed decent.
Garbage gear does not save money in the long run. A good pack should be your first purchase, you can even use it in daily strolls with water bottles for conditioning. A good sleeping bag should be your second purchase. A cheap stove will do. If you do not need a full tent with fly, other options are cheaper. I did without a full tent for years. A new stove can be cheap if you pick propane or alcohol. A cookset can often be found at Goodwill. Alternatively a cheap Boy Scout set will work, just pick something light. Good synthetic athletic clothing can be had at Goodwill for pennies. Footwear can be decent running shoes if the weather is decent. Alternatively I have found my Ozark Trails walking shoes to be decent for the walks of up to five miles on sidewalks and running on a treadmill.
Just shop smart and be in no rush.


Edited by EMT Dave (12/03/17 04:40 PM)

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#199667 - 12/02/17 10:51 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: billstephenson]
EMT Dave Offline
member

Registered: 11/24/16
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By billstephenson
Yeah, the duck down bag they had online looked like a real good deal to me, but I never saw one in their stores here.

They are grossly underfilled with major cold spots. Sewing though is great. See my post.

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#199715 - 12/05/17 08:15 PM Re: how bad of an idea is Ozark Trail gear? [Re: TomD]
EMT Dave Offline
member

Registered: 11/24/16
Posts: 53
Loc: MA
Originally Posted By TomD
The Kelty looks like a decent bag for the price. The down is low fill power, which requires more of it compared to high fill power down, but keeps the cost down. A big difference between this bag and a cheap bag from Wal-Mart.


I am looking at them too.
The current price is $112, but the fill power is now 600 (formerly around 500 I think), which compares favorably to high end goose down as I remember in the '70s.


Edited by EMT Dave (12/06/17 10:41 AM)

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