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#121387 - 09/23/09 09:28 AM US Made Tents?
fritz1255 Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 78
Are there any? My understanding is that many of the more expensive manufacturers have switched production to China to cut costs. Prices remain the same, but the profit picture is much improved. I did see a statement on the Big Agnes website about a Fair Labor Code of Conduct (prohibition of forced labor, child labor, etc. - certainly implies to me that their stuff is made in a third-world country).

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#121388 - 09/23/09 10:23 AM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: fritz1255]
skinewmexico Offline
member

Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 81
Buy from a cottage industry. Six Moon Designs, Tarptent, Oware, Mountain Laurel Designs, etc. are all made in the US. Problem is, none of them make the classic 1980s style tent that still seems to be the rage. I think all the big companies have moved offshore for production, and a lot of them are made in the same factory, which is why the designs all look similar.

Funny, the Fair Labor Code of Conduct isn't very fair to the US workers who lost jobs.


Edited by skinewmexico (09/23/09 10:24 AM)

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#121407 - 09/23/09 02:07 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: skinewmexico]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
I don't know whether Biblers are still made in the States or not, IIRC they once were (and are priced to match).

Since Canada is the honorary 51st state (kidding!) there's Integral Designs too.

Cheers,

Rick

Originally Posted By skinewmexico
Buy from a cottage industry. Six Moon Designs, Tarptent, Oware, Mountain Laurel Designs, etc. are all made in the US. Problem is, none of them make the classic 1980s style tent that still seems to be the rage. I think all the big companies have moved offshore for production, and a lot of them are made in the same factory, which is why the designs all look similar.

Funny, the Fair Labor Code of Conduct isn't very fair to the US workers who lost jobs.
_________________________
--Rick

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#121414 - 09/23/09 05:54 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Rick_D]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Bibler and Black Diamonds are now made in China. Have been for several years.

Franco

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#121438 - 09/24/09 07:27 AM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
fritz1255 Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 78
Making merchandise in China and selling it here for high prices as if it were made in the US is not a sustainable business strategy. I work for a large multi-national company who does just that. The Chinese are not stupid, and know how to get around patents and business arrangements, legally or not. If you are selling a tent for $400 while paying them less than $100 to manufacture, they will cut out the middleman - you. They will soon be making your tent under another brand name, at their own factory or a subcontractor, and undercutting your price. If you sue for patent infringement, that brand will disappear, and another brand of identical tent will pop up a week later. Big Agnes becomes Little Agnes.

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#121450 - 09/24/09 06:09 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: fritz1255]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Well, not exactly.
I have both a Bibler and a Black Diamond made in China. The Bibler is 8 or 9 years old but I have yet to see anything like that made under another brand. As a matter of fact the closest to it is the Hilleberg Allak.
One point that many mention (similar discussion was happening at BPL recently) is that the price has remained the same so profits have to be higher. Could it be that to keep the profits at the same level most had to transfer production to China ?
(hint your wage, in the US, is provably higher now than in 2000....)
BTW, I have a mate that designs tents in Hong Kong and has them made in " China". He is very aware of what is on the market, however he is very careful not to copy any existing design .There are of course similarities. Just like most 6 cylinder cars looks the same to me...
Franco
BTW, I have seen the same Bibler made in Seattle and in China and could not tell the difference. No pretence of being made in the USA for the tag clearly states "Made in China".
Of course if I could and were over there , I would try to buy "Made in the USA", in fact I do that from here... (nothing is made in Australia)

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#121485 - 09/25/09 12:40 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
Franco: There is an Australian company called BCF. They sell products such as the Blackwolf Bivy. Are these products made in Australia? Or are they imports?

Howie

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#121502 - 09/25/09 05:50 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Howie]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Hi Howie
Black Wolf is a brand for generic products mostly made in North Australia (AKA China)
One Planet on the other hand does make some products here,in Melbourne, including the famous Scott Polar Tent. Not that useful to me unless I move to Antarctica.

http://www.oneplanet.com.au/
(Polar Tent under Industrial. Incidentally that was the inspiration for the Luxe Nashorn. There is a new version of this one coming out soon.
http://www.luxeoutdoor.com/eng/catalog-topic-gallery-view1.asp?id=906&selfpath=/12/134. The "inspiration" was to have a protected entrance, unlike the typical pyramid design)

The other One Planet tents are made in Vietnam
Franco
BTW, if you go to the main Luxe page and click on the 2009 catalogue link, I am at the bottom of page 3 (that is the page for friends and relatives...)
http://www.luxeoutdoor.com/eng/catalog-topic.asp?selfpath=/161&selfid=161

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#121508 - 09/25/09 07:50 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
Howie Offline
member

Registered: 06/02/03
Posts: 481
Loc: Canora, SK, Canada
Thanks for the info Franco. I would love to go to your neck of the woods someday.

Howie

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#121608 - 09/28/09 09:55 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
dralahiker Offline
member

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 324
Loc: North Georgia
Franco wrote:
"nothing is made in Australia".

And I thought Australia made its own beer!

Are you saying that Aussie beer is now made in China ;-)~

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#121620 - 09/29/09 10:47 AM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: dralahiker]
fritz1255 Offline
member

Registered: 11/05/03
Posts: 78
Foster's Lager (probably the most famous Aussie beer, at least here in the US) is brewed under license in the US, Russia, and several European countries. Not in China that I am aware of.

Yes, the wages in the US have gone up somewhat since 2000, and I would HOPE that there would be no noticable decrease in quality of a tent made in China vs the identical one made in the US. Matter of fact, I think it was poor quality and high prices that initially sent domestic companies overseas. For example, I have an old REI knapsack that is a piece of junk. For about $75 in 1981, I got a knapsack with unfinished interior seams. Every time I zip up the pockets, I catch stings of nylon that are unravelling from the inside. Also, one of the shoulder straps started pulling out within a few months of purchase, and had to be resewn.

Fast forward to 2005, when I bought a knapsack made for a laptop computer. This is a Chinese-made product that sold for $75 (about $35 in 1981 dollars). Interior seams are finished off perfectly, construction is rugged, and I have used it daily ever since then with nary a problem. I have packed multiple bottles of liquor in it (when we could still carry that stuff on airplanes) along with my computer with ease and comfort.

Not arguing with companies taking production overseas; I just have a problem with what is (in my opinion) excess profiteering. Do I buy the Chinese-made laptop case at $160 when someone else is selling a nearly identical product for $75? No way!


Edited by fritz1255 (09/29/09 12:57 PM)

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#121628 - 09/29/09 11:58 AM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: fritz1255]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
There is a tent maker in Alaska named "William H. Stephenson", which is my name too, so it should be good tent, even though we're not related as far as I know wink

He makes "Warmlite" brand tents.

I first heard of them when I was a youngster, and a car builder in CA. Someone called us looking for his father. They said they were the best tents in the world and they were going to some pretty great lengths to find him.

Personally, I think he should make a tent called the "Intrepid" . I'm pretty sure we both must be related to him wink

Bill


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#121653 - 09/29/09 07:02 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: billstephenson]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Stephensons Warmlite is based in Gilford, New Hampshire.
And yes, they do make their own tents there.

http://www.warmlite.com/start.htm
Franco

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#121684 - 09/30/09 12:15 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Thanks for the update. It was about 35 years ago that I first heard of them. I must have disremembered where they are located and didn't check the site much when I linked it.

I do like the tent design though, and it's nice to see they are still making the product here in the U.S.

It was definitely worth going back and taking another look at the site and especially the sleeping bags wink

Bill

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#121704 - 09/30/09 06:13 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: billstephenson]
Franco Offline
member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 1000
Loc: Australia
Bill, your comment reminded me that Warmlite did move premises at some stage, but it was from Woodland Hills, California to Gilford.
This info is from Bruce B. Johnson at this site: http://www.oregonphotos.com/Warmlite1.html
worth having a look around there to see how gear has developed since the "early days".
Franco

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#121746 - 10/01/09 02:39 PM Re: US Made Tents? [Re: Franco]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3915
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Well that makes sense out of why we got the call looking for them. My father had "Stephenson's Automotive Innovations" back in the `70's and `80's and we were located near Woodland Hills (Hollywood, No Hollywood, Sylmar) during that time.

It's nice to see the Family name associated with such a cool endeavor. Innovation does indeed run in the Stephenson bloodline. I don't know many in our close family that have ever worked at a 9-5 corporate job for very long. We always seem to be opting instead to create something new or better but seldom make much money in the process, so his story sounds very familiar wink

Bill
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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