I can announce that the MD, Kieth, has used all his years of experience in the outdoor industry and hard-won contacts at Rab, to wrangle an exclusive deal on a selection of Rab’s finest down sleeping bags, exclusively for Webtogs.
The backstory: Rab have announced that they are re-testing the down in their sleeping bags for next season, and are re-working all of their sleeping bag styles to comply with new European warmth (EAN) ratings. In effect, due to increases in the wholesale cost of down, the outcome of this shake-up will be significantly more expensive bags, that are identical to this year’s bags in terms of performance… with a sprinkling of minor cosmetic changes. Anyhow, Rab had some of their 2013 batch of down left, which the used in some of their best selling, high quality sleeping bags from this winter – which Webtogs have been able to secure an exclusive deal on!
The Deal: This means that we can sell the Rab Expedition 1200 Sleeping Bag, with an RRP of £570, and a comfort limit of -40°C (It only weighs 1920g, to boot), for just £342. That’s £228 off RRP. I defy anyone to find a bag that warm for that cheap anywhere else!
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You know the post we put out a week or so ago about sustainable down sourcing by Webtogs’ brands? Well I have a very positive update from The North Face regarding the development of their ‘Responsible Down Standard’ – namely, after two years in development, it is complete! You can read the full update from TNF themselves here, in their official release.
Now that pre-pilot audits on The North Face’s existing down suppliers have been completed, they are now in a position to roll out the finalised RDS (Responsible Down Standard) across their entire global supply chain. All down in The North Face down products by Autumn/Winter 2015 will comply with the RDS (allowing for time to conduct full audits, and for geese to reach maturity), and what’s more the enforcement of the standard is to be handed over to third-party, non-profit organisation Textile Exchange. They are committed to minimising the harmful effects of the global textile industry, and encouraging the positive ones, for the benefit of textile workers, animals, and all of us.
I should probably start out by explaining that when I say ‘Brit brand trio’, I’m referring to Rab, Mountain Equipment and Montane. These three brands are the standard-bearers for the UK outdoor industry, and between them they account for over half of the products ranged on Webtogs.co.uk at any given time. It was these brands, along with another of our suppliers; US brand Marmot, that Webtogs MD Keith and I set out to visit last Sunday on a 5-day buying road-trip. I can report that it was epic thanks to the exciting new products on show… and the added bonus of getting to take the bike out on some awesome trails in the Lakes (Altura Trail, Whinlatter & The North Face Trail, Grizedale) and Peak District!
As I posted before Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of Montane test garments to try out over the festive break – the Montane Further Faster Neo Jacket (shell) and Alpha Gide Jacket (insulator). Sadly they have now been dispatched back to Montane HQ (wish I could have kept them), and I am left to report my thoughts and findings.
As always seems to be the case over Christmas, I was not able to be quite as active as I’d have liked… multiple food-based family gatherings and grandmother-courier duties getting in the way of my plans to test out the Montane pieces through the trinity of walking, cycling and climbing. I was, able to wear them day-to-dayday-to-day though, on a couple of short walks, and on one longer one on Dartmoor last Friday. I plumped for one of my old favorites, the ‘Widecombe Round’. It’s a varied, scenic route around the village of Widecombe-in-the-Moor, and even more so in the right conditions. Luckily conditions were just perfect for beautiful pictures on this occasion, so I’ve interspersed my Montane review with them to liven up any dry technical details!
Just a quick post this morning to share my child-like excitement at having received not one, but TWO jackets from the ‘Montane Test Pool’ to try out over the festive season! Continue reading »
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