Buying Cheap Gear; Killing Yourself and the American Based Tactical Gear Revolution

Discussion in 'Clothing / Gear' started by R34P3R, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. R34P3R

    R34P3R I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN! Supporting Member

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    This is a good read, and it belongs here. Yes, I know this is geared towards real world guys dealing with real world situations. It still applies to you though! Give it a read over and discuss it here.

    http://www.itstactical.com/gear/buying-cheap-gear-killing-yourself-and-the-american-based-tactical-product-revolution/

    Before you go all keyboard warrior in the comments, let me state that I know some people can't afford LBT, Crye, Patagucci, and so on. That being said, there is ALWAYS a better option than Condor, TMC, Emerson, and Lancer Tactical. ALWAYS.
     
  2. BlackNightBravo

    BlackNightBravo Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Wow some of those comments are nasty. :p
     

  3. R34P3R

    R34P3R I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN! Supporting Member

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    The more sensible comments are further down. The people that buy crap gear all band together because they then feel justified for buying it. They see other's wearing or advocating what they bought and they feel better about it.
     
  4. Archer627

    Archer627 Active Member

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    I remember that one time I liked repro gear.
     
  5. Roecar

    Roecar Member

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    I prefer piece of mind when it comes to kit. That being said sometimes good kit doesn't have to be made in the US. Emdom is a fine example of this, American designed kit more than likely manufactured either in Taiwan or Hong Kong. Also 5.11 kit isn't bad either. Overall if the kit is designed with the user in mind and is manufactured with exact QC, it doesn't really matter where it comes from. I've seen my fair share of bad American kit.
     
  6. R34P3R

    R34P3R I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN! Supporting Member

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    I mean, Ferro Concepts and Arc'teryx are great gear companies based in Canada. It doesn't have to be American. Great gear can be made anywhere, but some places (read as China) don't put the QC into their products. Then there is Flyye. While not my first choice, I at least know their stuff isn't just going to fall apart at the seams.
     
  7. Knief

    Knief Moderator Moderator

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    This seems to be the sticking point for a lot of people. Most textiles of any variety are made in South Asia, East Asia, and South East Asia (Central America). They do it very well and very cheaply. The fact that your garment is made in China or Mexico doesn't mean that it's low quality; many high end designer clothes are made in those places, as is some very nice gear. Bad gear and bad clothes is made badly not because of where it is made, but because the people paying for it choose to have it made badly to save money and to sell it cheaper than the better made gear that costs more to make. You can make good gear in a Chinese factory. You could outclass Crye, FS, and LBT in a Chinese factory, and probably do it cheaper than those companies do because even great labor is less expensive there.

    The reason why you don't see much bad gear made in America is simply because we can't pay people little enough to make it at a cost low enough to match prices with bad Chinese made gear. The floor of their wage market is much lower, so US and other developed countries can't compete on price at the low end. So if you make gear in the U.S. and you want it to sell, you have to make it good enough to warrant the price tag your labor costs dictate.

    Personally, I think that more high end companies should move manufacturing to developing countries to reduce cost. From a quality standpoint, as long as they or the government (since they have a vested interest) can maintain oversight, quality won't drop, but prices will. The result would be that we can get more U.S. Servicemen into more functional gear at the same budget, and that's a huge pay off. The counter argument, that we have to maintain the capability to equip our military completely independently doesn't hold as much water in a global economy when 90% of the world are our allies and 95% of the world depends on our economy and our currency.
     
  8. Southpaw19

    Southpaw19 Active Member

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    Eagle already tried this, and quality seemed to drop as soon as the production runs started coming out of their Dominican Republic factory. Material was the same as far as I know, but the workmanship and quality control started to drop unfortunately. I believe it was only supposed to be for their civilian line however the drop in quality was still something they did not want and if I'm remembering correctly Eagle has since shut down it's DR factories (don't quote me on this though). DR made Eagle gear was immediately less desirable on the civilian/airsoft/collector market as well, which was probably the opposite of what Eagle wanted when they began this venture into outsourcing their work.

    Don't get me wrong though it would be an excellent idea for larger companies to do this, however with the failed experiments of Eagle and LBX the future is looking pretty bleak. Crye seems to be the only one successfully outsourcing their work, however that is more than likely due to the fact that they aren't outsourcing it to China, the DR, or similar countries, but rather to the countries with the contract for the clothing. It will be interesting to see what the future will bring that's for sure though.
     
  9. Knief

    Knief Moderator Moderator

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    Lose_Game,

    I made up the numbers, but a cursory understanding of global economics says that they can't be far off. Our currency is the international currency. The world, at this point, is owned by the U.S. or is invested in the U.S.

    Southpaw, I take issue with the claims that Eagle's DR made gear has any tangible drop in quality, especially when their issue stuff isn't bulletproof either, so to speak. My EPC is DR made and it's fantastic. I think what you're seeing more is a bias against foreign made gear and the perception that it's lower quality rather than it actually being lower quality. It's the same idiots who think that buying foreign made cars kills the U.S. economy because they don't understand how cheaper products raises everybody's standard of living. That said, if there was a tangible drop in quality, it was likely intentional. It's no more difficult to manage QC at a factory in DR than in Virginia or wherever. They were cutting costs and may have thought that the civilian market would tolerate a drop in quality. Also, LBT and Crye hasn't exactly exploded at the time, so their competition was much more limited.

    LBX was intentionally made for cosplay, and not intended to be a stand in for real gear. It's really a different case. It's also fairly popular.
     
  10. Southpaw19

    Southpaw19 Active Member

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    Lose_Game, yes that's correct. Crye's custom runs, especially for foreign militaries, are occasionally outsourced to that country or another country, where Crye provides the uniform specs and build procedures, and they are made in a factory other than Crye's.

    Knief, completely understand, and I agree with you for the most part. The DR made Yote I own is fantastic as well, but at the same time, I've never held a piece of American made EI as a comparison. Maybe the quality isn't that bad, but the voices of many seem to be outweighing the few. It is more than likely bias like you say, but it may have some merit as well. I'm more on the fence and take it with a grain of salt, but for now at least I can say that I am ok with owning and using DR made Eagle gear, however at the same time I would not be willing to pay as much for it as a US made piece. Wasn't trying to say myself that DR Eagle gear was bad and low quality, just sharing what I have heard from other sources.

    LBX doesn't seem very cosplay like to me to be honest. I've never really seen it marketed towards cosplay, but rather as a lower budget solution for range queens, active shooters, and your average joe who wants to kit up without spending a fortune on their gear. Their line of pouches for the Khard series of packs definitely doesn't seem to be made for cosplay. However I can definitely say that the quality is definitely not there with LBX, which is kind of sad really.
     
  11. R34P3R

    R34P3R I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN! Supporting Member

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    I agree with Knief about the DR gear. I own more USA based EI gear than DR based, but I have a couple of the same pouches made in both places. I can't tell a discernible difference in them when it comes to quality.

    I side with Southpaw on the issue of LBX gear marketing though. Like you said Knief, it's very popular for some reason. I have seen it being discussed on Real Steel forums and Facebook groups, and being advocated by people who have went through the suck. I know they throw their gear out there to be reviewed and recommended by some of the big name airsofters, but I never expected it to be vouched for by actual important people.

    So, that means not Jet DesertFox... :rolleyes:

    Maybe they have changed their ways... slightly? Anyone wanna be the guinea pig? Lol
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2015
  12. Archer627

    Archer627 Active Member

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    Quality is the same from DR to USA gear. I was talking to a few former employees and they said that the DR factories are building products that are exactly like USA made ones, just different location. They all go through the same QC process. I could provide a comparison of my FBs if you guys want.
     
  13. Southpaw19

    Southpaw19 Active Member

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    Like I said, my DR made Yote is tough as nails and just as good a quality as my LBT and Crye kit. So I'm not sure where the claims are coming from I just know their out there.

    In regards to LBX though, they're gear is definitely inferior, at least in terms of quality control. In the last shipment we got from them at work, there were several pouches that were completely missing zipper pulls... Their gear seems fairly turable and tough at the very least but the fact that it was a fairly frequent occurrence finding pouches sans zipper pulls is disappointing to say the least.
     
  14. Southpaw19

    Southpaw19 Active Member

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    I think you may have misinterpreted it a bit. Never said that outsourcing gear manufacturing would be a bad thing, but it would need a number of things to be done right. High quality materials must be provided, high quality craftsmanship and tight quality control is essential. I didn't mean to say outsource it for the cheapest you can, resulting in inferior quality gear; but rather outsource your gear to cut down on cost while still providing the same quality gear. Crye is already doing this, Arc'teryx does also, both very well, and I want to say more companies have as well but since I'm not 100% on it I won't just yet. LBX and Eagle have tried this but with a bit of a rockier start. I think it would be interesting to see major companies start outsourcing their gear, and what happens after that.

    Although with the attitude of pretty much the entire industry as well as it's supporters I see that unlikely to happen in the immediate future...