Exped Dry Bag quality

What is happening to the quality of products sold by Exped? You look at the adverts for their gear and they come with a 5 year warranty. That should be an indicator of quality.

But what do I find? The Exped dry bag I bought in Jan 2007 and have carried on probably 650+ activations has started to fail after only 15yrs 9mths. :rofl:

Seriously that’s quite impressive and it’s only the seam sealing tape that is coming apart around the seam between the opaque material and the translucent window section. Whilst the translucent material is a little cloudy now and the colour has faded a bit, the actual bag is still in fine condition. For about £4 I can buy some new tape and repair it. But for the price, I decided to treat myself to a new one as I found some NOS items for £5.99 instead of £11.99-£15.99 on the world’s favourite online bazaar.

So what items of outdoor equipment have you bought that never seem to wear or fail and exceed your expectations?

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Pretty much any item made by a British clothing or gear company from the 1990’s. Before they outsourced (to China) and value engineered everything down to the lowest common denominator.

I have a superb Karrimor Gore-Tex jacket and trousers (with braces). The trousers are articulated and fitted, almost tailored. Before Karrimor was bought by Mike Ashley as a “distress brand”. I think I bought them around 2001.

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The quality of many good former outdoor outfitters has declined significantly.

My first big disappointment was with VauDe in the 90s. But Jack Wolfskin has also said goodbye to functional clothing for me.

It was quite easy to observe. Many brands have used Gore membranes less and less. That was too expensive for them. And Malden Mill also became less and less in demand as a supplier… and replaced these innovative suppliers with cheaper ones, which then didn’t have the same performance.

In general, you can say that all brands that place more value on fashion and maintain so-called “stores” are no longer an option for me as outdoor outfitters.

I have 2 sleeping bags (normal and down) and many kayak bags from Exped. I’ve also seen one of their tents before and it made a very good impression on me.

A brand that I’m currently very happy with (also because it fits me well) is Marmot… and I love my hiking pants from Ludhags.

73 Armin

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Karrimor in the olden days… really was good stuff.

You can still get quality items but it’s unlikely to be cheap.

Merrell Gortex lined trainer. Not comfy for some time till my feet were Merrell shape! But they lasted and lasted. Stayed waterproof for 5 years and eventually were relegated to mountain biking. Reduced to £90 from £140 in 2009. Only just binned and replaced with a very worn pair of TNF Hedgehogs.

TNF Hedgehog trainers (Vibram sole, Goretex lining). They are nearly 5 years old and I have worn the tread away over 1/3rd of the base but they are still waterproof. I reckon they have covered 1500+km of dog walking in woods, grass, gravel and tarmac. Very comfortable but the list price is c. £150 so you’d expect them to be good. I got them in a TNF outlet store for £57 and couldn’t buy them quick enough! In fact I bought 2 pairs at that price. Now used for mountain biking.

I bought a Mountain Warehouse soft shell jacket in 2009 for £15. I didn’t expect much for the price. Meant to be breathable and water repellent. Utter pish! Didn’t breathe and absorbed rainwater like a sponge. It was windproof. For some time I took it when the hill WX was more than a fleece but less than a Down jacket. As long as you didn’t expend too much energy when wearing it was good for SOTA. It got a bit mingy so it went in the washing machine on its own with non-bio handwashing detergent. Spun dry then tumbled dry. Now it’s really quite water repellent but it still doesn’t breath. Idle for dog walking. OK for £15, it’s better than I expected and now I know how to use it.

Karrimor KSB’s were the original lightweight summer boot. I always wore them. Now the name still exists, however not the quallity.

I have a VauDe 3 man tent from the very early 90’s. It pitches outer first. Superb quality and still going strong.

Jack Wolfskin was almost a Gucci brand back then!

Talking of Gucci, my student friend (early 90’s) always bought “PataGucci”, at great expense, despite being skint most of the time. Mo and I wear Patagonia to this day. It really is well made and the company has a fabulous ethic and ethos.

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I’ve found the exped dry bags have been very poor - was having the same conversation with my son last week. I have Mountain Equipment, Sea to Summit and Osprey branded dry bags and they’ve all been great. The material is lighter than the exped ones and it’s proving tk be much more durable. My son got an Osprey dry bag online in the end, he wants to use it to keep his school books dry whilst waiting at the bus stop.

73, Colin

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With proper buckles on the belts, like the one below. I had a second hand Karrimor pack when I was 11 that lasted well past University until a backage handler at London Jeathrow tore off the belt.

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I bought a North Face wind proof jacket over 20 years ago. I did get a slight “look” from my beloved when she discovered how much it cost. But I’m still wearing it and it’s cost me less than £10 a year, so I think that was actually pretty good value

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OK so I didn’t buy these, my parents did while I was at school.

My Argos ProAction rucksack which I got got my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition (circa 1997?) which is coming abroad with me later today. I believe it cost around £25.
My Eurohike school backpack, 1996/7 vintage which was used for cycling 3 miles each way to/from school almost every day in all weathers, used as a goalpost at lunchtimes, always massively overloaded.

In contrast, a similar sized Eurohile backpack that I bought less than 12 months ago is full of holes and just about ready for the bin.

I’ve still got a Berghaus rain coat which is kept in work and still works fine. Bought from Cheshire Oaks shortly after it opened when it was a pleasant place to shop and the shops really were factory outlets - it had a tiny stain on the front.

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Yaesu FT-817
Tracer LifePO4 16Ah pack
Yaesu FT70D
Rite In The Rain waterproof notepad
SOTAbeams mil-spec strong green wire
Macclesfield FC bobble hat
Bridgedale Performance boot socks
My current jacket from Mountain Warehouse - seems to be much better than much more expensive products! Same for my current rucksack.

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Lowe Alpine Mountain Cap. In Triple Point Ceramic waterproof material.
Mine is 35 years old and still going strong. If a little faded. Sue hates the way I wear it most of the time… with the peak folded back.

Edit: it’s a bit of a talisman… I think it might out last my hill going. I’d hate to lose it.
Maybe one for the top of my coffin (in a long time I hope!)

You can still get them.
Other suppliers are available.

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Hi Andy,

The old Mercedes (you can write here any make you want) is still a Mercedes, the new one, I don’t know …

73, Jarek

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W123 300TD with the OM617.

“The OM617 is considered to be one of the most reliable engines ever produced with engines often reaching over 1,000,000 km (620,000 mi) without being rebuilt”

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It is my (modified) MP1 vertical antenna, which has been serving me well for 14+ years.


After hundreds of activations on 5 continents the little tripod is a bit worn out, but the performance of the antenna still is superb.

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Plus one for that! Mine is probably 10 years younger than yours and is some kind of petrel colour. Not faded due to the fact I’ve only washed it a handful of times.

I didn’t realise they still made them.

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I think it’s very stylish Gerald :wink:. Mountain stylish rather than high street :grin:

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Yep got one in black, no idea when I got it, its just been around for ever and still used in the winter.

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Yeah i remember when Karrimor was one of the top outdoor brands for gear and clothing.

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I was just thinking about responding and went from thinking I must have loads of stuff from my earlier years of walking to realising that apart from the Lowe Alpine Cap very little seems to have survived. A pair of Leki walking poles (so old they were really ski poles) nearly made it onto the list however they were last (not) packed in the car near Wildboar Fell and are still missing in action…I still have a buffalo jacket that gets occasional use and still works.
The SOTA stuff that has survived my six years of activating include the FT817ND although it comes out to play less often, the FT 270 is still behaving and my 40/20/10m dipole is mostly the original one I started with. My Altberg boots are wearing well but might need resoling before I get to goat…

Perhaps the list of things that didn’t survive might be more interesting. The 4AH SLAB which seven years ago didn’t seem to heavy seems to have defied physics and got heavier. It was replaced with a couple of LiFe Cells, (4S1P) which then needed some method of reducing the fully charged voltages, V1 was a string of diodes and v2 was a regulator which managed to generate some RFI. they have now gone… (The current solution is internal batteries in the KX2 / LeFePO4 batteries obtained from HobbyKing before it disapeared from availability in Brexit land) I have lost track of the number of dry bags that are not dry - the latest ones I use are the Sea To Summit thick ones and so far they are all OK. My Old Karrimor rucksack (Pre Mike Ashley) died as the stitching fell apart. I have also got through quite a lot of 6/7m kite type masts which have eventually split and finally the dog lead also didn’t make it. On about the only occasion Woody has not tried to join in the QSO his silence was explained by the dog lead, now in two pieces… (I was activating Red Screes) 73. Paul

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I gave a 25 year old one of these to a porter on Kilimanjaro… otherwise I’d still have it I suspect and it would now be 40 years old… I doubt it will have survived 15 years on Kili, but I was pleased to see it go to a good home.

Off topic… We could do with Kili as a SOTA summit. But I suppose that’s for another day.

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