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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.). See Europe by train
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Old 05-16-2005, 10:26 AM   #1
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Updated 9.22.06

Everyone wants to know what the best gear is and where the cheapest place to buy it is. The following posts are meant to be suggestions of where to research and/or purchase quality gear.

Personally, I am of the mind set of finding gear by researching the manufacturers, and then once you have chosen the product, finding it for a good price through good retailers.

These are JUST suggestions and are not advertisements for any certain company. If you have other suggestions for gear Manufacturers or retailers, please PM me.
(check back at this post for updates - I add stuff all the time)

Gear Manufacturers:
(US, Canada, & Europe)

Cascade Designs
Parent comany of MSR, Therm-a-rest, Platypus, & SEAline. See info on MSR below. Therm-a-rest is the leading edge in sleeping pads. Platypus in one of two major water "bladder" makers (see Camelbak below). SEAline makes water proof storage cells (dry sacks).

MSR Corporation
MSR makes tents, stoves, Pak Towel, and other gear. Trust this brand.

Sierra Designs
Sierra Designs are primarily makers of sleeping bags and tents, as well as clothing. Their expeditioning and 4 season tents are world renound. If you want a great tent look no further.

The North Face
North Face are makers of tents, packs, sleeping bags, and other accesories. They are most well known for their clothing, which they truly make as gear.

Marmot has quickly become the leading US pack maker as well as a top sleeping bag maker. They were recently fully merged (under the parent K2) with Dana Design; by combining the two pack tecnologies, these have become the packs to trust on your back for design, durability, comfort, etc. Also clothing and other gear. (Dana Designs

Snow Peak
Stoves, cook wear, and other accessories.

Under the parent company of AMG, who also make Teva (see above) as well as others. VANGO make amazing lit wieght sleeping bags, as well as packs, tents and other gear.

Leading European mountian sports company, they make everything: tents, packs, sleeping bags, bivys, stoves, clothing, biking accessories, ect.

Tents, packs, sleeping bags, etc.

Mountain Hard Wear
Packs, tents and more.

Eagle Creek
Eagle Creek makes packs, travel accesories, toiletry units, etc.

Gregory Backpacks
Gregory is makes primarily packs.

Think accesories!

Sea to Summit
Gear accessories such as pack towls, sleeping bag liners, Dry sacks, etc.

Camelbak is the leading makers of water storage commanly know as "baddlers".

Gerber creates blades, pack axes, saws, headlights, flashlights and other such accessories.

Make water purifing systems (also see MSR for the same).

Lewis N. Clark
Travel Accessories from clothes lines to packable pillows and alarm clocks.

Teva Footwear
Teva is known for versitile sandals. These things can go anywhere!

Lowa boots
Top of the line hiking boots and shoes.

Merrell Footwear
Some of the best hiking boots, all-terrain sandals and shoes around

Concerned about security? These are the guys that make that wire mesh net for your pack, as well as slash-proof gear for traveling.

Any suggestions? PM me!

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Old 02-09-2006, 01:41 AM   #2
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Be careful buying anything name-brand on any of the Auction Sites (EBay included). In many cases there have been tons of look-alike products of inferior quality being made in China and being sold as the actual brand (The North Face comes to mind). It'd be an awful thing if the killer deal you got on your pack turns into a disaster on your trip! Buyer beware!

Retailers/Etailer, US and Canada:

EBags sells a variety of manufacturers of anything travel-related from bags to security products. And they often offer free shipping!

REI is one of the largest retailers/etailers of outdoor gear in the US. Pay the $15 to become a member and get up to 10% back each year in a check. I'm getting over $50 back this year alone!

REI's Outlet
Discontinued and overstock items from REI- great way to save some dough!

LL Bean
LL Bean is one of the oldest outdoor outfitters in the US. Though they don't carry as much as an REI does, their stuff is top-quality.

Discount outdoor outfitter- tons of stuff really cheap!

Sierra Trading Post
Outdoor gear and more!

Outdoor gear and an entirely irreverant website. It's right up my alley!

MEC- Mountain Equipment Co-Op (Canada)
Canadian Outdoor Outfitter

EMS- Eastern Mountain Sports
EMS has a ton of B&M stores throughout the Eastern US. They have by far the best customer service I've ever seen.

Hudson Trail Outfitters
Centered in Maryland, these are my local store, and I prefer them over REI any day of the week. They ship nationally.

Primarily a hunting/fishing store, you'd be surprised what you can get here!

Bass Pro Shops
Again, just like Cabela's, they cater to hunters and fishing sports, but you'd be surprised. Plus the prices are killer.
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