Friday, August 23, 2013

North Face Is For Wannabes

North Face used to make great tactically valuable technical gear.

I have a 0-degree(F)-rated sleeping bag from them. It keeps me toasty at 12,000+ feet in the Sierras in December.

But I got it about 10 years ago before NF lost its remaining mountaineering moxie.

Now, it's just fashion for wannabes, dreamers and poseurs.

As a result, I'm kind of embarrassed to show up at a really rugged mountain trailhead with anything from NF.

I'm not alone, as this article from the San Francisco Chronicle relates:

"Plenty of other hikers, climbers and skiers feel the same way, and that hasn't been lost on North Face's owners. They say they are spending more than ever developing everything from better zippers to rapidly drying insulation to regain the brand's trail cred. At stake is 45-year-old North Face's dominant position in the U.S. outdoor apparel market. "

North Face has rolled out its PR machine, but I can tell you from having been in a NF store, the closest that any of the people in the store have ever been to a real mountain is a groomed ski slope swarming with ski patrol to get them out of trouble.

Read the rest to see what I mean.

And weep for the loss of a once-great company. 


  1. Hmmm, interesting point of view. Although there are a lot of sleeping bags out there that are much affordable than NF, yet has superior quality. Take the case of the Big Agnes, the Nemo Tango Solo, the Slumberjack Lil Scout and the Ozark Trail Everest Mummy Bag. It's up to us to read reviews to know there are a lot more options today. Why not see:

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