Yea it is technically a seasonal catalog I know but it feels more like a note from friends with a good story or message. It is smooth and effective but it is also authentic which is what makes it OK with me.
I have been doing this, the gear thing, for a long time. I have had several opportunities but I chose not to take the commercial gear testing or gear selling route on purpose because I can’t do that successfully while also being truthful about what I see in this industry. Too many ox will get gored. Although, Wiggy has been jousting windmills for years and he is still in business so maybe it is possible but I don’t want to it.
There are a couple of companies, big successful companies that I respect and admire who have not sold out. They continue to make great gear, push the envelop in terms of legitimate innovation, stand by their products, and provide outstanding customer service. What’s more they do a really nice job of telling their story and illustrating why being out there doing what we like to do is such a wonderful thing. Substance, integrity, and authenticity is big with me and I get that in buckets from these guys.
Arcteryx and Patagonia are my two favorites and I find myself going back to them time after time over the years because of all the reasons listed above. There are a few others out there but these two have been solid, consistent staples for me and now for my kids. A and P have grown but they have not lost their way or gotten off track and they have never failed me. I appreciate that very much.