Eddie Bauer and First Ascent Gear

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  1. #1
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Question Eddie Bauer and First Ascent Gear

    Last night I came home to find a catalog from Eddie Bauer's "First Ascent" Line. It came about a week after the Cabela's men's and LL Bean Spring Gear catalogs.

    Eddie Bauer has been one of those brands that just can't seem to decide what it is. When I was younger, it was basically an LL Bean without the gear. Then they seemed to go into just clothing and became like just another Gap. I recall when I graduated college I needed a job and I interviewed with the Eddie Bauer store at the Burlington Mall. The manager agreed with me that the "Eddie Bauer" brand was really having an identity crisis.

    Well, years later, and after a bankruptcy filing, it looks like they are going more into gear and are becoming a combination of LL Bean, Cabelas, and even REI. The catalog I got has technical tents,, some technical sleeping bags,, technical backpacks and even avi gear. Their technical clothing looks legit. Hell, they even announced that they are starting a hunting gear line.

    So do any of you have any of this new EB gear? How is it? Have you been to a store lately? Thoughts? I have not been to one in a year or so, but this looks interesting. I wonder if it will fly considering that most folks consider EB to be another mall clothing store.

    Live, Ski, or Die!


  2. #2
    TheBEast's Avatar
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    They've got a great blog http://blog.firstascent.com/ I've been following for a couple of years. I don't have any of their gear, but the athletes they've got testing the stuff and designing it are world class, Ed Viesturs among others. Looks like great technical stuff. Plus I've got a secret crush on Melissa Arnot.....oh guess that's not so secret any more

  3. #3
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Yeah I was surprised by the big changes and their stuff looked good and was well priced. I just wonder if they can make a niche for themselves considering the competition from other established retailers.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  4. #4
    when I first heard of EB they sold expedition quality clothes, my first down jacket was a EB.they were a REI like store then like TB said they seemed to loose their way

  5. #5
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darent View Post
    when I first heard of EB they sold expedition quality clothes, my first down jacket was a EB.they were a REI like store then like TB said they seemed to loose their way
    Yeah, it looks like they are making a comeback. I'm still interested to hear if anyone has any of their new stuff and if it works well.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  6. #6
    Eddie Bauer invented (or at least got the patent on) down jackets, so I guess that should count for something. When I first saw their technical line a few seasons ago, I was skeptical myself, but they some amazing athletes on their team - Ed Visteurs, the Crist brothers, Lindsey Dyer, etc.

    I'm not sure I would buy any of their outerwear. Not that I think or have heard it's not quality stuff, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around them making this gear. To me, they've always been more in the same space as a JCrew, but more with the style of an LL Bean. That being said, I have tons of EB clothes. The jeans and socks I have on now were bought there, and about 1/3 of the business-casual button-up shirts I have in my closet are EB. It's one of the first places both my wife and I shop at. Plus, it helps that they have an outlet in North Conway....

  7. #7
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstand View Post

    I'm not sure I would buy any of their outerwear. Not that I think or have heard it's not quality stuff, I just have a hard time wrapping my head around them making this gear. To me, they've always been more in the same space as a JCrew, but more with the style of an LL Bean. That being said, I have tons of EB clothes. The jeans and socks I have on now were bought there, and about 1/3 of the business-casual button-up shirts I have in my closet are EB. It's one of the first places both my wife and I shop at. Plus, it helps that they have an outlet in North Conway....
    That's exactly my experience with them.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  8. #8
    bigbog's Avatar
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    That Pantheon Dome Tent...~$2k Must have Lindsey's autograph inside.. Times have changed. Looks like good stuff though...
    SteveD

  9. #9
    thetrailboss's Avatar
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    Bump.

    I have to give them credit--they've stuck with the higher end technical wear market with a lower pricepoint for some time now and I have read a lot of good reviews and seen some great items.

    On Sunday I was in one of my local stores. They were doing a 40% off storewide sale and I found two great pieces that I have been using a lot the last two days. The first one is their Sandstone Shield Hooded Jacket:



    Think Patagonia Levitation or perhaps Mammut Ultimate Hoody, but without the pit zips. Nice blend of fabrics (lighter weight softshell for venting in areas and tighter weave fabric in shoulders and other areas). A very good hood with plenty of adjustments. Easy zippers, good pockets, nice lining, good fit. Hem cord. Adjustable cuffs. MSRP is $149.00 which is on the lower end for similar items. I picked it up expecting to pay about $90.00 because of the sale. It rang up at $47.99. No brainer there. The red/orange color has real pop to it and the blue accents are nice.

    Some more pictures:







    Available here for $47.99 if you add the code HARVEST.

    http://www.eddiebauer.com/product/me...sRedirect=true

    Also available in blue:



    It is a medium weight softshell that works great in 35-55 F or so. Wind and water resistant. I was on a field inspection on Monday and stood outside in sprinkles and cold 40 F conditions. Plenty warm and dry under it. Good wind proofing. Comfortable. I've also been kept dry in heavier rains. A good spring or warmer weather ski coat. Great hiking coat and lightweight. Some good technical features at a steal. This was developed by their adventure team reps--one of whom wrote on their site:

    As part of the EB guide team I was involved with the design and testing of the Sandstone Shield Jacket. I wanted something that had all of the strengths of the current Sandstone (e.g. stretch, breathability and light weight) and added a little more warmth and durability. I also wanted a more substantial hood and face protection. I have really put the jacket through the wringer and it shows very little sign of wear. Even the DWR (water resistant finish) has held up really well. It's currently my go to jacket for backcountry skiing, snowshoeing and winter hiking and I expect to keep using it for the high mountains as we head into Spring.
    Get 'em before they are gone.

    I also got the vest version in clearance for $27.00.

    They had a lot of down and synthetic liners. Great prices and they look legit.
    Live, Ski, or Die!


  10. #10
    Is your retirement plan to open an outdoor gear thrift store? I think you have a problem.

    Sent from my XT1565 using AlpineZone mobile app

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