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Stuart
05-22-2004, 13:49
Can anyone recommend an internet retailer of Western Mountaineering sleeping bags?

The only one I am aware of is Backcountrygear.com. Anyone had any experience with them? They may be great, but I sent them an email question and never got a response (few weeks ago) and I called their 800 # with a question and did not get an answer (Sat. morning). They sell what I want, but have a "ships within 2 weeks" wait on the item.

I am looking for a WM CAribou MF long with a right zipper. The only dealer in KY is about a two hour trip, they do not have the bag in stock and they tell me it could be weeks to months if I special order through them.

Repeat
05-22-2004, 13:58
http://store.hermitshut.com/
The above link is for Hermits Hut. I just purchased a Megalite with overfill---very good customer service.

Jackie

kythruhiker
05-22-2004, 14:05
I've ordered quite a bit from backcountrygear.com, including Western Mountaineering gear, and I've never had any problems at all. Orders were delivered fast with no problems. I haven't had to deal with their customer service, so I don't know how responsive they are in that department.

See ya in the woods,
Ky Thru

Jack Tarlin
05-22-2004, 14:11
Stuart---

The Outfitter in Hot Springs, Bluff Mountain Outfitter's, carries Western Mountaineering, tho I'm not sure their stuff is posted on their website.

If you have any questions, you can call or write Wayne Crosby, the the co-owner of the store. (828-622-7162 or bluffmtn@hotspringsbroadband.org Their website is www.bluffmountain.com) Wayne is the product buyer as well as the owner and is a wealth of knowledge; he can answer any of your questions about specs, temp. ratings, etc.

The store will ship gear anywhere, and will pay shipping on purchases over $100.00.

Jack Tarlin
05-22-2004, 14:14
P.S. Just talked to Wayne. They have that Caribou Long (this year's) in stock in a left zip; they have a 2003 Long with a right zip (proabably at a reduced price) and will happily hold either one for you if you let them know.

Stuart
05-22-2004, 14:46
Wow! I'm impressed with how fast the replies came in. Thanks. Now I know where to look. Sworn off credit cards so I've got to come up with a little cash. Just spent my equipment fund on my @#$% car!!! I check in with all the stores you all have recommended. Thanks.

Stuart
06-03-2004, 02:48
I purchased the WM Caribou from Wayne Crosby and Bluff Mountain Outfitters. Currently the bag is difficult to find and according to WM it will be 4-5 weeks before more are available. Ordering from Mr. Crosby was a more personable experience than doing so from a large internet retailer and as Mr. Tarlin stated above, it was evident in our conversation that Mr. Crosby is very knowledgeable in regards to the equipment he sells. I also am one that prefers supporting smaller businesses when possible and am also glad to have purchased from a business along the AT. Thanks to all for the advice.

dje97001
06-03-2004, 09:33
I ordered a WM Ultralite through Backcountrygear.com and received in a little over a week? (transit time to CT--it was a bag listed as "ships in 48 hours") I was quite pleased with them and have no complaints. I will be buying another one from sometime early next year--they have my vote.

Stuart
06-03-2004, 16:41
I'm sure there are several good sources for mail ordering WM bags, and that all of those mentioned are good. Not sure why Backcountry didn't respond to my email, but that did make me hesitant, however that was a nonissue given they did not have the bag I needed. My over riding point is not that other sources aren't good, but that my experience with Bluff Mountain was a little above and beyond expectations.

I think my correspondence via email with these companies illustrates this:

5/9/04 emailed backcountrygear.com - never responded

5/22/04 (Saturday) emailed Hermit's Hut - responded Tuesday

5/22/04 (Saturday) emailed Bluff Mountain - responded the next day, Sunday

Also in regrd to Bluff Mountain and the small business idea, in making the purchase I dealt directly with the owner/equipment buyer rather than a computer interface or a sales rep which can be a crap shoot. I imagine if I have a problem with the bag I'll call up and ask to talk to the owner again. That well may be the case at the other sources too, certainly not at a big retailer such as Campmor.

Anyway for what it's worth that's been my experience so far in acquiring this hard to find bag. The main reason I brought this up is that at least in my narrow line of thought prior to the recommendation I'd have never thought to consider an outfitter along the AT as a mail order source for a bag, now I do. The Megalites with the 2 oz. overfill at Hermit's Hut look good too. If I had the money I'd buy one from them right now.

LBJ
06-03-2004, 19:59
I bought two bags directly from Western Mountaineering. Get the phone number from the web site and give them a call.

JLB
06-03-2004, 20:32
I have one, but haven't tried it out yet.

gardenville
06-03-2004, 21:03
BackcountryGear has a toll free phone number, why don't you just call them? I call them several times a week and have always gotten a very friendly person.

steve hiker
06-03-2004, 21:36
Ordering from Mr. Crosby was a more personable experience than doing so from a large internet retailer and as Mr. Tarlin stated above, it was evident in our conversation that Mr. Crosby is very knowledgeable in regards to the equipment he sells.
Be sure to call me Mr. UGH

Stuart
06-03-2004, 22:52
LBJ,

I called WM and they told me that they had to get the bags to their retailers first as they were in short supply.

gardenville,

Also I did call BackCountry on a Saturday morning, no answer. I didn't pursue it because according to their website the bag I need was out of stock and I was only going to ask for clarification as to why they had the bag's color as purple, rather than blue and clarify the wait time. Not knowing much about the bags I thought maybe it was either an older or newer model than on the WM site. I am glad to hear the feedback that you all are well pleased with BackCountry which shows that my initial gut feeling was likely wrong. I won't hesitate to go with them as the need arises.

One final point of clarification, I did not mean to suggest that sales reps of any business are unfriendly or lack knowledge, only that the person I dealt with seemed a bit more personable than someone who's job is to take call after call and that is not to say that BAckcountry or HermitsHut is like that either. For all I know you talk to the buyer at those places too. And those call-after-call reps are friendly too, but there was just a little difference and that's all I'm trying to say.

I'm just relieved to have been able to come up with the bag for my hike later next week and I appreciate the advice of all of you here.

gardenville
06-03-2004, 23:12
Hi Stuart and others, Backcountry Gear Limited is only open Monday to Friday 9am to 5:30pm PCT. They are not open on Saturday or Sunday. If you call during the "off" times and let the phone ring about 10 or 12 times they have an "Answering Service" that will answer. This is not an ordering service or question answering service however. I just called to ask about the hours.

I know we get spoiled by the 24/7 operations and forget some stores are not.

Stuart
06-03-2004, 23:34
How dare a place close for the weekend :D The nerve of some people! :D

Stuart
06-05-2004, 07:51
Ordered the bag on Wednesday, received it two days later, Friday around noon! Granted NC and KY are just a hop, skip and a pumpkin jump away, but still I was surprised to see the bag show up that quick.

Also the Backcountrygear website is correct on the bag's color. It is purple, rather than the blue shown in the image used on WM's site and subsequently all other retail sites on which I have seen the bag's photo.