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  1. #1
    Registered User JBrewer's Avatar
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    Default My absolute nightmare experience with John Stultz and bearpaw wilderness designs!

    First off let me say that I hate to be that guy…the guy that bitches he didn’t get his way and that life is unfair. Instead I will simply tell you my story, and allow you to make your own decisions about doing business with Bearpaw Wilderness Designs. Let me say that throughout the years I have bought gear from just about every manufacturer around, cottage or otherwise, and I have never had an experience turn out this way…ever. So here goes…I inquired about ordering a net tent from John Stultz at Bearpaw Wilderness Designs on March 9, after some email correspondance I made my purchase of a net tent 2 in .74 cuben on March 10. I have copies of all of the emails showing I wanted a standard length/width/height tent with the only change being the wall would be an “a” frame rather than having an extended lower wall. I also have email correspondance from John stating the product will weigh 13 oz. I was crystal clear in what I was asking for. There are also several pictures on the Bearpaw Wilderness website that show the weights and dimensions of their products, as well as quality finished work. Well…I received the tent today, March 18, and right off the bat noticed that the edges of the bottom were not sewn or properly sealed, but instead were simply folded over and taped. They were taped completely crooked and twisted and the added tieouts were also placed in a position that would make pulling the edges out in a bathtub impossible. The tape literally looks like duct tape, not the normal cuben tape you see, and it was also coming off and not sticking at all in several spots. This was not how anything was finished in pictures on their website. I was shocked, this literally looks like a failed myog project, it is beyond half assed! So…I then put it on my scale and it weighed 15oz, not the 13oz I was quoted per the email correspondance. This may not seem like a big deal, but I paid an extra $110 to have this product made with the lighter material as I had back surgery and every oz counts to me. I then measured the length at 84″ rather than the standard 86″ per the website…not a big deal as I am not 7′ tall. I then measured the height at 37″ rather than the standard 40″ per the website…this is a big deal as it will not allow me to situp in it and this is something I specifically mentioned in our email correspondance. Then lastly the width was measured at 48″ rather than the 52″ per the website…this again makes it unusable to me due to the fact that 2 pads at 25″ per pad is 50″…so 2 people’s pads will not fit in their 2 person shelter! I have saved all email correspondance showing exactly what I ordered. I do have the product here and will show pictures of the incorrect specs and horrendous quality. What makes me so irate is the fact that I sent an email to John specifically telling him what I wanted and when I told him after I received it the specs were not correct he told me it was custom….sorry…when my email specifically instructed him to build it standard length/width/height. I also informed him that the quality was so bad that it is not usable, that it was simply folded over and taped with what looks like duct tape. I then sent him pictures showing how crooked and twisted the tape job was and that it is completely unacceptable. In the end he told me that it was a quality built product and that he will not refund my money. I will get my money refunded through my credit card company, but that is not the point. The point is that the specs were so off it makes it unusable for me…the quality I cannot even begin to tell you how bad this is, it looks like a 5 year old did it…and paying an extra $110 for .74 cuben netted me less than 1oz savings over their listed 16oz for 30d silnylon…I am not a math guru but something is not adding up. I have given John every opportunity to make this right, and he has refused to stand by his product specs and more importantly the quality of his product that has his name on it…which incidentally is also sewed on crooked. Standby for pictures and video…you will not believe that this was sent to me in this condition and John at Bearpaw Wilderness calls it not only acceptable, but quality work! This was my first and last time doing business with Bearpaw Wilderness Designs…I will stick with Mountain Laurel Designs, Six Moon Designs, Zpacks, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, and other reputable companies that have provided me with a quality product that they stood by!
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  3. #3
    Registered User JBrewer's Avatar
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    Video Link: What makes me so angry is I have a completely unusable, jokingly bad, not close to specs, half-assed built product that I paid $255 for and an owner of a company that quite frankly couldn’t care less. Hopefully this will let others know to make other decisions and not roll the dice with this guy John and his company Bearpaw Wilderness Designs. I don’t get mad often at all, but this whole situation is so ridiculous I feel compelled to let others know what occured. The pictures and video (link below) can’t describe how awful the quality and utter lack of care that was put into this product is…extra material just folded over and taped to the top and attached crooked rather than properly finishing it..I’m still honestly blown away it was such absolute garbage!

  4. #4

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    I have been "that guy" nevertheless it is better to tell it like it is.

  5. #5

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    Bearpaw has never been a "tier 1" gear producer.
    Their gear has a well known reputation for being serviceable
    But not the best designs. With crooked stitching, etc. Wrinkles when pitched. I.e innaccurate measuring, cutting, and sewing.
    Very, very little high end cuben shelter work goes their way for these reasons.

    Custom net tents tents are a niche, because it dont matter, and they can deliver in reasonable time.

    Wts cannot be guaranteed from any producer due to material supply variations. Custom gear especially cannot.
    You can find complaints about every mfg weights vs expected.

    Sizes...can depend on where and how measured. But if its really off of what was ordered, you are 100% correct to return it and rescind payment if he wont work with you. Construction is debateable.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 03-19-2017 at 08:39.

  6. #6
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    The fact that he's not willing to work with you shows more about his character than anything. And it's posts like these that can cripple a company. Sorry about your situation. How will bear paw compete with all of the other fantastic cottage companies with an attitude like that.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  7. #7
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    I feel for you. If you order and pay for a customized item, which has a reason and purpose behind it, then it should be made as requested. You have every right to complain as it appears they don't have quality control and leave this function up to customers. I suggest you keep up your correspondence and submit your above thread to him. Pressure does pay dividends.

    If you you think you have a problem, mine is more hallucinogenic. My orders from Amazon, Backcountry and ZPaks were delivered correctly and with speed. Impressed! My large order with Tradeinn, a company in Spain, was weird to say the least. After much correspondence in Spanish, and finally English that occasionally centered around me asking when would my order be delivered, and them responding along the lines of "The tree is green", I finally discovered that they had sent my order off to some stranger in Canada. As much as Canada is a lovely place, I live in Africa, a few thousand miles in the opposite direction. Unsure if they randomly picked a spot off a map and sat back to see where their experiment would take them. After many more emails, and getting to know their staff very well, I was informed my order is now on its way to me. Holding my breath.

    My other order with Fruugo is also taking forever and a day. Might be easier flying or walking there and collecting it

  8. #8
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBrewer View Post
    Video Link: What makes me so angry is I have a completely unusable, jokingly bad, not close to specs, half-assed built product that I paid $255 for and an owner of a company that quite frankly couldn’t care less. Hopefully this will let others know to make other decisions and not roll the dice with this guy John and his company Bearpaw Wilderness Designs. I don’t get mad often at all, but this whole situation is so ridiculous I feel compelled to let others know what occured. The pictures and video (link below) can’t describe how awful the quality and utter lack of care that was put into this product is…extra material just folded over and taped to the top and attached crooked rather than properly finishing it..I’m still honestly blown away it was such absolute garbage!
    Recording video in portrait mode is your first mistake.

  9. #9
    Registered User Maineiac64's Avatar
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    Default

    That sucks. Hope you find a great alternative and you will be happy in the end.

  10. #10

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    That tent looks like it is complete junk! Lesson learned: Stick with well known respected companies with good solid reviews. Thank Goodness you used a credit card

  11. #11

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    Glad you posted this. I had no idea what their reputation was. Almost bought a net tent from them a year or two ago.

  12. #12
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    Should have had Ron @ MLD make it....only kidding that's ridiculous...hike you get it resolved...


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Hope....


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  14. #14
    Going for A walk left52side's Avatar
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    Default

    Well I hope this gets resolved for you.
    I am leary now as I just mailed my hexamid off to have A permiter net put along the bottom of it.
    Sure hope it doesnt get screwed up.
    If I die trying now I wont die wondering how life could have turned out.....


  15. #15

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    But for the wrong weight and size, I don't get crazy with that other stuff, but then it's not mine.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketsocks View Post
    But for the wrong weight and size, I don't get crazy with that other stuff, but then it's not mine.
    Who knows what the footprint of that tent was the moment it left the table? It may have been close to or on the specs. My first issue is with your weight spec. Did you spec the shelter weight to INCLUDE the stuff sack? I noticed you measured on scale with stuffsack, what does the stuffsack weigh. Also, did it come with lines? Lines are often excluded from weight calcs.

    Second, Cuben is notorious for "shrinking". This is due to the fabric's "footprint" being reduced by thousands of crease wrinkles. Some of the wrinkles become permanent. While the overall sew job wasn't the neatest, cleanest or prettiest, so long as the tape is effective, it's a cosmetic vs. performance issue, IMHO. Look, I'm not standing up for this guy, I doubt I would buy anything that appeared so MYOG as this, but I think you got dang close to what you paid for. However, the size is off sufficiently upon delivery to you that on that issue you prevail. This guy should have just cut the footprint 10 percent longer to prevent any complaints about shrinkage. Maybe 15 percent...anyway, you deserve a refund on that issue, at least.

    Perhaps it would behoove you to consult with reputable custom Cuben shops for what you need. MLD is the only one that comes to mind, since Zpacks stopped custom work. I'd say contact Lukes, but they've stopped taking all orders until Monday and I have no idea if they would do a custom with their current demand.

    Good luck! HYOH! YMMV!

  17. #17
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    And, while I understand your need for light weight, with a tarp, what does this rig come out to? 23 ounces? One ounce is 1/23, 2 ounces is less than 10 percent...much less...carry one ounce less water...there...problem solved!

  18. #18

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    Wrinkle shrinkage of the floor doesn't begin to cover the incorrect dimensions. Simple geometry there. If only the floor shrunk, then the height would have increased, not decreased.

  19. #19
    Registered User JBrewer's Avatar
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    Here is an up close shot of the horrendous quality product I received from Bearpaw Wilderness Designs…

    https://youtu.be/X0UnyXDuQH8

  20. #20
    Registered User glassman's Avatar
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    Bogus!
    Kinda looks like you'd do better with tyvex and a sewing kit then seam sealer and 4 hours.

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