Montane

Please be fair and thoughtful in your opinions. No rants please.
DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 1 Jun 2017, 7:43pm

For my winter trip I bought a Montane Deep Heat sleeping bag, really excited to get it however in use I found it too constrictive. I am very broad and just couldn't move or properly get comfortable.

So I contacted Montane support and asked if they supplied and expanda similar to those offered by other manufacturers. Simple reply was no.....


Not to be put off I am used to "modifying" things so I sent a polite ask to them again explaining my problem and asking if they could supply me with some material, I could then match the zips and make my own..

The response I got was - we don't keep enough material to help you out.............. Needless to say I am not impressed. I let them know and I am writing this as a heads up for anyone thinking of buying Montane products, don't expect anything in the way of support from them unless it's standard stuff.

I don't believe for one minute they can't get hold of a piece of their material, I believe simply that they can't be bothered as a single customer is just not worth the effort and their customer support don't consider going a little out of their way as worth their time.

Contrast that with companies like "avenir" who sent me replacemnt parts twice free of charge after I lost them.... Or Specialized who paid for an entirely new wheelset after my hubs failed on one of their bikes after a years use... those are companies who believe their reputation and customers are worth making an effort for.

Perhaps if I was doing a high profile expedition or a large customer I would have had a better response...

For the price of the Bag I expect more support from the company - I deal a lot with support contracts in my day job and one of the first things I state when negotiating or during support reviews is that I don't measure a company by them doing their job, my standard of excellence is when things go wrong how far they are prepared to go to put things right and demonstrate their commitment to "excellent customer support".

I am not saying they are responsible for my wide shoulders or their bag was wrong, I am saying that stating their commitment to excellence should mean more than accurate manufacturing, it's being responsive to their customers regardless of the size of the order.

Well I have learned my lesson with them and this will be my first and last purchase.


I have purchased a "Snugpak" expander panel and if I can match the zips I will use that, not the perfect solution but better than Montane's "Nothing".
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

josetrek
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 May 2018, 1:15am

Re: Montane

Postby josetrek » 20 May 2018, 1:23am

Thanks DarkNewt

i'm interested in this sleeping bag, but when i read the reason that you explain, i'm worried.
Is posible to know the size of your shoulders?
I would like to know because if is the similar size to me i will not buy it.

What do you think about of the foot box?
Thanks for all DarkNewt

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 20 May 2018, 8:06pm

josetrek wrote:Thanks DarkNewt

i'm interested in this sleeping bag, but when i read the reason that you explain, i'm worried.
Is posible to know the size of your shoulders?
I would like to know because if is the similar size to me i will not buy it.

What do you think about of the foot box?
Thanks for all DarkNewt


I have measured around the widest part of my shoulders/chest and it's 53" Hope that helps, if you get stuck you can always have one of these sewn in as I did: https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/expanda-panel-winter

good luck!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 20 May 2018, 8:08pm

DarkNewt wrote:
josetrek wrote:Thanks DarkNewt

i'm interested in this sleeping bag, but when i read the reason that you explain, i'm worried.
Is posible to know the size of your shoulders?
I would like to know because if is the similar size to me i will not buy it.

What do you think about of the foot box?
Thanks for all DarkNewt


I have measured around the widest part of my shoulders/chest and it's 53" Hope that helps, if you get stuck you can always have one of these sewn in as I did: https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/expanda-panel-winter.

in terms of the footbox i don't have any real issues and with the expanda panel it's slightly bigger anyhow.

good luck!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Tangled Metal
Posts: 3708
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Montane

Postby Tangled Metal » 20 May 2018, 9:58pm

Interesting comment but the other side of the story could be an outdoor company makes a product for a market, markets it with necessary information such as sizing and quite possibly offer it in small, standard and large.

Customer buys it and realises it does not suit them. Perhaps they should have got the larger size (if montane offer different sizes like Rab and ME). So the costumer asks if they manufacturer a solution to this purchase of the wrong product for them. They don't so reply to that effect.

The customer asks for materials to bodge something. However manufacturing site is in China or Indonesia or similar. Fabrics are made there too. Zips are made there too. They don't hold stock of either in the UK since they only have warehouse for saleable product and offices for design and back office matters. So they reply as such.

The costumer then posts saying that sleeping bag doesn't fit them on a cycling forum and criticise their customer service who only answered honestly that they don't have the means to help.

I'm sorry your purchase wasn't as you hoped. I've still got a few items that match the description looked good on paper not in practise.

Now the above doesn't help your situation. I might have an answer for you but it will cost and I have no idea how much. There's a company based in Ulverston, Cumbria who specialise in down product repairs and modifications. They have a wide range of services and I would expect they could put an expander panel in for you.

Please don't take offence by my comments in the first part of my email. I only posted them because in this modern world of outsourcing manufacturing to overseas plants I would not expect any fabric based brand to hold fabrics and materials in case customers want to modify their products.

Solution two could be to buy the materials, or closest similar materials, from a specialist outdoors fabric supplier. I used to know loads but not sure how many are still around. IIRC Peak fabrics or similar name is one UK supplier of fabrics. There's a really good German one too with a name like FabricTechnil or something not too far from that. They've been mentioned on an outdoors / walking forum a few times if you wanted to go on it and search threads for outdoor fabric suppliers. Alternatively join and post a thread asking for suppliers.

I hope these two possible options redeem my critical start to the post! :)

josetrek
Posts: 2
Joined: 20 May 2018, 1:15am

Re: Montane

Postby josetrek » 21 May 2018, 12:33am

DarkNewt wrote:
josetrek wrote:Thanks DarkNewt

i'm interested in this sleeping bag, but when i read the reason that you explain, i'm worried.
Is posible to know the size of your shoulders?
I would like to know because if is the similar size to me i will not buy it.

What do you think about of the foot box?
Thanks for all DarkNewt


I have measured around the widest part of my shoulders/chest and it's 53" Hope that helps, if you get stuck you can always have one of these sewn in as I did: https://www.snugpak.com/outdoor/expanda-panel-winter

good luck!



Ok, im read it, thanks for all, you help to me. I think that i will buy other sleeepin bag, maybe the rab ascent 1100 because the construction of the bag of montane, deep heat -20ºC is extrange, they write in the website that they put feather with 800 cuins , exactly 1000 gr, have -12ºC of confort temoerature; similar sleeping bags that pass the test of UE with 650 cuins, that have 900 gr, obtain -12ºC of confort temperature, for this reason i think that the test that montane do ( test US) is worst for certify the quality of the feather....if you put 1000 gr of feather of goose with 800 cuins, the confort temperature minimum should be -19ºC. The example is the sleeping bag of Marmot, never summer, with 650 cuins, confort temperature of -12ºC, have 898 gr of feather...and they do US test... one sleeping bag with 800 cuins, 1000 gr of feather, and 1600 weight for -12ºC....there are something estrange :!: :!: :!: :!: :!: .

Thanks for all Darknewt :D :D :D :D :D

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 21 May 2018, 1:04am

Hi Tangled Metal,

ive put some replies to your comments below,

Tangled Metal wrote:Interesting comment but the other side of the story could be an outdoor company makes a product for a market, markets it with necessary information such as sizing and quite possibly offer it in small, standard and large.

They noted it as one size, which would mean to me should fit most people I am big but not gigantic, at the very least they should put maximum dimensions.

Customer buys it and realises it does not suit them. Perhaps they should have got the larger size (if montane offer different sizes like Rab and ME). So the costumer asks if they manufacturer a solution to this purchase of the wrong product for them. They don't so reply to that effect.

As above only sold in "one size", after reading your post I looked deeper at Montane's profile and design philosophy nowhere does it mention customer satisfaction so thankyou for reminding me "caveat emptor"

The customer asks for materials to bodge something. However manufacturing site is in China or Indonesia or similar. Fabrics are made there too. Zips are made there too. They don't hold stock of either in the UK since they only have warehouse for saleable product and offices for design and back office matters. So they reply as such.

That is the reality that I had to deal with yes.

The costumer then posts saying that sleeping bag doesn't fit them on a cycling forum and criticise their customer service who only answered honestly that they don't have the means to help.

I am reading between the lines here so may interpret your reason incorrectly but you seem to think it was inapropriate for me to post here so I will share my motivation: Firstly I bought this bag for a cycling trip to a very seriously cold place and I posted it in cycling goods & services reviews because anyone cycle touring and camping will know that they need a sleeping bag so I wanted to inform others both of my purchase and the lack of suppport or interest I got from Montane, with the end of others not buying the bag inadvertantly, it appears to have worked in at least one case as the purchaser below will now avoid this bag as he knows one size doesn't fit - so from my perspective I have accomplished what i set out to do which was help others avoid similar. If you find this inapropriate we will have to agree to disagree.

I'm sorry your purchase wasn't as you hoped. I've still got a few items that match the description looked good on paper not in practise.

Now the above doesn't help your situation. I might have an answer for you but it will cost and I have no idea how much. There's a company based in Ulverston, Cumbria who specialise in down product repairs and modifications. They have a wide range of services and I would expect they could put an expander panel in for you.

I have already solved my problem I had a Snugpak winter expanda panel fitted utilising the original zip, it works really well and the modification was almost invisible it cost me £60.00 but i now have a serviceable bag.

Please don't take offence by my comments in the first part of my email. I only posted them because in this modern world of outsourcing manufacturing to overseas plants I would not expect any fabric based brand to hold fabrics and materials in case customers want to modify their products.

In some part I agree, however I pointed out that their sizing was misleading and I was in this position because of that, they did not bother to reply or respond to that point so I feel my opinion that they are unhelpful is warranted (as per there lack of mention of customer satisfaction) - a simple addition of some maximum sizes would resolve this but that appears to be too much or a risk of a lost sale. In terms of taking offence, it is a difference of opinion, I am a stoic and do my best not to let differences of opinion offend me so don't be worried about that, I generaly try and deal with a difference of opinion with logic.

Solution two could be to buy the materials, or closest similar materials, from a specialist outdoors fabric supplier. I used to know loads but not sure how many are still around. IIRC Peak fabrics or similar name is one UK supplier of fabrics. There's a really good German one too with a name like FabricTechnil or something not too far from that. They've been mentioned on an outdoors / walking forum a few times if you wanted to go on it and search threads for outdoor fabric suppliers. Alternatively join and post a thread asking for suppliers.

I hope these two possible options redeem my critical start to the post! :)


As above I didn't find you particularly critical an exchange of minds is always good, you were just not working on the full facts which are hard to gain from a simple post, my motivation was to help others, i would never expect to change the way companies operate, they are not thinking feeling entities just a collection of processes operated by people, the only time you affect the way a company operates is by hurting their sales/reputation or legally: on the back of my experience this would not be practical or worth the effort.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

Tangled Metal
Posts: 3708
Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

Re: Montane

Postby Tangled Metal » 21 May 2018, 8:27am

As I typed I got more and more of an impression I was being too critical. I at first read your post as similar to one of those outlier customers who didn't get the service they wanted so let's post it online. Further on and a second read of your post I realised it wasn't such a post.

I generally have little to do with customer services of brands, lucky I guess. For me montane became a brand I ditched (mostly) when they tweaked their sizing so their clothing no longer fitted me. Eventually they got better sizes that fitted me again (or I grew the wrong way).

For a cold trip I would personally be hyper critical before making a purchase. For example montane started as a clothing company for outdoors kit. Very good at that. No history of sleeping bags or rucksacks. Whilst they did well with rucksack design I'd not trust them with critical things like sleeping bags. Whilst their product on paper looked suitable it's often the smallest of details that make it fail or work for you IMHO.

Too late for you but my advise for anyone intending to sleep in cold conditions is to buy from a company with heritage in down products. IMHO that means Rab, mountain equipment and PH Designs. The latter is the company founded by one of the best down product designers to work for ME. It's been argued that he helped a lot in making ME's name in down.

Out of interest to any readers of this thread who intend to buy a down sleeping bag for cold conditions or want the best options it's worth pointing out that the above three companies do sleeping bags on different sizes. Also female specific. Also, if that's not enough customisation for you then PhD do a design your own service. If you want short and wide or long and thin they'll do it for you. Extra insulation in some regions not a problem. Just expect prices to be doubled!

PS enjoy your trip DN. Where are you off to? If you don't mind me asking.

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 21 May 2018, 9:31am

Tangled Metal wrote:As I typed I got more and more of an impression I was being too critical. I at first read your post as similar to one of those outlier customers who didn't get the service they wanted so let's post it online. Further on and a second read of your post I realised it wasn't such a post.

I generally have little to do with customer services of brands, lucky I guess. For me montane became a brand I ditched (mostly) when they tweaked their sizing so their clothing no longer fitted me. Eventually they got better sizes that fitted me again (or I grew the wrong way).

For a cold trip I would personally be hyper critical before making a purchase. For example montane started as a clothing company for outdoors kit. Very good at that. No history of sleeping bags or rucksacks. Whilst they did well with rucksack design I'd not trust them with critical things like sleeping bags. Whilst their product on paper looked suitable it's often the smallest of details that make it fail or work for you IMHO.

Too late for you but my advise for anyone intending to sleep in cold conditions is to buy from a company with heritage in down products. IMHO that means Rab, mountain equipment and PH Designs. The latter is the company founded by one of the best down product designers to work for ME. It's been argued that he helped a lot in making ME's name in down.

Out of interest to any readers of this thread who intend to buy a down sleeping bag for cold conditions or want the best options it's worth pointing out that the above three companies do sleeping bags on different sizes. Also female specific. Also, if that's not enough customisation for you then PhD do a design your own service. If you want short and wide or long and thin they'll do it for you. Extra insulation in some regions not a problem. Just expect prices to be doubled!

PS enjoy your trip DN. Where are you off to? If you don't mind me asking.


Hi Tangled,

one of the things I didn't mention which actually swayed me for the Montane version is I was able to get it new at a bargain price which meant even with the purchase of a snugpak expanda panel + alterations it was still cheaper for me, don't ask how I got it cheaper it wasn't illegal in any way though!

The trip I am planning is to circumnavigate iceland and possibly go across the interior, it very much depends on how stable my knee is if I do it in November/December or have to put it off a year. I did a trip through spain/france last year, knee was hurting before I started due to a fall and after 500 or so miles getting back I could cycle but not weight bear - turns out I had a complex meniscal tear, I have had to rest but now I am back training and walking. I am away for 2 weeks in June going on a road trip through the chunnel france spain up to Andorra and back, taking the bike to do some of the hills on the way. Then at the end of August I am doing the Pennine way as a celebration that i did it 30 yrs ago. If I manage that then I will know I am up for the Iceland trip, I have done a lot of prep ensuring the right kit just need to make sure I won't kill myself.
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

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pjclinch
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Re: Montane

Postby pjclinch » 21 May 2018, 12:48pm

A general point on kit is that a lot of it has the performance reliant upon fit, and this goes for sleeping bags too. Too big and you'll lose loads of heat from convection currents, too small and, well, it's too small. One size only means if you're in any way outsize you might do better elsewhere.

So have a test lie in a sleeping bag, a test crawl in a tent, try on shoes before spending money. In all of these cases you might save money by going online, but where size/fit is critical to function it may be worth spending more.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Montane

Postby DarkNewt » 21 May 2018, 1:09pm

pjclinch wrote:A general point on kit is that a lot of it has the performance reliant upon fit, and this goes for sleeping bags too. Too big and you'll lose loads of heat from convection currents, too small and, well, it's too small. One size only means if you're in any way outsize you might do better elsewhere.

So have a test lie in a sleeping bag, a test crawl in a tent, try on shoes before spending money. In all of these cases you might save money by going online, but where size/fit is critical to function it may be worth spending more.


Totally agree although I do believe they should put max sizes in there, I am happy with my fit now I also use one of these with my bag:

https://www.seatosummit.co.uk/products/ ... e-reactor/

which allows me to go very light on my summer sleeping bag (incidentally a snugpak with a built in expanda panel) I can add or remove as I feel necessary.

In terms of quality I do like my Montane bag now that i have modded to suit me.

Might be worthwhile starting a discussion thread on good bags for cycle touring/camping midrange/budget options etc.. I have also been on a quest to find a decent pillow that isn't too bulky heavy - being slightly oversized :-) I have gone through various ones with disatisfaction, I had tried several of the inflatable ones a few years ago - and until now the best was one I made myself out of foam, however I recently bought: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1 very happy with this though we shall see how tough it is long term (I always carry a puncture repair kit!

Always interested in seeing others solutions aproaches as they can take you in directions you have never previously thought of!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

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pjclinch
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Re: Montane

Postby pjclinch » 24 May 2018, 5:45pm

DarkNewt wrote: I have also been on a quest to find a decent pillow that isn't too bulky heavy !


Roos and I use Exped inflatibles, can't remember the models but one is very light and compact packing and the other even more so. Very comfy when deployed, we're happy, errr, campers.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...