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Old 05-31-18, 08:02 AM
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Part of this is that lots of people wear outdoorsy stuff every day casually. 25 years ago, brands like North Face and Patagonia made extremely high quality and pricey outdoorsy stuff that was actually designed for people who abuse stuff outdoors. I have a pair of thick canvas North Face hiking shorts that I purchased in 1990 for about $100 (a ridiculous sum at the time) that was built like a tank and was perfectly designed. Those shorts are still holding up (albeit with a few holes) and still better than any others I've found. This is not the case any more with that brand. Now (with a few exceptions) the North face, Patagonia, Marmot, even Mountain Hardware make commodity casual clothing for teenagers. That's what sells and that's what REI carries. You can still find the good stuff at REI but it's going to be (probably properly) expensive and limited. Their bike stuff is pretty rudimentary and geared towards commuters, again because that's what sells.

I have noticed that REI's online inventory is far better and has truly high quality stuff for enthusiasts.
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