I’m going to try to write this with out getting too political, but let this preface be a fair warning that it may contain some political viewpoint.
I totally support the notion to buy products made in the USA. It is my opinion that they are generally of better quality than some eastern counterparts, and these products do mean manufacturing jobs for Americans.
But lately I’ve been seeing a number of things while browsing outdoors gear that is just irking me. American products that are priced significantly (read: absurdly) more than non-made in the USA competitors.
The first glaring example that really got me fired up was a company called GoRuck. Using their largest pack as an example, the GR2 48liter pack is $395. The competing bag from Camelbak, the BFM, comes in at $272, that is almost $125 more for the GoRuck, and it doesn’t even come with a bladder or a waist harness (which in my opinion is vital for a large and/or heavy load.)
If you want to take that price insanity a bit further, they take a standard paracord bracelet, add their logo to it and charge $42!
Today I came across the ‘American Kami Spork’. This is a titanium spork that boasts being handcrafted on handmade dies. Sounds good – until you see the $44 price point. They boast you can stab zombies with it (this zombie thing is another rant waiting to happen, watch out.) I can tell you that a) if I ever find myself needing to stab a zombie, it wont be with a spork and b) for some reason if it was with a spork, one of my $10 Snowpeak sporks will work just as well (which is probably not well at all, is spork – is not stabbing device.)
I’m all for a FEW extra bucks to support American businesses who employ Americans and make their products here, but when you’re asking me for $34 more because your spork can kill a mythical monster… well, I’ll be eating my next meal with the Japanese made Snowpeak Ti Spork.
Now, I am not suggesting that these over priced American made products aren’t good. That GoRuck bag could be the best bag in the world – I’ll never know myself because I find even the less expensive Camelbak (which is a darned good pack by the way) to be too expensive for my tastes.