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Is Ibex pushing the price barrier?

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I am more than willing to pay for quality. From backcountry equipment to frontcountry consumer electronics, if it can demonstrate long-term value, I’m open to owning it. (Provided of course, I need said item.)

Outdoor clothing company Ibex markets to the active. They primarily promote a line of ultra-comfortable (according the catalog copy) and dynamic wool apparel such as hiking shorts, short-sleeved button downs and mid-layer pull-overs, among other items. I’ve been getting Ibex’s catalog for a couple of years now and do take the time to peruse it. I admire their small company spirit and the product line fits right into my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, my wheelhouse has a budget. Apparently those keeping Ibex around, don’t.

I just paid $80 for a pair of Patagonia Marlwalker pants. I also own the Marlwalker shorts and both products are probably the most comfortable pieces of clothing that have ever covered my privates. And until a Patagonia product lets me down, I’ll have no problem paying for products made by who many consider to be the most expensive outdoor clothing manufacturer. However, Patagonia has spent years building demonstrable credibility with their customers. There are countless people who can still talk to you about sharing a campsite with Chouinard. In short, while there is no question a slick and carefully applied marketing sheen blanketing the Patagonia logo, it’s hard to argue that the company has not put its money where its water-proof zipper is.

Now, I haven’t read much about these Ibex folks. But they have a lot of branding to do before I’ll pay $72.00 for a t-shirt meant only for style, not activity.

Anyone out there got Ibex’s back? I’m open to having my mind changed.

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