Welcome - Autumn 2013
Thanks for checking us out! This is not an ordinary website. Unlike most, it contains two levels of information. There is the basic stuff about our backpacks, day packs, tents and gaiters, things everyone wants to know before making a purchase. Then there is a wealth of background information about the technologies they use, product care, DIY maintenance, design notes and so on. You can go deep if you are interested.
Go down this page for full details of what you can find on this site but first, here is the latest news from WE...
We are well down the track with the development of a new lightweight range of backpacks. Our classic core range of canvas packs and day packs is also undergoing a refreshment and the results of that will be coming through soon. We have devised a somewhat radical and certainly completely unique frame system for the new lightweight range. Our objective has been to minimise weight without compromising comfort and load carrying ability. This process, requiring careful engineering is almost at its conclusion. Preliminary testing was carried out last summer on our 800km Atlantic to Mediterranean traverse of the Pyrenean Haute Route over tough and relentlessly steep terrain. If you are looking at a mid-capacity pack for walking or alpine use and you can wait a while, you should.
This traverse has also been the testing ground for some ultra-light tent fabrics we are looking at introducing to a few established WE tent models as well to new ones in development. We note many of our competitors now sprouting stuff we have been saying for years, like durability being the basis of sustainability in outdoor equipment. The difference though is that we walk the talk. With any WE product you can be assured that we have actually gone the extra yards to specify materials, and find and implement design and construction solutions that translate directly into long service life.
Our most recent solo tent model, the ACE, is now an established performer. It has received high praise from users, particularly in the two areas where we set out to make real advances over what competing brands offer - user-friendly space and stability. The Ace is available in two UL choices, one with a mesh-walled inner and a winter version with an all fabric inner. Go to Very-light tents and read the intro on the ACE. We have a reputation for original design, going our own way to find better solutions. This product, made possible by our unique 'dihedral hub' is the latest example. The four-season design combines low profile, excellent stability, real sit-up height and great usable space, all in a compact package with a minimum weight just over 1.9kg. Until now all single-person lightweights have failed one or more of these tests. The free-standing inner tent pitches first and simply clips up to the framework. The well ventilated outer skin requires just two pegs.
The i-Explore 2 is also now an established tent alongside the original 3-person model. Its narrower width results in less weight, a slightly lower profile, but still with plenty of head room. Logically enough, the model names are now simply the i-Explore 3 and i-Explore 2 and both are available with either the hybrid mesh inner or the full winter inner.
And remember, "all coated, waterproof fabrics used on WE tents are now specified with high-grade, POLYETHER-based polyurethane coating chemistry". This more expensive coating formulation provides a much greater resistance to hydrolysis, the sticky degradation that occurs in constantly damp or humid conditions, a particular problem in tropical climates.
Down-loadable Product A4 'Tech-sheets'
We are not big on printed brochures. They are out of date almost the minute they are printed. Use our PDF download buttons to grab all the important information on the products that interest you, save and peruse these pages at your leisure.
This intro message to our website continues below, after this pic from the high Pyrenees. It's 3am on an August night in 2011, there's a full moon illuminating our Second Arrow and for once on the Haute Route the air is still and the sky is clear. The 'Big Dipper' (Ursa Major) is hanging in the northern sky and you can just make out an aircraft trail above the tent.
Three clicks into the right-side menu bar gets you to all the important product information. The short product descriptions will help narrow your focus. Click on 'specifications' to see details. 'More Info' gives you more descriptive information. Many products have a 'gear in use' photo gallery. As noted above, use the PDF Download button to get a single page illustrated summary of the product specs. Links on every product page lead you directly to all the other related information you could possibly wish for - instructions for choosing sizes, use and care information, DIY maintenance tips, fabric technology information, design choices, and so on. We have over 30 years experience making gear and using it. Product performance is at the core of what we do. Innovation over imitation, experience over wishful thinking, excellence over mediocrity.
You can check product availability by going to 'Where To Buy' in the head menu bar then clicking the 'Check product Availability'.
An intrinsic and important part of any product's quality is the service available after you have made your purchase. This responsibility dawned on us back in 1977, the first time we stitched a WE label to something we had made. Well, here we are nearing the end of 2012! A long product life translates directly into a reduced call on increasingly scarce (and expensive) resources. Besides the comprehensive advice on use and care, I have included detailed instructions for common DIY repairs for all products, past and present. If a zip isn't closing properly on your well-worn backpack or tent you can discover the usual reasons why, and how you might be able to fix it yourself. Sea To Summit, the WE brand partners and distributors, provide follow-up service. If you need a measure of our commitment send STS a tricky question. More than likely, the reply you get will be detailed and come directly from me.
Gear freaks rejoice! Links on every product page lead you to more technical information than you may like to read. If you work in retail sales, teach in outdoor education or are just plain curious, you may find valuable perspectives in our more technical explanations of design and materials choices, all firmly grounded in the realities of traveling the back-country, carrying loads and depending on lightweight shelters. You could also look along the head menu bar, at 'Other Stuff'. In here you can find other interesting 'random' content, less directly related to products. Take the page about Staying Comfortable in the Outdoors. Sophisticated ads regularly quote product performance in selective terms using principles of physics and everyday science. To help you keep a grip on reality we have collected all these ideas and principles together, straightened them and presented them in a way that we hope will be useful. Without such an overview it is very difficult to identify what is believable and what is really just fantasy.
Behind the Brand
What about the big questions? How do we see our business responsibilities in the areas of social accountability, impact on the natural environment, limited resources and global warming? With one life each to live, we do not draw a line between our business and private activities. The resources required to make a difference, the commitment of time and finances, flow freely back and forth across such a line. If you are interested in where we have come from, and where we are going, look up "Behind the Brand" under Other Stuff.
Finally, like many of our friends, we depend greatly on wild country, the mountains and on the ocean to provide energy and direction in our lives. Through the WE product range we see ourselves playing a part in these aspects of your life. That's a privilege and another important source of satisfaction. Thank you!
Keep fit and have fun! We'll see you out there.
Founder and Designer