1. Please update your bookmarks to use https://www.edcforums.com/
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

5.11 Backpack Surplus. Opinions?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by carboncopy, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi there! Any opinion on the quality of 5.11 backpack that is made in vietnam and surplus. Particularly the rush 24 and covrt 18?
     
  2. an0nemus

    an0nemus Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2017
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    As is everything in life, you get what you pay for
     
  3. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Any experience with the bags anonemus?
     
  4. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,981
    Likes Received:
    4,747
    I can not understand your question really?
    What does "and surplus" mean?

    I have several 5.11 bags made in Vietnam and 2 Rush 24 among them and like them a lot.

    It is not hard to find a lot of talk about them in this Forum too.
     
  5. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi! It seems there are 5.11 bags being sold out and they're surplus from the factory.

    My question is how does it compare to authentic 5.11 bags.

    Given that both bags have the same materials used. Is it just a matter of aesthetics
     
  6. Caleb

    Caleb Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    75
    It's probably the same bag, and I think they are all imported. I've never seen any 5.11 product that really screamed of quality.
     
  7. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yea Caleb I think so too. I inspected it and it's virtually the same as the one I have. The price is a bit lower than the srp like 10% and I just can't find any defect.
     
  8. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    1,542
    Sounds like a marketing tactic more than anything. 10% is certainly not a bangin' deal...especially for something which is being billed as a possible factory 2nd. (40-50% might be more like it). My guess is this type of "surplus" labeled product is probably destined for an outlet store. There's not a lot of difference, just a different marketing strategy. The margin on these bags is probably 60-70% (sounds like a lot, right? But consider designer clothing generally have margins exceeding 100%).
     
    tomothy23 likes this.
  9. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey dcman! Can you enlighten us more? It's interesting to know how factories work. And what is factory 2nd?
     
  10. ItsHardToKnow

    ItsHardToKnow Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,911
    Likes Received:
    1,856
    Theyre probably all made in Vietnam.
     
  11. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    1,542
    Great question! The term "factory 2nd" (and numerous other "2nd" permutations) has lost much of its meaning in modern times. Chinese production has a lot to do with this (and I'll explain in a moment). Back many years ago, when the term "factory 2nd" first originated, it meant a product was pulled from the production line for not meeting a strict Quality Control or "QC" standard. This could have been as simple as a scratch on a logo, or a mis-stich on a seam...all the way up to and including two different sized shoes. You may recall buying a pair of jeans and finding a little paper tag in one of the pockets saying something to the effect of "Inspected by Inspector 57" (or whatever). This was a line QC inspector who looked for imperfections and pulled any product off the line which had one. In the early days many of these imperfections had absolutely zero impact on the function of the article. And, back in those days they actually just tossed the articles in the dumpster and sent them to a landfill.

    Over time manufacturers realized there might actually be a market for these items. Functionally they were fine, but in many cases, cosmetically, they had an issue. So, rather than just throw them away, manufacturers would sell them at significant discounts (60-75% off) (some revenue was better than nothing). They did this at special stores they called "manufacturer outlet" stores (and there was usually only one or two of these, and they were geographically near the plant which made the product). This was long before the "outlet stores" of today which are all over everywhere (completely different). The marketing technique associated with these products was also considerably different than standard retail products. These products would skip all the middle-men, all the marketing expense, and in many cases even the flashy packaging and go straight to market. By cutting out all the overhead expense, and by selling a '2nd', they could offer huge discounts. Most people would be shocked (floored actually) if they knew the actual "cost" to manufacture of an item they buy! Most of the MSRP of an item is added after the product leaves the production line in the form of advertising, warehousing, distriubution, etc., etc.

    But eventually word got out to the masses, and this lead to three major paradigm shifts happening nearly simultaneously:

    1.) Manufacturers realized there was a mammoth untapped market of customers out there who cared more about the name identity than they did about quality. The (original) outlet stores were doing staggering amounts of business while the retail store's sales were just average or flagging. Well, it didn't take long for the manufacturers to figure out there were huge profits to be made in this area, and the "outlet stores" of today were born.

    2.) Chinese mass production technology was catching up to western manufacturing techniques. At the same time, the Chinese realized the same thing (above), and they started to flood the market with counterfeit, or "knock-off" illegal / unlicensed merchandise which looked almost identical to the real thing. Because the Chinese work force worked for significantly less wages Chinese manufacturers were making a killing on these products. And, because many on-shore name brand product companies are publicly traded companies, they have an allegiance to one thing and one thing only...money/profits. Sooooo...seeing's how the Chinese manufacturers could make nearly identical (counterfeit) products compared to their own (real) products at a fraction of the cost, the manufacturers sold their souls to the devil and started out-sourcing production of their name brand products off-shore to China and SE Asia. It was, in their minds, a win-win; they were tying up Chinese manufacturers with making 'licensed' products so they didn't have the capacity to make 'unlicensed' products (in theory).

    3.) Quality Control of mass produced items off-shore is a challenge (by any standard), and the general quality of even name brand products rapidly declined. At the same time, the Board(s) of Directors of these corporations were under pressure from stockholders to report ever increasing profit margins (in order to keep their stock prices up) so they shipped higher and higher percentages of their product lines off-shore. Then, when the public kept buying their products, regardless of quality, they did it even more. Pretty soon virtually all durable consumer goods were being produced off-shore. Now, circle back to item #1...because QC standards had dropped to virtually nil (and nobody cared), and the 'outlet store' marketing angle was as effective as it was, manufacturers started using this model more and more.

    So, as you can see, the whole "surplus" or "factory 2nd" meaning has been largely lost; everything anymore is pretty much a factory 2nd. (Sadly). And because people still buy this stuff manufacturers have no incentive to change (hey, they're not giving up their ever growing slice of the pie!). This is why you see such giant disparities between the prices of on-shore versus off-shore products (and....sssshhhhh, don't tell anyone...but when you see off-shore prices approach on-shore prices for "trendy"/popular products, guess what...somebody is laughing all the way to the bank!)

    edit...Note - I've made a comparison to China (above), but it's way more complicated than this when you start adding in SE Asia (Vietnam, Taiwan and Malaysia) to the equation. And, some of the reasons why are even pretty laughable in truth. I could write a book on all these different evolutions, but it goes way, way, beyond the scope of your question.
     
    Last edited by DCBman, Saturday at 9:13 AM
    #11 DCBman, Apr 22, 2017 at 8:55 AM
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017 at 9:19 AM
  12. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow. All i can say is I'm enlightened.

    All this time we're shopping mostly at outlet stores. :censored:. Just wow.
     
  13. Caleb

    Caleb Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    75
    Mostly true....but there are certain companies/manufacturers that don't operate this way at all, and it shows in quality and materials. I'm not near as educated in the ways of offshore manufacturers as DCBman but in my view, companies like 5.11 are no more than marketing companies that probably get their gear manufactured all over the place, and no telling how many other "marketing companies" like 5.11 are having their stuff made in the same facilities. If my budget limited me to 5.11 prices, I think money would probably be better spent on something like TNF, which doesn't hide behind the tactic of American military tastes. Sorry, don't mean to turn this into a 5.11 bash.
     
  14. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    1,542
    It's not a pack / bag, but a great example of what you are saying can be found with Cold Steel knives; they don't actually 'manufacture' anything at all. They buy products from other manufacturers and brand them as their own. Some manufacturers they deal with more exclusively than others, hence the price differences in their product line, but none of them are actually manufactured by Cold Steel themselves.

    Yep, and there are literally millions of examples of exactly this! It works the other way around too; manufacturers of certain products will go around and 'shop' a product with different name brands to get them to put their brand on that particular product. The actual (name brand) seller may have never even intended to offer that particular product, but because it adds 'diversity' to their product line and opens their brand up to a wider range of consumers they agree to partner up and offer that product as if it was their own.

    Again, people would be just stunned if they knew how all this stuff really works...behind the scenes!

    Here's a very eyebrow raising (spooky even, possibly even maddening) example from personal experience. I spent several years over in SE Asia working (not in product manufacturing, BTW, but in technology). I already knew ahead of time that part of the world was "king" when it came to knock-offs. Any product you could dream of had been knocked off by these folks...literally anything! And they weren't bashful about it either. And I mean seriously too, these folks wouldn't bat an eye about using someone else's logo...right down to the trademark symbols and trademark numbers! 100% pirate, and they knew it.

    So anyway, one day I wanted to go out and intentionally buy a knock-off Rolex. I'd heard so much about them, seen others with them and I wanted to actually get one for myself just to see what they were all about. I had no intention of representing it as real, I just wanted to see. I learned fairly quickly in my search that there are differing levels of knock offs (generally about 3 levels). We'll call them "low", "medium" and "high" in terms of quality and price just for discussion. The 'low' grade watches were just cheap junk. They were crap, and most cost around $15 bucks...you could tell they were cheap fakes from 50 feet away. The machining was crude, the movements were awful...just flea-market type junk. The 'medium' grade watches were much better, the machining was good, the materials were good and surprisingly the movements were actually pretty good too, but if you looked carefully you could tell (but you did have to look carefully). The prices on these watches ranged from about $60 to about $100 bucks. These watches would even come in a decent box with some authentic looking paperwork.

    Then there were the "high" grade knock offs. These watches were different. They didn't sell these on the streets, or even in known knock off marketplaces. They sold these watches in actual branded stores...and that's all they sold too. These watches were bordering on exquisite, with top dollar machining, materials and movements you couldn't tell from the real thing. They came in very expensive cases, had all the paperwork, tags, registration numbers, wax seals...everything. They were virtually identical to the real thing! Usually a dead giveaway on a knock off is the movement, and these mimicked the real thing perfectly. And here's were it gets weird...they also kept excellent time, performed (underwater, etc.) like the real thing. For all intents and purposes they appeared to be the real thing (and as the story went, not even an actual dealer could tell the difference without some research involving disassembly of the watch). Hard core! This was one of the watches I wanted to get.

    After shopping around, I found one and me and another guy went in halves on it. It was an experiment more than anything, neither one of us had any intention of ever wearing it other than to test it (which we did). Now, here's the part which will blow your socks off and even make some folks angry... We beat on that watch, and put it through pure unadulterated misery...it was tough as nails, but it gets worse. The watch kept :censored: near perfect time, better than any other watch I had at the time (within seconds per week). After we beat on this thing for about two months we put it to the ultimate test...we took it to a real authorized Rolex dealer in a different country (knowing full well they would likely seize the watch...they're pretty mad-crazy-militant about these things!!!). We were very up-front about what it was, how we got it and where it came from. We asked him to tell us about the watch (and this will blow your mind). At first, even he acknowledged he couldn't prove from outward appearance if it was real or fake. As we suspected, they seized the watch, but agreed to give us their findings after they dismantled it. About two months later they actually did follow up with us (surprisingly). That watch had been made with not only certified parts of other big name watches (Omega, Tag, Seiko, etc.), but also...certified, serialized, actual real-deal Rolex parts (including the case and crystal)!!! These guys were fit to be tied (mad)...somebody (person or group) in the Rolex food chain was selling actual parts to these pirates to make these watches! It's pretty easy to understand why they get so militant about these kinds of things. If those products made it into the mainstream, it would represent a huge piece of their market share. And, how would anyone (the average person) ever really know the difference?
     
  15. Caleb

    Caleb Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    75
    This is why I like sticking to my SpecOpBrand, Tom Bihn and Kifaru products.....small, in-house, simply American. I know there are others, but I get burned up when someone tries to compare something like a 5.11 72 to a THE Pack. The 5.11 might have some favorable features but it's like comparing an Armitron to a Tag in terms of genuine quality. I'm forced to buy a lot of my gear from crappy companies but where it really counts I try to buy from "real" companies.
     
  16. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Haha. it's ok. Actually, both 5.11 and TNF is made in vietnam. And from my experience TNF surplus is kinda flimsy.
     
  17. carboncopy

    carboncopy Empty Pockets

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow. Seriously this is getting scary. I live in the Philippines and watches here are sold 2x the srp so people are looking for cheaper sources I guess I better be careful.

    It's scary and amazing how can someone make a knockoff of something and make it look and function almost the same. And a watch for that matter. Lots of moving parts and they're able to source authentic parts.

    DCBman are breitling cloned too? I'm scared my watch are fake now. I think I'll have them checked when I go abroad.
     
  18. DCBman

    DCBman Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2014
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    1,542
    @carboncopy...I can't speak personally about seeing a Breitling knock off, but honestly I never looked for one. I can tell you (from personal experience) that virtually no product of any value is immune...absolutely zero! If it's popular, and expensive...they'll knock it off. Period.

    I would say, living in the Phillipines, you would probably have a much better likelihood of being exposed to some of these high-end knock offs than say Europe for example. I'm in the US and with all the imports here I'd bet these things have gotten a foothold in some of the larger port cities if not further out than that.
     
  19. ac7ss
    • +1 Supporter
    • The Omnia Paratus

    ac7ss Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    2,424
    Likes Received:
    2,740
    You can find some good watches like this (Without the branding) on Amazon. I have a watch branded "Parnis" that people are calling a knockoff in some forums, but it doesn't claim to be anything but what it is, and keeps great time
     
  20. Caleb

    Caleb Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2016
    Messages:
    166
    Likes Received:
    75
    Yeah, TNF is made all over the place, from Vietnam, China, Canada to Bangladesh. There's lots of ski yuppies that have taken up wearing it but I've had some good luck with it.