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Is TAD Gear cutting costs?

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by CANNIBALdinner., Apr 1, 2014.

  1. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    I recently ordered a TAD Litespeed and it arrived yesterday. A few years ago I ordered TAD Fastpack EDC, so I'm no stranger to TAD quality. I was a little disappointed however, when I saw that the fastex buckles on my Litespeed, aren't the same high speed buckles I had on my EDC. Is this normal? Anyone else out there notice this?


    Sent from my iPhone
     
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  2. BrianEDC

    BrianEDC Loaded Pockets

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    I'm told they made some changes recently. My Fast Pack EDC doesn't have the self-locking buckles on the transporter tail. A minor wrinkle. Quite possibly caused by some cost cutting efforts.
     
  3. TARFU
    • In Omnia Paratus

    TARFU EDC!!!!! Junkie

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    Probably not a coincidence that some of this is paired with Patrick Ma's departure. I would hope not but I've heard similar things on other forums.
     
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  4. jv6509

    jv6509 Loaded Pockets

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    I've noticed the same but have not seen a drop in quality. Maybe disposing of such details could be a product of "Certain Individual" leaving and the fact that TAD is now turning out more quantity of product, a move I welcome. As to long term standards in the post Ma era, guess that has yet to be seen.
     
  5. ambaal

    ambaal Loaded Pockets

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    Not sure about quality (my OP1s are still on the way) but it definitely jumped up on availability. You can actually buy it now.
     
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  6. Euthymic

    Euthymic Loaded Pockets

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    They stopped using the buckles back in June of last year stating that they were no longer available from the manufacturer. My EDC that I ordered at that time did not have them (but they were still listed in the item description) and when I inquired by phone, they scrambled and produced some from another bag (i.e., they didn't have any new ones but were able to pull some from a sample). They told me that the buckles were no longer available from the supplier and looking at the supplier catalog at the time, this appeared to be the case.
     
  7. pipey

    pipey Loaded Pockets

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    Or is it because some of their gear is now made in china etc. Or maybe im just cynical. Some companys start out with really good gear then it seems to go downhill. Whether this is due to changes in the people who design the products or who run company etc i dont know but it can be annoying. I have a pair of 5.11 xprt boots and they've now brought out an xprt 2.0 which looks nothing like the original and imo looks terrible. Now iv had tad jkt in past and they are quality and i know people who brought their stuff because it was manufactured in the usa and its a shame when companys move away from the quality parts they put on their equipment, and it usually happens just after a person with the sayso of what items are used on their gear and the company claims its down to costs but the bag etc is still sold at the same price but with less good quality components ie the products they now have manufactured in china etc still sold at same price as when made in usa even though overheads are lower. Imo thats wrong.
     
  8. Stevedave

    Stevedave Loaded Pockets

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    I agree. Don't pull production to foreign soil, use inferior fasteners/materials and then expect me to pay a premium price. That's a shady move.

    A TAD Fastpack was a grail bag for me, but not at the rate things are progressing. I'll just buy a 5.11 Rush 12 and have money to fill it with goodies.
     
  9. amdmaxx

    amdmaxx Loaded Pockets

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    People on FB complaining that skeletons and other gear are now being delivered in ziplock bags instead of nice boxes, as they have before. Someone from TAD stepped in and made an excuse that they ran out of boxes..
    Their new legionnaire pants didn't have pocket flaps, tad logo or security buttons, they said streamlined look - I was thinking: cost cutting.
     
  10. CANNIBALdinner.

    CANNIBALdinner. Loaded Pockets

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    I'm not impressed. It'll be the last purchase I make from TAD.


    Sent from my iPhone
     
  11. Ashish

    Ashish Empty Pockets

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    was torn between the MysteryRanch ASAP and the Litespeed, but this alleged drop in quality just may be what I needed to make my decision in favour of MysteryRanch
     
  12. gearheavy

    gearheavy Loaded Pockets

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    Hi - this is my first post and I should be posting an intro, but short on time at the moment and wanted to contribute to this thread. I'm a long time fanboy of TAD (about 6 years now), fortunate to live in San Francisco and live only 25 minutes from Triple Aught Design HQ and their two retail stores. I have no affiliation with their business, but I frequent their stores regularly over all these years purchased a ton of stuff...packs, pouches, several pairs of pants, two jackets, flashlights, and other tools, etc.. I love their products, particularly their tactical clothing line, but have noticed production inconsistencies over the years. Here's a brief rundown of my observations:

    - Pouches: I have about 7 pouches designed to work with their packs. But they stopped making them several years ago except for the iComm and the OP1. Over the years I've noticed sample variations among products from the same production batches too great to be ignored (but I should say I'm picky). For example, in one batch of iComm pouches, most fit my iPhone perfectly, but some fit very tight, some very loose, and some are stitched crooked on one part or another. Rumor has it that TAD is finally coming out with a new vertical pouch that fits both the EDC and Litespeed packs, but how long do we have to wait?

    - Packs: I had the Litespeed. When choosing my pack off the rack, I noticed subtle variations from one pack to another in terms of stitching. E.g. Uneven stitching, crooked velcro, etc. Nothing that will impede the function of the pack that I have noticed, but it does give me cause to wonder about QC. I finally traded away my Litespeed due to lack of pouches and other needs, and now use Maxpedition packs (I have four now) as they have one of the most complete line of pouches that work with their packs, and the sample variations from one unit to another are almost nil (at least in my experience over the past few years).

    - Clothing: I have the most experience here because I have a lot of their clothes. Again, issues with stitching. One of my Force 10 pants had to be recalled because the manufacturer failed to tack or tie off the stitching to some of the pockets. So the thread would just unravel and seams would come apart. The "rip stop" fabric once used in a production batch of Force 10 pants ripped so easily that my regular $20 Old Navy jeans were tougher. To be fair, they corrected both issues in a later production run. Most recently (Feb 2014), I discovered that a black colored band of material used on the inside of my new Stealth Hoodie jacket was not colorfast. I got caught in a downpour one day, and I know the jacket is not waterproof so I got a little wet inside. To my horror I discovered the black color from the band had bled all over my grey down vest and thru to my white shirt underneath. Very disappointing given the cost of the jacket.

    I haven't given up hope with TAD gear yet, as I do believe they have the right design concept. It's more of a problem of sourcing, execution, QC and perhaps management shifts, which I hope will sort itself out in the years to come.

    In the meantime, I'm happily using Maxpedition bags (MBP, Falcon II, Sitka S, Lunada, and a load of pouches). I can purchase from MaxPed online with confidence that WYSIWYG from their website or catalog. As far as clothing goes, I still wear TAD gear, but will only purchase from their brick-n-mortar store so that I can carefully inspect each piece for quality and fit before buying...same goes for any pack or pouch they may produce I the future.

    Hope this helps...
     
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  13. ambaal

    ambaal Loaded Pockets

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    I've just received two OP1 packs (with USA Made labels). I'm honestly not impressed: stitching and general tidiness is somewhere near Condor league. Anything by maxped/511/blackhawk/camelbak is better made. Flyee is better made too. Good thing I guess is that they do give an impression of being hand-made :)

    That said, I didn't have a chance to see old OP1, but seen that they are praised as being very well made, I can't help but wonder if it was a case of TAD fan goggles, or they indeed dropped the ball.

    I do however prefer slightly sloppy OP1 pouches that I can buy to perfect OP1 pouches that aren't available.
     
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  14. callforfire
    • In Omnia Paratus

    callforfire Loaded Pockets

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    I hate that this is happening, I really wanted a stealth hoodie. I've had a few TAD items over the years and currently love my litespeed. While price and availability have always been a mark against TAD, quality and fitment at least in my case, has always made up for it. If cutting corners on quality is the way things are going, my money will go elsewhere.
     
  15. dms

    dms Loaded Pockets

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    I recently have bought a TAD Litespeed and a Ranger Hoodie, they are both quality products.
     
  16. never.truly.lost

    never.truly.lost Empty Pockets

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    Just got my second Litespeed just over a week ago (regretted selling mine almost instantly), and I have a tear or running stitch missed where the back panel meets the side of the bag. Emailed TAD a photo and request for how they want to do a warranty as the pack has only gone from the house to the truck and not actually in the field yet.

    My last Litespeed though had zero problems (ordered fall 2013) and was great.

    Hopefully I can get it repaired or exchanged without too much hassle with cross border shipping and such.

    Andy
     
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  17. jeepsrjason
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    jeepsrjason Loaded Pockets

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    Any word from TAD yet?
     
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  18. amdmaxx

    amdmaxx Loaded Pockets

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    definitely quality went downhill..

    Brand new Recon AC, received recently.

    Interior stitching:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. HimalayanHitman
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    HimalayanHitman Loaded Pockets

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    Oh darn I just bought this pant this morning (my first TAD product :()
     
  20. Steakslim

    Steakslim Empty Pockets

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    Check it when it arrives, and send emails to TAD with pictures if you find anything wrong.