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TAD Gear replicas: Stealth and Ranger Hoodies from Dragon Red

Discussion in 'Gear Reviews' started by jlomein, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. illusion

    illusion Loaded Pockets

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    Black would have been nice..
     
  2. Pardner

    Pardner Loaded Pockets

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    I know I'm new here but I have to say that I'm surprised that no one has a problem with these knock-offs... and would actually support their actions by buying from them. Anyways, looks like these knock-offs are about $100 shipped. For another $25 or so, I believe you can get the real thing from a trading forum, it's gonna be used but probably in good condition and maybe an earlier version but that's gotta be a better option than this.
     
  3. Omega Man
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Omega Man Loaded Pockets

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    Lots of people do, but redundant negative posts usually end up derailing a perfectly good thread.

    Just went to Marshalls yesterday, and saw pretty decent soft shells from about 5 manufacturers. The best I thought were Free Country(with the kind I already have, and a multilayered heavy weather coat), Converse, Champion(lots of nice ones from them), Marmott(really nice),Xero Exposure(lighter ones), even FILA, which had the colorful logo, though.
    I can't believe how these kinds of jackets are just taking off! I wore my Free Country sledding last week, kept me perfectly warm with a heavy Under Armour under it the whole time.
     
  4. frolloconcept

    frolloconcept Empty Pockets

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    Hi everybody!

    I've just recived mine and i'm not disapointed! Good fleece, well sized , quickly shipped from Beijing to France! I'm very happy and i recommend red dragon! have a nice day
     
  5. Municipal_Jedi

    Municipal_Jedi Loaded Pockets

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    I'm curious about the warmth level of these jackets. I'm in the market for a new "winter" jacket. I use quotes because I haven't owned a coat in over 10 years because I generally get stupid warm wearing them and have often opted for various layers. Now I'm trying to dress more appropriately for the NE winters. My preference would be for something that is only moderately warm and I'm curious if this (or the actual TAD version) fit that bill. Thanks for any input. :popcorn:
     
  6. Wstan

    Wstan Loaded Pockets

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    Looks like Dragon Red has disappeared or at least the website is dead.
     
  7. x2x2

    x2x2 Empty Pockets

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    Now it's written that they just move their site to another server.

    Anyway, today I received my softshell and it's different in some aspect from that of jlomein. First it has no velcro patch at the waist. Second it's possible to close the main zip completely up. And third I dont't know if it's the actual Dintex material as it had no paper on it.
     
  8. theotherphil

    theotherphil Loaded Pockets

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    jlomein, thanks for your review. I found it very informative.


    Personally I feel that it is better to save your cash and get the real deal however. If people only buy the replicas, who is gonna pay the innovators to innovate? The innovators will then cease to trade and you'll be left with the same old crap, using poor quality materials that has poor quality standards....so much so that garments that are supposedly the same vary significantly. As has been shown in a matter of a few posts, it's uncertain if the same jackets from the same manufacturer are even made from the same material. Little details are missing between 2 supposedly the same garments (small velcro patch).

    Buy the real deal and you are guaranteed the best materials that have been proven in use and it'll allow the innovators to continue innovating.
     
  9. jlomein

    jlomein Loaded Pockets

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    Good post theotherphil for your well written opinion. You bring up some valid points that are worth considering. Everyone should look at the pros and cons and make their own choice. I made the choice to buy the replicas mostly based on price. Another reason is that I have been following many reviews and opinions on TAD garments and have found the quality materials they use aren't invincible and are still prone to wear. Many Ranger hoodie owners have pilling on their Polartec fleece, and I'm not going to spend over $200 on a garment that isn't going to hold up after a year or two even if the material is superior.

    An interesting development is that these replicas can now be an alternative to many who are unable to aquire TAD garments in their size. I'm not a fan of TAD's business model, producing very limited runs of the Stealth/Ranger, having it sell out of many sizes in a short time and leaving customers hanging until next year. Checking TAD Gear's facebook page, many ask when TAD will restock in their size only to be told to wait til next year. My economics background makes me believe that businesses should strive for economies of scale to offer products cheaper or allow for a wider selection of in stock products. An example would be Arcteryx, who offer similar products to TAD, but due to larger production runs they offer many of the same products year after year but have a much wider selection of garments tailored to specific needs, and still maintain a very high level of quality.
     
  10. zenlunatic

    zenlunatic Loaded Pockets

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    Whats up with the sleeves that cover the palm/knuckles?
     
  11. x2x2

    x2x2 Empty Pockets

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    theotherphil, I appreciate your opinion. On one hand I am with you. Sure, in principle it is wise to buy from an innovator and not someone who just copies.
    But on the other hand as jlomein said, in some cases it is a matter of cost. For me personally it is not the price alone, but the relationship between price and what I get for it. I paid high amounts of money for two leather jackets made in Scotland. But these are garments, which will last for decades and I can pass on to my son one day. While a jacket intended for outdoor-use made from synthetics will probably be torn in maybe two or three years.
    So for me, the price of a softshell-jacket from TAD is not justified. Last but not least, TAD don't give any size charts. Maybe for an US-customer, he can send the items back, if they don't fit. For me with all these import duties and high postage costs, this is not reasonable.

    Personally I don't care if there is a velcro patch or not. I know my jacket is not originally TAD and everybody who knows TAD, will recognize that it is a copy. I had just written this fact down in case someone here wants an exact replica.
     
  12. theotherphil

    theotherphil Loaded Pockets

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    I fully agree with what both you guys are saying (jlomein & x2x2). I understand that the cost of the Tad gear stuff can be a little high - I know this more than most as when I bought my V3 Ranger Hoodie, I was still living in the UK. It cost a fortune in shipping fees, VAT and import duty. Was it worth it? To me it was yes, because I want to give my money to those who go the extra mile...not only in innovation and quality but in customer service. Although size charts are available, I emailed TAD and asked them what size they recommended as I am pretty tall (6'3") and skinny (43" chest) so have unusually long arms. They got back to me very quickly with the recommended size (which fits me like a glove) and even shipped it via USPS to help save on costs. The whole experience was pretty sweet and the Hoodie has been perfect for nearly 2 years now and I used it pretty much daily until I emigrated to Australia a few months ago (I still have it but it's a little warm here at the moment). It has seen some hard use (climbing/ abseiling/ belaying/ work etc) and has been washed many times and it's still like new.

    I needed to save the money as I couldn't just find that sort of cash so I am in the same position as many others on these forums. My concern isn't the price difference between copies. My concern is the use of (potentially) unknown/ untested/ inferior materials being used and the blatant copying of another's work. I know that TAD use well known and tested materials so I know what sort of performance to expect. By buying a copy where the material isn't listed or any specs given, how do you know it will perform as advertised? Surely when buying an outdoor technical garment, material type and quality is a concern? If not, a copy will get the look you're after at significantly less cost (just look at the market for fake Rolex's). They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery however I feel that it's just wrong....especially as it could put this small innovative company out of business and then we're just left with the usual crap and very little choice. I'm certainly not going to ridicule anybody who does buy a copy because, as has been said, the market is obviously there for these items.

    Maybe TAD should increase the size of their production runs and pass on some of the cost savings to customers? Has TAD actually been very clever in only producing limited runs? These copies will obviously impact on TAD's sales if they produce larger runs so maybe it is actually better to produce smaller, higher priced batches? Same return but less risk?


    Thanks again for the review, I really enjoyed reading it.
     
  13. wpowell

    wpowell Loaded Pockets

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    ordered one of each, mostly as an experiment really,
    the softshell fit almost exactly like the TAD Stealth. Which did not fit me exactly right either.

    the fleece was not EVEN close...
    it was TINY. almost a full size too small it felt like. [more like a Large / tall as opposed to an XL]

    ordered both in XL

    the softshell is getting daily use [rounding up the chickens, outside work, ghostbusting...playing fetch and frisbee with the GSDs]

    the fleece...now belongs to the wife.

    I would NOT say they are copies at all, to me they have similar features, so do a number of other jackets. They also do not CLAIM to 'be' TAD jackets, which is a nasty serious no-no.

    Agreed RE TADs economy of scale, I guess the initial capital outlay might be a concern, I doubt TADs mfg partners build these things with no money down :)


    Dragonsoft Red had to change servers or something because the chinese government is...odd to say the very least. The site is up and running.
     
  14. ppfd

    ppfd Loaded Pockets

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    So your saying if I wear a large get an XL? I emailed dragonairsoft and they responded pretty fast with a total for both jackets.

    Can you give further opinion on these jackets?

    Thanks! :)
     
  15. stitch_paradox

    stitch_paradox Loaded Pockets

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    I got mine a couple of weeks ago and I was contemplating whether to do review or not. People who bought it are being frowned upon and being branded as counterfeit supporters. This may be true for some but I have my own reasons why I bought these jackets. First of all I am a proud supporter of TAD, I actually own some of their products and apparel. One of the primary reasons why I support them is that they try to maintain their products to be made here in the US. When they started having their products made offshore I still supported them. Then why did I buy a replica from an foreign company? Here are the reasons:

    1. When they had a security breach on their online store, I was one of the victims of those low life criminals who hacked and stole TAD's customer data. I was with out a card for weeks. And because I only have one card it was a big hassle for me. I'm not blaming TAD for it, it happens to alot of online stores. The thing is, people has been asking TAD to set up Paypal as a payment option, but they don't want it. If they have paypal I would have had paid through paypal and I would not be without a card for weeks. Now the said online store in the OP's review had paypal and I like the fact that they have it as a payment option because it is more convenient for me.

    2. Now since Tad's site was attacked they had to shut it down. The only way you can order is through email or phone call. I tried calling several times but i can't reach anyone at Tad. When the site was finally up all the sizes that I need was all sold out. I know this is how they do their business (limited runs, one time run) and I respect that. But if a customer have needs and they can't supply it what would the customer do? Wait till next year? Not for me. I need it now, so i but it now. Not next year.

    Now for the review:
    I got these jackets for my brothers. They like my Tad jackets, so I was thinking of getting them one. But it was delayed because of the Tad security fiasco and by the time my new card arrived they ran out of the sizes that I need. I was contemplating whether to get replicas or not, i was kinda feeling guilty. The factor that helped me made my decision is the fact that the ones that I was supposed to get at Tad and the replicas are both made in China. So I emailed Dragonred and inquired about their stuff. They replied right away and i was able to snag 2 small jackets. Actually, they ran out of small in China so they sent me one from one of their dealers in Canada.
    When It arrived my first initial impression was it was sized fairly larger than all the small jackets that I have. Feels like the small is medium or even large. I was expecting a true alpine fit like Tad's but this one is kinda flaring on the waist , seems like built to accommodate big guts ( no offense to anyone). This is the only disappointment I have on the jacket. I have to bring the jacket to a good tailor a have it fixed the way it should be. Another thing that I should mention is that I think the zippers are not real YKK. It is not as smooth as my other jacket's that have YKK zippers ( varies from Columbia to Tad). Sometimes the front zipper is kinda hard to zip up. Also how the hood is made is not as refined the original Tad. However I think this is a good replica. It seems to be well crafted and very detailed. Well, my siblings loves it and they couldn't tell the difference from my jacket. But still it's not Tad.
    Do I like the jacket? Initially after i got it tailored , yes. Would I buy it again? probably not. Though I am satisfied with the jackets, I still prefer the real thing. Let's face it not all people can or will not buy Tad due to it's affordability. This is great for those who look for affordable but well made jackets and have no issues with the ethical aspect of this jacket being an imitation.
     
  16. LivingUpNorth

    LivingUpNorth Loaded Pockets

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    TAD gear made in China? Is this true? The whole point of moving production overseas is to lower the cost of said production. If TAD charges the same amount for a product made in China instead of the U.S., then I must say I'm disappointed.

    Back to the review: Thanks for posting it. I've somewhat considered a TAD jacket and it's nice to know the actual differences in products.
     
  17. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    Yep. See here and notice the word "imported" in the bottom of the overview section. Also notice the oblique references to "skilled labor" and "finest [...] production facilities" and the absence of any mention of the USA.
     
  18. stitch_paradox

    stitch_paradox Loaded Pockets

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    Yes I was sort of disappointed too when i find out that their stealth reloaded are now being made in China. And i was more disappointed when the price didn't change, i was expecting the price to be lowered since it is now made overseas. However according to Tad, because of the innovative way how they produce the jacket (weld technique) they would have to keep the prices the way it is. i think this is how it was explained, i might be wrong. Any way I still have most of their American made products and i love it.

    By the way. I would like to point out that the replica jacket from dragon red copied the V4 classic stealth not the current reloaded version
     
  19. airsofter31

    airsofter31 Empty Pockets

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  20. Cynt
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Cynt Loaded Pockets

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    Just got mine in today, could not be more happy with it. It's more gray than my forest green pack, more green than 5.11s Tundra color. Breathes well, XL fits me perfect at 6' 230lbs. Will update on this and a few other pieces of gear after backpacking in Haleakala crater on Maui!