All of us adventure seekers would have a few brands as our favourites. Most of us would have tried the famous ones. Sadly some of us thrill seekers would have to face disappointment when the product we bought was not upto the mark or lacked quality and durability. Even worse is when the pocket is burdened by not only the travel expenses but also the travel gear which cost an arm and leg.
The following is general, basic and unbelievably honest review of the brands that sell the outdoor gear to accommodate all your travel needs and wants. The backstories on these famous brands will help you make the right and pocket friendly purchases to up your game to the Indiana Jones level.
Here's what I and everybody who is a serious traveler wants in the gear they purchase and the shops they deal with.
- Variety: Let’s be honest, even if I buy the same backpack in the same color, in the same design for as long as I live, I still want my mind to be aesthetically pleased with the wide variety of designs, colors, sizes and options.
- Light weight and compact: There’s nothing worse than having to carry all your travel gear in an already heavy backpack or chairs or a folding bed that’s almost equal to your own body weight.
- Pocket friendly: Ideally the gear you buy should be economical and yet durable and survive many memorable trips. It seems hard to achieve but after numerous trials I have found stores where this impossible dream becomes attainable.
- Customer friendly and customer focused: This may seem a low priority but nothing is as sweet and enjoyable as a purchase made where even the online staff is willing to customize your order, stop you from making an unnecessary buy and give you pointers for your trip ranging from places to visit, and where to stay.
This may seem too professional a term but in layman’s vocabulary it simply means that various companies/businesses follow a certain list of priorities. Most companies are business centered, they focus on selling and customizing in bulk. Selling in bulk obviously generates a many fold profit. Rarely are their enterprises who want to establish a loyal and long term customer base. They will take the time out to ensure each and every customer is satisfied and content with their buying thus generating repeat orders.
The below graph depicts just that. While dominance relies mostly on their customer base. Businesses like Zulfah prioritize selling in bulk to other business owners.
Anyone mildly interested in the outdoors would have heard of the top names in the game, backpacks by Osprey, Shoes by Salomon and Bikes by Trek. However, you will be pleasantly surprised about the relatively new yet promising entrepreneurs who are slowly making a mark for themselves amongst their famous peers.
Camping in Pakistan is a rapidly growing market. Currently we see the local players surpassing their international contemporaries. Camping gear tops the buying list when planning any outdoor activity. It ranges from all sizes/types of tents, sleeping bags, mattresses to other somewhat smaller equipment like stoves, headlamps, torches etc.
Ideally what a person requires is a diverse variety which is durable yet cost effective. A regular camper would want to invest in a high-grade tent once in a lifetime. Presently smaller businesses manufacture their products in-house. Making their business a Cottage industry technically. When that happens, the business is able to apply their unique concepts, designs and notions towards developing a product which is very close to what their clientele requires. Thus developing a niche for themselves in the market.
Finally, a purchase which can depict your personal style and assist you in making a grand style statement. While the aesthetics are no doubt important, the practical aspect is crucial as well. The bigger backpacks may attract you more but the lightweight extra pocketed ones will be your best friends during your flights and travel. Other features which you should keep in mind while purchasing a backpack are:
Front-loading: Most of the backpacks consist of draw string closure at the top. Making it highly inconvenient to dig out all the stuff and then put it back to find one little item. The manufacturers have finally come up with a brilliant idea to design a top load backpack. A total life saver in my opinion.
Waist strap. This little contraption can save you from weeks of backaches. Just one added strap distributes the load around your whole body instead of just your shoulders
Laptop compartment. A separate padded compartment will keep your electronics secure. Of course, you can also use this for other things like books or your travel journal.
Rain resistant. You don’t want any water to leak into your bag! Good backpacks are weather-sealed or include a rain cover