Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Places, technique, kayaks, safety, the sea...
Post Reply
jeremyduncombe14
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:32 pm

Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by jeremyduncombe14 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:32 pm

I am about to buy some dry salopettes so that I can keep paddling through the winter. I was going to get Palm Ion, but there are a lot of negative comments about Palm gear on these forums and it is putting me off a bit. Is their quality control really that bad, or does it relates to one or two specific items of clothing? FWIW I use a Palm Oceana cag and I am very pleased with it, but it has only had light use and I look after it carefully. It would be useful to hear from happy Palm owners as well as the negative ones. Thanks.

jamiemagee
Posts: 408
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:36 pm
Location: Cumbria
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by jamiemagee » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:43 pm

I can't really comment as my palm gear is less than a year old. However keep in mind a bad reputation hangs around for a while and people are quicker to complain than complement kit.

User avatar
The Shiner
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 4:22 pm
Location: South Coast
Has thanked: 1 time

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by The Shiner » Thu Sep 17, 2015 5:50 pm

I have had ion bib n brace for over a year now, no problems here!
Very dry so far, even when worn with a dry cag.
I have done quite a bit of swimming in them and have stayed dry.

A friend has just had to send a dry cag back due to a problem and it leaking, it was about a month out of warranty but they honoured it and sent him a new one!

Sambo1988
Posts: 68
Joined: Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:59 pm

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by Sambo1988 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:04 pm

I personally use peakuk clothing but I have always had Palm PFDs, I know a lot of friends who use palm clothing and have had no problems like anything you will get a defective item.
My main paddling buddy has the palm ion pants with socks and has used them for three years and they have had some hammer and are still looking and working as new.

Sam

jeremyduncombe14
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:32 pm

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by jeremyduncombe14 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:07 pm

Thanks all, those are really helpful replies

Franky
Posts: 518
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:07 am
Has thanked: 7 times
Been thanked: 11 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by Franky » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:53 pm

I bought a Palm Zenith shorty cag a bit more than a year ago. It's now leaking through a stitch in the back of the shoulders that has recently come undone.

I've probably worn it 30 times, mostly only for a couple of hours at a time.

I don't know if my experience is typical, but I'm not too impressed after paying £130 for it.

On the other hand, my Flow long cag is still in one piece after 18 months, and has probably had more use.

PlymouthDamo
Posts: 342
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:31 pm
Has thanked: 22 times
Been thanked: 38 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by PlymouthDamo » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:47 pm

My experience of Palm was buying a budget cag which was made with their XP 2-layer fabric. This is bottom of the range gear, and I found that patches of the rubber coating rubbed off the inside of the material within a year and after 20 or 30 trips. This made it leak at those points. Prior to that, it was watertight and breathable. I found Palm customer service was fine - they refunded without any drama, even though I returned them a year to the day after I'd bought them. Apart from this, the cag was very well made, and I imagine one made with their XP3 or XP4 material would be just as breathable, but with the breathable/waterproof rubber coating protected under an extra fabric layer.

Whatever you do, don't be tempted to buy Kokatat gear. Their customer service is unbelievably bad despite them charging a premium for all their products. See my separate thread on here about the Kokatat Whirlpool bibs for more info - it includes an idea for how you could make a simple alteration to a set of dry trousers and cag to make the junction between the two waterproof.

RichJ
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:03 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by RichJ » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:04 pm

Hi there,
To better answer your question, may I suggest you consider the points raised in a previous post 'reasonable wear and tear'. When considering quality and longevity of any manufacturers product, ask yourself how much you are likely to use it and actual days use (not days owned) others have enjoyed.

Richard

User avatar
MikeB
Posts: 8063
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2003 9:44 pm
Location: Scotland
Has thanked: 9 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by MikeB » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:08 pm

I'm interested in this thread, having suffered leaky Palm sallys for the last several years. Mind you, my Kokatat cag only lasted 3 years before it was so leaky (as in worn through) that it had to be returned for patching. Perhaps, just perhaps, these manufacturers are returning to a decent quality product having attempted to cut costs in recent years.

neonbowhawk
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri May 30, 2014 6:45 pm

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by neonbowhawk » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:20 pm

My palm fuse cag has easily done over 100 hours use over the last year. It still looks good as new and is totally dry.I have re proofed it once. I'm happy with it.

User avatar
YorkieDave
Posts: 183
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 9:35 am
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by YorkieDave » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:00 pm

My sidewinder cag and pants have lasted well, they are old and need some new seals now but still work

yabbadabba
Posts: 352
Joined: Sat Sep 04, 2010 11:28 pm
Been thanked: 2 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by yabbadabba » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:22 am

Purchased a cheap Palm cag on offer at £50 brand new, leaked after around 15 sessions on the water.
Had the cag replaced under warranty by the online retailer, replacement leaked after 15-20 sessions.
Upgraded the cag through the original online retailer to a £130 cag, leaked after 30 ish sessions on the water but by now the warranty had nearly expired.
Online retailer replaced another cag under warranty but did tell me of a known issue with Palm Cags.
Warranty is now expired by a few weeks and the last replacement stared to leak.
Sent a polite letter to Palms UK head office stating I was disappointed in their products, received a phone call within 3-4 days. Had a chat with a lady representing Palm and she was very straight about a production problem with some of the recent Cags, if I remember it was the thinner ones. The tape wasn't sticking to the inside as it should leading to early failure.
I was offered a full refund or a free upgrade. I requested an upgrade with a fresh warranty to help restore my faith in their product. Within 3-4 days a new cag arrived with a fresh 12 month warranty.
The final replacement is now on its 3rd year, well over a 100 sessions mostly in salt water and still watertight. Seals are still in excellent condition, water tight even though it's never been rewaterproofed yet.
Palm customer service was quick, polite, honest, would I buy another one? Yep without any doubt.

gizmo
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:13 pm
Location: Tregarth

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by gizmo » Fri Sep 18, 2015 7:45 am

I find Palm to be most frustrating. Some of their gear is very well designed and performs brilliantly. i have had a Kaikoura buoyancy aid for a few years now and it is excellent. Similarly, I couldn't do without my Palm paddling mitts and their paddling shoes have been great. On the other hand I have had two Stikine drysuits and numerous pairs of paddling pants, including the Ion bib. All have been extremely well designed but very poorly executed and barely make the warranty period before leaking badly. Such good designs deserve better material and or quality control.
Paul

User avatar
Jase
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Ålesund, Norway

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by Jase » Fri Sep 18, 2015 1:18 pm

I have used a Palm Extreme pfd for the last 5 years and cannot fault it.

User avatar
MartinW
Posts: 29
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:12 am

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by MartinW » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:42 pm

I have a Kaikoura buoyancy aid and an Aleutian cag, both of which have been excellent. My mate has an Alaska cag, the update to the Aleutian, which he describes as "The best bit of outdoor kit I've ever bought".
Rockpool Alaw Bach

AllanC
Posts: 188
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2006 3:17 pm
Location: Gourock
Been thanked: 1 time

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by AllanC » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:17 pm

Long post warning.
In all honesty I look like a Palm sponsored paddler when I'm on the water, new style Kaikoura BA, Oceana cag, Ion sallys, but I'm not. I've just come to think their gear is good.

Mostly this is because I got into a cycle of replacing one major item per year as it wore out or I had the money to upgrade, and I'd wait until the Perth SCA show and buy kit when I could hold it in my hand before making a choice, and a particular retailer always did a 10% deal, which made Palm gear good value. I did have some reservations about buying Palm initially but nothing I've bought in the past few years has developed a fault, or worn out prematurely.

Just to fleshing out other folks sentiments, from memory around 2007 Palm's quality control went totally, allegedly/apparently during outsourcing manufacturing. I can pin point this date as we had a club event, that loads of us bought new kit in preparation for. I think at this time the Kaikoura was launched, and there was the bright orange top-of-the-range Stikine dry suit about the same time. Every early Kaikoura was exchanged on warranty, or at least were offered to, as the zips used all seized within weeks. Palm stated at the time it wasn't a fault per se, but that they had specced the best quality zip they could find, it just happened to be useless in sea water. The dry suit ended up somewhat notorious as they apparently nearly all leaked. A contributor to the forum I remember saying that he and a number of friends (5+ total maybe) bought the Stikine, and ALL were replaced under warranty for leaks. Great service but it shouldn't have happened. I bought one two years ago 2nd hand from a friend, I'd known the suit from new, and he'd used it 3 times max in the water, maybe 10 times in total. I used it another couple of times, and water pours in. I sent it to Palm for testing, and the material is porous, it didn't come from wrong storage or wear, there's just something inherently wrong with what was a £500+suit.

As well as the obvious problems folk still have, I think this era left Palm with a reputation that their gear is bad.

As I stated above I am loyal to Palm, and bought a new Kaikoura last year after I ruined my original due to clumsiness. BUT Palm have removed a number of features that have made the thing worse. Like the hook and mesh in the rear pocket for holding your drink bladder, that stops it from collapsing and blocking the tube, or the lapel pocket for your whistle. The BA is well put together, and I thought all I was buying was the same BA in a new colour. Had I looked closely, I would have looked at alternatives.

We're into a niche sport, and therefore the manufacturers are comparatively small. And if they're dealing with makers in the far east, getting inherent faults changed or quality control screwed down must be hard. But the niche-ness means bad news travels fast. My club mates wouldn't use Reed decks for instance, because early ones including my own were crap. They seem to be fine now, I bought one last year and it still looks new, but my mates don't consider them. I think the maxim that how you make someone feel lasts longer in the memory that what you said or did applies to equipment and faults therein.

Bottom line, I think the gear is good and there's evidently still some issues, both construction and execution but the major problems of the past still haunt them.

Allan C

RichJ
Posts: 223
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 6:03 pm
Has thanked: 1 time
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by RichJ » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:59 pm

Hi Allanc,
I truly realise the commercial reason for a company's existence, and Palm's designs will undoubtedly attract sales. However, as you said, this is a niche sport and as such must surely want repeat orders. Like you, I have bought and worn a lot of Palm kit over the years. Sadly, and all too frequently my impression is that they have 'spoilt the ship for a ha'porth official tar'

Richard

gizmo
Posts: 159
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:13 pm
Location: Tregarth

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by gizmo » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:04 pm

Not sure that the poor quality is a thing of the past. My Ion bib is barely over 12 months old and leaks like a string vest.
Paul

Shewie
Posts: 21
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 5:13 pm

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by Shewie » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:29 pm

gizmo wrote:Not sure that the poor quality is a thing of the past. My Ion bib is barely over 12 months old and leaks like a string vest.
Good to know thanks, they were the ones I'd picked out to buy next spring when I hoped to put the drysuit away for a few months

jeremyduncombe14
Posts: 19
Joined: Wed Aug 05, 2015 8:32 pm

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by jeremyduncombe14 » Wed Oct 07, 2015 7:11 pm

Well, I have taken a deep breath and bought Palm Ion salopettes, they fitted better and seemed better designed than the other ones I tried. If they leak, I will be relying on Palm's fabled after sales service ! I hope to get out regularly over the winter, if I remember I will report back in 6 months on how well they have lasted.

User avatar
Mark R
Posts: 24134
Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2002 6:17 pm
Location: Dorset
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 15 times
Contact:

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by Mark R » Thu Oct 08, 2015 10:46 pm

On the contrary. It's consistently excellent. It's what I choose to spend my money on, year after year.
Mark Rainsley
FACEBOOK

PSK
Posts: 173
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:15 am

Re: Is Palm gear really that bad ?

Post by PSK » Mon Oct 19, 2015 3:47 pm

I took a set of Palm Ion trousers on my UK Circumnav this year, along with a Chinook cag and a Vortex(?) t-shirt cag . I also took a set of Kokatat Gore-Tex trousers and a couple of Kokatat cags. The Gore-Tex was the better fabric, but it does cost more - the Ions did the job fine for me. The only thing I didn't like about the Ions was the mesh panel on the back, I cut it away and extended the braces with some elastic instead.

I have two sets of Ions now, ready for winter training.

JW

Post Reply