Welcome - Summer 2016
There's been a lot going on at WE!
There's much that's new, we're back doing rainwear for bushwalkers, and we've made some very nice refinements to faithful, established products.
This work has put us a little behind with some product information content on this site, but that will soon be sorted. We are also working on more product photography, up soon so you can get all angles and the whole picture.
WE is famous for its canvas backpacks and day packs. Fearing that the many excellent reasons for choosing canvas are becoming lost 'in the mists of time' - more likely swamped by the huge choice of cheaper synthetic models in retailers these days, we have added a page under the 'other stuff' tab above. Read it, and be surprised.
The deeper content on design, materials, construction and fixing things on the kitchen table is all still here. It probably needs a freshen up but, given you won't find anything like it collected in one place elsewhere, we feel we are still ahead in that game.
The New packs
You might take a good look at the classic canvas Pindar series: 50, 60 and 70 litre versions.
In the canvas daypack range the Slipsteam and Slipstream+ models are new, sleek additions with amazing internal fit-outs tuned to city use and travel.
Then there is our expanding range of non-canvas packs...
Above all else, WE is respected for its product engineering, for construction quality and function. We may place a big emphasis on classic canvas for packs, but our recently developed synthetic fabric backpacks and day packs meet their design objectives and purposes with excellence. We may be far from 'a popular world brand' but what we offer you in compensation is absolute product confidence. It is well worth exploring this range, models like the Geehi, Haute Route and Razor for example. There is true innovation in these products. We use the most durable materials in this category and avoid constructions that we know will shorten the product life. You won't, for example, find flimsy mesh or elastic binding being used on the outside of a WE pack.
Finally, look at our Expedition Duffel Bags. They use heavy-duty canvas, are fully reinforced and constructed down to the last detail to eliminate any doubt about their capability.
The New Tents
Our all-time-classic tunnel tents (many would say, 'unrivaled') have now been re-created in super-light-weight fabrics. Check out the new First and Second Arrows. They are getting down to half the weight they used to be 30 years ago ... who would have thought!
The SPACE-2 has already proved the outstanding design in its class. Now the SPACE-1 has landed and the Space-3 is in development. Go to the product pages to find out what's so special about these tents. One thing we haven't done is race to the bottom in pitched weight. Our tents have 'proper' floors and storm-rated outer skins.
Moving with the (Outdoor Ed) timesThe constant problem with 'design' is that there will always be a better way. Since the beginning, we have worked to improve the durability and function of all our products whilst also reducing weight. Under demanding use in the outdoor education sector we expect our packs and tents to be uncomplicated in their operation, totally reliable during programs and, in the event of mishap, 'field repairable' without the need for special skills or training. The thing is, we also expect them to significantly out-perform other brands, something you can't do by being just the same. Today we are confident that all popular, current WE institutional products can hold their place in the range, unchanged, for years to come.
Here we take a break. It's 3am on an August night in 2011, there's a full moon illuminating our Second Arrow and for once on the 800km Pyrenean Haute Route the air is still and the sky is clear. The 'Big Dipper' (Ursa Major) is hanging in the northern sky and you can just make out an aircraft trail above the tent. (We went back and completed the Haute Randonnee Pyrenee in 2012 in perfect weather. Then it was the GR20 in Corsica last year. Go to the Razor pack model for that story).
Down-loadable Product A4 'Tech-sheets'
We are not big on printed brochures. They are out of date almost the
minute they are printed. If you want some bedtime reading use our PDF
download buttons to grab all the important information on the WE
products that interest you.
To the Gear, and beyond
Three clicks into the right-side menu bar gets you to everything you might wish to know - specs, model descriptions, and more. Many products have a 'gear in use' photo gallery. Use the PDF Download button to get a single page illustrated summary of the product specs. Missing pages are on the way! Links on every product page lead you directly to all the other related information you could possibly wish for - instructions for choosing sizes, use and care information, DIY maintenance tips, fabric technology information, design choices, and so on. We have almost 40 years experience making gear and using it. Product performance is at the core of what we do. Innovation over imitation, experience over wishful thinking, excellence over mediocrity.
Service is part of the Equation
An intrinsic part of any product's true value is the service available after you have made your purchase. This responsibility dawned on us back in 1977, the first time we stitched a WE label onto our handiwork. Well, now it's 2015 and some of our earliest products are still in use. A long product life translates directly into a reduced call on increasingly scarce (and expensive) resources. Besides comprehensive advice on use and care, you can find detailed instructions for common DIY repairs for all products, past and present. If a zip isn't closing properly on your well-worn backpack or tent you can discover the usual reasons why, and how you might be able to fix it yourself. Sea To Summit, the WE brand partners and distributors, provide follow-up service. If you need a measure of our commitment send STS a tricky question. More than likely, the reply you get will be detailed and come either from me or the real front line, Henry Kelsey, son and WE Brand Manager at STS.
There is a secondary purpose behind this website. The things we have to say here about design, materials and construction are all firmly grounded in the realities of days spent, whether behind a sewing machine or traveling the back-country, carrying big loads and depending on lightweight shelters. In the head menu bar tab 'Other Stuff' there is other, more 'random' content, less directly related to products. Take the page about Staying Comfortable in the Outdoors. There are lessons for life in there, simple principles of physics and everyday science. Whether you're caught out, soaked to the skin and night is falling, or at home on the couch reading some gear ad, they will give you guidance.
Behind the Brand
What about the big questions? How do we see our business responsibilities in the areas of social accountability, impact on the natural environment, limited resources and global warming? With one life each to live, we do not draw a line between our business and private activities. The resources required to make a difference, the commitment of time and finances, flow freely back and forth across such a line. If you are interested in where we have come from, and where we are going, look up "Behind the Brand" under Other Stuff.
Finally, like many of our friends, we depend greatly on wild country, the mountains and on the ocean to provide energy and direction in our lives. Through the WE product range we see ourselves playing a part in these aspects of your life. That's a privilege and another important source of satisfaction. Thank you!
Keep fit and have fun! We'll see you out there.
Founder > Designer > User