Feb 11 2018

A partisan view of Red Fox Outdoor Equipment

For those who are not aware, one of my sources of income these days is writing copy and manipulating words in the Googoo-sphere for Red Fox NA. I’m about to start publishing reviews of their gear, but it won’t be by me, that would compromise my integrity as a writer. Not helping grow awareness compromises my sustainability. I trust that if you see something you like in their product line, you will be satisfied. Like any worthy company, if you have a problem, they/we will take care of you.

The author striding up Helbronner between Chamonix and Courmayeur wearing a Red Fox Eiger softshell jacket.

Skinning up Helbronner between Chamonix and Courmayeur wearing a Red Fox Eiger softshell jacket.

Red Fox is an international company that began, like many other outdoor companies, with a passion for climbing. That interest created a demand for equipment that was unavailable to them at the time. You see, Vlad Moroz and Alexander Glushkovsky were born in the USSR, cut off from good gear behind the iron curtain, but not cut off from mountains.

Importing from the west was verboten, so like many men who are driven, they used their limited resources to build what couldn’t be bought.

Vlad used his bathtub for dying material to build a pack for his sweetheart and future wife. They scrambled for material and started making jackets and pants. Friends were impressed and before long they realized they needed to get legit and founded the Red Fox company in 1989.

Vlad Moroz rapping down after a successful summit of Ama Dablam, 2014

Vlad Moroz rapping down after a successful summit of Ama Dablam, 2014

Fast forward past the collapse of the Soviet Union and today Red Fox is making outdoor apparel, sleeping bags, tents, and packs crafted for adventure. They have two shops in Colorado, two in Switzerland, one in Nepal and dozens throughout Russia. They use state-of-the-art technology with solid designs built to last with damn good prices. Most of their stuff is built in Asia, like the same brands they compete with. They’ve been keeping Siberian’s warm for over 27 years with their down jackets and coats. I hope you check ‘em out and buy a piece. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the quality. You might find better, but not at their prices.

Vlad and Alexander are still deeply involved in their company, and still climbing serious mountains. Two years ago Alexander climbed Sajama (6542m) in Bolivia. After the earthquake rocked Nepal in 2015, Vlad returned a second time to summit Mt. Everest in 2016. They sponsor some pretty serious races in the wilderness of the Kahrelian penninsula and on the slopes of Europe’s highest peak, Mount Elbrus (5642m) in the Caucasus mountains.

I won’t ever review Red Fox gear myself on this site, but I will publish reviews authored by someone else. There will also be ads run to entice you to buy from them. If you become a customer your opinions of Red Fox gear are encouraged on the blogosphere; here, or elsewhere (Yelp, Google, and on the home site of RedFoxNA). As a company they’re not large by American standards of corporate power, and they’re (gasp) from Russia. That doesn’t change their dedication to promoting a life outdoors with no boundaries; I suggest it amplifies it.

Eiger jacket in deep Italian pow.

Eiger jacket in deep Italian pow.

© 2018

  • sethg

    I’m completely non-partisan on this brand. In fact, I never heard of them until reading about it here. So let me thank you for bringing it to my attention. I hopped over to their North American site. They have a nice selection of clothing and gear. I found a non-technical down jacket on sale. I figured that it was pretty low risk to get a jacket that won’t be counted on for any extreme conditions and to get it at a really good price (for a down jacket). The jacket is styled fairly well, incredibly well constructed and pretty warm. I wouldn’t want to draw too many conclusions from this one purchase but let me just say that Red Fox is now on my radar. The quality seems great. Nice materials and good attention to detail. There are a few odd bits. The zipper pulls from the left side which is a little disruptive for an American (but is not uncommon internationally). Much of the documentation is in Russian (I can’t quite tell whether the jacket is considered waterproof or water resistant…although water beaded up and ran off during my faucet test…probably attributed to a DWR type coated). The sizing chart is a little confusing (and I think some of the numbers in inches are just plain wrong) but I’m 6ft, 155lbs. and usually wear a Medium and the Medium Red Fox jacket is fine…in fact, I’d say it’s a bit longer and roomier than a Medium would be from most brands.