Kitsbow: It’s All About the Base Mar 13, 2015


Brands don’t often take the time to offer insight into their inner workings, so when they do, I take note. Kitsbow just posted an interview of sorts with Charlie Cronk, their lead designer about base layers. Head on over to Kitsbow for more.

  • JB

    Cool looking threads, but this stuff is absurdly and prohibitively expensive. Who buys this stuff?!

    • arlcyclist

      Is it though? Compared to other high end brands it’s pretty on par. For comparison, Rapha’s mesh base layer is $5 more and isn’t made in North America. Quality fabrics, made in BC, that all adds up.

      • John Watson


      • Paula Product

        “Is it though?”
        Yes. (Really?) Yes, it really is absurdly and prohibitively expensive. Comparing their prices to Rapha’s only underscores that point. The base layers are perhaps the closest to reasonably priced, and even they are at the very top of the price range for quality merino bases. I am sure they are high quality. But then, so are brands like Ibex, and Kitsbow’s hoodies and tights cost literally twice what Ibex’s (USA-made ones) do. At some point, maybe we should just admit that these “artisanal” brands are just self-indulgent luxuries. They can’t be “justified,” so perhaps we shouldn’t try. Kitsbow charges an arm and a leg because they can, not because making a quality garment requires them to charge an arm or a leg.

        • Elliot Wilkinson-Ray

          Thank you for your thoughts regarding our pricing at Kitsbow. We are constantly battling our price-point as a smaller brand, as I’m sure Ibex is in the same boat. Yet, most often when the decision comes to make a product cheaper or make it better, we chose the latter. Unfortunately, many people’s understanding of technical apparel pricing has often been dominated by the race-to-the-bottom mentality of mass-production, (often times in Asia) with poor materials, and even worse working conditions. For us, the experience of using technically tailored ride wear that looks good and feels great has been transformational. Similar to skiing in a well-built Gore-Tex Pro Shell pant or jacket, they actually make skiing more fun and more comfortable. We also guarantee full returns if anyone is unhappy, which doesn’t happen often. :)

          • Paula Product

            I have no first hand experience with your products, but have heard and read from those who would know that they are first rate, and I respect the process of trying to build something to be as good as it can be. Whether the nice feeling one gets from wearing them is worth the extra money depends on how much one values that nice feeling versus one’s marginal value of money. Most of us don’t have enough extra cash lying around to justify spending $285 on shorts, even if they’re *really* nice. But if there are buyers who so value the comfort of function, and don’t value the money so much, then good for them.

            When I suggested not trying to justify the prices, what I meant was not trying to suggest that the high prices were necessary based on the inputs (as opposed to the hedonistic pleasure you suggest can be had from wearing such shorts). I think many of us who read John’s blog understand that Schoeller fabrics, Riri zippers, and Canadian labour are pricey. But these ingredient are not *that* pricey. Not enough to add an extra $150-$200 to a pair of riding shorts when compared to other soft-shell shorts made elsewhere.

            As I said, I’ve heard these described as “the best,” and I think that’s great. Whether they cost $200 to make, or $20, there are definitely some people willing to pay $285 for shorts that nice.