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Eddie Bauer Releases New Line of Hunting, Shooting Apparel

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February 08, 2012

Eddie Bauer Releases New Line of Hunting, Shooting Apparel

By Phil Bourjaily

When I was a kid growing up in the frigid upper Midwest, the arrival of a box from Eddie Bauer containing a new down jacket was a big event. It meant you were going to stay warm that winter. Back then, Eddie Bauer gear was the real thing, worn by cold weather hunters and serious mountaineers. Eddie Bauer himself took out a patent on a quilted down jacket in 1940.

We had Bauer down everything: jackets, snow bibs, slippers, even gloves. Unfortunately in the 70s and 80s, new owners General Mills and Speigel took the brand away from its outdoor roots and into the malls, making “Eddie Bauer” synonymous with boring casual clothes and Ford Expedition interiors for soccer moms.

A pleasant surprise at SHOT Show was the news that Eddie Bauer is back. After introducing a line of technical mountain climbing clothes a couple of years ago and outfitting an expedition to Everest, Bauer returns to the hunting and shooting market this year with a full line of clothing. Some of the pieces are pleasingly retro, others are highly technical. All of them have been designed by people who actually hunt and shoot.

My son John is modeling the 1936 Skyliner Jacket, which is very similar to one my dad used to wear for late season hunts in the 60s. Besides looking good and being insulated with warm down insulation, the Skyliner has front pockets big enough to hold over a box of shells each and a rear pouch for 100 empty hulls.

If you look at the collar, you’ll see it doesn’t get in the way of your gunstock when you bring it to your face, unlike the big collars on a lot of hunting and shooting coats. And it has lots of leather trim so it looks good when you wear it around town. It does cost $299, but Eddie Bauer stuff was never inexpensive, and even so, it is great to see the brand once again standing for hunting and shooting.

Comments (24)

Top Rated
All Comments
from fezzant wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have an Eddie Bauer down parka that I've worn since high school. It's never let me down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I remember as a kid avidly reading their catalog of "expedition" gear, eventually owning more than my fair share. When they decided to switch to resort clothing, oh around 35 years ago, I called and complained. They told me no one would pay 80 bucks for an over weight down sleeping bag. I was at a yard sale around 15 years ago in Big Timber Montana and watched several folks stand in line bidding around $200 each for two over sized, second hand 30 below Bauer bags. Cabela's took over a market they could have owned.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I just got rid of an Eddie Bauer trim Ford. I loved that truck, though unfortunately it only took ticks about 90 minutes to reach the driver from a deer stored at the tailgate.
Also no,I didn't have anything meaningful to add to this article.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

This is good news. I guess. We have one of those stores in the mall here. I wonder if I'll be seeing any hunting duds in there any time soon. I'm not much into down clothing except for ice fishing. Anything else and I get too sweaty in the stuff. Generally speaking, for the last thirty years or so all the so-called down inserted into the off-shore manufactured clothes and bags has been mostly chicken feathers that collapses in short order leaving the stuff looking saggy and without much insulation factor. Yes, Bauer stuff is pretty damned pricey but unlike Filson's (mega pricey), I never really felt Bauer stuff was worth the price, even in the old days before it went yuppie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yay - they didn't forget the women!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I think EB's long absence from the outdoor world is going to make a comeback difficult for them, not to mention the perception that their quality is not equal to the pricing. The website says hunting clothes are yet to come, but judging by the prices of the shooting apparel, they're positioning themselves at mid-market..where there is a lot of stiff competition. Although I have some brand name gear (mostly for wingshooting), I doubt I'll be wearing any Bauer. Like Mr. O Honker, I wonder if we'll see any of the outdoor gear in mall stores? Next thing you know, Bauer shooting jackets will replace the A&F hoodie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Down's good until it gets wet then it'll kill ya.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have a reason to go to the mall now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Growing up in the 40's Bauer only meant one thing to my friends and I - sleeping bags. Their clothing was incidental. I saved up a long time to buy their bags, which were great ones, and I wound up with 3 of them of various weights and used them most of my life. The number of frigid nights that I spent out in one of their bags is beyond counting. I can't think of any reason why I would go into one of their stores now and I could never figure out why they got out of the outdoor gear business. Guess the number of real woodsmen has shrunk so much that it's just not worth it anymore.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have always bought from L.L. Bean, Eddy Bauer is too "YUPPY" for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from brktrt-18 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have a couple garments from their new mountaineering line (First Acsent). They work well and are well priced compaired to similiar items on the market. I hope their hunting line is the same.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have Bauer clothing that is at least 30 years old (bought them before I was married!) but their disappearance from the market left a void. I've since purchased LLBean and Filson. I hope Bauer's quality is still up to par.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I haven't bought anything from them since the 80s either. The jury's still out on whether they can compete LL Bean, Filson, Cabelas, and all the rest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner -- Thanks for the reminder about the down sleeping bags. I can't believe I didn't mention them along with all the other Bauer down we had.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner/Phil,
I did not make it clear in my earlier post, my Eddie Bauer interest was also primarily sleeping bags. I spent so many sleepless nights shortly after WWII wrapped up in a moth worn wool robe on top of a couple of saddle blankets wishing i could afford a Bauer bag. When I finally got one thought had died and gone to heaven.

Jack O'Connor loved them for British Columbia pack trips. He also liked a down cot they made. It was canvas supported by spring steel legs. The bottom of the cot was quilted with down which could not be compressed by body weight. An idea I have never seen repeated. Fifty years later, still own several bag and a couple cots. When the weather gets below zero seems like they always get used. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from clgoogl wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

IMO Eddie Bauer's reputation as a serious hunting/outdoor clothing company has suffered too much under their marketing/branding strategy. Take a look at their web site and catalog. At somepoint they found it profitable to market to the "urban hunter/hiker" who spends more time in a mall than a stand of trees.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yes, the Bauer bags were simply great. Their heaviest bag would keep you warm in temps way below zero as I am here to attest to. I about went broke buying one at a time over 3 years. As I recall the only comparable bags in those day were made by Woods. I have no idea if any of the bags made today are as good. I still own two of the bags made during the 50's, and they are still in use. (The third one got accidentally burnt up on a canoe trip) If there is anything as comfortable and cozy as a sleeping bag I am unaware of it. Anyone that has not spent many weeks and months sleeping out in a good bag has missed one of life's great experiences. Yes, Happy Myles, I also can recall shivering in a surplus Army chicken feather stuffed bag bought just after the war. Brrrr! Just to add additional insult, it even smelled like chickens. I wonder how many guys still use bags these days?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hansaskatoon wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Great article. I rock climed in the Calif Sierras as a teenager. In 1969, I was given an Eddie Bauer "Kara Koram" down jacket that was deemed "Blizzard Proof" per the label. You could also get matching down pants, but I was pushing my luck with my parents as it was. I wore this coat on several climbing expeditions and have worn it from time to time through the years. You cannot wear it indoors longer than 5 minutes. I just pulled the thing out of the closet and gave it a look. Other than some staining, it is in perfect physical condition. Massive brass zipper; fleece lined pockets; heavy-duty buttons; solid stitching. Long live Eddie Bauer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I also wonder if it will show up at the malls and outlets.

I also like the fact that they have hoodless gear. I severely dislike hoods. I use separate, better fitting headgear based on what I'm doing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Jeff4066

Ditto, brother. I don't care for hooded parkas and jackets either. Waterfowl jackets being the exception as it rains so often here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner.
Your mention of Woods sleeping bags brings back memories. Are the still in business?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I too remember when Eddie Bauer was a brand that meant quality outdoor hunting clothes. I will wait and see if they are truly back, also, I don't mind hooded jackets and parkas if the hood is removable, for me that is the key.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marc Phillippe ... wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I have a lot of the Eddy Bauer First Ascent gear, and it is the very best. A light (3 ounces heavy!) jacket that keeps me warm in -20C weather! This stiff us amazing!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Q105 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Eddie Bauer lost its way in the mid-90's. even having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
There was a time you could buy guns, rods and reels in their stores. But then they hired ladies from Disney and they took their business into the toilet.

I remeber when they measured their success by daily jean sales; who did they think think they were, the GAP?

I hope they find thier way agan, but it is doubtful. Too many other have successfully executed the path they should have taken.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I remember as a kid avidly reading their catalog of "expedition" gear, eventually owning more than my fair share. When they decided to switch to resort clothing, oh around 35 years ago, I called and complained. They told me no one would pay 80 bucks for an over weight down sleeping bag. I was at a yard sale around 15 years ago in Big Timber Montana and watched several folks stand in line bidding around $200 each for two over sized, second hand 30 below Bauer bags. Cabela's took over a market they could have owned.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

This is good news. I guess. We have one of those stores in the mall here. I wonder if I'll be seeing any hunting duds in there any time soon. I'm not much into down clothing except for ice fishing. Anything else and I get too sweaty in the stuff. Generally speaking, for the last thirty years or so all the so-called down inserted into the off-shore manufactured clothes and bags has been mostly chicken feathers that collapses in short order leaving the stuff looking saggy and without much insulation factor. Yes, Bauer stuff is pretty damned pricey but unlike Filson's (mega pricey), I never really felt Bauer stuff was worth the price, even in the old days before it went yuppie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Longbeard wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I think EB's long absence from the outdoor world is going to make a comeback difficult for them, not to mention the perception that their quality is not equal to the pricing. The website says hunting clothes are yet to come, but judging by the prices of the shooting apparel, they're positioning themselves at mid-market..where there is a lot of stiff competition. Although I have some brand name gear (mostly for wingshooting), I doubt I'll be wearing any Bauer. Like Mr. O Honker, I wonder if we'll see any of the outdoor gear in mall stores? Next thing you know, Bauer shooting jackets will replace the A&F hoodie.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from NorCal Cazadora wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yay - they didn't forget the women!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fezzant wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have an Eddie Bauer down parka that I've worn since high school. It's never let me down.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I just got rid of an Eddie Bauer trim Ford. I loved that truck, though unfortunately it only took ticks about 90 minutes to reach the driver from a deer stored at the tailgate.
Also no,I didn't have anything meaningful to add to this article.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mark-1 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Down's good until it gets wet then it'll kill ya.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Growing up in the 40's Bauer only meant one thing to my friends and I - sleeping bags. Their clothing was incidental. I saved up a long time to buy their bags, which were great ones, and I wound up with 3 of them of various weights and used them most of my life. The number of frigid nights that I spent out in one of their bags is beyond counting. I can't think of any reason why I would go into one of their stores now and I could never figure out why they got out of the outdoor gear business. Guess the number of real woodsmen has shrunk so much that it's just not worth it anymore.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner/Phil,
I did not make it clear in my earlier post, my Eddie Bauer interest was also primarily sleeping bags. I spent so many sleepless nights shortly after WWII wrapped up in a moth worn wool robe on top of a couple of saddle blankets wishing i could afford a Bauer bag. When I finally got one thought had died and gone to heaven.

Jack O'Connor loved them for British Columbia pack trips. He also liked a down cot they made. It was canvas supported by spring steel legs. The bottom of the cot was quilted with down which could not be compressed by body weight. An idea I have never seen repeated. Fifty years later, still own several bag and a couple cots. When the weather gets below zero seems like they always get used. Kindest Regards

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from tom warner wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Yes, the Bauer bags were simply great. Their heaviest bag would keep you warm in temps way below zero as I am here to attest to. I about went broke buying one at a time over 3 years. As I recall the only comparable bags in those day were made by Woods. I have no idea if any of the bags made today are as good. I still own two of the bags made during the 50's, and they are still in use. (The third one got accidentally burnt up on a canoe trip) If there is anything as comfortable and cozy as a sleeping bag I am unaware of it. Anyone that has not spent many weeks and months sleeping out in a good bag has missed one of life's great experiences. Yes, Happy Myles, I also can recall shivering in a surplus Army chicken feather stuffed bag bought just after the war. Brrrr! Just to add additional insult, it even smelled like chickens. I wonder how many guys still use bags these days?

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from hansaskatoon wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Great article. I rock climed in the Calif Sierras as a teenager. In 1969, I was given an Eddie Bauer "Kara Koram" down jacket that was deemed "Blizzard Proof" per the label. You could also get matching down pants, but I was pushing my luck with my parents as it was. I wore this coat on several climbing expeditions and have worn it from time to time through the years. You cannot wear it indoors longer than 5 minutes. I just pulled the thing out of the closet and gave it a look. Other than some staining, it is in perfect physical condition. Massive brass zipper; fleece lined pockets; heavy-duty buttons; solid stitching. Long live Eddie Bauer.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have a reason to go to the mall now.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have always bought from L.L. Bean, Eddy Bauer is too "YUPPY" for me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from brktrt-18 wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have a couple garments from their new mountaineering line (First Acsent). They work well and are well priced compaired to similiar items on the market. I hope their hunting line is the same.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Edward J. Palumbo wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I have Bauer clothing that is at least 30 years old (bought them before I was married!) but their disappearance from the market left a void. I've since purchased LLBean and Filson. I hope Bauer's quality is still up to par.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dleurquin wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I haven't bought anything from them since the 80s either. The jury's still out on whether they can compete LL Bean, Filson, Cabelas, and all the rest.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from philbourjaily wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner -- Thanks for the reminder about the down sleeping bags. I can't believe I didn't mention them along with all the other Bauer down we had.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from clgoogl wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

IMO Eddie Bauer's reputation as a serious hunting/outdoor clothing company has suffered too much under their marketing/branding strategy. Take a look at their web site and catalog. At somepoint they found it profitable to market to the "urban hunter/hiker" who spends more time in a mall than a stand of trees.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I also wonder if it will show up at the malls and outlets.

I also like the fact that they have hoodless gear. I severely dislike hoods. I use separate, better fitting headgear based on what I'm doing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Jeff4066

Ditto, brother. I don't care for hooded parkas and jackets either. Waterfowl jackets being the exception as it rains so often here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

Tom Warner.
Your mention of Woods sleeping bags brings back memories. Are the still in business?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RJ Arena wrote 2 years 9 weeks ago

I too remember when Eddie Bauer was a brand that meant quality outdoor hunting clothes. I will wait and see if they are truly back, also, I don't mind hooded jackets and parkas if the hood is removable, for me that is the key.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Marc Phillippe ... wrote 2 years 8 weeks ago

I have a lot of the Eddy Bauer First Ascent gear, and it is the very best. A light (3 ounces heavy!) jacket that keeps me warm in -20C weather! This stiff us amazing!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Q105 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

Eddie Bauer lost its way in the mid-90's. even having to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
There was a time you could buy guns, rods and reels in their stores. But then they hired ladies from Disney and they took their business into the toilet.

I remeber when they measured their success by daily jean sales; who did they think think they were, the GAP?

I hope they find thier way agan, but it is doubtful. Too many other have successfully executed the path they should have taken.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment