A sample explanation.
We often get asked about samples. What they are, if they are the same as normal products or if they are just one-off test items. As samples represent a large portion of our product offering at Mountain Kit, here is a short story of a sample's journey to the shop floor.
In reality even before a sample has been made, there have been a few stages of production. Firstly, prototypes are created to initially assess the fit and style of the garment. These are what bring the designers' drawings to life and are a general approximation of what the finished product will be. As the design and development team work through the prototypes, the fit is tweaked by trying them on real people and reporting back to the factories.
Once happy with the fit of the final prototype, the product goes into pre-production where it is subjected to real-life wear and wash tests and to determine if the fabrics, features and trim all work well together and are suitable for the type of garment it is. This is the first stage where the product is made in the correct fabric and gives testers a chance to feed back on durability as well as potential alterations to features and trim such as zip type and the style of draw-cords, poppers etc.
Once the feedback has been received and implemented and it is decided that the product works, fits well into the range and will be popular with retail buyers and customers alike, a new revised sample is produced with fabrics, features, fit and trim that will go into the finished product. If all is good with this version, it will become the basis for a run of sales samples to be produced so that reps can present the product to distributors and retail buyers.
These sales samples are what we get to sell at Mountain Kit. They are usually made in a couple of sizes and in each colourway that will go in to the range. Very occasionally there are slight changes in trim or fit based on additional feedback from the buyers but for the most part, a sales sample will be exactly as the production version ends up.
Sales samples are what our original store was set up to sell and are still a mainstay of our stock. Although they do not always come in all sizes, they are one of the reasons we can bring you great prices and styles that you may never see in other Montane retailers. Our sales samples typically sell for between 30%-60% off the RRP and come with a 60 day guarantee.