West Virginia Underground

Functional, Durable Caving Equipment

Why West Virginia Underground Loves Landjoff (and its products)


                We got started with Landjoff back in 2010. What began as a way to save on shipping costs while getting Landjoff gear to our group of caving buddies grew into a small, side business. (Well, some might say WV Underground is still a small, side business.) John first saw Landjoff packs on eBay. He needed a new pack specifically for camp trips and thought he would give it a try. His regular usage of the 42 L PVC pack drew the attention of some Germany Valley Karst Survey regulars. After John’s reporting that the pack was definitely to his liking, friends said they wanted to try one too. He asked around and ordered 2 or 3 packs from the Bulgarian distributor.  As more cavers in the northeastern United States saw the Landjoff packs being used, they too wanted one. John began charging a little extra for the trouble of organizing the order, and violá, West Virginia Underground was born-all due to our conveyance of Landjoff packs.

                Enough of the backstory. We love using Landjoff packs because they are durable, made for ease of access, come in a variety of colors and PVC thicknesses, and are remarkably cost-effective. More specifically, we like the shape and closure of the packs. It makes irregularly shaped items, likes drills, easy to pack and remove. The bottom of the packs have a webbing strap to hold onto while the pack is flipped upside down to completely empty. At one point, we thought the 42 L pack could be improved by adding a rubber, ergonomic handle with a carabiner attachment. We told Landjoff we thought it would be a great addition. Guess what? Landjoff now makes a WV Underground 42 L version just for our customers! Landjoff’s packs come in two PVC thicknesses: 680 g/m2 and 900 g/m2. 680 g/m2 works for the smaller packs which might be used for tourist day trips or light survey trips. Bigger packs, better for projects, have the thicker PVC. Those packs can stand up to being dragged for long distances or being squashed between hard gear and a rock. Isn’t it good to know that your favorite gear vendor (us) offers a product line that we have used over and over and stand behind 100%?

                And what about the suits? When the Meander Criou PVC suit was discontinued a few years back, many were scrambling for a new source. Fortunately, or maybe by design, Landjoff began offering PVC coveralls shortly after. We are happy to see that the caving community has decided that Landjoff is the go-to European PVC suit. And we are thrilled that they choose to go through us. It is a fact that PVC suits, regardless of the manufacturer, are not going to stand up to the cave environment as well as Cordura suits do, so Landjoff provides customers an easy-to-use repair kit. Each kit has 4 PVC swatches and a tube of specialty glue. The swatches can be used on their packs too.

The Cordura suits may not be waterproof like the PVC suit, but they are still effective at keeping the caver dry in damp caves. The inside of the fabric has a water resistant coating. The coating helps keep the caver warmer than most other Cordura suits do. Gayle particularly likes the Cordura suits over popular Cordura suits from other manufacturers because they are lighter weight. She has actually noted that there isn’t an uncomfortable weight pulling at her shoulders. You should know that Landjoff suits are slightly roomier than other suits you may have tried. So, if you are looking at the size chart and see your height corresponds to a smaller size than your weight, you might want to start off with the smaller size if your weight is near to the cutoff.

The good news is that WV Underground allows for free shipping on cave suit exchanges. I also want to get the word out that when we order a restocking shipment from Landjoff, we are more than happy to put in a custom suit order. Not only can you get the exact size you need, but Landjoff makes suits in more colors than WV Underground currently offers. By having the custom order shipped with our large order, the customer saves on overseas shipping.

                We would be amiss if we didn’t also explain why we love having Landjoff as a vendor. As already mentioned, we have been working with Landjoff since 2010. We have never met any of the customer service representatives, owners, or any employee of Landjoff. All our conversations and transactions are electronic. Early on, there was a bit of a language barrier, too. Despite those obstacles, we have a deeply trusting relationship with this company. While WV Underground was just a tiny business with little operating overhead, Landjoff consigned thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise to us. Because of that, we didn’t have to shell out the cash until after our customers purchased the gear. Their generosity has helped WV Underground become the company it is today. We are so appreciative of their interest in our success.

                What we hope you get out of this post is that we really like using, buying, and selling Landjoff products, and not just packs and suits, either. We hope you will give it try, if you haven’t already. If you have any questions, give us a call or send an email. And don’t forget, Landjoff makes great Christmas and birthday presents, too. We ship in 1-2 days.

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