Gear Failure — How’s your warranty?
Gear hound…yeah, that’s me! I’ve searched high and low for the best deals on the gear I will be carrying along with me on the AT Thru Hike.
Like many hikers, you search to find a good deal and the best equipment that your budget will allow. I’ve mostly chosen “brand name” items from big box stores (REI) and other online stores (MooseJaw.com). One of the primary reasons is…because if the equipment fails or doesn’t live up to the standard I expect, I can easily return it.
However, with some of the gear you don’t just return it to the store if it has a failure, but you have to deal with the company who manufactured it.
After researching for the just the right pack, I finally decided on the Osprey Exos 58. It comes highly recommended and based on it’s weight and design, it will surely be a great fit on my Thru Hike. With a name like Osprey, you’d expect Quality!
At least that’s what I thought. However, after only 2 short “around town hikes” one of the gear loops on the removable lid came unsewn. I was a little disappointed, but figured “what the hey, it’ll probably get a little worn on my hike”. But after looking at Osprey’s website on the warranty, it was good for repairing any Osprey pack FOR LIFE!
Now that’s all and good, but the fine print is that you have to pay shipping to send it back to Osprey! This could get expensive, but a lot less costly than having to replace the pack. Additionally, when you get the approval from Osprey to send it back, they then tell you it’s a 3-4 week repair time to get your pack fixed.
I know I’m not an avid hiker (yet), but since getting this pack, I’ve been trying to get miles and time under my belt with the pack on my back. So a 3-4 week delay in training was not acceptable. I began to wonder if Osprey was the best pack for my hike? And since I chose a lesser know online store for the purchase, I didn’t have the same return policy as my regular Big Box Outfitter REI, which allows returns for 12 months…no questions asked.
With my pack, it was only a small thing… With the approval of Osprey, I was able to detach the lid and send only it back for repair. This saved me some shipping costs and allowed me to continue to use the pack for training over the next few weeks.
So…check out the policies of the store and company when you back that backpacking equipment. Timely delays in repair, not being able to return and no support can definitely put a crinkle on your hiking budget and training plans.
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