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Practical Product Lifespan - Arc'terx Warranty

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Interesting ongoing (I hope) discussion with Arc'terx

My trusty Stingray jacket's powder skirt unglued itself during my recent trip, so I posted it all up and sent it back under their (what I thought was) decent warranty.

Despite the jacket still looking in great condition, water still beads on it they've declined to fix it, and offered 40% off a new one, and they'll happily recycle it!

Nowt wrong with it at all, and if they still refuse I'll just cut the power skirt out! I'd have hoped it'd take them under 30mins with the right glue to stick it back on!

They've stated the following, which I've disagreed with, but thought I'd share. Do other "top end" brands have a similar policy?

Quote:
Fabrication Date
01/2007

General Note on Repair
We have found that the product is no longer eligible for coverage under the warranty program. Age, wear and tear from normal use and contamination of the fabric beyond reasonable repair either under warranty or at a cost. End of practical life span. No warranty.


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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I'd have just accepted it as reasonable wear and tear after 15 years.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Always wondered about long term warranty claims but with no experience in clothing product range to share.

Suggestion though. This https://www.boards360.com/products/stormsure-flexible-wetsuit-repair-adhesive-3x-5g-pack we've been using recently to glue "no hope" items in trying to carry out a repair and so far it's seriously impressive.

I don't hold much faith in many wonder adhesives for common use (different thing in industrial applications with very controlled circumstances) but sometimes you can come across something that appears to meet those high expectations.

Seems to be "super" type base, but with slow cure, 12hr, and remaining as flexible as substrates. There's a need to be careful as I've clamped material during cure and stuck it to something else Embarassed so if you you don't want to walk around with a Sunday supplement or the surface of part of a table stuck to your jacket Very Happy then consider this before proceeding.

Impressive performance so far on shell jacket seam, abs plastic vent hose on wood planter, amongst others.
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@Hells Bells, yeah, just a bit disappointed for the time/cost of a bit of glue they turned it down!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
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@kitenski, Maybe it's a geographic thing (being 'careful' Yorkshiremen and all that) but I'm with you. Why didn't they just stick it back down but write to you saying given the age they couldn't warranty the repair.

As to whether it's fair wear and tear then that would depend on how many days the jackets been worn, and what sort of kicking it's taken.
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@midgetbiker, that's my polite point back to them basically! Jacket is kept only for skiing so max usage of 1-4 weeks a year and has pretty much zero wear and tear on it
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@kitenski, fair point. It isn't as if it is worn daily if you're only wearing it on ski trips, and hardly at all since 2020.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Mind you, 40% off a new one is not a bad discount either, But I'd like the old one back too so's I can have a crack at fixing it.
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I don't think you can expect companies to repair a 15 year old jacket. The fact that you haven't used it much is not their problem - if any other product (e.g. washing machine or car) was outside it's warranty saying "well I haven't used it much" wouldn't change that. 40% off a new jacket seems like a very fair offer.

Even if only using it a couple of weeks a year you have presumably had your money's worth?

In future maybe consider a jacket that works outside skiing too. You will get a lot more use out of it, and should it fail more likely to be within the warranty. Or just go for a cheap jacket - plenty of perfectly acceptable ski jackets £100 and less, when it does fail it's not such a huge loss.

As for other companies Patagonia used to repair or replace everything. To the point that ski bums would search second hand shops, find some super beat up Patagonia jacket for a few $s and send it away fully expecting Patagonia to just replace it. I suspect people taking advantage of the system like that have made companies a little less willing to deal with old stuff.
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I think LL Bean used to have a robust Lifetime Warranty - but due to being abused, has been watered down to 1 Year (if not 100% happy)....but will consider older items if returned due to defective Materials or Craftmanship.
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I won't buy Arc'teryx again. ive a side Winder that's back in again for repair, glue failing on the powder skirt, in the sleeves and on the hood. Pants powder gater glue failed. Hardly ever wash it and when I do on low temp with tech wash. Wife's Norrona loften has had no drama
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
I finally retired my faithful 18 year old Arcteryx Side Winder jacket At the end of this season as all the glued-on internal pockets and powder skirt have fallen off and the seams of the main pockets inside the jacket and in the process of coming apart. The clear plastic ski pass / radio arm pocket has hardened and is cracked. I love the jacket, which is still waterproof and protective, and think 18 years is great value - I recall paying around £500 for it at the time which was at the very top end for a ski shell and did not expect I would be using it for so long - there is a lot to say about buying a black jacket. The thought of claiming warranty had not crossed my mind but after reading this thread I will take the jacket to their London store to see if I can get 40pct off. Although I doubt any new jacket will last 18 years. I have a 12 year old Marmot shell which is still perfect and was given a Patagonia shell for Christmas which I think is very well built. My 10 year old Narrona shell pants are quickly starting to fall apart and needs replacement.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Ozboy wrote:
... there is a lot to say about buying a black jacket. ...
I'll contribute the fact that it's the most difficult colour to photograph wink

A concept of "a jacket for life", like those supermarket carrier bags, is interesting,
but not something I'd want.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I still use a 17 year old sidewinder for fishing, waterproof still but massively faded (which I like Wink ), been repaired FOC by Arcteryx twice. and it was used >100 days a season for a good 5 years

I had a midlayer replaced FOC when they couldn't repair a zipper. Fantastic service and wouldn't buy anything else.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Mother hucker, sometimes you get a Friday one. Or the material doesn't live up to expectations.

We have quite a lot of Arc kit and have been very pleased with it. We probably do 50-60 ski outings in a normal year.

Our Atoms, f'rinstance are from 2012 and still going strong. I think my somewhat tired Gamma is from 2006.

Mrs U's shell is a replacement from an original in 2011...
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@kitenski, ...nice topic and good to reflect at the end of the season. Like many, I’ve been going up hills for many years, and have seen companies come, go, develop, grow, go bad, and resurface or disappear forever. It’s the case that mainstream economic theory needs to be considered, and the history of companies tends to follow a path determined by market forces.

Climbing and skiing kit goes to a small population. And they want durability and function. M&S aim to sell you new clothing each season on the basis of appearance, even though the wardrobe is full of last season’s perfectly functional clothing. That’s how they make their money. Not so the climber or skier, who wants something which endures and keeps them alive.

The moment an outdoor company wants to grow, their strategy comes straight up a against their customers’ needs for function and durability, and the small size of the technical clothing market. What to do? Reduce costs? Increase markets? Widen range? Encourage existing customers to buy more product even though they don’t need it? And sometimes...go down-market to widen customer base...or sell up...(and sell out).

Arcteyx was small and Canadian - but even then I had jacket failures. GoreTex single layer was pretty rubbish, and lightweight climbing shells lasted no time at all, despite high cost. I had run them pretty hard and didn’t call in the warranty. The next ten years saw Arcteryx expand massively, and become a ‘wear in the street to show you are tough’ brand, too (expand market). But they are remained true to roots and kept up the quality. They’ve been on top of technical advances and understand lightness, strength and function. They make mistakes, and generally put hands up when something fails prematurely - they see a product coming back a lot and seem to acknowledge that a specific design has problems.

Your skirt seems to align with a lot failures I see in my technical gear: all glued elements of jacket and gear seem to give up about 10 years in - gore seam tape, glued internal pockets, etc. These are the age-related issues I see:

Glued elements failing in a cascade fashion in a garment - first one thing then another. The garment is dead at that point, really. If the whole garment relies on glue - ‘welded’ seams etc - then age-related degradation of the glue seems to be a real thing. It just gives up through a chemical decline of the glue. Serious failure on the hill becomes a potentially life threatening issue. RIP jacket.

Fabric coatings break down. This is a right pain, since some jackets seem to keep their DWR forever, and others decline fast. But generally Patagonia, Peak P, Norrona, Arc, all get it right. But we don’t wash technical gear - we run multiple jackets and trousers, and that slows down the horrid ‘black grime’ problem, and each garment seems to last forever (10 years+). I have about five skiing jackets, and the Grom has three. I have in the past used a single jacket and trashed it for the season, but you can visibly see the decline over a season if you just use one. Spreading the load seems to make each item last longer - they dry out properly, etc. Having more than one means that you don’t get too attached to any one of them, so when one fails it doesn’t pull on the heart strings quite so much.

Fabric breaks down. Red is a disaster, since it absorbs all UV. Fading of anything pink or red is a big issue. UV trashes plastics. Plastic sealing strips on zips and pockets seem to self-destruct after a while, and UV is most likely to blame. Far better to have overlap rather than sealing strips.

Zips break. This is a right pain...cheap (typically small tooth) zips just give up...and can be replaced, but that’s expensive. This is a good warranty call, but if a garment has poor zips then again, failure of an important zip while you are on the hill can be a life threatening thing.


Patagonia stands out as a company which has really stuck to ‘small and technical’ and throughout has done well on ecological credentials. I have a mid-2000s Speed Ascent climbing jacket which has done a hell of a job as a skiing jacket, brilliant deep-pile technical soft shell which has done -20 and +15 - showing a patina of wear now, but that’s after about 120 weeks of skiing. Brilliant jacket - and...of course, no longer made...grrr...when it dies I will be s A d but will remember the days on how well it served. I have a State of Elevanate replacement which will step in at that point.

If a jacket works for 10 years, then at 500gbp that’s 50gbp a year, 1gbp per week or 1/3 of a cup of coffee per week. That seems fine to me.

In our hell hole there is, in declining order of quantity:

Peak Performance (lots of)
Picture
Rab
Arcteryx
State of Elevate
Maloja
Marmot
Eider
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
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15 years does seem a bit ambitious for a warranty repair, but at times I have been pleasantly surprised at what some companies will do. I had a pair of quite expensive Lowe Alpine mountaineering trousers, water resistant stretch material, with some "welded" seams, and pockets. I wore them regularly for about 10 years always air drying them. Then after wearing them ski touring we had a lot of kit to wash and dry, JanetS checked the label and it said that they could be tumble dried, on taking them out, all the glued seams had come apart and the pockets fallen off. Took them back to Needlesports in Keswick, who contacted the supplier, and next time I was in they gave me a new pair, this time with all the glued seams reinforced with stitching, and a do not tumble dry instruction.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
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@valais2, tend to agree with a lot of your post. However, have to say the hyperbole regarding things failing resulting in life threatening situations is unnecessary. It's exactly how the companies sell overspecced clothing to the masses. Perhaps not an issue if you have the money, but for a lot of people the difference between a £500+ jacket and a £70 jacket is a long way towards a second week of skiing.

The vast majority of skiers really don't need top spec stuff. Perhaps if you are doing some kind of remote traverse with snow camping - but this is the extreme minority. Fwiw I solo hiked around wakhan corridor in Afghanistan, which is about as remote as you can get without requiring a helicopter in, featured a few passes up towards 5000m and a couple of snowstorms - my entire outfit didn't cost £500 snowHead
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After 15 years I don't think it's unreasonable to refuse a warranty claim, but I'm surprised they wouldn't repair it at cost.

Only similar thing I've had was a (internal) seam ripping on a pair of 4-5 year old Norrona ski trousers, which they repaired for free under warranty.

TBH you could probably take that jacket to a Patagonia Worn Wear Tour stop and get it repaired for free. Otherwise there's probably a GoreTex repair centre in the UK somewhere who will do it for a reasonable price.
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kitenski, Take the 40% discount, ask for it back to recycle yourself, then contact / send to LSR for repair Madeye-Smiley

15 years is good going, LSR replaced a zip for me after the manufacturer refused, even though it was a lifetime warranty. They just said they werent able to replace zips on jakcets.
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@boarder2020, ….ah…not hyperbole actually….I had from a climbing colleague ‘…er…my zip’s buggered on my jacket…’ - we tried to fix it but the bottom had broken off and the zip pull was stuck…jacket open from the bottom to halfway and open from the top down to halfway. Fine if you are in Waitrose or Aldi. Not good if you are at 2500m doing a winter route, and trying to get across a col in the kind of wind which knocks you down. Much flapping very very cold. The wind just rips body heat away very quickly. That’s indeed a life threatening failure of something simple. It’s often something seemingly trivial which then turns a demanding day into an epic. Like forgetting new batteries for the headtorch and finding no spares in the rucksack. Or dropping a glove down a face. Or mishearing a rope call. Or forgetting to check the gas for the stove - that once left us with no cocoa, which was mighty annoying and left us very cold for the night. Equipment failure when climbing can be a big deal. So….definitely not hyperbole.

Skiing in resort, I agree, not so critical.
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Bones wrote:
kitenski, Take the 40% discount, ask for it back to recycle yourself, then contact / send to LSR for repair Madeye-Smiley

15 years is good going, LSR replaced a zip for me after the manufacturer refused, even though it was a lifetime warranty. They just said they werent able to replace zips on jakcets.


Does not work that way, at least in Australia. If you take up the Arc’teryx offer, you have to return the old article.

We are lucky to have a specialist outdoor gear repairer close to home. They have the equipment and skills to repair most things, from gloves to tents. Maybe there is something similar in EU? That said, I would probably take the offer.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@valais2, yes but the vast majority of skiers are never in anything remotely close to those kind of situations. Which is my point - the vast majority of skiers don't need top spec gear.
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@boarder2020, …that’s probably true. I guess I was diving into the spirit of this thread; the Arcteryx-wearing skier is probably someone who will be requiring it to work in demanding conditions.
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Think you can be pretty happy with 15 years use. The missus tried to replace a pair of badly faded green Arc ski pants after 1 season and got short thrift. Wasn’t very impressed compared to the bulletproof Norrona Lofoten pants. I heard in the Blister podcast that nothing lasts as well these days due to more environmentally friendly materials/manufacturing processes.
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@valais2, with you on this, it's amazing how easily a very innocuous situation can develop into being somewhere you really don't want to be ...
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
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@kitenski, I highly recommend this stuff:

https://www.screwfix.com/p/no-nonsense-builders-silicone-clear-310ml/83710

I use it to repair seam tape, glue fabrics and seal seams (diluted 50% with white spirit for seam sealing).

The vast majority of my kit I repair myself - the only thing I can think of in the last decade was sending a rab jacket back for a new zip (on which they did an amazing job for £25). There’s very little that can’t be fixed with the above silicone sealant, and/or a needle and thread. It’s much less hassle than sending it back and doing without, particularly when the failures happen during use.

I’ve had zips and seams fail in some pretty inhospitable places days or weeks from civilisation and a combination of sewing, duct tape and glue means it’s always been manageable.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
15 years seems pretty good imv, little use or otherwise, I tend to wear my stuff out or rip them beyond repair so have never had a warranty repair done.

3-4 years ago I sliced up a brand new Norrona Goretex Pro jacket with a ski edge in an innocuous fall (ski boot not clipped in) - had a repair done somewhere in Edinburgh by Norrona which was pretty lousy (they put a patch on it, and it cost me a few quid…different colour) I sent it back and they gave me a brand new one FOC, best gear and company. Also have an old Arcteryx Beta jacket, tatty as you like but great in the Yorkshire hills for hiking, find it rather short though, seams leaked after a year or 2 and I re-glued them all, been fine since. First thing I do with any new Goretex ski jacket is take the snow skirt out, I find them a nuisance…..a bit of pow up the back never hurt anyone, unnecessary accessory IMO.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@Markymark29, yup I'll be cutting the snow skirt out when they send it back! Sadly it's glued in so can't remove it without cutting it out!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I still mourn the loss of our local repair company who did great work repairing and shortening ski gear for me in the past. No postage as I could drive there and really great work making pants look as if they'd been made for me with no guesswork as I tried the stuff on in their stockroom. If they removed material from a jacket or pants during alterations, they saved the fabric for a potential future repair for someone else.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

the Arcteryx-wearing skier is probably someone who will be requiring it to work in demanding conditions.


Not in my experience! Arcteryx is a popular brand worn by all sorts of people. Plenty of resort only skiiers using it (perhaps I'm biased by the fact I do most of my snowboarding in Canada, so perhaps it's a little more popular there as a "local" company). I thought op said something like the jacket only being used on snow and up to 4 weeks a year so probably nothing too insane. I'm struggling to think of anything skiing wise I'd feel top spec stuff was necessary. Even something like Bugaboos traverse which is at the more extreme end of things I'd feel fine in a cheap 10k waterproof jacket. I think high altitude mountaineering and arctic expeditions are probably the two that you really can't skimp on gear else you really are putting your life at risk.

If money is no issue I'd go for a top spec jacket, they are better. I just don't think they are necessary for the majority of people. I've spent plenty of time above 5000m altitude and solo hiked through some pretty remote places without anything close to top spec.

Quote:

I heard in the Blister podcast that nothing lasts as well these days due to more environmentally friendly materials/manufacturing processes.


I've heard a few people suggest this. I have one friend who was very disappointed with the bamboo top sheet of his Jones snowboard saying it was far less resistant than traditional top sheets. Is a product really more environmentally friendly if you have to replace it more often?
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