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A tale of two bags

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by notosw, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. notosw

    notosw Loaded Pockets

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    Recently I returned my Filson model 257, seen below, to Filson for certain repairs. I had used the bag extensively for about 11 years and the corners were beginning to fray. Since the remaining canvas, leather, zippers, buttons, etc. were all in good condition I thought it would be worth the money to have them repair/reinforce the corners (at a modest cost to me) so I hopefully could get another decade of life from the bag. I won't go into all the specifics but suffice it to say that Filson immediately went above and beyond my request and returned a product to me in better condition than I had hoped, without charge. I will be using this briefcase for another decade at least and will continue to purchase Filson products in the future.



    Filsonreplacdement.jpg



    By contrast, around the same time I returned a backpack to The North Face which, although it had no holes, tears, or problems with the zippers, was in need of attention because the interior lining of the pack had begun to come off. Apparently the backing to the material has some sort of coating which after a period of time delaminates, sticking to whatever is in the pack. I learned this when my daughter came home from camp complaining that everything in the back was ruined, covered in sticky red material the consistency of used chewing gum. See the sunscreen bottle below.

    [​IMG]

    TNF sent me a letter a week or so after they received the pack stating "the breakdown of materials due to age, wear, mildew, UV damage, or prolonged storage is not covered under warranty." So, even though the warranty supposedly covers "against defects in materials and workmanship for the lifetime of the product" they apparently do not consider delamination a defect. Either that or they only expect their products to last a certain amount of time regardless of how little they are used. This pack was used for school for about 4 years but has been in the closet or trunk for the last 10-11 years. TNF did offer a gift certificate for the pack's retail value many years ago. They would not replace it with an equivalent product, leaving me to pay the difference between the cost of the pack years ago vs. their full retail charges for its current equivalent (plus shipping). TNF made no attempt to repair the product and did not offer a direct replacement. I elected not to spend another ~$50 out of pocket to replace a product that, but for this issue, should have given many more years of use. I have decided to spend that money toward a pack from a different manufacturer. They are returning the bag to me and I will have to find some way to cover the inside material. I welcome any ideas.

    My take-away is that Filson stands behind their products even when they inevitably wear under use while TNF does not put out a product designed to stand the test of time and does not stand behind a poorly designed product. Your experience may differ, but this is mine.


    Replaced first (hotlinked) image in post. EDCF Rule 3b here, prohibits "hotlinking" of images. //xbanker//
     
  2. CheepSteal

    CheepSteal Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting, I would think a company would appreciate and stand behind a 15 year customer. Makes you think how many companies actually stand by their "lifetime" warranty.
     
  3. MedusaOblongata

    MedusaOblongata Loaded Pockets

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    Every company is in business to make money, and it has got to be a difficult balancing act sometimes to determine whether it's better for them to repair/replace a product (at a certain cost) or turn down a customer (at a different cost). I don't know what equations are used in this type of cost/benefit decision. We see a lot of companies paying out significant amounts of money on warranty claims (often due to no real defect), because of what they believe that the repeat business and word of mouth advertising is worth. It's good to see Filson back up their great reputation.
     
  4. defuse kit

    defuse kit Loaded Pockets

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    Maybe scotchgard or something similar would help the interior of your TNF bag. I don't think truck bed liner would work, but man oh man if it does you better tell me!
     
  5. jag-engr
    • Administrator

    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    I feel your pain on the lining material in your NF pack - the same thing is happening on my Jack Wolfskin daypack, except it's just crumbling, not adhering to contents.


    FWIW, getting hot in the car trunk is probably a major factor in the break-down of the liner.


    I don't think that's an unreasonable offer - it sounds like you've gotten your money's worth in the meantime. There's likely no way that they can repair it. The synthetic materials in the North Face pack are more manufactured than the canvas and leather in the Filson pack. They are simply different animals.


    Are you looking for good ideas, or just ideas in general? :p
    If the bag can be turned inside-out, it may be possible to remove the lining with sand paper and/or a Scotch pad and water. Alternately, you could take it to a car wash and hose it down.
    A couple other ideas that come to mind involve a dishwasher or a wash machine, but could have some serious repercussions ...
     
  6. saniterra

    saniterra Loaded Pockets

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    Well, it's clear that TNF has changed its policies and not for the better. Many years ago when TNF was a new enterprise, I had a pack several years old that began the same de-laminating as described by the OP. Fortunately the material was not red but more of a dark brown. I sent the pack to TNF for repair and they sent me a brand new pack in return. The pack I received was the same model I sent in - same size and suspension, but a much better material. In general, it appears to me that TNF's policies and production are in decline.
     
  7. Halligan

    Halligan Loaded Pockets

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    TNF used to be only found in high end ski / mountain shops and was top notch stuff. I now see every high school kid wearing it and see it much lower end stores. The more recent stuff you see in those stores is not up to their previous standards and they may be living off their name and being "fashionable", Think Timberland boots, same story in my opinion.
     
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  8. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    It is the way of things.
     
  9. PsychRN

    PsychRN Loaded Pockets

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    Yes, The North Face stuff used to be synonymous with High End gear, now they seem more in line with Jansport. Maybe Jansport is better.
     
  10. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    I don't know a lot about North Face but I know that Jansport "school" backpacks are really, really tough for what they are, a sack with shoulder straps and a couple zippered pockets for relatively little money.
     
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  11. notosw

    notosw Loaded Pockets

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    I too suspect heat played a role. That is unfortunate as I have never been warned against heat, just UV exposure.
     
  12. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    For what its worth, The North Face and Jansport (as well as Eastpak, Eagle Creek, Kipling, Timberland, etc.) are all owned by the same company: VF Corporation. VF is the world's largest apparel manufacturer.

    I agree with DBR that Jansport packs are pretty tough for what they cost. The classic Cordura school packs are surviving the hell my three sons put them through quite well for the under $25 they cost. I have a pricier Jansport Rockridge that went everywhere with me for several years and it looks no worse for wear. I also have an Eastpak that I stupidly washed counter to the instructions and they still replaced it for me under warranty.

    Filson makes wonderful things, including the model 257 you have. I'm glad their customer service matched the quality of their goods.
     
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  13. DBR

    DBR Loaded Pockets

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    Companies get so big that they no longer care what customers think. It was really bad before the Internet because the word of mouth was much, much slower...but word still got around.
     
  14. Crash_Fistfight

    Crash_Fistfight Loaded Pockets

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    I have many TNF products, the oldest of which is an original "Super Light" down sleeping bag and a "Guide" pack that are still going strong.

    I also have a tent by TNF, the tent, due to improper storage is ruined beyond beyond ant possible use.

    The gear still in service was purchased in 1974 when I was a trail crew member on our local national forest. The bag cost an astounding $80.00. the pack $40 or so bucks and the tent was around $85 or $90 bucks. I also purchased a Kelty frame pack for $25 or $30 dollars and I still have it as well.

    I clearly remember prices as my Dad loaned me the money to get outfitted, I paid him back with money earned that summer.

    Mom and Dad bought me boots and a down jacket, as I recall.

    I have had TNF gear over the years and have always found it to be top-notch, ya just have to take reasonable care of your stuff, and it will last many years!
     
  15. Sriracha

    Sriracha Loaded Pockets

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    +1 Heat plus some of that sunscreen will eat plastics. Spray some DEET laced bug juice on nylon or plastic, and it will literally melt.
     
  16. Kilted1

    Kilted1 Loaded Pockets

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    UV is bad for TNF backpacks? What good is a pack that I can't take out in the sunshine???
     
  17. powerring
    • In Omnia Paratus

    powerring Loaded Pockets

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    This is a good point and another reason I avoid DEET.
     
  18. filjos

    filjos Loaded Pockets

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    You could buy a can of the spray plasti-dip and just spray the interior of the pack.

    From their website: " Plasti Dip remains flexible and stretchy over time, and will not crack or become brittle in extreme weather conditions. It has been tested and proven in temperatures from -30°F to 200°F."

    http://www.plastidip.com/home_solutions/Plasti_Dip
     
  19. tennvol12345

    tennvol12345 Loaded Pockets

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    TNF was great before VF bought them. Back in the day they took care of their customers. Now they really don't care

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC using Tapatalk