mountain hardwear zipper repair

1:23 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
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2,032 forum posts

i just put a mountain hardwear hooded phantom jacket in the mail for a warranty issue.  after about one year, the bottom part of the zipper (the male part, not the slider) disintegrated, literally fell apart.  no way to zip the jacket shut.  in keeping with the jacket's very light weight, the zipper is among the lightest-duty that i have seen, a very minimal coil zipper. 

the people on the phone at Mountain Hardwear were encouraging, said it will probably be covered by their lifetime warranty.  it probably means they will sew a new zipper on. 

remains to be seen how they will actually respond and how long it may take. 

overall, my experience with warranty claims and outdoors companies has been excellent.  It is worth noting that in nearly 30 years as an adult who puts a lot of mileage on gear, I have never returned a pair of hiking shoes/boots, a sleeping bag, a tent, a stove, snowshoes, or a water filtration system for a warranty issue.   


Patagonia H2No hard shell, seam tape delamination after several years of use: replaced with a new jacket.  (bought in the 80s, failed in the 90s).

Patagonia wool base layers, long sleeves ripped (x2): replaced for free, the second time with a Capilene shirt.  Patagonia has since re-worked how they make their wool base layers, and they are more durable today.

The North Face gore tex hard shell, seam tape delamination after several years of use: replaced with a new jacket (bought in 92, failed around 00)

Black Diamond aluminum trekking poles: carbide tip loosened and would not stay seated in trekking pole after a few years of very hard use: both pole ends replaced (Black Diamond had introduced a more secure way to lock the carbide tips in).

Gregory Baltoro: hip belt replaced (rodent ate through one of the small hip belt pockets plus the clif bar i stupidly left there.  i didn't ask for a warranty replacement, just wanted to buy a new hip belt.  they dealt with it under warranty voluntarily, and generously). 

Mystery Ranch Snapdragon: shoulder harness had rips in the nylon where it interacted with the hard plastic frame sheet, plus had unusually stubborn odor issues that remarkably survived a power-washing - after about 6 years of use almost weekly.  I pointed out the rips in the nylon but was prepared to pay for the new shoulder pads; they replaced them under warranty. 



7:27 p.m. on December 31, 2013 (EST)
244 reviewer rep
5,245 forum posts

I bought a pair of first generation Goretex TNF pants in 1978 and it was not until the fall of 1996 that they started leaking around the knees. I sent them to North Face and they replaced them with new pants.

But I had also bought a Sierra Designs Goretex jacket at the same time (REI store where I bought it at the last moment, didn't have TNF jacket in the size I needed)  20 years later the shoulder delaminated and I called Sierra Designs and they siad their warrenty was only good for 1978 products for 10 years so I had to buy a new jacket.

In 2012 my Golite sleeping bag, the Featherlight which was good to 20 degrees and weighed just 9 oz had its chest zipper fail as yours did at the bottom where the pull and the other side met. I called Golite and they said to mail it in and they would repair it. After a month I called back and they said they had not gotten to it yet, two more months went by and I got it back unrepaired. I called them and they said their repair seamstress could not fix it. So again I had to buy a new bag, though I replaced it with a REI SolarPod  bag I found on craigslist.

Most companies seem pretty good at repair or replacement of their gear. I had a North Face VE-24 tent that had collapsed under 4 feet of Sierra Cement snow in Yosemite  about 2 years after I bought it. The tents warrenty  said it would only go as far as 2 feet, but when I explained I was living in the tent winter camping in Yosemite they replaced the tents fly and poles which had been hurt the most by the 4 feet of snow.

6:43 p.m. on January 1, 2014 (EST)
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3,956 forum posts

Hate to hear it, but let us know how it turns out.

1:02 a.m. on January 2, 2014 (EST)
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1,902 forum posts

I don't expect gear or clothes to last forever. Some things are going to wear out no matter how well they are made, especially lightweight things. A warranty good for a few years depending on what it is seems fair to me.

9:05 p.m. on February 24, 2014 (EST)
5,601 reviewer rep
2,032 forum posts

The jacket is back with a new zipper.  it's a different color than the original, as if i care.  it appears to be a slightly heavier-grade zipper than the original, which is welcome.  sewing work is uniformly clean, looks like it did coming from the factory.  the communication from the company was so-so, but the turnaround time was pretty good, 6-7 weeks.  

i'm just happy to have the jacket back.  for anyone who owns a down jacket in this category - high loft, great hood, quite a bit warmer than a down sweater, yet weighs 16 ounces in size XL - you know what i'm talking about.  

9:16 p.m. on February 24, 2014 (EST)
244 reviewer rep
5,245 forum posts

Yes, my OR down jacket is light, stuffs into its own pocket. Only thing is the newer light nylon is easily torn, especially if you get it caught in a day pack zipper. I have a duct tape patch on mine now and plan to get it repaired once I get to Wyoming next week. 

May 21, 2018
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