Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mountain Hardwear Makes Unreliable Gear

I have an issue with Mountain Hardwear. It is pretty well summarized by my Yelp review:

I feel like I was completely scammed by Mountain Hardwear after purchasing a nearly wholesale-priced Argon jacket at the semi-annual sale. The seams delaminated almost immediately, which for a waterproof jacket is an absurd malfunction. I sent it back to the repair department, fully knowing that it wasn't covered by warranty since it was purchased at the sale. However, since I paid nearly wholesale, and in general outdoor companies unconditionally stand by their products, I thought I would at least get it repaired for free, even though I preferred a new jacket all together. Unfortunately, this was not the case, as I had to pay $20 for the repair.

To add insult to injury, I was informed by a MH representative that the products sold at the sale are often demo versions made with inferior materials and construction. This "quality of construction" was not evident upon purchase, as it seemed to be a production version of the jacket.

In all, Mountain Hardwear made a killing on selling me a crappy demo jacket at nearly wholesale price and were unwilling to own up to selling me an inferior product that failed with moderate use. Hopefully the repair will hold up, but if it doesn't I'll buy a new jacket from a more reputable brand. There is no way I'll ever purchase another piece of gear from them again as I do not want gear failures to further affect my outdoor activities, and there are plenty of companies that offer superior build quality, and better customer support.

Frankly, I feel like there is no reason to support a company that produces low quality gear such as Mountain Hardwear proved to do for me. It is a very competitive market with many companies providing nearly the same set of products, so there is no reason to support one that is so clearly inferior. Take Scarpa, for example. I've had the same pair of hiking boots since 2003, and they still work perfectly fine. This experience set the precedence for quality, and now I own Scarpa for all of my footwear, and couldn't be happier.

Scarpa is a brand I trust

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