You research a travel product online (like on this site!) before buying. You shop around to make sure you get the best price. And you take it on your big trip, but it gets damaged in transit or from the wear and tear of travel.
So what do you do now?
Many travel products, especially luggage, come with warranties, but this isn’t always something we as consumers consider when choosing the right one. It might have a warranty, but many exceptions on their rules might still leave you paying for repairs.
Thankfully, there are some brands that go above and beyond for their customers to replace or repair their items. Be sure to read the fine print. There are plenty of brands that have great warranties and return policies, but here are just a few that you should consider.
You don’t want to replace your luggage every few years and instead want something that will last. Some companies cover only their own errors, while others cover everything from airline damage to minor wear and tear.
Briggs and Riley
In a further argument for “you get what you pay for,” the luxury luggage brand Briggs and Riley offers a lifetime guarantee on all of their products. This means that anything that happens to your luggage can be repaired at one of their authorized service centers or replaced if too much damage has been done. It covers functional damage, not cosmetic damage, but all you need to pay for is the cost to send it in to them.
Before you even purchase an item from Eagle Creek, you can be sure that it’s been fully tested before even being placed on the shelves. They claim that their return rate is 1 percent. But in the off chance you do need to return your bag or other item, whether it’s due to preferences or damage, they take it back “No Matter What.” They also have their own certified repair centers to make sure your bag is back at its peak performance before setting it off for the road.
>> Check for Eagle Creek deals on Amazon.
Backpack manufacturer Osprey, my chosen brand, has what they call the “All Mighty Guarantee.” They replace any defect or damage, no matter how long you’ve had your bag. This policy is what creates customers for life. You can also get them to send you small parts to replace yourself. The only cost to you for bag repairs is shipping it to them. Just be sure to clean it before you send it, as overly smelly or dirty bags can’t be repaired by them by law. They don’t, however, cover incorrect size or fit, preferences, or cosmetic damage.
>> Check for Osprey deal on Amazon.
If you’ve ever carried a Jansport bag for school, you can attest to just how much wear and tear they can handle, including massive textbooks! I carried the same backpack for all four years of high school and for another two years afterwards before the zippers finally gave out. I could have easily gotten it replaced through the company’s Lifetime Warranty, but donated it instead.
>> Check out Jansport deals on Amazon.
Outdoor Gear and Accessories
Some of the same rules apply to outdoor gear and other travel gear beyond luggage. Warranties may be covered by the brands you purchase from or even the store!
This American outdoors store has what I consider to be the best warranty or return policy around. If you read the book Wild or saw the movie, you might remember how Cheryl Strayed walked most of the trail in ill-fitting shoes, but was able to replace them and have them shipped to one of her refueling stops. Anything you purchase here, whether REI brand or not, can be returned for any reason at all within one year. It might be that the fit of your shoes isn’t the same as it was in the store or you don’t like the sleeping bag you purchased. Best of all, they have massive sales every year for those returned items that they couldn’t resell at full value! Fear not, Canadians, as MEC has the same policy!
>> Shop for REI gear on their official website.
According to their policy, it’s not a complete sale unless the customer is satisfied. L.L. Bean will work with you whether you have a receipt or not and will do as much as they can to repair damaged products before replacing them in order to reduce waste. This is especially in the case of shoes, which can be resoled at their facility. Otherwise, they’ll replace your item within reason.
>> Check for LL Bean deals on Amazon.
Another brand that isn’t happy until you’re satisfied is Eddie Bauer, which offers an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee. They cover shipping for exchanges and refund your purchase using the same payment method you used. Without a receipt, your refund will be based on the closest possible item still on the market.
>> Check for Eddie Bauer deals on Amazon.
I had trouble with my Travelon products, as did my sister, but the company contacted me through Her Packing List to inform me of the warranty. Neither of us had the products anymore, mostly to lighten our load while traveling, but it was good to know that we could have sent them back to be replaced. Their warranty lasts five years and extends to replacement or repair.
>> Check for Travelon deals on Amazon.
Made by Cascade Designs, the Platypus bottle is a favorite of travelers and hikers because of its ability to collapse and be used as a bladder for a hydration system. But sometimes things happen, so they’ll repair your bottle when possible. Their warranty, however, does not cover normal wear or misuse.
>> Check for Platypus deals on Amazon.
So what about clothing? Is your new waterproof jacket covered by warranty when you find yourself soaked nonetheless? Find out which brands do.
The North Face
Another great warranty is by The North Face, which covers manufacturing defects for the life of the product. This includes their clothing, which they may decide to repair or replace at no additional cost to the consumer. You’re just responsible for shipping the product to their repair center.
>> Shop for The North Face deals on Amazon.
This company takes their products seriously! If you’re not satisfied with the Gore-Tex waterproof, windproof, and breathable qualities, no matter who makes the product with their technology, they will replace, repair, or refund. They don’t cover repairs of zippers, pulls, and other issues, only the integrity of the material.
Shoes and Footwear
Keep those feet feeling good, no matter how long you’ve been wearing them. While it’s up to you as the consumer to make sure you test them out before taking on the road, these companies will help you out in case of damage.
We’ve updated our post on Tieks over the years and Brooke and I have both had different experiences. When I first got them, I loved how they looked, but since I’m a half size, I tried to stretch them out. As months went on, I developed problems with my feet unrelated to the shoes and they were now too tight to wear. I simply contacted Tieks to tell them the situation and they exchanged them for a bigger size, no questions asked. It didn’t matter that it was many months later. The shipping was free and they were great to deal with!
Darn Tough Socks
I hadn’t heard of this company until researching this article, but now I need a pair! In case the name doesn’t tell you enough, Darn Tough socks are built to last. The unconditional lifetime guarantee states that if they’re uncomfortable, not durable, or don’t fit, you can return them and get your money back with no strings or conditions. This applies to the life of the product. Don’t you wish all companies were this straightforward?
>> Shop for Darn Tough deals on Amazon.
Keen also stands behind their products for one year, but be sure to save proof of purchase before seeking a refund. Their shoes and sandals can’t be repaired by them, so you’ll need to first seek the refund through the authorized retailer. If your claim is approved, they’ll send you either a replacement pair or a voucher for another pair of your choice.
>> Shop for Keen deals on Amazon.
Have you ever had to file a claim against your gear’s warranty?
- How Long Is a Lifetime Warranty for Luggage, Really?, Conde Nast Traveler
- The Amazing Warranties of the Outdoor Industry, Gear Junkie
- Luggage With Unconditional Lifetime Warranty, Flyertalk Forum