No, I’m not a furry ground-dwelling rodent. I’m the happy owner of a Marmot PreCip rain jacket.
This was not always so. I subscribe to Backpacker Magazine and I often read and follow their gear reviews when setting out to purchase outdoors gear. Backpacker Magazine is what led me to become an owner of the Marmot CreCip jacket. With my new jacket, I was a happy camper. It was truly lightweight, and comfortable to wear both a windy days and in torrential downpours. But then, trouble set in. Before a year was out, the waterproof layers wore into cracks and sections peeled away. My beloved jacket began to leak like a sieve and my love affair ended.
Recently Backpacker Magazine ran another review of the latest in rain jackets. They rated them on many attributes, but durability wasn’t one of them. I wrote to Backpacker and explained that I felt my jacket had failed due to repeatedly being stuffed into and pulled out from a backpack, and that I’d like to see this sort of durability added to future gear reviews.
To my surprise, gear editor Kristin Hostetter emailed me the next day. At first she suggested my jacket simply needed
to be retreated with waterproofing. But, I replied that I knew about waterproofing and sent her a photo of the jacket. The photo convinced her that what I experienced was a product failure or defect and she referred me to the Marmot rep for warranty service. I followed the Marmot rep’s instructions by using their web site to get a RO# and then mailed my jacket in.
A Marmot representative called me and very nicely explained the proper care of a Marmot PreCip jacket. I hadn’t realized that I was supposed to wash it in the washing machine with powdered detergent and dry it in the dryer on low. (Click here for a video on proper laundering of raingear.)
Then he promptly sent me a brand new Marmot PreCip jacket. That made me a very happy Marmot indeed. Any company can periodically have a bad product. The good companies stand behind their products and make things right when a problem occurs. Marmot is a good company and deserves your business. Besides, the PreCip is a wonderful rain jacket for hikers.
Kristin Hostetter was interested in my defective jacket photo because she’s currently finalizing a book that will be called “The Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair,” published by Falcon Press. It’s due out around March of 2012. She’ll be using my photo as an example of when to call the manufacturer. I for one will be in line to buy a copy. Even after all my hiking experience, it appears I still have a lot to learn about gear maintenance.
by Sue Freeman