Where will this one take me?
Growing up I would often see products by The North Face (TNF). Mostly sleeping bags and jackets. I’d go to Sport Chalet and look at the items that were too expense. Looking back now, I know my parents could have afforded them, but we didn’t live in the outdoors or go skiing all winter long. Living in SoCal my life didn’t demand I had ‘the best’ winter coat. I understand that now. Then, I was just a punk kid that wanted the thing I didn’t have.
Well, I’ve grown up and have made some purchases of my own. About 8 years ago I purchased a TNF jacket. I wanted something waterproof / windproof that I could use as an outer layer. It was my go to jacket for anything that called for a rain jacket, or when I had the need to double up on layers for real cold temps. I had it for a couple of years.
I came to really appreciate how well built it was. The hood fit just right, synched in all the right places. Sleeves fit me well, nothing bunched. Zipper was always great. Totally waterproof. Great jacket. When I was asked to join a group of guys heading to the top of Mt. Whitney, it came with me.
Shortly after that climb the lining in the hood started to fray. It wasn’t a heavy wear spot, so I knew it was due to a manufacturers defect. TNF has a 100% guarantee on their products, so I turned it in to try out their customer service. It took them about a month, I know because I missed the jacket, but they got back to me. They sent me a TNF gift card that I immediately took to their store and bought two jackets with. Another shell and an inner fleece jacket, giving me really three jackets. I could wear the two separately, or together for when it really got cold. I was stoked. TNF customer service rocked.
A couple years later I was asked to go to Sitka Alaska on a guys fishing trip with my brother. without hesitating I accepted and knew I couldn’t go to Alaska without a great outer shell. It came with me.
A few months later the hood started to fray in the same location my last one had. Bummer. This jacket has been as good fitting, and as well built as the last one. I’d gone for a much louder color this time, but was just as happy. So, I took it back to TNF and asked them to warranty it again. There were a few more questions this time when turning it in. But I sent it away and it took about a month for me to hear back from them. This time I received a gift card for the same amount I’d purchased it for. And the same amount it would cost me to purchase another – just like the first.
I’m excited to see where this one will take me and the memories we’ll make together. 🙂