Saturday, April 12, 2014

Arcteryx Waterproofs Warning

I bought a new set of Arcteryx Goretex salopettes last November. Those that know me will know that I rave about them as I have had 2 sets previously and they have been superb. Unfortunately this set started leaking quite badly within a few weeks of them arriving. They cost £380 and so I sent them back to Arcteryx to see what the problem was. This is the first time I have ever had to send a piece of kit back but knowing that Arcteryx put an emphasis on quality I was not concerned.

After several emails backwards and forwards they wanted to know what trousers I wore underneath my salopettes and here is the final response I got:

Hi Rob,

I see that the Patagonia Guide Pants have quite a few zippers and the sliders are what have most likely been causing this abrasion. Rob, our bib pants are more meant to be worn over base layers, not another pair of  technical semi waterproof pant such as a guide pant. Zippers and clasps will create raised areas under the Bibs and these areas will be more susceptible to abrasion. Rob, if I replace the pants for you, the same thing is going to happen unless you wear a different pant underneath. I can look at seeing if the original pants are able to be fixed, but as expressed to me, there were quite a few holes in the pants.

Lauren Ota
Warranty Service Representative
ARC'TERYX Equipment Inc

The end result - the salopettes I sent them have been recycled and I have no waterproof trousers. I was not aware that we should not wear soft-shell trousers under a hard shell so thought I would share this with you all to avoid you making the same costly mistake! For those days in the UK where you wear a soft-shell for the majority of the day and slip a hard shell over the top when it rains - you will need to buy something other than Arcteryx!


Ben Weeks said...

Bearing in mind the cost of Arc'teryx gear that seems ridiculous. Hardshell over softshell is hardly an unusual occurrence. Mind you, I wonder if this is unique to Arc'teryx?

Andy Barker said...

I've had the same issue with other closeish fitting shell bottoms.. I tend to wear them from start of the day now in winter, as trousers with powerstretch or similars as a base layer. Abrasion resistance of outer layer seems to be generally good but inside not so as you've discovered. I keep a cheaper, more resilient pair for use over summer trousers in the rain or when scuffing about on rocky terrain. My ME Changabang trousers and jacket have lasted a bit longer this way..

Rob Johnson said...

I wonder if this is an issue with the new Goretex Pro as I have been wearing shell over soft-shell for 20 years and never had this problem before. Its also not something that is pointed out on the Arcteryx website.

Patrick Schofield said...

How many pairs of Mountain Equipment salopetes could you get for the same money these days ? I have used those over a pair of Mammut softshell trousers in scottish winter and they were great,I normally try and avoid softshell and hardshell layers together particularly on steep stuff as breathability is impaired. I have wondered what the advantage of paying that much is, I suppose the fit is very good, but do they last twice as long ? I trust you got a refund and have found an alternative. Good luck and take care. Pads

Rob Johnson said...

Hi Pads

Unfortunately they have not given me a refund or a replacement and have not sent me my original waterproofs back either despite my request to do so.

In the past the extra money has been worthwhile as the fit is good, they have lasted well and have been truly waterproof whereas others haven't.

I am now a little disappointed!



Stephen H said...

That's disgraceful that they won't send them back to you, too. Something of an argument for wearing a cheaper pair that are allowed to be damaged, perhaps?

Simon White said...

I would feel really let down by that. £300+ is a lot of money for a premium product and I would expect a replacement. Its certainly put me off there shell products. How did you contact them, have they got a UK importer or is it there Canadian base? And do they know you work in the mountains and aren't just a weekend adventurer?

Rob Johnson said...

Hi Steve, I have always taken the view that I am happy to pay more for a premium product but when you get this level of performance and customer service combined it makes me question whether its actually just a premium price.

Rob Johnson said...

Hi Simon

I sent them back to Switzerland who in turn put me in touch with their Canadian HQ. I have been upfront that I am an instructor using them full time for mountaineering and skiing but nothing more arduous than any other previous pair.