105 of 135 people found the following review helpful
Let's be honest about the value
, March 22, 2013
The North Face Basecamp duffle appears heavy duty and comes with a "lifetime" warranty. But let's get real for a moment. I bought an XL and an L thinking that I'd be able to use these for years to come. But these things are easily damaged used as checked luggage. Nothing sharp inside, my bag, nonetheless, got a major slice through both the nylon bottom the the rubberized material when I picked up the bag after the flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis. Though nothing was missing, some of the contents was hanging out through the hole. If this had happened to my XL bag that was carrying my gear for climbing Kilimanjaro I would have been in some deep trouble. I was lucky.
But this bag clearly isn't up to the task of air travel unless you actually put it inside of "real" luggage. It's probably okay if you are just throwing it in the trunk of your car. Since it isn't waterproof I wouldn't throw it in the back of your pick up.
Then what is meant by "lifetime" warranty? Well, according to The North Face, I had apparently misused the bag hence this mishap wasn't covered. Thumbing through the warranty I was also surprised to see that if the bag actually wears out from mormal use, that isn't covered.
Currently the Large sells for about $163 on Amazon--which is a VERY expensive duffle bag. Is it suitable for airline use? No. Is it waterproof? No, you either need to put it in something waterproof, or put the contents in something waterproof. Will it protect the contents any better than a typical duffle? No. An army surplus bag is likely to protect your contents as well for far less money.
What you are really getting for paying a premium for a Basecamp duffle? You are getting to advertise the North Face name in big bold lettering and getting to believe you have a superior product when it's just run of the mill. It's not a terrible product, just a terrible value.
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