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Customer Review

105 of 135 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 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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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 30, 2013 12:29:39 AM PST
H. Singh says:
I was about to purchase this bag, but would not do so now, thanks to your review. My main requirement was to use it as checked-in baggage for air travel, and if the warranty doesn't cover the damage during baggage handling, then I don't see the point in purchasing it.

Thanks for your review.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2013 12:36:11 PM PST
Jesse says:
The OP should probably have brought the damage to the attention of the airline that caused the damage.

Posted on Dec 7, 2013 1:05:14 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 7, 2013 1:17:14 PM PST
Sorry to hear about your bad luck.
I have the large Duffel and it has been around the world (1st world - 3rd world) as a check on bag. It works and I'm happy with what I spent.
Most warranties cover the "life of the product under normal use and against manufacturers defects" not your lifetime.
It appears that the airline damaged the bag and it sounds like an isolated incident. Also, TNF doesn't claim the bag is waterproof.
Common sense says if you want crush proof, get a hard case, and if you want water proof. find sealed bags. (NRS makes river bags that are waterproof.)
Oh yeah, Kilimanjaro is an multi-day hike, not a climb.

Posted on Jan 26, 2015 5:28:41 PM PST
Should have brought the damage to the attention of the airline...and lets be honest nothing is truly waterproof as they only claim to be water resistant.

Posted on Mar 24, 2015 9:31:03 AM PDT
Richard says:
I have several of these bags in assorted sizes. I work offshore and also travel to dive locations in the Caribbean. Already two of my bags have small holes in them on the sides, being damaged by the airlines carousels or baggage handlers (checked bags). It's possible to get water ingress through the zippers since they're not sealed. Several times my bag was left out in the rain, and the contents were damp, so seal up your valuables in waterproof bags before sticking them in this duffel. So I agree on what you said about the costs verses value. I still continue to use them but likely won't buy any more once these wear out.

Posted on May 16, 2015 7:06:44 PM PDT
Jamie says:
Thanks for your review. It's good to know what the company honors as far as warrantee, and those saying you should have taken it up with the airline have clearly never had to make a claim. I had the inside of a very expensive tuba case shredded at LAX by them looking for things hidden in the foam I guess, and when I complained about it basically being ruined I was told I should have paid extra for delicate handling. They did nothing, and my only option was to take them to small claims court, which wasn't worth it. I was hoping "bomb" proof would be sturdier, so I'll go with something else.

Posted on Apr 25, 2016 7:05:25 AM PDT
Amazonian says:
I have always been amazed at the power of marketing. TNF has never appealed to me due to the 1) Price of their products 2) Quality relative to the price, and 3) The fact that THE NORTH FACE is written on the outside of everything they sell. They are sort of like the Ambercombie of sportsware/sporting goods. I think you can always do better than TNF.
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Review Details

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J. Kuehn

Location: Phoenix, AZ

Top Reviewer Ranking: 92,270