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Ultralight Gear Manufacturers and Customer Service

One of the best things about owning ultralight backpacking gear is the incredible level of customer service that you receive from the small cottage industry of gear manufacturers that make this type of equipment. If you need advice or your gear needs to be repaired, these manufacturers are easy to contact and will go out of their way to help you out. These companies will treat you like a kindred spirit, not a bar code, like some of the larger gear manufacturers out there.

To give you an example, I own a Starlite backpack from Six Moon Designs. I'd used this pack pretty heavily and it was literally coming apart of the seams. This is normal with ultralight gear: there's always a trade-off between weight and robustness.

So, I contacted Ron Moak, the president, head designer, customer service rep, and webmaster of Six Moon Designs and asked if he could repair my pack by re-sewing some of the components that had torn or come apart. I was perfectly willing to pay for these repairs because I love this pack so much, but Ron immediately volunteered to repair it for free. He didn't even ask me to pay for the return postage. I did anyway, but that's pretty incredible customer service, isn't it?

7 comments

  1. I wanted to chime in here on a wonderful experience I just had with Henry Shires at Tarptent. I own a Double Rainbow and a Tyvek Sublite, both of which I dearly love.

    Last month, my family camped in Big Bend National Park. A friend borrowed the Double Rainbow and managed to break one of the Easton aluminum pole sections while striking the tent (this friend is quite big and strong). I contacted Henry and he said he’d send another section. In my email exchange with him, I also asked how I could bond a loop at the inside top of the Sublite so that I could hang a light when my grandson and I use it. He gave me advise on the adhesive to use said he’d send me some material.

    Yesterday, a package arrived with a new pole section and a custom made stitched up piece of material complete with hook. When I asked what I owed, Henry replied that it wasn’t worth the trouble to bill me for it. He also apologized for the delay in getting it to me (I hadn’t noticed any delay) since he was dealing with the death of his mother.

    I just thought this personal, incredible customer service at its best should be recognized.

  2. He did that because he knows you have a popular blog on the internet

  3. I don’t think Henry Shires was thinking of the possibility of me posting something on SectionHiker when he took care of me so well. I offered and expected to pay and certainly wouldn’t have dinged him for getting reimbursement for his services since he had every right to it but he went above and beyond, completely on his own volition.

    That’s not the first time he’s gone out of his way to handle things for me. Before I’d ever heard of SectionHiker, he made arrangements to FedEx a Sublite to me while I was in Alaska so I could have it for an anticipated hike. When the weather forecast turned sour, I contacted him and had him just send it to my home in Texas instead. That was the first I’d ever dealt with Tarptent and he was willing to jump through a bunch of hoops for someone who’d never bought anything from him in the past. What major retailer would have gone through so much trouble, especially for someone who’d never ordered before?

    Some people are easy to deal with and truly care about what they do… and I like doing business with that type of person.

  4. Tried to get to article Andrew Skuras awesome Ab workout. All that came up was an entry to win bivy sacs !!!
    Where is the workout ??

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