Last year about this time, I was zipping the pit zip on my Sierra Design Cyclone Eco jacket and when I did so, the zipper completely pulled out of the jacket. I returned the jacket to SD for repair, however, it was their busy season and I needed the jacket back fairly soon for a hike last September. The warranty department did a make-shift repair and returned the jacket in right around 6 weeks. They told me to return the jacket when I had more time and they would fully repair it.
So, I wore the jacket up until some weeks ago without using the pit zip for fear that it would come out again. Six weeks ago I decided I could safely return the jacket and have enough time before my next hike that I would really need to take the jacket on, which is in October. So I went ahead and sent the jacket to SD via USPS priority mail.
About 3 weeks later I sent an email just wanting to get an estimated time frame for the repair, but did not get a return. I sent 2 more over the next week with no answer, so I decided to go ahead and just call. Upon speaking to a rep at SD, I was told that they were unsure if they had received my jacket, which at this time was 4 weeks from the time I mailed the jacket. I was told that he would get back in touch with me about the jacket by the next evening. I never heard back the next evening, so the next morning I called back, and again was told that they were still unsure, but he would get back in touch with me by the end of the day.
About 2 hours later I noticed a missed call and a voice mail. When I checked the voice mail I was happy to hear that they did have my jacket! However, they could not repair it and they wanted to just replace it. When I called back he explained to me that they could not repair the zipper properly so he offered me a new jacket to replace it, so gladly I said “Sure.”(Honestly, I was just happy that the jacket wasn’t lost in the mail or something!)
Now, I just had to make sure it got mailed to the right place since I am moving this very week. So I asked the rep when I should expect the jacket in the mail, and I was told that it would ship the next day (last Thursday) and I could expect it by this Tuesday. This Tuesday came and went, so did Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. However, today (Saturday) I received the jacket via FedEx. So, all is well.
My thoughts: Customer care was a little slacking, however this is the busy season for SD’s returns so it usually takes a little longer to get repairs done. SD is upfront about this on their site. Also, once I called and talked with a rep I learned that the main person over SD’s warranty department had quit a few weeks (or months?) back and has left the department in a bit of mess. I can understand this, but I cannot understand why 3 emails over the course of a week and a half went by unanswered. I was also a little concerned when I was told they did not even know if my jacket had arrived, after 4 weeks. This left me in a bit of a mess…
I had always assumed Sierra Designs to be a rather large(r) business and would be able to handle some of these matters a little better, but at least in the end they were answered, and the end result was favorable. From all of this, I have learned that a phone call is probably a better way to get answers though when I need them, and for any other instances such as this one I will resort to the phone before I do email. At this point, I do hope that the proper persons get replaced or positions get filled so that the warranty department can get back up to speed…
So, now about the jacket…
This jacket is SD’s “green” shell and is made using SD’s Tropozone Green 2.5L recycled polyester (I believe that the returned jacket used SD’s Drizone Green 2.5L recyucled polyester, but honestly I am not sure the differences at this point). Here are some of the features of the jacket as listed on the SD website:
• Fully Taped PVC-Free Seams
• Helmet Compatible, Fully Adjustable Hood with Visor
• Internal Adjustable Hem
• Adjustable Cuff
• Underarm Vents
• 1 Internal Mesh Dump Pocket and 1 Internal Zippered Mesh Pocket with Earbud Eyelet
• Condor Construction™
• Interior Tricot Chin Guard
• 3 External Waterproof Zippers
So I have obviously gotten the same jacket as I had returned, however there are some small differences. First off, I went with black instead of blue, but also, this jacket seems to be somewhat updated as compared to the one I returned, as far as some of the smaller details. Such as, the zippers on the hand-pockets on the new jacket are waterproof zippers rather than using a storm flap over the zipper. Also, the chest pocket is now slanted rather than straight up and down.
This jacket weighs 18.8 oz on my scales, so by no means is it a light-weight jacket. But I can definitely rely on this jacket under my pack, and I will be happy to carry it with me on winter trips. (Yeah, I am wanting to get a smaller / lighter-weight jacket for summers…)