Built For Life: 15 Products Backed By Lifetime Warrantees
From backpacks and boots to kitchen knives and kamado grills.
Whenever you buy something, you gamble. Will the sole of this boot wear out too quickly? Will this supposedly well-built umbrella be forced inside out by a gust of wind? Will a wheel on this “rugged” rolling luggage stop spinning if it’s so much as looked at funny by a TSA baggage handler? You do you research and weigh the pros and cons in your head and hope that if you lay down good money for something, it lasts for at least a few good years.
The gear here lasts far longer than that. All of the items listed — including luggage, backpacks, umbrellas, boots, kitchen knives, and more — are backed by lifetime warranty, a promise from the maker that if anything happened on their end — and, often, during its life with you — they have you covered. In short, they believe in their products and the use you’ll get out of them. Here are 15 of our favorite products backed by a lifetime guarantee.
As anyone who has dealt with a collapsed drugstore version three seconds into opening it in a thunderstorm can attest, a quality umbrella is worth the investment. Davek, maker of excellent mini and full-size umbrellas, come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee: if the umbrella you purchase isn’t working properly for any reason, simply pay shipping, and you’ll receive a free repair or replacement. Our favorite is the flagship Davek Solo, which features the Davek WindFibre Frame System and strong, 190-thread count fabric for maximum wind resistance.
Osprey Packs and Bags
Osprey makes some of the sturdiest backpacks and bags on the market, everything from rolling duffel bags to hardcore hiking packs. All of their products are covered by Osprey’s All Mighty Guarantee, which states that “Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday.” If you’re in the market for a quality guaranteed pack, take a look at the Daylite Plus, a 20 L model made of nylon tough enough to be covered by this guarantee despite weighing only one pound.
Eddie Bauer Apparel, Footwear, and Outdoor Gear
The venerable retailer offers an unconditional lifetime guarantee. “Every item we sell will give you complete satisfaction or you may return it for a full refund” is a simple sentence and a trademarked phrase that sums it up. Eddie Bauer’s products aren’t flashy — they’re refined classics that get the job done — like these waterproof leather work boots with rubber outsole.
Duluth Trading Company Workwear
Duluth’s hyper-rugged branding extends to their lifetime warranty, which they call a “No Bull Guarantee.” It states that “If you’re not 100% satisfied with any item you purchase, return it to us at any time for a refund of its purchase price.” That means that if you pick up the cotton canvas and flannel Limber Jacket, you can rest assured that the metal snaps and water- and stain-repellant FendOff finish won’t let you down.
Zippo Windproof Lighters
Zippo lighters are iconic. Part of the reason they’ve been popular for so long is their build quality. The company’s warranty covers the actual functionality of the lighter, not the finish, but the patina of a well-worn Zippo is something to be enjoyed, not repaired. Zippo has not shied away from promotional branding, but we prefer a lighter with a simpler design like this replica of a 1941 model.
Darn Tough Socks
The Vermont-based hosier has an unconditional lifetime guarantee. You can exchange your socks for another pair if they’re not “the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned,” a pretty loose set of criteria. It covers everything from thick winter socks to running socks to hiking socks like the Hiker Micro Crew Casual. If you get a hole on a hike or somehow find them wanting, you can fill out an online form to return that pair in exchange for a new one. That’s a darn good deal.
CutCo Knives and Kitchen Tools
The CutCo Forever guarantee has been around since 1949. It promises that its knives, kitchen tools, cookware and outdoor merchandise will be “as good tomorrow as the first time they used it.” If there’s something wrong with one of their products, the company will repair or replace it. If knives need sharpening, they’ll do so for cheap (just $9 for up to 10 items to start). And if you mess up your knife outside of normal use, you can get a new one for half of its usual price. Their flagship knives, including the 7-5/8-inch petite chef’s knife, can be guaranteed because their high-carbon, stainless steel blades are just as durable as they sound.
Vermont Teddy Bear Company
Kids can be really hard on their toys, particularly stuffed animals they tote around everywhere, so the lifetime guarantee from the Vermont Teddy Bear Company is truly remarkable. If anything happens to your kid’s bear, all you have to do is fill out a form and mail it to the company’s Bear Hospital, where they will make all the necessary repairs. Kids can even follow the progress of their bear in the virtual hospital site set up by the company.
Briggs & Riley Luggage
Your luggage would be pristine if it never left the house, but that’s not what luggage is for. From sprints through the airport to trips through the checked baggage system, traveling takes its toll. Briggs and Riley will repair, free of charge, all functional damage to the luggage you buy from them. Cosmetic wear and tear isn’t included, but a well-worn suitcase is a sign of a well-traveled person, and who cares if your luggage is scuffed if it still works as well as it did the day you bought it? To repair something that needs fixing, just pay to ship it to the company. They’ll do the repairs and ship it back for free. Start with the standard Sympatico International Expandable Carry-On Spinner and add whatever other pieces, from checked luggage to toiletry bags, you’ll need for your adventures.
Craftsman Hand Tools
With a few exceptions, Craftsman offers a full lifetime warranty on its hand tools, no proof of purchase required. That means that when you buy a set of socket wrenches, it will be not only the only set you ever have to buy but, if you pass them down, the only set your kids will have to buy. Every handle, socket and extender in the kit is made of steel, so in a very real way they’re the perfect product: so strong you couldn’t mess them up even if you tried.
Kryptonite Bike Locks
There’s no point in buying a shoddy bike lock, so picking one with a strong warranty behind it is a necessity for those not looking to waste their money (and potentially lose their bike). Kryptonite has a lifetime limited warranty on the materials and workmanship that go into its locks. As long as it’s properly sized for your bike and you don’t use it for anything besides locking up your bike (and what else might you even use it for?) Kryptonite locks like the cleverly named New York Fahgettaboudit Mini U-Lock are covered. Combined with anti-theft protection of $5,000, it’s hard to think of a bike lock that could provide more peace of mind.
Victorinox Knives and Tools
Victorinox makes a bunch of different knives and tools, but you probably know them best as the manufacturer of the Swiss Army knife, the classic pocketknife. And if you start carrying a Pioneer Alox Limited Edition, your go-to blade, reamer, can opener, 3 mm screwdriver, bottle opener, 7.5 mm screwdriver, wire stripper and key ring are protected by a lifetime warranty should anything break in the course of your adventures.
Big Green Egg Ceramic Grills
Big Green Eggs are big investments (of green), so it’s comforting to know that the company stands behind all of its grills with a limited lifetime warranty. It covers the ceramic, metal and wood components of its grills, which come in sizes from Mini to XLarge, and can only be purchased from local dealers. The medium size will run you about $800 depending on your market and dealer, a sizable investment but one you can be confident in thanks to the warranty.
Lodge Porcelain Enamel on Cast Iron Cookware
An important caveat: Lodge does not provide a lifetime warranty on its cast iron pans. What is covered are all of its porcelain products like its dutch ovens, available in a number of bright colors on the outside and an off white finish on the inside that makes it easy to see its contents. If you discover a defect in the course of normal household use Lodge will repair or replace your cookware free of charge.
Like umbrellas, you probably don’t think much about flashlights until you suddenly need one. If you’re looking for a quality flashlight to use during your next power outage or overnight camping trip, definitely consider a SureFire. Some of their products have components like headbands or rechargeable batteries that will wear out and aren’t covered, but a standard 5.6-inch tactical LED flashlight doesn’t have any such components, so it’s effectively a comprehensive warranty that will cover any future needed repairs or replacements, however unlikely they may be.