A lifetime warranty on a backpack is usually the best assurance that it’s going to last, but they are not always quite what they seem – and Eddie Bauer is no exception.
In fact, the warranty that Eddie Bauer gives for their backpacks has changed significantly recently and they no longer offer the unconditional lifetime guarantee that made them such an appealing option just a few years ago.
Read ahead to find out exactly what has changed when it comes to these backpacks and what their warranty actually looks like now.
Who Is Eddie Bauer?
Before we get into the details of the warranty that they offer (and what happened to their lifetime guarantee), we should take a look at the company itself and find out what Eddie Bauer is all about.
Eddie Bauer is a clothing store chain that is distinctly American, although they also operate stores in Canada and Germany.
It started life in 1920 as “Eddie Bauer’s Tennis Shop”, which Eddie Bauer himself opened in the back of a local fishing and hunting store at just 20 years old.
When Bauer opened his first store, he came up with the company creed, which to this day reads “To give you such outstanding quality, value, service and guarantee that we may be worthy of your high esteem”.
This idea of producing products and services at such a high standard was why they originally offered a lifetime warranty on their products – but that policy is no longer in place.
Nowadays, Eddie Bauer operates around 370 locations and employs about 7,000 people, bringing in an estimated revenue of 1 billion dollars in 2021.
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What Bags Do Eddie Bauer Sell?
As an outdoor gear and sportswear brand, Eddie Bauer has always had a respectable line of backpacks and bags, which were made all the more appealing because of the unconditional lifetime guarantee that they used to come with.
Although their warranty may not be the same as it used to be, Eddie Bauer does offer a great selection when it comes to bags, and it is not just backpacks that you can find in their stores.
Their current product line includes:
- Duffel Bags
- Crossbody Bags
- Technical Packs
- Tote Bags
They range from breathable, lightweight hiking bags to heavy-duty traveling backpacks to more stylish everyday options.
Eddie Bauer bags are mainly, however, designed for travelers and adventurers, so surely, they should be built to last.
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Did Eddie Bauer Backpack Offer A Lifetime Warranty?
You have probably heard of the Eddie Bauer lifetime warranty for their backpacks as it is quite a famous offer in the industry – similar to those for other brands like Adidas.
What you might not know, however, is that this guarantee has recently been removed.
The warranty that you used to get was what they called an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee, and the company was actually one of the first retailers to offer this kind of agreement.
Eddie Bauer himself said: “My greatest contribution to the consumer was our 100% unconditional lifetime guarantee.”
What Was The Eddie Bauer Backpack Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee?
Although it was better than the offer they currently have, the “100% unconditional lifetime guarantee” was never actually as all-encompassing as it sounded.
You might take that wording to mean that you could get a replacement bag no matter what, but it didn’t actually work that way.
The wording of their guarantee was that “if your product fails, Eddie Bauer will replace it”. This essentially meant that you were only covered for manufacturing or material defects – not necessarily for any damage or failure that might occur due to general usage.
This lifetime guarantee has since been rescinded and it is no longer offered for any Eddie Bauer products. The new version of their warranty is similar in some ways, but it is more restrictive overall.
What Is The Eddie Bauer Backpack Warranty Now?
Now, the warranty that you get with an Eddie Bauer backpack is more specific about what you are covered for, and how long that coverage lasts.
When you buy an Eddie Bauer product, you can return it within one year of the purchasing date for a replacement or a refund. You are only eligible if there is a defect in the materials or workmanship.
They still say that their products are designed to last, and they manufacture to the “highest quality standards”, but this new version of their warranty doesn’t express quite as much faith in their backpacks as their lifetime guarantee used to.
Compared to some other warranties on the market, the new guarantee from Eddie Bauer is actually quite limited.
What Is Covered?
If you buy a backpack from Eddie Bauer today, you only get a generic “product guarantee”, rather than a “100% unconditional lifetime guarantee”, but what are you actually covered for?
Eddie Bauer offers refunds or replacements only if there is “a defect in materials or workmanship” and the guarantee explicitly excludes “normal wear and tear and damage caused by misuse or accidents.”
As this kind of wear or damage is what is most likely to cause you problems with a backpack, it might feel like you are not getting much of a warranty at all.
In reality, though, the original “unconditional lifetime guarantee” didn’t cover you for much more. It was only ever supposed to cover defects and manufacturing issues (i.e., when the products “failed”), and you will find that a lot of other “lifetime warranties” also exclude normal wear and tear.
How Long Are You Covered For?
Perhaps the biggest difference between the old warranty and the new one is how long that coverage lasts.
Now, you can only claim a refund or a replacement within one year of purchasing.
This is much more limiting than a “lifetime” of coverage and it shows what their warranty is now all about.
Eddie Bauer has made it clear that they are guaranteeing that their products are well made and built for purpose.
If the product lasts for a year without you noticing any faults, then they feel like that’s proof of its quality – whether you agree or not is another matter entirely.
With that being said, you might still get an exchange or replacement for a similar item even after a year has passed – as long as the product has been deemed defective.
How Can You Make A Claim?
If you do want to make a claim, it is pretty simple to do. You can either return your products to a store or mail them to:
4599 Fisher Rd,
Columbus OH, 43228
You will need to also send the receipt or another proof of purchase, otherwise, you will only be eligible for an exchange or replacement and not a refund.
If Eddie Bauer agrees that your product was defective in some way, then they will send your refund back to the original payment method.
So, what is the Eddie Bauer backpack warranty and how does it work?
Unfortunately, Eddie Bauer no longer offers a 100% unconditional lifetime guarantee on their backpacks – or any of their other products for that matter.
Now, you are only covered by their general “product guarantee” instead.
This allows you to get a replacement or a refund within one year of purchase, and only if there is a defect in the materials or workmanship.
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