Late 2007, Rowjie and I decided to save up and go back to Boracay for another vacation. But when we already came up with the money we needed, we had a change of heart. We thought Boracay could wait. And so we spent all of our savings on mountaineering gears and equipment; among them was our first ever tent: Hubba-Hubba by the Mountain Safety Research (MSR).
I love to death our Hubba-Hubba. We named it Orange (obviously, because of its color) because Hubba-Hubba seemed so long. It’s very light yet spacious and you can even keep two big backpacks inside though it already has two vestibules on each sides. Hubba-Hubba is a two-person tent but can still accommodate another one (just like what we did in Mount Daguldol). It also had pockets wherein we can keep important belongings. Back then, it was a head-turner for most mountaineers. The tent was purchased in the US of A and a bit pricey. That being said and with me being insanely obsessed with cleanliness and organization, I (we) took very good care of it except that we noticed one thing.
The rain fly became seemingly more sticky after every use. We just ignored it and thought maybe it was how it was designed. And after more uses, the sticky flysheet became a hard and dry piece of fabric; the waterproofing laminate was no longer there. It could no longer withstand a night of continuous rain. We even almost got flooded during our Mount Kanlaon climb in 2010! And that was when we said that we were about to lose our first baby (oh yes, Hubba-Hubba is one of our many-first babies).
No waterproofing spray nor tape could restore its beauty. Hence, we decided to purchase a new tent by The North Face, Tadpole 23. We didn’t know what to do with the old Hubba-Hubba since the tent itself is still in its pristine condition. We just needed to have the flysheet repaired or replace it with a new one. But the thing was, no companies can or willing to repair it and a flysheet alone can’t be bought on its own.
Rowjie, who has this thing for reading forums, chanced upon this one website talking about tents and their warranties. He emailed someone from Cascade Designs, the maker of MSR tents and other major outdoor-related companies, and quickly got responses. Next thing I knew, we were receiving a brand new replacement at no cost, not even a single cent.
After a month of emails and further clarifications, we sent off Orange to the address we were provided (August 1 2011). We paid Php1500 for regular shipping of our package (flysheet and stuff sack) through USPS. Seven days later (August 8 2011), the package was received by Cascade Designs. The replacement set was sent immediately a day after our defective fly was delivered. As you know, we have a crappy system here in our country. We didn’t know that our new fly was already in the country three days later (August 12 2011) had we not called FEDEX. We received the package August 24 2011 and never paid a dime.
I suspect that there might be a known issue or defect on the fly hence the free replacement. But that doesn’t really matter as we received great service from its maker.
I am sharing this post not to encourage everyone who owns the same tent to take advantage of this free replacement even if their Hubba-Hubbas are still in great working condition. I am writing this to commend Cascade Designs by standing behind their products and providing us fast response and service.
Happy climbing! ☺
Kaiz is a stay-at-home mom and currently works as an Operations Specialist for a software engineering company based in the US.