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What's the Difference Between Wear & Tear and Manufacturing Defects

Most, if not all, warranty programs for outdoor apparel cover what are called “manufacturing defects” and do not cover “wear & tear.” That’s what makes our new TREW Warranty - specifically our extended Tried + TREW Coverage - so unique in covering both types of product issues for qualified purchases.

But what's the difference between these two designations? How can you determine whether a product issue is a result of a manufacturing defect or wear & tear? Let's dive in...

Manufacturing Defects

What are manufacturing defects? Manufacturing defects can and may include all defects due to the construction, design, or material components of the garment. These are defects that are pre-existing upon purchase, although not necessarily apparent or visible yet. In short, these are issues (or defects) that are present before you even receive the product and only come to light once you begin using it.

    Are manufacturing defects covered by warranty? Yes, manufacturing defects are covered under our standard Factory Warranty. Outerwear is covered for three years after the date of purchase, and all other TREW products are covered for one year after the date of purchase.

    Examples of common manufacturing defects that we see:

    • Several stitches failing
    • Velcro, snap, or other closures failing
    • Missing or broken drawstrings and cords
    • Unusual delamination of the fabrics or seam tape
    • Any rips or tears that appear due to improper construction (along seams or at critical junctions)

    Photos of these different examples of manufacturing defects can be found here.

    Wear & Tear

    What is wear & tear? Wear & tear is exactly as it sounds: damage incurred during normal and intended use of the product that has rendered the garment unwearable or significantly hindered the expected performance of the garment. This does not mean the garment will look like new after many months of hard use. We expect our customers to wear our gear well and often, and this will understandably take a toll on any sewn garment. Some visible wear is expected.

    Is wear & tear covered by warranty? Typically, no. But starting October 1, 2020 all full price TREW outerwear purchases will come with our Tried + TREW Coverage, giving you one year of protection from wear & tear issues.

    Examples of common wear & tear issues that we see are:

    • Rips and tears (not along seams or at critical junctions)
    • Slices on cuff fabric (including Superfabric) 

    Photos of these different examples of wear & tear can be found here.


    We also categorize zipper failures and malfunctions into 'manufacturing defects' or 'wear & tear', but this process follows a different logic than the rest of the materials and components that we use in our gear. Instead of being based on the exact issue that has occurred, zipper issues are considered manufacturing defects for the first year after purchase; after that first year, all zipper issues will be considered wear & tear. 

    Why do we categorize zippers differently? Over the years we have found that, because of the nature of zippers and their prominent use on our products, any and all manufacturing defects will come to light well before the first year of using an item is complete. 

    Are zippers covered by warranty? Yes! Zipper malfunctions and failures are covered for the first year after purchase on all outerwear purchases (unless voided per our warranty policy). Any issues that arise after one year will not be covered by warranty. 

    For more information about all things zippers, check out our page Here's What You Should Know About Zippers.

    NOTE: It is possible to void your warranty 

    While this is mentioned in several places on our site, it is important to state here that there are product issues that will not be covered by warranty and it is also possible to void your warranty - check out our TREW Warranty for all of the details.

    The most common issues NOT covered by warranty are any damages incurred during improper or unintended use of the product. This is where we get to say, “you’re doing it wrong.” Here are some examples:

    • Zipper damage due to lift tickets or zip ties attached to zippers (more on that here)
    • Cuff damage due to walking on and dragging your cuffs through a parking lot (pull your pants up, young’n!)
    • Burns (bless up, but be careful)
    • Stains 
    • Damage caused by external accessories (knee braces, harnesses, backpacks)
    • Damage caused by improper care (think shrinking, pilling, and color fading)
    • Damage done to your item(s) while improperly using or wearing it while partaking in an unintended use (white river kayaking, snowmobiling, skydiving, and go kart racing all fall in this category. Sorry, guys!)