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old, new gear


Original Post
JRZane · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 90

I ordered a couple dogbones from a well-known online retailer. when they arrived, one is dated 2012 and the other 2013. Now I take pretty good care of my gear, it stays in my gear room (extra bedroom) in a tote when not in use. And I'm pretty careful about caring for my gear when in use as well.

should I be concerned that my new quickdraw is essentially already 3 and 4 years old? Should I send them back and ask for newer ones or a refund? Am I just being paranoid?

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

If you don't feel safe about a piece of gear, that gear isn't safe.

TBH, nylon degrades over time, more so when exposed to UV. The bigger problem here is that the use history of the gear is either unknown or suspect.

I am of the opinion that the gear is *probably* safe, particularly if it came in the original packaging and there are no signs of wear or damage. However, I think you would be well within your rights to return the gear and ask for something newer.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745

It's fine. There's not a manufacturer out there that wouldn't be OK with unused gear for at least that long.

Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

It's fine even if you don't believe it's not fine. Thinking it's not ok doesn't make it unsafe.

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Kevin Mokracek wrote:It's fine even if you don't believe it's not fine. Thinking it's not ok doesn't make it unsafe.
Not literally, but figuratively. I think of it as if you don't trust the gear, don't use it. That said, there's a line between knowing when to trust gear vs blindly trusting gear.

My justification for this is that if you don't trust your gear, you'll likely worry about it way more than you should. To me, that worry will distract you from other things. For most climbers, I feel that they're reasonable and sane enough to recognize when something is really janky. Essentially, you'll climb safer if you knowingly trust (i.e. not blindly trusting) all of your gear.

Another way to put it is your life isn't worth not replacing something you don't feel safe about.

I suppose the wording really should have been "If you don't feel safe about using a piece of gear, then that gear isn't safe for you to use/don't use that gear".
Kevin Mokracek · · Burbank · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 200

I understand, I was just making a point. Gear today for the most part is super bomber and way overkill and should be the last thing you worry about. I'm still using slings from 20 years ago that have been well taken care of and out of UV rays except for days climbing. It might be 10% weaker but thats still way stronger than any force could generate and if I did I'd probably want the sling to break anyway.

Andrew Kagan · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

I asked this question recently of Camp, after deciphering the datecode on a newly purchased tricam revealed it was 4 yrs old. Their response was the same as most other nylon-using gear mftrs...up to 10 yrs packed away out of the sun, not exposed to any chemical agents, is fine. Any longer than that and it's use at your own risk.

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,610

I retire all soft gear @ 6 years. I would contact sellers, get fresh.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
ntlhui wrote: Not literally, but figuratively. I think of it as if you don't trust the gear, don't use it.
I agree with that.

ntlhui wrote: To me, that worry will distract you from other things.


Also agreed.

ntlhui wrote: Essentially, you'll climb safer if you knowingly trust (i.e. not blindly trusting) all of your gear. Another way to put it is your life isn't worth not replacing something you don't feel safe about.
For 3 year old gear, it's not about safety. And certainly not about "your life". No one's going to die b/c 3 y.o. gear explodes. AT WORST, it's about holding back at the moment of truth because you're scared of the gear. So really, all that's at stake is your onsight or redpoint. It's not about living vs. dying. Not with 3 y.o. gear.
Chris treggE · · Madison, Beersconsin · Joined May 2007 · Points: 9,295
Andrew Kagan wrote:...up to 10 yrs packed away out of the sun, not exposed to any chemical agents, is fine.
It's fine if you don't mind buying something you thought was new and had 10 years in it, but has lost 3-4 of those years already by the time you got it.
Khoi · · Vancouver, BC · Joined Oct 2009 · Points: 45

If only you guys knew how often the soft goods (slings, draws, dogbones, harnesses, ropes, etc.) you buy are 3-4 old or older.....

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

My issue is whether or not I know where/how the gear has been stored in the n years between manufacture and shipping to me. Admittedly, from a well-known online retailer, I hope the probability of the retailer doing stupid things to the gear is essentially nonexistent, but recent events have caused me to doubt the sincerity/honesty/intelligence of some human beings.

Edit/disclaimer: This post from my perspective, and I am not the OP.

20 kN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,348

If they are brand new I wouldn't think twice about using them.

ebmudder · · Bronx, NY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 50
Chris treggE wrote: It's fine if you don't mind buying something you thought was new and had 10 years in it, but has lost 3-4 of those years already by the time you got it.
I half agree...Camp also mentioned that it could take a year or more for newly manufactured stock to actually get into the hands of a US reseller, and if you're buying it "new" from a reputable seller it's unlikely the product is anything but "new".

If you bought it expecting to use it for 10 yrs, I would reset the clock to when you received it and started using it. As others have mentioned, people have used their nylon slings for 20 yrs without them failing "catastrophically", and there are many empiric pull-tests of old well-used slings reported on this board that show them failing at greater loads than the safety window they'd see in "real world" use. (read this if you haven't already: black diamond tests of old slings)

This is for simple woven nylon slings and material. Higher-tech webbing has a shorter shelf life.

But rather than worry in the abstract about whether new(ish) gear might fail, you'd want to familiarize yourself with what gear that might fail looks like, feels like (e.g. stiff, fuzzed, riddled with broken fibers), and how it fails in real life. Then when you inspect your gear you'll know if it's suspect and should be retired.
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

To put it in perspective, I'm still climbing on 20+ year-old dog bones. Haven't died yet.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,745
the schmuck wrote:To put it in perspective, I'm still climbing on 20+ year-old dog bones. Haven't died yet.
You will.

:-)
the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Hopefully in 50 years or so :-)

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 620

It's not just climbing gear, but seemingly a lot of products. I was in EMS one day looking at a Marmot Precip jacket and the date of manufacture on the tag was 4 years prior, which leads me to believe that it had been there for a bit. Interestingly the retail price, which had gone up on the Precips in those 4 years, had also increased on that jacket as well even though it was originally less when it was manufacture, hmm...

But as far as the dogbones, I feel you. You bought something new, and it is already 3-4 years old. I had the same thing happen with some Dragon cams I bought from EMS. Not only did they show up and were 3-4 year old manufacture dates, but they had price tags from another outdoor retailer marked at a lower price than what I paid for them! I called EMS, basically they were like, "I dunno" and then told me that DMM says the slings are good for 10 years so they should be fine. Just in case anyone is wondering why EMS is having such trouble..

Chris, as far as the car having 200 miles on it when you picked it up, it's more than likely because they swapped with another dealer to get the car you wanted. They drove it from the other dealership which was probably close to that far away, give or take depending on how many test drives it had been on prior to being swapped. Totally normal thing, dealers don't really order cars anymore, they get what they are allocated and if they need a specific car they find it at another dealer and then trade with them.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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