Having just returned from thru-hiking the AT, I need to blow off steam about the amount of gear failure I saw this year. Thru-hikers reported various niggling but discouraging small failures of items ranging from filter systems to tents, but without a good survey, it is impossible to estimate whether these failures were random or systematic. The following were too obvious to be ignored or passed over. Has anyone else noticed...
1. Osprey and Gregory packs disintegrating in ways ranging from obnoxious (broken stays and pulled out compressor straps) to fatal (shoulder strap attachment seam failure);
2. Shoes falling apart. Starting with the worst I saw or experienced personally: Golite trail runners (more than one model), Lafuma trail runners, Asolo midweight boots, Montrail trail runners. Golites lasted less than 70 miles before the uppers began to fall apart. They disintegrated completely by 150 miles. No kidding. Lafumas did little better. Asolos and Montrails had upper (seam and fabric failure) and sole failures (delamination) that generally did not occur until between 150 and 300 miles.
Perhaps a survey is in order.