Several people have commented on my post about the Golite Quest hipbelt failure asking for the latest news - well I finally received a replacement Quest pack on October 1st. It took a long time and I had to do a lot of chasing up but it reached me in the end.
By way of a summary, I’ll recap the main points from the posts: Golite are now owned by Timberland but still effectively retain some degree of autonomy, and the communication between the two sides is poor from the customer point of view, at least at the moment. I returned the pack to Winwoods, as per the Golite returns policy, and they forwarded it to Golite by DHL carrier. After a few weeks neither I nor Winwoods had heard anything, and with considerable research effort I obtained a contact number in Timberland. The very helpful guy there got his people to search around but they didn’t find the failed pack at their Slough office, and he passed on the matter to his Golite contacts. Emails were exchanged among us for a few more weeks, and finally the email I sent to the Golite Europe manager must have had some effect: he received it on his personal iPhone and replied within 5 minutes, promising he would get it sorted.
I don’t think they ever traced my old pack, or if they did they haven’t reported anything, so I received no feedback on the failure and I don’t feel inclined to follow it up. The reason for it is clear to me: although the material itself is very strong for its weight, it is nevertheless very thin on a lightweight pack, and the final strength of the finished pack is only as good as the construction: it is simply not thick enough for the stitching to get a good solid grip at the high-stress points (compare with the thick cordura and stitching on a typical Lowe Alpine hipbelt / webbing: Big Arnie couldn’t break it). It’s a fact of life with lightweight packs, you just have to treat them more carefully than the heavy monsters.
The old pack was Tempest blue but the new one they sent is crimson, which is fine - it will match my Berghaus Pro Rush Mid shoes! (although they are technically a midcut type, I call them shoes because they are lightweight and pretty low for a midcut). I even hate the word boots, it reeks of the carthorse-style walker.