Crazu Product Review: Lands End


Lands End is a Product, a Brand Name, with which I feel totally comfortable; like my favorite comfort food or a favorite blanket on the sofa.  Lands End Products are all over the house: everybody’s clothing closet; the store room in luggage in which other items are stored; in both Jeeps where emergency gear is corralled and findable when needed; on the Suzuki King Quad ATV holding bungees and tie down straps; and on the Harley Davidson holding my never give up day pack.  This is good stuff; high quality and long lasting.  Moreover, their Customer Service is Top Notch.

I was trying to remember when I bought my first item from Lands End and I’m thinking the late 60’s but leaning more toward the early 70’s. That was back in the days when Lands End had lots of boating hardware and a few pieces of clothing.  The first item about which I am fairly sure is a Leatherman I bought in the early 80’s; I still have it.

And then we started buying luggage, or a briefcase to be precise.  We were living on the Chesapeake Bay (literally at Lands End) where I was doing a land development project, working with some Washington, D.C./Sydney, Australia based folks.  The briefcase was the perfect accoutrement matching my personality, sartorial habits, and my locations.  It just “fit in.”

I am recalling with a smile on my face when the now bride of 32 years attempted to wash the briefcase and it sort of got shall we say ruined, and I recycled it as a storage place for jumper cables and assorted other emergency pieces to store in the Jeep Cherokee.  I immediately bought a new briefcase along with two or three pieces of matching luggage; tan with leather cornering and piping.  Although we have added over the years other styles of luggage, the Lighthouse line for example, and as the kids grow up and “steal” dad’s luggage, we still have all of our original pieces.  We still have the Jeep, too.

We came to know the brand and to trust its quality and customer service, and there has been no looking back since.  I wouldn’t even attempt to list in its entirety all of the product purchased from Lands End. But since I knew I was going to write this I went to the closet and counted how many turtle neck shirts I have from Lands End – a dozen; and probably that many sweaters of all styles, two of which are my favorites – the cardigans with a rolled collar with leather patches on the elbows, one tan and one blue.  I still wear them on chilly nights here in Costa Rica.

When I retired and we moved here I completely changed my dressing style when I bought a Harley Davidson.  As might be expected my wardrobe was severely lacking in motorcycle friendly attire, with one possible exception.  Contrary to popular belief about Costa Rica a jacket is needed for some daytime use and a lot of nighttime use; especially on a Harley.  My very first “biker” jacket was a Lands End (Barracuda G-9 style) type (James Dean) red jacket with tartan lining.  I sewed a Harley patch on the back and was good to go.

Also, other than American Express, a Breitling, Ray Bans, Swiss Army Knife and Classic Cross pen, I never leave home without my “bikers” Lands End backpack, my day pack. Nor does for that matter my lovely wife who carries her mobile office in her Lands End backpack or my son who carries his bungees and tie down straps in his Lands End backpack in the ATV.  All of our Nikon camera gear fits nicely in another Lands End backpack.

My “bikers” Lands End backpack is at least 20 years old, originally purchased for my son who was way too cool in 6th grade to carry a “parents purchase” so later on I re-tasked it to be the biker bag having had sewn in a pocket on the back to fit over the “sissy bar” on the back of the Harley.  This bag has been to most of the Central American countries; has about 100,000 kilometers on it; is missing every YKK zipper pulls except one; two of which I have managed to save oh these long years and has a fair amount of its plastic white tubing sewn in on the seams either missing or showing through thread bare piping.  It’s beautiful and I wouldn’t get rid of it for the world.

Once, while toting a set of pipes for the bike standing straight up in the main compartment of the backpack, the pipes fell out pulling the backpack over the rear of the bike, and proceeded to drag the backpack for some meters before I was able to pull over and stop.  The front panel, where the “shorter” compartment is located, was ripped to shreds.  Still, not wanting to give up the backpack,  I had that panel replaced with a piece of black leather, saving the Lands End patch and sewing it right back on, surrounded by a country flag from every country in Central America just above my group’s patch.  I had already had two patches from the Costa Rican “Traffic Police” sewn on to commemorate that organization.

With all of the different Product we have from Lands End it would be difficult to name a favorite.  I love the comfy snugly feeling of the turtlenecks and sweaters and we probably have over a dozen Lands End bags/backpacks/luggage. But for sure the Lands End Product most used/worn everyday in our house is the sleeveless vest.  Everybody in the family has at least one.  I practically live in them without anything underneath or with full tee shirt and/or shirt underneath.  Here the key is Pockets – can’t have too many pockets.  If you made me pick a favorite I’d probably say the sleeveless tee shirts, now discontinued I think, that came in white, black, black and gray, and blue and white.  I bought two of each and I just love them.  Dress them up with a blazer over top, or dress down with black Levi’s while going vroom, vroom, vroom.  They are not made of normal tee shirt material, but rather a nice wicking polyester.

For those of you who are still thinking about my ratty looking day pack, and saying to yourselves, “why doesn’t he just send it back to Lands End and they’ll replace it?”.  Yes, I know.  Lands End is right up there in terms of Customer Service with American Express, Zippo, and Maglite (I could go on, and all are USA made, by the way).  But that’s just the thing. I don’t want another day bag.  I’d probably go just as crazy as our son did when he was 3 years old and I asked his mother to cut off the frayed and terrible looking filthy satin border off of his “blankey”.  She couldn’t get it sewn back on fast enough.  See what I’m sayin’?  Pura vida


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