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Shopping can feel like a treadmill that no one can climb off. Didn’t we just buy a pallet of paper towels at the warehouse store last week? How does one cocker spaniel eat enough for an entire pack of wolves? Why is there never any coffee when we bought enough to start our own Starbucks?
It at least makes sense that groceries and perishables need to be replaced so often, but the pricier items require more judicious shopping. Buying more paper towels won’t break the bank, but no one wants to shell out for new cookware every year, and aside from Vogue supermodels, most of us aren’t buying new jackets with every whim of fashion.
Here’s a look at 11 items that are built to last, many of which have a lifetime guarantee or warranty. (Note: Though we chose products with some of the best warranties and guarantees out there, always read the fine print before handing over your hard-earned cash. Some warranties only cover products from a certain line of items, or have other restrictions.)
1. KitchenAid mixers
KitchenAid / Money Talks News
KitchenAid mixers remain the crème de la crème of wedding-registry gifts, the present brides and grooms add to the roster hoping an uncle or aunt with a fat wallet will be feeling generous. They’re not cheap, but they have many uses and are so sturdy they may outlast the marriage (uh, not yours, of course). KitchenAid stand mixers come with two-year, hassle-free replacement warranties, but from experience, we can say these mixers will last well beyond that. You may not have to buy a new one ever, which sadly makes it tough to justify splurging when that new, perfect-for-your-kitchen color comes out.
Amazon/The North Face / Money Talks News
Most of us aren’t living “The Eiger Sanction,” facing a perilous mountain climb while trying to unmask a Soviet spy. But when we do want to climb or hike or otherwise commune with the great outdoors, we want gear — from duffel bags to tents — that gets us through. The North Face guarantees its products free of manufacturer defect for the expected life of the product — not your lifetime — noting that not all North Face sleeping bags make it to 70 years — but some are 45 years old and going strong. (Note that footwear has only a limited one-year warranty — sometimes shoe win, sometimes shoe lose.)
Dr. Martens / Money Talks News
The solid footwear known to fans as Doc Martens isn’t for everyone — it’s a bold and, some say, clunky style. But those who wear them are strolling in a tradition that rockers, punks and various other subcultures have tuned up throughout the years. And if you don’t have a rock star’s wallet, the Dr. Martens For Life line of shoes and boots hits the right note with your budget, as they come with a lifetime guarantee.
Nalgene / Money Talks News
H2O what a deal. Nalgene water bottles have one job — to hold water. If they fail at this job, they leak, and that puts their owners in hot water. Thankfully, most Nalgene bottles come with a leak-proof guarantee. On the company site, you can check off the boxes that identify everything that you want in a water bottle — Fits ice cubes? Squeezable? Has a straw? They also come decorated in everything from flowers to flags to Marvel superheroes. With great power comes great thirst-quenching ability.
Amazon/JanSport / Money Talks News
Who uses backpacks most? School kids and campers. Which two groups of people don’t take it easy on backpacks? School kids and campers. Find a classic design at JanSport, and your pack of choice might take your kid from kindergarten through college, or haul your camp gear from Alaska to the Everglades. If it ever breaks down, the company’s lifetime warranty says they’ll fix it or replace or refund it.
Kryptonite Locks / Money Talks News
Your bicycle is no good to you if it gets stolen. Kryptonite bike locks were named for the substance that can even stop Superman (just in case the Man of Steel turns to the dark side and goes on a Schwinn-stealing spree). We’re not sure they’d actually stop a superhero, but the company does offer a lifetime warranty and an optional anti-theft protection order (you must register for this, it’s not automatic).
Briggs and Riley / Money Talks News
Once that airport ticket agent takes your suitcase, travelers might like to think it’s floating on a gentle cloud of unicorn hair to the plane, but we all remember the famous commercial where a gorilla bashes a bag in the airport handling area as if there’s a banana milkshake inside. Briggs & Riley bags don’t start out cheap, but once you buy one, the company’s lifetime repair guarantee even covers damage caused by an airline. You have to pay to ship them the bag you want fixed, but they’ll pay to send it back to you.
Zippo / Money Talks News
Zippo lighters have lit up American history and pop culture since the company’s founding in 1932. They’re referenced in song lyrics and movies and “Mystery Science Theater 3000” episodes. Vietnam War soldiers often had theirs engraved with funny, brassy or poignant slogans. The company promises its Windproof lighter will work, or they’ll fix it free, even if it’s 50 years old. “Freebird”!
Lupine / Money Talks News
Doggone it, Rex chewed up his leash again. That’s not a problem with Lupine leashes and collars, which are made in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and covered by an “Even If Chewed” guarantee. “Seems crazy but we’re not kidding!” the site declares. “Whether Spot thinks his collar is more fun to chew than his bone, Fido prefers to walk himself or Fluffy seems to like the ‘feather boa’ look, we will replace it! No receipt, no questions asked!” Now that’s a fur-ever guarantee. Pawsome!
LeCreuset / Money Talks News
Grandma used Le Creuset cookware, and you can follow in her kitchen footsteps. The colorful enameled cast-iron dishes require a steep outlay at first, but wedding showers and outlet stores can help curb that cost. The company’s famous (limited) lifetime warranty says it will replace “defective” cookware free of charge. A writer for L.A. Weekly tried it: She could no longer ignore chips in the enamel of her beloved Dutch oven, she sent it off to South Carolina, and received a brand-new pot in the mail (eventually).
Big Green Egg / Money Talks News
Is the Big Green Egg the grill of your dreams? The cult favorite ceramic outdoor cooker, a favorite of chefs, offers a limited lifetime warranty on the outdoor cookers, though read the details carefully, as it explains what is and isn’t covered. Materials and workmanship on all ceramic components are covered for as long as the original owner owns the grill, so get cooking!
What products do you recommend for their longevity? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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