Product Care

Although Vanquest® products are built to meet the toughest demand by our professional clients (law enforcement & military), our gear is not “maintenance-free” and cannot care for itself. No gear is impervious to road dust, or the occasional tumble into fresh mud, so here are some useful tips for you to care for your gear when “it’s time” to do so:

General Cleaning Instructions:

CAUTION: NO machine-wash. Washing machine (or dishwasher) will tangle parts, and cause damage to the webbing and hardware.

If your bag is not very dirty, the best way is to “spot-cleaning” with water. Use a washcloth, sponge, or toothbrush to remove dirt & grime. It’s simple.

If your bag is VERY dirty, and needs a deeper cleaning, please follow these steps:

  • Un-thread webbing, and remove major parts (e.g. waist belt, shoulder harness, frame sheet, shoulder pad/strap, etc.)  
  • Open all zippered / drawstring pockets, and shake off debris from inside.
  • Hand-wash the pack in a bath tub using warm water.
  • If necessary, use natural “baby-mild” soap or castile soap with a soft brush / toothbrush. Use hydrogen peroxide to remove blood stains if necessary.
  • Do not use detergents (laundry or dish detergent) as they contain “surfactants” (wetting agents) that are hard to rinse off, and will permanently reduce outer fabric’s water-repellency.
  • Do not soak the entire bag (especially a foam-padded* bag) as it may cause damage to some materials.
  • Double rinse the pack with cool water to remove all residue.
  • Hang the pack with openings facing down, and air-dry / fan-dry the bag in the shade. It may take 6-12 hours to dry depending on the climate. Make sure the bag is completely dried for at least 1-3 days before storage to prevent mold or mildew.
* If your bag is foam-padded, DO NOT soak the entire bag, since moisture will be trapped inside (or around) the foam, and cause mold or mildew later.
 
Cleaning DOs & DON’Ts:
DOs:
  • Hand-wash with washcloth, sponge, or toothbrush.
  • Use “baby-mild” soap, castile soap, or specialty soap made for cleaning bags (please follow manufacturer’s instructions).
  • Hang the pack with openings facing down, and air-dry / fan-dry in the shade.
DON’Ts:
  • NO washing machine. NO dishwasher. Machine-wash or machine-drying may tangle parts, and cause severely damage to the webbing and hardware.
  • DO NOT wash with hot water.
  • DO NOT use synthetic detergents (laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent), pre-soak solutions, bleach, fabric softeners, or spot removers.
  • DO NOT use solvents (such as acetone) as they may irreparably damage the fabric and components of your product. Any use of solvents will void your product warranty.
  • Do NOT soak the entire bag (especially a foam-padded* bag) as it may cause damage to some materials.
  • DO NOT dry in a dryer, or in direct sunlight.
Zipper & How To Prolong Zipper Life:

Zipper failure is one of the most expensive and time-consuming repair jobs for any bags.

We only use YKK zippers (both chain & sliders by YKK), however, without your proper care, zipper will still fail. To prolong the life of your zipper, please:
  • Minimize direct contact of any abrasive objects with the zipper assembly, both from the inside and outside.
  • Keep the zippers clean, free of dirt, sand and grit. Use compressed air to blow out dirt and sand when necessary.

We use “reversed” YKK zippers on most bags, so the zipper's nylon coils (teeth) are hidden inside of your bag. Reversed zippers generally suffer less wear & tear from “outside” elements, as long as you don’t drag the zipper on abrasive surfaces. However, if you carry sharp items in your bag that abrade the zipper’s teeth, you can damage even the toughest YKK zipper over time.

All YKK zipper’s nylon coils (teeth) are held in place by coil thread. If an abrasive object wears through and breaks the coil thread, your zipper will fall apart. The coil thread is part of the YKK zipper assembly, and is NOT something that can be “stitched back” easily without proper equipment.

In other words, worn zipper coil thread is not covered under warranty. We may be able to repair at a fee if the factory is able to do the repair, but it can be costly and time-consuming, since the factory worker will have to take apart the bag, and replace the entire zipper assembly.

Our suggestion is: Wrap your gear (especially metal objects with sharp corners) with soft wraps, and do not carry oversized items in your bag that constantly “touch” the zipper.

Remember, take care of the zipper, and your bag will take care of you for years to come.