The short version:
Sample gear is brand-new, unused gear with a full warranty. It only comes in limited sizes and may not be shipped in factory packaging. In most cases it is exactly like the non-sample product.
The full-length version:
In most cases sample gear is product that is sent to the manufacturer from the factory for final confirmation prior to the factory producing the full production run of all sizes and colors. Some sample gear is product sent out with sales reps to display the future product coming out the following season.
In all cases, Sample Gear is brand new product that has never been used. It comes with a full manufacturer's warranty. In most cases the product is exactly the same as the final product. However, in some cases there may be some minor differences that would only be noticeable if comparing the sample to the final product side by side.
Sample gear may not be shipped in the manufacturer's packaging. For example, a pair of sample boots may be shipped in a plastic bag instead of a branded boot box. A helmet may be in a plain white box instead of a branded helmet box.
In some cases sample gear may be a product or a colorway that never got approved for final production. We like to think of these as "limited" edition products because they were never produced in bulk for all to purchase.
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