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Experimenting with new fabrics & your thoughts on the Lifetime Guarantee

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    When I first saw this thread, I was a couple minutes into reading the first-page responses before I realized it was from 2020.

    That said, the main thrust of this thread is still meaningful. When I first noticed the "Design Lab" pieces in the lineup and read up on what it meant, I thought it was a novel and cool idea. Designs, fabric choices, sizes, or even colors that might be outside the company's normal offerings were potentially on the table with the Design Lab. I think the two packs that best embodied this were the Paragon and Shadow Guide V2 - these are designs that might not hit for everyone, but will find their audience in people seeking a well-made pack with the specific shape/features/carry they offer. The Grab Bags were also Design Lab, though in this case not for the design, but for the variety of materials (though it basically amounts to using up test batches of fabric that never saw full adoption or have been discontinued). The first run of Techonauts also had the Design Lab label, but that was kind of a head-scratcher to me, since...were they really not going to go into proper full production of a bag heralded as an evolution of the Aeronaut? It's hard to conceive of the Techonaut as some two-runs-and-done small-batch offering.

    In the company's initial description of what they wanted the Design Lab initiative to be, they compared it to "experimental jazz," iirc, which sounds quite entertaining. That said, I understand a company can't just pour time into niche ideas (nor could I say how many I would end up interested in actually purchasing), but I liked the questioning spirit behind the Design Lab, like "Well, we've always wondered how it might work if we built X, or built a familiar product in Y configuration, so let's throw a few units out there and see how it goes!" It would be fascinating to me to see the kinds of questions Tom and Nik and the others ponder through that lens, which is why I hope the Design Lab, as a general initiative within the company, is still a thing.