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L.L. Bean does not offer a lifetime warranty.

At some point I must have misunderstood their marketing ploy, "Guaranteed. You Have Our Word."

Our products are guaranteed to give you 100% satisfaction in every way. Return anything purchased from us at any time if it proves otherwise. We do not want you to have anything from L.L.Bean that is not completely satisfactory.

At the very least, it sounds like it's up to me, right? They should have kept the original promise, , which sets expectations much better:

I do not consider a sale complete until goods are worn out and customer still satisfied. L.L.Bean, 1916

Although honestly, I'm only satisfied if something lasts essentially forever. My Celtics jacket is 22 years old. I have blankets older than me. I did expect more out of this backpack.

It is more than five years old, the zippers have been giving me significant problems for a while, such that I'd been meaning to go to L.L. Bean and see about a repair, and then a week ago a big tear (as in the whole top) opened at the top seam.

And the manager at the L.L. Bean Outlet in Manchester, New Hampshire, told me I'd gotten good use out of it and should be satisfied.

I imagine if I'd insisted that I was not satisfied I could have extracted a new backpack from them. I don't know. I had to get to work and I decided it was easier just to not buy anything more from them.

Instead I put back the hand-crank rechargable flashlight I was going to buy as a gift back, and left the store, and won't be looking at LL Bean for kayaks or bikes or anything else again, and won't be using them as an example when I talk about how I prefer something that will last, even if it costs more, over cheap. And I was, even while it was breaking, I'd use the backpack as an example and say that at least the people who built it believed in it enough to fix or replace it.

I may still try to sew the L.L. Bean. If they had offered to repair, or said "well you're what, 80% satisfied, how about 20% off your next one?" I think I'd still be a happy customer.

Just ordered the Valentine's Day special, red isn't my color but 50% off is, the sort of general purpose cheapest there extra room laptop backpack (Mamba) from http://booq.com

Five year limited warranty. At least I have an idea what to expect.

And to be honest I will try to take better care of the backpack, knowing that no one thinks or claims it will be indestructible.