Posted on

One of those days

A cold morning at the Duluth Harbor. Birds undaunted by -20 near the aerial lift bridge.

Winter in Minnesota is ….. cool.  We know its coming, the deep freeze, but when it arrives it is still a shock.  Wake up in the morning, look outside and you can just tell its cold.  The frost between the storm windows is up higher than usual.  As the sun rises the light has a different quality.  There are special days where it doesn’t get above zero…. This is supposed to be one of those days.  

Forecast for Duluth

Lake Superior steams in the heavy cold. 

Steam rolls off Lake Superior at -20F

It’s not easy living in the north in the winter, it can be dangerous to people, pets, and machines.  Vehicles sometimes don’t want to work and they are usually slow to start.  It is unique though.  The cold keeps us northerners hearty and strong and there are some who like the cold.  It’s distinctive and different, and it gives us something to talk about in the mid-summer heat.  Today is one of those days.

At -20 the open water of Lake Superior sends columns of steam into the air.

Stay warm neighbors.

Posted on

Frost River Chaps

Our waxed canvas Hunting Chaps are tough.  They are built right to keep legs and pants protected.  They shield from rain and snow, brush and briars.  Chaps protect pants, they save wear and tear on workpants as well as fieldpants.  The wide leg openings have snap closures, the slits come up far enough to take off and put on the chaps over heavy, insulated boots.  18oz waxed canvas is heavy and durable but not unbearable to wear in the field.   

18oz. waxed canvas chaps are built at the Frost River shop in Duluth Minnesota are Field Tan in color. Just as they should be.

Posted on

Insulator… To America!

Hunter Orange Packs

Raise an insulated can in celebration of innovation.  For the 12th (dozenth) design of 2013 we built an Insulator.  We took some of our waxed canvas, sandwiched a layer of foam inside, added a little binding, sewed a logo on it, and attached an unspoken, and hopefully understood invitation.  We invite you to add a can of a favorite beverage and lift it in appreciation of hard working craftspeople who design and manufacture stuff that make life in a great country something to be proud of….. Cheers!  To building stuff that lasts.  To America.

Posted on

Growler Pack

Frost River Coffee

The craft brewery trade is maturing in our part of the country.  There is even one, Bent Paddle Brewing, opening across the street from our shop.  Many of these micro breweries offer their beer for sale in half gallon containers called growlers.  In order to help beer fans transport what they like and crafters distribute their wares we designed a pack to tote these growlers.  We have a Single and a Double Wide Growler Packs that protect, insulate, and make it easier to carry jugs of beer.

A standard glass growler on the left, a Frost River Double Wide Growler Pack, a pint glass from Canoecopia, a Single Growler Pack, a stainless steel Brauler is on the right.

Canal Park Brewery helped us get a hold of some stainless steel growlers.  Called Braulers they are wide mouthed, food grade steel, and should work great for carrying beer whether you are on or off the beaten path.  The jugs will hold several different liquids, just about whatever you want to drink.  The growler packs will work if you’re carrying beer or not, they’re great as a regular pack.

Posted on

Vintage Messenger Bag

Bush Cooker

Our tenth new design for 2013 is a shoulder bag that seems like a totally custom bag but is now a regular Frost River item.  The full size Vintage Messenger Bag embodies several design features commonly asked for by customers.  It is similar in size to a Big Manitou but has a closure to keep the flap down.  It does not require to be buckled up before you grab-and-go.  There are three full length dividers inside to organize and keep items separated.  An unpadded sleeve could be used for a laptop. There is an organizer panel at the front just under the main flap.

With the harness leather flapstraps, the bag has the look of our Vintage Pack .  It has the rectangular “butterflies” to keep the straps in line.  They buckle, and are adjustable, and are tied into the body of the bag via a post and strap configuration.  It’s the same setup that we have used for years on our Explorer Duffels.  It’s not a rock solid, infallible connection– but it does work and is quick, reliable, and we get very few complaints on our Explorer Duffels.

The smaller version is still full of features it is just scaled down to a midsize Messenger Bag.  We are excited about both bags as they embody several great features that are popular on other packs and bags.  Both sizes are made from 18oz waxed canvas, great leather, dense cotton web, and solid brass hardware.  We make all our packs and bags at our shop in Duluth Minnesota.

There is still a couple inches of adjustment left in the shoulder strap as the bag is worn here across the chest


The fully functional buckle allows the length of the strap to be adjusted. The solid brass post provides rapid entry into the bag

Posted on


Our ninth new item of 2013 works to keep your keys together with Frost River reliability.  We use some of our great leather and match it with some of our solid brass.  The materials combine to make key accessories that are of premium quality, just like our packs and bags.  

Solid Brass hardware, H-H leather, the Frost River Logo all combine to make key carrying accessories worthy of a second look

Posted on

Protege for iPad Mini

Iron Tent Stake

Tablet computers get smaller, our Protege for iPad gets smaller.  The eighth new design for 2013 brings a popular case to smaller dimensions.  The Protege for iPad Mini is our smallest Protege case yet.  It works for the reduced sized Apple screen, it can also work for other mini tablets.  Built from waxed canvas and a little bit of padding, it has snaps on the flap for a closure.  We build them in two different configurations, a horizontal or a vertical.  There are no straps or handles –it is neat, trim, and streamlined, just like an iPad Mini.

The Protege for iPad Mini in vertical orientation. It has no handles or straps to interrupt its streamlined profile.

Posted on

Heritage iPad

We have dressed up our iPad case for the seventh new design of 2013.  iPads are popular, our cases work to make carrying them around safer and easier.  Why not dress them up a little with some extra leather?  The leather we use on the Heritage iPad Case and all our briefcases is really great stuff.  Tough as a pair of work boots, (it comes from Red Wing Shoes’ private tannery) it provides  durability– but even more special is the “feel” the leather top adds to the case.  As it gets carried it will break in and get scuffs and scratches from use.  That will add a sense of character that is not able to be matched by imported, synthetic cases.   We make them in two sizes, the standard has the front sewn right to the back, it’s made for an iPad by itself.  The XL has a side gusset, it is meant to contain an iPad (or similar sized tablet) with an aftermarket case.  As with all of our Protege computer cases there are three slip pockets on the back of the case, under the flap there is also one full length slip pocket.  A 1″ shoulder strap is included.  Waxed canvas with padding and solid brass hardware. $120 or $130 for the XL.

The iPad Heritage is made of waxed canvas and has a leather top. There are three pockets on the back, the 1″ shoulder strap is included.

Posted on

Congdon Park Daypack

Our sixth new design of 2013 is a square, zip top daypack.  An internal hanging pocket and an external zip pocket offer space inside the Congdon Park Daypack to organize.  Cotton, double layer web backstraps, are comfortable and substantial.  Twin zipper slides makes getting into and the pack quick and easy.  It is built to last, from our heavyweight 18oz waxed canvas, at our shop in Duluth.  

Posted on

Simple Book Pack

Gun Case for Winchester 94

Introducing the fifth new design of 2013.  We have added an envelope style pack to match the box style Book Pack.  Small and minimal, both Book Packs are miniature versions of our large full featured canoe packs.  All sizes of Frost River packs are constructed to be relied upon whether you plan to roam in the northern canoe country wilderness or need to catch the bus on the way to school.  

The Simple Book Pack is of envelope style where the front and back panels of the pack are sewn directly together.  The Standard Book Pack that we have been building for years has a gusset panel on both sides of the pack making it a box style pack.  

The Simple Book Pack is listed as a drop down option with the Standard Book Pack.  Both packs are of similar size.  They built from the same materials in our shop in Duluth Minnesota.  The Simple Book Pack has classic styling, its narrow profile keeps the load close to your back .  When carried with a small load you’ll hardly know it’s there.