There’s a steadfast durability, a quiet confidence built into each one of our waxed canvas bags. It comes from using the highest quality raw materials and hardware, assembled with tried and true techniques and it’s part of what makes a Frost River pack special. Everything we make is built to last and be used outdoors: All our reliable softgoods are held to the standard of our canoe packs. Large, purpose built packs, specially designed and reinforced to handle heavy loads over the rugged terrain of the northern canoe country wilderness. No matter if you’re looking at a brief, tote, purse, bike bag, or piece of luggage, you’ll benefit from the traditional materials and handcrafted construction that have been refined over generations in our hometown, Duluth, Minnesota.
Waxed canvas is tough, but like anything worth holding onto, it needs to be cared for.
Most importantly, it must be dried out before it’s stored. Mold and mildew love to take up residence in cotton fibers. It will also last longer and work better if it’s cleaned out from time to time. And while our waxed canvas is tougher and much more weather-resistant than untreated canvas, it is still cotton and therefore requires a little extra care to help it last and perform at its best.
Once in from the field, dry out your pack!
Follow these simple steps to keep your pack or bag in tip-top shape, (especially if you got caught in the rain):
- Empty it out. Grab it by the bottom, and shake all the stuff out.
- Keep it wide open or turn it inside out and let the interior dry and air out.
- Air-dry and inspect the leather reinforcements. You can condition the leather if you’d like, but the reinforcement leather is meant to be hard and more dry than heavily oiled. Never accelerate the drying process with leather.
- Never store a canvas bag when it’s wet.
- You can read more about storing your reliable softgoods, and info on leather care here.
“My bag got dirty, how do I clean it?”
- Waxed canvas bags are different than bags made from other materials, they’re not meant to be “washed”.
- They’ll develop a unique patina with age and use. Why would you want to wash off that good, hard-earned character?
- Some say that campfire soot, coffee stains, and other evidence of adventures all combine to make a waxed canvas pack better.
To clean your waxed canvas bag:
- Brush the big chunks off with a soft scrub brush or old tooth brush.
- Add some plain water and use the brush for stubborn spots.
- Add pressure if necessary. Consider a garden hose, or spray bottle on “stream” (be sure there’s no cleaner or chemical residue in the bottle, especially bleach). Use a bit of mild bar or flake soap, but not detergent, to spot clean. Note: Using soap and intense cleaning may require you to add wax once you’ve finished cleaning.
- Rinse well.
- Never put a Frost River bag in the washing machine! It, and likely the machine, will never be the same.
A little care and upkeep will go a long way toward keeping your pack or bag in good shape. Some time invested early in repairs, cleaning and quality storage will keep your reliable softgoods working for you for years to come. Now raise a glass (or a can) to American Manufacturing and a job well-done keeping your gear in good shape!