Our waxed canvas does a great job providing weather resistant durability to a pack or bag. Our field tan blends in to the natural world so well, which we love, but there’s a time and a place for blending in, and there are times when you want you or your gear to be seen… Oh, if you only had a bright patch of waxed canvas on there to help stand out a bit!
New this fall, we’ve added just enough orange canvas to some of our favorite tried-and-true designs to stand out, plus we’ve come up with a new bag that’s guaranteed to lighten up a pack no matter what you’ve got in there.
Bonus: Through November 2nd, we’re offering a bonus Canvas My State patch with any purchase of orange two-tone gear. Add a patch to your bag, or add a standalone patch with your order of the Windigo Signal Bag, Sawbill Trail Bag (Field Tan or Two Tone), or High Falls Daypack (Field Tan or Two Tone) placed by 11/2, and we’ll include an individualized code with your shipment for $15 that you can use on a future order at FrostRiver.com. It’s our way of saying Thanks! and a great way to add some regional pride to your new reliable softgoods.
Add some color to an Isle Royale Bushcraft Pack with a Windigo Signal Bag. Solid brass rings at each corner provide options to lash it on a pack, or run cord through to make light duty backstraps or attach a shoulder strap. A zippered top provides security for contents. There are numerous uses for this little pack. Use it as a signal flag, or a marker for yourself or others to find a spot. It could offer a dry spot to sit, pack it with soft stuff and use it as a pillow, or pack it with foam for a butt or kneeling pad. It’d make a good summit pack when you add some cord for straps. Turn it into a satchel with one of our shoulder straps and collect foraged items along the trail (keep an eye out for birchbark, berries, mushrooms, and more!). It’s an extra, handy pocket to carry on its own or add to your pack! Field tan and XP snaps on one side, bright hunter orange on the other. Stay subtle with field tan and add a zippered pocket to a pack, or put the hunter orange side out to help get seen. More at the Windigo Signal Bag product page.
The streamlined design of the High Falls is handy in so many spots. It’s a great size to stay out of the way when on the move. The size and shape provide low profile capacity that’s great for carrying a small amount of gear and works well with a water bladder. Now with the two toned option it becomes more fit for the field during hunting seasons and on bike lanes as well. The contoured shoulder straps don’t interfere with gun stocks, and the narrow, vertical profile stays well clear of a rifle slung over a shoulder. Orange helps a hunter, or hunting season hiker stay visible. Weather resistant waxed canvas keeps contents dry and the canvas is quiet in the woods.
Orange waxed canvas bag body with Field Tan ends, the color-coordinated combination works to give you and your bike better visibility on the road and down the trail. Waxed canvas keeps the weather, water, and trail debris out of your bag. The leather attachment straps offer a universal fit for bike and bags and work to keep the bag where it belongs. Brass rings on each end are there to offer more stabilization to tie off the ends, or add a strap for a simple shoulder bag. Built at Frost River to last a lifetime.
Our hunter orange isn’t as bright as a true blaze orange, it’s a more subtle color, but with plenty of pop. It’s always a good idea to check your local regulations for gear during firearms deer hunting season. We’d recommend you follow the DNR’s regulations to stay safe in the woods.
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.
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!
You love the outdoors, and spending time with your family- but it can be tough to bring the two together… especially as the seasons change and the days keep getting shorter in the fall. School, work, dinnertime, juggling activities… it seems like there’s no time- especially daytime! How do you deal? Here are some outside activity ideas, and some packs to bring along. Good luck to you and yours… We hope you can carve out some time and all get outdoors together this fall!
Schedule outdoor time, and stick to the plan
Mark it on a calendar, (maybe even on a real (paper) calendar) plan ahead, pick a weekend, and make a quick trip to the BWCA or stick close to home, pack an evening weekday picnic (and blanket) and use those last moments of daylight for all they’re worth. Hit a nearby trail or pick a park and make some memories. Consider an extra layer and a flashlight… it gets cool and dark quick these days!Our Arrowhead Rolltop is a layer packing pro! The expandable top will carry a kid’s coat on top of your own, you could even add a third through the straps if you need.
Set a standup meeting
It happens all the time at work, why not set a time for outside fun? Set an evening meeting or two a month, consider inviting friends with kids too. Get together, pick a backyard with a firepit, go for a hike, work on skills with the kids…. whatever. It’ll be fun to get a crew together and do cool outdoor stuff at dusk. Bushcraft skills would be a great meeting topic. Our Isle Royale Bushcraft Pack will carry your kit, including an axe.
With days as short as they’re becoming, it’s important to bring some illumination. If you haven’t tried one, you won’t believe how much easier it is to move and work after dark with a headlamp. Find a dedicated spot (preferably in a go-to pack) to store those headlamps though— the little buggers disappear like nothing else! They’ll fit fine in an Accessory Bag, so will your other gotta hang-on-to items, like a compass and a set of work gloves.
Lantern or CandleLight
An old style kerosene or white gas lantern, even good old-fashioned candles, let off light like nothing else, and have character all their own. An old lantern may need some maintenance to get back in service, but that could be a fun family project as well. Once you get it up and running, protect it in our Lantern Pack, they work great for growler refills too!
If you live in the north, just the chance to see the Aurora Borealis may help get interested adventurers out the door. Bob’s Astro Blog will let you know if there’s northern lights in the forecast. Consider a good northern exposure to see what’s going on up there. You’ll need to get up and over the hill if you’re in Duluth, on the other side of Skyline Drive. Our new Skyline Rolldown Backpack could be just the ticket to carry some stuff and could make a great pillow while you’re laying down, looking up. Plus, it’s sized right for smaller loads or smaller people, so it’s a great pack for the kids.
Blame the Moon
It’s a full moon! We gotta get outside! We won’t even need the headlamps on the way out. C’mon, grab your stuff, I’ve got a chocolate bar, let’s go! High Falls -Short Day Pack or Brighton Beach Tote, because Brighton Beach is a great spot to watch an autumn moon rise over Lake Superior.
Fall is harvest season, cash in on a tasty crop and visit an orchard. It offers a chance to see how apples grow and you can bring some home too! Our Huron Tote, Urban Foraging Tote, or an Ash Basket will help haul a harvest.
We’ve got a natural funnel here around Duluth called Lake Superior. It forces migrating birds to go around the big lake. Hawk Ridge is a great spot to look up and notice the birds, both large and small, on their way south. Bet there are birds overhead in your neck of the woods as well. A Field Satchel can carry a bird book and sketch pad or notebook to manage notes on the migration.
From birds to big game, hunting offers a reason for outdoor minded folks to get up and out with family and friends. Fall is a beautiful time to get out in the woods, and even if you don’t carry a gun, you can still carry on traditions with a hunting group. Check out our blog post for a feature on our Hunter Orange waxed canvas packs.
Listen to the leaves
Appreciate the small stuff. The sound of the breeze is set to change soon. The woods will be quieter again as the leaves begin to fall. Now’s the time to get out and witness the auditory and visual spectacle of autumn. Pack a picnic, do dinner outside, collect some colorful foliage and make memories after school and work, just before nightfall. Grab a couple daypacks, spread out the load, and enjoy the company of friends and family in our most colorful season of the year.
Crisp, clear mornings with an autumn scent on the breeze has the hunter-gatherer spirit stirring in many of us around this neck of the woods. It’s time to condition the boots, inspect and case a weapon, grab a trusty pack, and take to the field! Our Hunter Orange Packs offer capacity, quality, and high visibility confidence for years of successful hunting seasons..
Before we go any further, we urge safety first, especially when going into the woods in hunting season.
If carrying a gun, always practice the four rules of firearms safety.
Know when and where hunting seasons are open.
Wear bright colors
even if not hunting, blaze orange is best, and two articles may be legally required— especially during firearms deer season.
If you aren’t hunting, be on the lookout for hunters and make your presence known. Whistle, sing, carry on a conversation to let them know you’re around.
Be considerate, hunters want to protect the woods and wilds too, and work to do good things for wildlife and habitat.
Be especially vigilant with a dog. If you’re hiking, protect your K9 by keeping them on leash and having them wear hunter orange, too, like our waxed canvas Dog Vest.
On to the fun part!
To help outfit you for the season, we’ve compiled some of our favorite fall gear, all handmade in the USA at Frost River and all fit for the field:
Hunter Orange Box Utility Pack – This pack offers no-nonsense utility, waxed cotton canvas for weather-resistant reliability, and, as always, it’s made at Frost River in Duluth, MN. There’s a tumpline to take the pain out of a long trek into a deer stand. The capacity is just right to stow extra layers, gear, and a lunch with room to spare. The backpack body is based off our Woodsman Canoe Pack.
Hunter Orange Utility Packs – Want visibility and capacity in a simpler, more economical option? Take a look at our Orange Utility Backpacks. They’re durable, repairable, and built for the rigors of hunting and paddling for a lifetime.
Waxed Canvas Gun Case – Built by hand with premium leather, cushy sherpa lining and solid brass hardware to make a classy and protective gun case. We offer several lengths to tailor the case to your gun. Also available for long guns with a mounted scope.
Waxed Canvas Chaps – Weather, brush, and burr protection for your legs. Our chaps are built to take years of abuse in the field. Wide ankle openings with snaps to go over heavy boots, with durable web straps to attach to a belt. These chaps are double reinforced where it counts.
Game Clip – Plan for success when bird hunting. Pheasants, ducks, grouse and geese, all fit fine for hands-free hiking or foraging. The Game Clip holds 5 birds, or get the Game Strap to carry 10.
Urban Foraging Tote – It’s easy to come back with more than you left with when you bring a Foraging Tote. Birds, berries, shed antlers, birch bark, mushrooms, and more can be brought home when you travel with a handy tote.
Prairie Boot Bag – Weekend bag on top, with a boot compartment below in this luggage made for the hunting camp. Bring a little style and function to the woods, or on a business trip. Hose it out in-between!
Shell Bags – A handy spot to store shells and other stuff too. Four sizes are available, each features a long leather shoulder strap and handcrafted heritage comes standard. Channel your inner mountain man with a bag designed to keep an old black powder gun loaded.
Little Marais – Here’s a simple sling bag, great to carry just a bit more gear into the field. Performs well hauling a basic first aid kit, small water bottle, bit of rope, flashlight, and a reload. It’ll stay out of the way at your back or under an arm. Canvas is quiet in the woods and the design allows access while you’re wearing the bag.
Shell Kit – Sized for several boxes of 12 gauge shotgun shells, and overbuilt to stand up to the weight. Carry your extra ammo with style. The bag also works great as a catch-all in the truck for the off season.
Waxed Canvas Hat – Great headgear for both fine and foul weather. Get a Field Tan cap when you want to blend in, use hunter orange when you want to stand out. One size fits most. Made in USA.
Fall is a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the woods. Hunting can be a great way to stay connected with friends and family, keep traditions and heritage alive, and provides an opportunity to open your eyes and be a better observer of nature. Plus, hunting license fees work toward helping habitat conservation and restoration.Check out what they’ve done for Trumpeter Swans in Minnesota. Whether you’re headed out to see the sights, or look down ‘em, get outside and enjoy it.… Happy Hunting to you!
Four rules of firearms safety:
Treat all guns like they are always loaded.
Never allow the muzzle to cover anything which you are not willing to destroy.
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
Always be sure of your target, and what’s beyond it.
Cooler nights and shorter days have brought a changing of the seasons. Fall is bursting its way to our neck of the woods at the tip of Lake Superior. That means it’s time to get out, go for a drive, take a hike, and enjoy the most pleasant season in the northwoods. So grab a trusty pack, lace your boots, load up a picnic along with your rambling gear, and get out to enjoy the most colorful season nature has to offer!
Some of our favorite spots to catch fall colors in Northern, MN:
The BWCAW – The northwoods at its finest! Untrammeled, undeveloped, and pure. A canoe is arguably the best vehicle to explore wilderness’ wonders and fall is a great time to get up to canoe country. Check out our September 48 Hour Field Journal here. Plan a trip, get a wilderness permit, and pick it up at Frost River Trading Co. in Duluth.
Highway 61 –It’s been designated an “All American Road” for good reason, it’s beautiful! The winding route along Lake Superior’s North Shore from Duluth to Grand Marais (and beyond) offers vistas of the big lake, numerous state parks, scenic rivers, hiking trails, picnic spots, and leaves galore that’ll all be changing color soon. If you’re traveling by bike, check out our panniers named after the road! Don’t forget to listen to some Bob Dylan while you’re there…
Honeymoon Trail Drive –This drive takes you off the beaten path from Highway 61 and into some of the rolling hills that form the start of the Sawtooth Mountains. Take scenic drives on gravel roads and make a stop at George H. Crosby Manitou State Park for a hike through deep forest, past majestic rivers and waterfalls.
Highway 1 cuts inland from Lake Superior to Ely. This route travels up, over and across the Sawtooth Range as well and is usually one of the first areas of the state to reach peak colors. Take this scenic route on your way from Duluth to Ely for a great sampling of the northland. If traveling by bike, we’ve got bags named after it to help carry a load.
Highway 13 – This Northern Wisconsin scenic route runs from just south of Superior, east to Bayfield then to Ashland and points south. There are many hardwoods along this route and travel in October is stunning. Plan a stop to pick some Apples from one of the many orchards near Bayfield… or arrange to arrive for Bayfield’s annual Apple Fest on October 7, 8, & 9.
Jay Cooke State Park – Walk across the swinging bridge over the St. Louis River and marvel at the fall colors, the water and the geology. Hiking, biking, and walking trails, plus camping and interpretive programs available.
Do Duluth: There are lots of great areas and opportunities right in and around Duluth that are top notch. There are a bunch of great trails right in town for hiking, biking, or driving. The Seven Bridges Road works for all three travel types, plus we’ve got a pack named after it! Check it out and get a little background on this great road. The Superior Hiking Trail goes all the way through Duluth and beyond, and provides great vistas near the water, and from the top of the hill. Stop by the Frost River store, we’d be happy to point out some more local favorites.
Hawk Ridge is a great spot to watch migrating birds (raptors especially) as they go around the wide expanse Lake Superior (knowledgable naturalists will help you spot the birds, and often even lend out binoculars). Plus it’s a great vantage point to see fall colors as they contrast with the deep blue of Lake Superior.
The Minnesota DNR does a great job keeping track of the changing leaves. Check out their site to get a forecast of when the change normally happens along with some of the science behind why we are so fortunate each year with stupendous scenery.
It was 3:00 in the afternoon as we dipped the canoe into the water, loaded our gear and paddled into a stiff headwind. 3:00pm is a terrible time to start a BWCA trip.
But let’s back up a second…
Three days earlier, on a Monday in September, my wife and I were sitting in the dim light of a lamp, watching as twilight dipped toward night.
Summer was over, but we’d decided to make it happen. We had an open weekend, and were going to go to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness one more time. Besides, September is one of the best times to go, crowds are down, temps and bugs are moderate and the sunsets last longer.
The whole trip was last minute.
We hadn’t had our route laid out for months. We’d be doing the trip by the seat of our pants, no frills, just the right gear, and an open mind. We were flexible on where we’d be going in, when we’d get there and when we’d get out, which made getting a permit easier. We had only two constraints: we wanted to start out of Grand Marais and we had a limited amount of time…
48 hours— two nights and three days in pristine borderland canoe country.
On Tuesday, we identified our entry point and reserved our permit for Brant Lake. On Wednesday, I picked it up at Frost River Trading Co. and got some last minute BWCA gear and Cache Lake food. On Thursday, we tied the canoe to the roof and headed north.
After two hours along Lake Superior we were in Grand Marais enjoying fresh-made cinnamon sugar donuts at World’s Best Donuts. We drove for a long way up the Gunflint Trail, past endless woods and winding roads that brought us into the remains of the Ham Lake Fire and on the road to the landing at Round Lake.
We dipped the Wenonah into the water, loaded the Grand Portage, Nessmuk and Voyageur into the boat and paddled off into a stiff headwind. It was 3:00 in the afternoon.
I wouldn’t recommend starting a canoe trip that late in the day. It’s a risky proposition: First, there’s the worry of campsite availability. Second, there’s the possibility of bad weather. Third, there’s eight hours less sunlight to work with than if you’d started at 7 or 8 am like normal.
Caveats aside, part of the beauty of a September Boundary Waters trip is that there are far fewer visitors to the wilderness in its last permitting month than at its height in midsummer. The wilderness feels more remote, the portages less busy, the horizon dotted with fewer boats and the lakes just that much quieter. It is a magical time to visit the northland.
There are risks involved any time you’re traveling into wilderness, and going late in the season is no different. Visiting the BWCA in autumn and the shoulder seasons requires that you be prepared for temperature extremes. It can be hot and it will most likely be very cold. If you’re prepared for any weather though, you’re likely to have a positively unforgettable trip.
I quelled the thoughts of running out of daylight, full campsites or getting snowed on and looked around. Half of Round Lake had been burned, and half was spared: restoring forest on one side and spared shorelines of old cedars, birch and aspen on the other. Much of our trip would be the same as we’d make our way west and then loop south, running along the border of the Ham Lake Fire to the north and further west the Cavity Lake Fire area. Areas of burn are bittersweet; on the one hand, it is a renewal and new start for an ecosystem—on the other, the destruction and sense of loss is hard to bear. What once was, and the forest now, are two different places. And yet they’re the same.
The portages were wet, the leaves along them just barely turning from their summer greens as they donned the changing of the season. Puffs of cumulous clouds, bright sun and wind made the foliage dance in the textured light. The breeze was refreshing on the trail too, keeping us cool as we hauled our gear in one short trip over each portage. We paddled, portaged, paddled, portaged. It was quiet. There was no one else around.
As we made our way to the portage at Brant Lake, we found the old weathered sign informing us we were entering the Boundary Waters. It stood there like an old sage, its paint peeling in an old-cabin sort of way, the etched and carved insignia and words now home to moss and lichen. We smiled at it as we hoisted packs and canoe and began the portage. Soon we’d rounded corners on Brant and were deciding whether to make camp and string up the hammocks, or to push west. We left the campsite behind in search of adventure further on.
At the next portage, we came upon the first group we’d see, a group of girls from Duluth’s own Marshall School on an orientation trip through YMCA Camp Menogyn.
On Gutter Lake, we paddled between tall rocky outcrops, carved long ago by an ancient river. Now it was a narrow lake, a swamp, with floating grasses and sections of bog. Pines and birches stood tall on shore, but in the swamp were stands of dead trees, killed by flood and charred by fire.
I turned the map, which seemed to hardly resemble the otherworldly scene. It’s easy to get turned around in the backwaters of canoe country. It’s important to keep a good eye to where you are, and equally important to trust the map. The portage looked to be in the far corner of the lake, beyond the floating bogs, tree graveyard and a flotilla of autumnal lily pads. I’d never considered that the lily pads would change as well, and the colorful layer was laid out before us like a street cobbled in agates, emeralds and amber.
I forced myself to trust the map and we paddled past flotsam up a narrow channel near shore. It looked less promising the further we went, and as we pulled the boat through swamp muck, we grew ever more skeptical. At the corner of the lake, the channel opened and there was the open landing, a beautiful slope of glacial rock. The map had been right and we were relieved. We were in the right place.
After portage, paddle and portage, we walked out of the swampy upland we’d been traversing and arrived at Green Lake. It was deep, the water nearly glacial blue and undoubtedly home to scores of meaty lake trout. The sun reflecting off its surface was brilliant, and schools of little fish darted in the water at the landing.
We made camp for our first night on Bat Lake, happy that we’d pushed on. We were alone on the lake and basked in the quiet solitude as we cooked a dinner of curried cranberry cous cous and Cache Lake Sweet Potato Au Gratin. The rich September sunset bathed the lake in golden hues, and the deep night brought a refreshing chill to the air.
On day 2 we woke and unpacked the kitchen gear from the pockets of the Nessmuk to make mochas and oatmeal. The Nessmuk was perfect for hauling our little canister stove, pots, pans and cups, Bent Paddle steel growler, water filter, first aid kit, rope and rain gear. In the Grand Portage we hauled our tent, sleeping and cold weather gear, tarp, shoes, hammocks and all of our food. The pack was perfect for the load, and would cinch down as we continued to eat our rations. Both packs held a surprising amount. The Voyageur carried our cameras, technology and backup filter and fit in well with the two traditional packs. Packing up was easy with the three and soon we were on the water.
We’d be paddling a chain of lakes, taking the long way around to get to Crooked Lake. As the crow flies, it was only 2 miles and 2 portages away. We wanted to cover some distance though and see more sights, so our route went west, through the islands of Little Saganaga and south to the outlet of the Frost River, before coming back north toward Crooked Lake.
We made quick work of Gillis, French, Powell, and West Fern Lakes. Soon we were paddling past bonsaied cedars growing impossibly out of lichen-crusted rocks on Little Saganaga. Huge puffs of cumulus clouds drifted through the sky in foreboding columns. It looked like we’d get some weather before the day was done, so we pushed on. Loons silently fished as we paddled past, and the wind came and went. We scooted past islands and bays, layers of wilderness and water.
We found the narrow end of Little Saganaga and the quiet outlet of the Frost River. It was a narrows, almost a canyon, covered in rich moss and canopied by the bent trunks of leaning trees. The portage was short and steep. I imagined paddling further upstream, into the sinuous channels of the Frost River. It wasn’t only that it was the namesake of our packs and where we’d picked up our permit, but there was something more. The map showed a winding stream, banked by swamp and steep stone. The lines on the map pulled at something deep within me, something very human. I yearned to discover the meaning of those lines, the mystery and adventure of unknown backwaters that had been hinted at on paper… but it would have to wait until another trip when we had more time.
We set the canoe down on Mora Lake, and it was eerily calm. The wind had died. There were no more loons. The water bugs had stilled. The sun was veiled by the edge of cloud and darkening by the second. We both thought about the silence, but didn’t mention it for fear of breaking it. Soon the silence was broken by a distant rumbling, a long plaintive sound like that of a jet. I watched the sky warily. We were still two lakes from our destination at Crooked Lake. On the map, I traced the shoreline and two small portages between us and our goal. The sky was darkening quickly.
The unmistakable boom of distant thunder echoed from the cloud.
We turned the canoe and headed for shore toward a campsite. I was suddenly worried it would be occupied. We hadn’t seen a soul the entire day, paddling through lakes that were filled with campsites and very busy during the summer. I was relieved to find the campsite empty. We beached the canoe on the rocks and hopped out. Cracks of thunder were getting sharper, coming closer. We heaved packs out of the boat and pulled it up on shore. In a moment, we were climbing away from shore with the daypacks and tarp. We made quick work of stringing up the shelter, and the rain started. Lightning flashed. Thunder roared. The lake sputtered with the downpour. We hid under the tarp, crouched on our lifejackets in a lightning drill. The din of the rain, the bright flashes and the echoing cracks continued. Soon, rain turned to ice as hail joined the fray.
We waited under the tarp for three hours as the storm grew and ebbed. We cooked dinner and stared off into the trees, having forgotten to bring any books, games or playing cards. Gradually, the storm receded and the sun returned. A full double rainbow drew colorful across the sky.
We still wanted to make Crooked Lake, and with thunder now a memory, we were safe to get on the water. It was 7 o’clock and we had one hour of this golden light left. We weighed the options and estimated an hour of travel time. It was hard to tell if we’d get caught in another wave of storms, but the sun was shining and we would only be on small bodies of water, with ample opportunity to pull off if the skies let loose again.
By the time we’d packed the daypacks and the Grand Portage and were pushing off, it was almost 7:30. The sun was golden, low, just a few fingers’ distance above the horizon. We paddled hard. On open water, I looked behind us to see a wall of bubble clouds, shining bright orange in the sunlight. Behind them was the deep purple of storm clouds. It was headed our way.
The first portage was at the back of a bay. As we entered the narrows and hauled over beaver dams, I pictured the tree graveyard from the day before and again hoped we were headed in the right direction. The storm clouds loomed silently behind us and I double-checked my navigation. We’d left the untouched forest and were back in the burn area. Skeletons of burnt trees loomed over a tangled mess of fallen limbs, branches and trunks, wrapped in the fresh vines of undergrowth that had returned first after the fire. The colors of the clouds shifted as the sun continued its downward path. I hoped we were on the right track. We reached the end of the bay and thankfully found our portage. We hauled our gear as quickly as we could, out of breath as we hopped onto the next lake. We were paddling hard, not talking, looking over our shoulders every few strokes to see how the storm clouds had grown, now threatening to swallow the last few rays of sunlight.
I searched for the subtle signs of the next portage, finding it under drooping cedar boughs. Panting, we hauled our gear, thankful for the strategic packing and the capacity of the portage pack that let us make the trip in one go. When we reached the end of the portage at Crooked Lake, the sun had set. We took a chance and turned left to find an island campsite in the trees outside the burn. I hoped the sites would be available, ever-worried that people would suddenly appear and the sites would be occupied.
It was open. Again, we beached the boat, hauled our gear and pitched the tarp. We set the tent up underneath and waited for the storm. It didn’t come until the middle of the night, quietly dropping huge amounts of rain.
We woke to partly sunny skies and dry sleeping quarters. We drank our mochas, stowed our cooking gear in the Nessmuk, packed the Grand Portage and filled the Voyaguer with camera gear for our final push back out to Round Lake. The sun came out, but the winds had shifted, and though we were now retracing our steps back from Gillis, we were paddling into another headwind.
In a few hours of paddling, portaging and trail lunching, we were waving goodbye to the peeling paint on the old mossy sign at Brant Lake.
We’d spent 48 hours in the wilderness, and were refreshed. It was time to go home.
Shop our Limited Build of Field Tan and Old Glory Red Daypacks through 9/6/2016 here.
When you think Frost River, you probably think premium…
…of the high quality, the meticulous construction, the no-nonsense function, the leather, the brass, and of course field tan waxed canvas. Frost River gear is easy to spot. There are so many nylon bags out there, in crazy configurations and colors. There are also many imitators— packs and bags that think because they look a bit like the real-deal that they just might be. But still, even with the imitators, it’s easy to spot a Frost River pack. There is a refinement, a utility, and a timelessness about what we build. That’s why we craft gear the way that we do. It’s not the easy way. Hardly. It’s the right way, the way it should be, and it’s hard work, which is why the finished product is so tough.
Our field tan waxed canvas is a marvelous material that works wonders in the outdoors, wearing hard and blending in. Our packs and bags are built to the standards of those who came before, and those rare few who rely on their equipment in both day to day and in the deep mystery of unknown wilds. The material, in its natural earth-toned color, has been around for years, earning a solid reputation of enduring prolonged use and rough treatment outdoors. It’s no sterile-lightweight-super-fiber. Our canvas comes from the earth, making a quiet statement of durability, great feel, and unique character. It’s tough, and provides a smooth feel while imbuing the quality and durability required for a lifetime of use. As you carry a waxed canvas bag it will subtly change over time, developing its own personality, a patina that is like a record of the experiences and adventures you’ve been through with your trusty bag.
Field tan is where it all started.
It’s the original, natural color for canvas packs and bags. Before industrial dies, bleaches, chemical blanches and tech-washes, the cotton fibers
were natural or naturally died, off-white or muted color. Canvas would gradually stain and discolor over time, and eventually, what started as off-white would fade and age to become a product of its lifetime— an amalgamation of the trips, falls, scrapes and adventures that created the eventual look and feel of a well-worn piece of equipment: field tan. We decided to start where all good packs end up, with that subtle, earthy field tan color. Over time, like all good gear should, our packs and bags age, polish and patina. The brass will glow, the leather will shine, and the field tan will be influenced by all the miles you’ve logged and the patches sewn on to cover those few missteps.
The color and canvas stands out in town, bringing a bit of the woods into the city and offering a quiet reminder of something that may have been forgotten in the hustle-bustle of our modern age. You’ll be rewarded as you carry the same reliable pack from your weekend adventure with you on Monday after brushing the woods duff off from a recent hike into the hinterlands.
Our gear is built to last a lifetime, to stand out through subtlety and the nature of high-quality materials and craftsmanship. A piece of distinction, merit and longevity speaks for itself. A Frost River pack is a bit like that; it doesn’t need to boast. But some folks have asked for a pop of color. We’ve done a few special runs and limited builds of Frost River gear in other colors when we’ve partnered with folks like Woolrich, Askov Finlayson, Westerlind, and our retail partners, always sewing with subtle earth tones — shades you’d find in nature. It’s important to us, because we at Frost River build reliable softgoods, gear that is grounded, sturdy, and usable outdoors, and the colors we choose should be too.
We love red! Our logo is red, our building is red, the company truck is called “Big Red,” Henry, the Frost River van, is covered in red (and field tan). It’s our other favorite color. We recently got ahold of some red waxed canvas and are offering a bit of it on a select few of our daypacks in a limited build, and we’ll be taking pre-orders through September 6th, 2016 for shipment in late September.
It’s fitting that this red, called “Old Glory”, was made to emulate the red stripes on American flags of olde; the stars and stripes is an important symbol for us as we build and manufacture in Duluth, MN, USA. In fact you’ll find a little flag on the taffeta of each of our packs, so you could say we’ve had red in all of our packs! When we saw this canvas, though, we knew we needed to add some to the packs for a little while at least.
“Old Glory” red is just the right shade to complement our reliable softgoods: Not too bright to be obnoxious in the woods, not too pink (nothing against pink, but we’ll never do pink packs… that’s just not right). The wax formula in this beautiful red is the same as our field tan, a proprietary compound infused in a super-secret process by the folks at Fairfield Textiles in New Jersey. It’s a deep, earthy red, a bit like the warm hue of a Norway Maple leaf with the sun coming through it. It works great with our field tan waxed canvas. And it’s only going to be available for a short time this fall. So act quick! Check out what we have to offer, pick a pack you like and get in on this limited edition offering. They won’t be offered for long, but just like all our Frost River gear, they are guaranteed to last a lifetime!
Thoughts on carrying a laptop in an everyday backpack
Scurrying across a ridge top or commuting around campus, an active person is going to need a trusty go-to pack from time to time. Wouldn’t it be great to have one bag to go from travel in the field and then off to school and into work? Waxed canvas keeps the weather out when outdoors, sheds spots and stains wherever you find them, wears well (it’s been called “tin cloth” because it’s tough like tin, some of the burliest stuff around a hundred years ago) plus it looks great. Our Field Tan waxed canvas is rugged yet stays professional, and gets better all the time, developing a unique patina and character with age and use. Waxed canvas is an awesome material for a multi-purpose day pack.
But which one is best for going to school or work?
Voyageur– Our newest pack – Here’s a convertible crossover that’s able to be worn as a pack or carried as a brief. The bag opens wide, offers a padded sleeve along with exterior lash squares and a daisy chained length of web. The backstraps are stowable when you want them out of the way. Inside we placed snaps that are spaced to work with our Accessory Bag XP’s in either backpack (vertical) or briefcase (horizontal) orientation. The Voyageur Backpack Brief is sized for portability, the Voyageur Luggage is sized for more capacity.
North Bay Daypack – A classic shape with a rounded top. Our North Bay Pack is made from reliable materials with a logical layout; the zippers make getting into and out of the pack a breeze. Available with a foam padded laptop sleeve or with a slip pocket of unlined canvas. Either with a standard capacity 5” side gusset or a wider 7” gusset for more space.
Itinerant – Great for school, the rectangular shape works for books, a laptop, folders and papers. There are dividers inside the zipper pocket to keep your utensils straight. The Premium model adds leather and a sleeve at the back. You get the choice of adding padding or not for the sleeve.
A little larger for bigger books, binders, or computers. Lash tabs provide options for exterior cargo. Inside, there are dividers in the pocket and a hanging pocket in the pack to keep little stuff off the bottom of the pack. The main zipper opens wide, and the pack lays flat to get at everything in a flash. There’s a laptop sleeve that you have the choice to get padded or not.
Arrowhead Rolltop eco– side pockets and a padded laptop sleeve separate the eco from our standard Arrowhead pack. The rolltop design is wondrously suited to a waxed canvas bag. It makes a super weather tight closure that will expand up and down to accommodate varying sized loads. There’s a web loop for a blinking bike light plus lash squares for tying stuff to the outside. The side pockets will hold a round 1L bottle and snap closed when not full or when you want to be sure everything stays put.
Premium Mesabi Range Daypack– A similar sized pack body to the Arrowhead Rolltop but with a buckled flap instead of a rolled top. There are leather backstraps that can be upgraded to match our canoe pack straps, just sized down to daypack proportions. There are dividers inside the pack along with a full width slip pocket for papers, folders, or a magazine. The laced cord is there to provide options for lashing, and an exterior zip pocket keeps small items handy without breaking into the main pack.
Sojourn – If your style is the old style, here’s a new pack for you! Leather pack straps, solid brass roller buckles, waxed canvas throughout, we build the Sojourns just like a small canoe pack. The Sojourn Skinny is envelope style where the front and back are sewn directly together. The regular Sojourn is box style where there’s an extra gusset panel to increase capacity. Padding in the laptop sleeve is possible for each. Classic character is built into each.
Premium Carrier Brief– A messenger shoulder bag that means business. The padded sleeve is at the back of the bag, right at the hip where it belongs. An organizer panel keeps your stuff straight, the wide strap is long enough for most to wear it across the chest, plus there’s a leather shoulder pad to even out the weight of a heavy load.
Whichever pack or bag you choose, know that it was built by people who care about quality, right here in the USA. All of our Frost River packs are guaranteed to hold up for years of hard use outdoors. There’s unmatched character that develops in a waxed canvas bag. It ages like no other material, is repairable, and has integrity built into every stitch, rivet, buckle, and strap. What better bag can you send with a favorite student headed into the wilds of the real world?
The Frost River Made in USA Road Trip was as much about visiting old friends and meeting new ones as it was about getting out and seeing the country on a traditional journey:
the great American road trip.
To start such an epic trip, we traded the old Denali in for something more fitting, something more Frost Rivery — versatile, built for the job, and just right for a road trip, a van. Lacking any pizazz though, we covered it from bow to stern, hoof to antler, with graphics of packs, bags, waxed canvas and Henry the Frost River caribou. And so, Henry the Frost River van, was born.
To get started, we got our wheels turning by heading east and tracing the history of this great country where we build our Reliable Softgoods. We stopped in Pennsylvania on our way to New York to meet up with some friends thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. We parked our bright red van at a quiet trailhead near the Delaware and treated our friends to some homemade pizza brought all the way from Thirsty Pagan in Superior, Wisconsin. Needless to say, it was devoured. Before long, it was time to say goodbye, and we were dropping them off to continue their walk. We all had much further to go before the end of our grand adventures.
After many hours, we’d dropped out of the rolling wooded hills and were caught in the throngs of motorists headed to Manhattan. Henry was quickly swallowed up in the bricks, the buildings, the steaming underground and the honking many. We wove and drove, leaned on the horn like the locals and finally got to Times Square. There we were, in the lights and traffic and everything, proudly showing folks in the big Apple our softgoods-bedazzled van, Henry, and telling our humble story of building gear by hand in Duluth, MN.
A few days later, after we’d greeted old friends and met new ones at Capsule Show, we packed up and headed out to a quiet lake in Maine. Eagles soared, the water lapped, and the quiet of nature filled us with energy. Refreshed, we grabbed our now-empty growlers in their growler packs, the cribbage board and our flight bags, and were on the road.
After a long drive overnight, we made a quick stop at our home base in Duluth to refit and refuel. With new oil, new tires and new gear, we headed west. We were headed to Outdoor Retailer (OR), the biggest outdoor show in the world. It’s one of the best places for us to meet new partners, and we get to meet up with old friends, too.
We talk about how pictures and illustrations are nice and all, but to get a feel for our packs, you’ve really got to feel our packs. That’s why it’s so important to us that we work with partners in all corners of the globe where you can actually get our packs in your hands, feel the grain of the waxed canvas, the supple hand of the leather. Once you feel the canvas, pull the straps, try the packs on, the appeal is apparent. At OR, we get the chance to meet new partners and connect with old friends who help promote what we do by stocking our packs and bags in their stores where others can see the value as well.
We met with our friends from Save the BWCA and hosted their happy hour at our booth. They had a petition canoe at OR, a Wenonah, covered with signatures. It was called Betty Jo. With no plans for getting Betty Jo the signature canoe back to MN, we told them we had more space on our roof rack and would be happy to haul her home. Soon we were strapping the boat alongside our Stewart River wood canvas solo canoe.
OR was over before we knew it and we were headed into the mountains. We visited friends at Westerlind in Powder Mountain, Utah, then set up our Campfire Tent next to a quiet river in Sun Valley. The stars climbed in great fans of Milky Way over the canvas, and we sat in chairs under the awning, drinking Bent Paddle Lollygagger. In the morning, we tried our luck with a few flies in the River. The fish weren’t having it though so we packed our poles and headed north.
We drove up to Montana. Henry bounced along the interstate and we marveled at the rolling crags of the Rockies. We met friends in Missoula, and were finishing dinner and plotting a route up the Blackfoot River to camp when a tempest blew in. Trees whipped and sheets of rain soaked the streets. We weren’t swayed, but soon, we were outside preparing Henry for the drive as lightning popped and branches fell. We acquiesced. Feeling defeated, we found a room in town. A couple checked in after us, their whitewater kayaks nearly dwarfing their small car. They’d been headed up the Blackfoot as well, only to be stopped by trees that had fallen across the road. We’d made the right decision by not going. So we slept, rose early and bounced Henry up the canyon as banks of fog rolled off the river. We were determined to get on the water, to experience some of the magic of the Montana river. Around a bend, we turned off the engine and launched the Stewart River. It was fantastic. Our paddling was more subdued in the wood canvas, but the thrill of the paddle and the pull of river was exhilarating. After we’d pulled the canoe up and out of the water, we realized that it wasn’t enough. We needed a real canoe trip.
We drove to Bozeman. There we met up with a friend, and before long we were headed out of town to a lake we’ve sworn not to reveal. As the sun set, we launched the Stewart River and Betty Jo and loaded them with food, tents, sleeping bags, and tackle. At the far shore, around a quiet bend, we made camp near a gurgling inlet under the soft peaks of tree-covered mountains. As twilight deepened, we tried the flies and pulled in beautiful rainbow trout. At night, the firelight danced and the stars sparkled with the first hint of the Perseid meteor shower.
When morning came, we plied the waters some more, and watched bald eagles do the same. We packed our campfire tent and canoe packs and paddled back toward Henry over a nearly glacial-blue pane of glass. Rain came quietly as we neared the landing and the lake shimmered in the steely Light. Once we’d packed the tent and the canoe packs back into the van, stowed the poles in the fly rod case and the tackle in the Little Marais, we were on the road back down the canyon.
We said goodbye to our friend and headed for Dillon to meet our friends at Atomic 79. They showed us their workshop, the beautiful boots they build by hand and the curious tools they carry and use. Before we were done they’d invited us out to their ranch. We weren’t about to say no, and were humbled by the invitation. Following a set of old time directions drawn on a slip of paper, we drove Henry out into the country. A fierce thunderstorm crackled across the plain and we watched bolt after bolt slam the ground, exploding in clouds of dust. Huge, heavy drops of rain pelted the van as we bounced along a dirt road between two great fields. Then the rain suddenly stopped and the storm was gone. A most fantastic rainbow bent from one side of the horizon to the other. As we left the fields and entered a small canyon, the storm rumbled on and the rainbow glowed. After a fork and a tree and a bend, we crested a ridge and saw the welcome sight of an old-time ranch, nestled in a field of sage in the valley between mountains. A river ran past and a small pond gleamed in the golden light. An old 1960s bronco stood at the end of the driveway. Horses roamed around the farmhouse and poked at the wraparound porch. We broke bread with our hosts, eating tacos and sharing stories. It was one of the most unexpected, finest nights of the Made in USA Road Trip.
On recommendation from our hosts, we took back roads south to get into Yellowstone National Park. The line at the entrance was short and soon we were among hot springs, bison and the smell of sulfur. No American road trip is complete without a trip to Yellowstone. We found our way to the Grand Prismatic Spring in the Midway Geyser Basin and parked Henry in a conspicuous spot right near the trailhead. We grabbed the Summit Boulder Junction and headed out to the causeway. In either direction were bright colors of steaming pools. After that, we drove a short distance to the start of the Fairy Falls Hike. With the Boulder Junction and North Bay Daypack in tow, plus two cans of bear mace, we started on the long flats that lead to the falls. This took us to a grove of pines that rolled for miles until the rock to our left rose up into precipitous cliffs and the mist of Fairy Falls broke out from the rock. It fell in wispy streams into an enormous bowl and pool. We sat and watched the falls. We had the spot to ourselves, and basked in the rare Yellowstone moment.
Back at the van, we cranked the AC and plotted a course for the Grand Tetons and Shadow Mountain. Another set of crazy specific directions put us on the bumpy winding dirt road up the mountain. As we passed spot after occupied spot, we realized that it was the weekend and wondered what to do if there was nowhere to camp. Eventually, we found a large open field with one Forerunner and a pair of tents. We asked the two staying there if we could join them and they said yes. We pulled Henry off the road and pitched the Campfire Tent and Henry’s awning in the fading light. The sun dipped behind the craggy teeth of the Tetons and the sky glowed a deep orange. Soon the stars came and the Perseids showered from the inky black of space.
The next morning, we packed up our Campfire Tent and drove down Shadow Mountain into the valley. A long haul brought Henry and the two canoes over to Colorado, and up toward South Dakota. We pulled through the sleepy town of Hot Springs, South Dakota and made our way into Wind Cave National Park. Setting up camp, we headed to the visitor center to register for a subterranean tour and in a short while we were climbing into an airlock and walking through the wandering caverns of the Wind Cave. The beautiful formations of boxwork and seemingly endless passageways, cracks and grottos were beautiful.
The next day, Henry stopped at Wall Drug to see his distant relative the Jackelope, before we continued on to Badlands National Park. The rugged earth of the Badlands was beautiful, with colorful stratigraphy and great hikes. In the day we were there, we climbed rickety ladders on the Notch Trail, sipped gobbs of water from our High Falls Daypack, climbed from one plain to another, watched bighorn sheep, and weathered a terrific storm in our Tent. It’s estimated there are over 100 Bighorn Sheep in Badlands National Park and it seemed like we saw every one. The original population was imported from Colorado and penned near the Pinnacles area. They now roam the park freely in three distinct herds. It was amazing to watch them nimbly navigate the rough ridges and spires of the Badlands’ gnarled landscape. During the overnight storm, torrential rains, intense lightning and strong winds descended on the plains. We got up a couple times to tend the guy lines, but managed to stay dry with our made-in-Duluth tent. We felt we’d earned the biscuits and gravy in the morning; certainly the coffee!
After that, the road brought us home. Henry was glad to see the Aerial Lift Bridge again and so were we. We’d covered thousands of miles, met thousands of people and seen hundreds of amazing places. The best part is, we’d hardly scratched the surface. There were so many stories, so many places that we couldn’t include in this post. We would have liked to include everything, but there isn’t enough ink in the internet. We traveled a lot of the country and there is still so much more, so many more places, towns, valleys, rugged mountains, winding rivers. We can’t wait to get out again, and hope to see you on the next Frost River Made in USA Road Trip.
The beauty of the open road and daily endeavors gets even better through the beauty of versatility in a handcrafted bag! The best pieces of gear work with you, and are versatile enough to go from one activity to the next, seamlessly. That’s why we think crossover luggage is awesome, it allows several ways to carry a bag that’s sized for a variety of loads and pursuits. One bag to rule them all!
Read on for our newest crossover piece, the Voyageur, and our other adaptable luggage options below.
Built in Duluth, MN to offer carrying options with two different sizes— great for working and traveling voyageurs. Available in Briefcase-sized and Carryon Luggage-sized options, the Voyageur is one bag you’re sure to keep coming back to. Both sizes offer the same feature set, in different proportions to suit your needs. Grab both for a matched set that’ll work with you on the road! Take a look at a review.
The Backpack Brief is the smaller of the two, sized as an everyday work bag to carry a laptop, change of clothes, lunch, documents and odds and ends, with plenty of pockets and organization to keep your stuff straight.
The Voyageur Luggage is larger, and provides more capacity for extra clothes and gear. They’re made from tough waxed canvas at our shop in Duluth, Minnesota and just as all our reliable softgoods, are guaranteed to last.
You can find the dimensions and even more photos of the Voyageurs here.
What they’re saying about it:
The Voyageur has been well-received by a lot of folks. The Expedition Portal crew likes that “the large clamshell opening allows… access all of the bag’s contents without having to reach through a small slit. In that regard, its like a good old fashioned suitcase… with a shape that fits in the overhead as well as it does behind the seat in my vehicle, the Voyaguer has become my new go-to.” Read more of their field test by clicking here.
Both sizes feature:
—A new XP snap grid inside that allows our Small, Medium, or Large Accessory XP Bags to attach within the main compartment. The grid provides a modular mindset with plenty of options to add pockets and organization, while being compatible with a vertical orientation when worn on the back, or horizontal as when using the handle or optional shoulder strap. This lets the bag work with you, and helps make these crossovers even more versatile
— The outside front pocket closes securely with a durable zipper and features an organizing panel inside for pens, pencils, a passport, phone, portable hard drive or any other small stuff you want to stow, as well a larger items like notebooks or magazines.
— The front of the pack also features a sturdy cotton web daisy chain that runs from top to bottom, to allow gear to be clipped or tied to the bag.
— Six lash squares with 3/4” slots along the bottom and sides of the bag provide more options for carrying gear (our bedroll and bike bag straps work great here).
— Comfortable contoured padded shoulder straps also have the same type daisy chain web as on the front. When not in use, the bottom of the straps unclip from the pack body and stow in a sleeve at the back of the pack.
— A padded and zippered laptop sleeve inside offers a spot for a computer. The sleeve is fully padded and protected, so you can carry your device with confidence!
— When used as a backpack, the backstrap sleeve of the Voyageur can serve to haul a smaller items to which you want quick access, like a hydration bladder on the trail, a map on a portage or a laptop on your way to TSA airport security. A padded sleeve is handy for carrying a laptop in the backstrap sleeve.
— External solid brass D-rings provide attachment points for backstraps and an optional shoulder strap (sold separately).
Either size is professional enough for work as a briefcase and tough enough for the outdoors whether on trail, in a boat, or just on the move. There’s capacity for travel, and with classic, rugged good looks, the Voyageur is a perfect match to an outdoorist attitude.
A robust duffel bag with stowable shoulder straps. Our Explorers are tough, and built to carry heavy loads. With the cotton web and leather ESB backstraps, it becomes convertible to a backpack for hands free carry. When you don’t want the straps, you can stuff them in the sleeve on the bottom of the bag and use it as a normal duffel. The 2” grab handle web extends all the way around the belly of the bag to haul oversized loads, plus there’s another grab handle on one end, and a low profile zip pocket on the other. On the front is a handy exterior pocket with a leather strap and brass post to keep contents where they belong. The main zipper is covered with a dust flap for weather and dust resistance. We build the Explorer ESB in two sizes, the CarryOn is smaller, just right for airline specs, while the Medium is a little larger, just right to carry a bunch of stuff.
Navigator— This is one of our largest briefcases, with big side pockets for capacity that approaches true luggage. The Navigator is built for business with a sleeve for files or a laptop, an organizer panel for writing utensils and smaller items, a business card holder and solid brass D-rings on each side of the main zipper for a balanced, even shoulder load. We include a wide 2” shoulder strap and guarantee the hardware and build of the whole bag (just like we do with everything we make!) to last a lifetime.
We spend a lot of time on the road and appreciate the crossover features in a bag. It allows one bag to fill multiple roles on a trip. We believe in what we make and use the stuff everyday. The Voyageur Backpacks have been a work in progress for awhile. They’ve gone through several changes as we’ve used them on travels near and far. We think you’ll like it as much as we do! Keep traveling well, and as often as possible and be sure to carry a good bag…. Cheers!