The Frost River Heritage Black Collection of packs, bags, and accessories have several special features unique to the line that combine to infuse character and experience right from the start. We craft the whole collection right here in Duluth, Minnesota alongside their Field Tan counterparts. Everything we make, no matter the color, is purpose-built for a lifetime of durable performance both on and off the beaten path. We don’t make replicas or imitations of the real thing. This is the good stuff: hard working gear that’s meant to be used, hold up for years in field, and get even better with age and use.
The materials utilized in the Heritage Black Collection are sourced from the same suppliers we’ve relied upon for years. The waxed canvas, premium leather, zipper, binding, thread… all remain unchanged except for the color. What is different is the solid brass hardware. The buckles, slides, machine rivets, grommets, rings and snaps each go through a process here at the shop to infuse a bit of age and experience upon the brass. In designing the line, we found our normal bright new hardware in contrast with what we were working to achieve— we wanted to add as much old world heritage and character into the collection as possible. The pristine brass didn’t match. We inquired our suppliers, and searched out other sources, but we could not find solid brass quality with the look we were hoping for. Most all the commercially available antiqued hardware is made of steel with thin plating, odd paints, and various varnishes applied to them. We doubted that the surface finishes would last as long as the bags they’re attached to. The finishes would wear off, and the hardware would turn to a shiny silvery steel… we’ve seen it happen, and we don’t want that on gear with our name on it.
So we made our own.
Improvising an antiquing process to infuse more age and use onto new materials isn’t easy (and that’s part of the reason why the Heritage Black line carries a premium price compared to standard Field Tan). There are several steps to get more heritage to stick to the metal and bring more subtlety to the look. The processes have undergone some changes since we started for both efficiency and effect. Early on, we faced challenges getting all the polishing compound off the patina-ed hardware. If you get, or have, one of those early models, a quick rub with a rag will easily take that extra material off. So will use in the field. Once it’s clean, you can rub in a drop of oil or wax and the brass can really glow, too.
We hope you’re as fond of our hand-antiqued brass as we are. We’ve always had a thing for gear that looks the part as much as it walks the walk, and our antiqued brass does just that. This isn’t paint, plastic and pleather trying to pretend it's the real deal. This is real brass hardware, with an old-world patina on classically-built heritage-quality gear that's made by hand. The Heritage Black collection is handcrafted right alongside our rugged and reliable Field Tan canoe packs, luggage, and other outdoor gear. All of our reliable softgoods are built with integrity and made to last a lifetime.
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