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Year in Review: 2016

Posted by Alex Messenger

Year in Review: 2016

A lot has happened in the last 365 days.

2016 has been a big year, and we’ve been busy here at Frost River picking up old projects, working on new ones, some you’ve seen and some you’ll see soon. Always, we’ve been handcrafting reliable softgoods here in Duluth that are fit for the field and guaranteed for life. We don’t often take the time to look back and review what we’ve done, so it’s a great opportunity with the coming new year to take a chance to relive some of our favorite projects, collaborations, introductions and stories from the past year.

Frost River Buckskin Shoulder Strap Detail

Buckskin Shoulder Strap Upgrade - It’s a signature on our rugged, expedition-grade canoe packs, and one of the things that separates us from the field. Our buckskin padded backstraps are comfortable and durable. They were one of our most-requested customizations on our daypack line, and this year, we introduced just that. On most of our daypacks, you can now order our signature, premium buckskin shoulder straps to cushion your carry and haul with class.

frosted-fatty-winner-jump-img_3843In March, we hosted the first ever lift-accessed downhill fat bike race in the world at the first annual Frosted Fatty at Spirit Mountain. It was a blast, with lots of great contestants, speed, thrills and great prizes for winners from us here and from other great partners, too. This coming winter, we’ll be hosting the 2017 Frosted Fatty, too, and it’s expanding. It’ll be even bigger, with more contestants, more races and more awesome. Details here.

Frost River Canvas My State Patches showing all 50 United States. Handmade from deerhide buckskin in Duluth, MN. Available on certain new Frost River gear or as standalone patches so you can sew yer own onto whatever you'd like!

We rolled out our Canvas My State Patches in the spring to great response. We started out with twelve iconic outlines, including Minnesota, Lake Superior and the Lower 48, along with a handful of other states. People overwhelmingly wanted their own states, and we’re proud to now offer all 50 United States as buckskin patches — Hawaii was not easy, but we did it!

The Frost River Voyageur Backpack Crossovers are equally at home on a back or over a shoulder and fit in the great outdoors and the wood paneled walls of the boardroom.

We released our brand-new Voyageur Backpack Crossovers, bringing rugged versatility in a brief-sized and luggage-sized pack that is well-suited to however you like to travel. They’re highly functional, reliable softgoods that serve well in any carrying capacity. We introduced another one of our collaboration collections with purveyors of fine men’s goods and supporters of cold winters, Askov Finlayson. askov-finlayson-fox-river-briefcaseThey’re an amazing team out of Minneapolis’ North Loop and for years, they’ve continued to bring great ideas to the table and push us to do bigger, better things, while keeping it local in the North. This year’s collaboration was featured in Gear Patrol and Gear Junkie, along with other high quality publications. It’s our gear, built right here, in an understated and bold black waxed canvas. Available through Askov Finlayson.

The Stahl/Frost River Firepit Sling collaboration brings enhanced function and portability to the Stahl Camper Firepit. Features pockets for the 5 steel and aluminum plates of the Camper, plus snaps to keep the sling shut or add a Frost River Accessory Bag. Firepit, sling, and accessory bags sold separately. Photo Alex Messenger

On the topic of collaborations, we worked closely with the good folks at Stahl Firepit out of Portland, OR to make their Camper Firepit even more portable by modifying and customizing our Firewood Sling to complement their firepit. With dedicated sleeves for each piece of the firepit, you can haul your campfire wherever you choose, with room for tinder and logs once you’re there.

Enjoying Bent Paddle Beer on Kelly Lake with Dave and Amy Freeman.

Freeman Resupply Trip - This year has been big for the Boundary Waters. Our friends Dave and Amy Freeman spent an entire year within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and we got the opportunity to bring them some food and supplies right before fishing opener. It was a great, classic BWCA trip. Read up on our resupply trip here, and updates on the Save the BWCA campaign here. Nice work Freemans!

The inside of the Leather Pocket Folio showing cards and limited edition Minnesota Field Notes Notebook in Red. The Frost River Leather Pocket Folio is built to last from premium full grain leather to hold a notebook, cards and more.

Pocket Folio, Pint Sleeve and Skyline Rolldown Backpack - A year of big little things. Whether you’re carrying your passport, Field Notes and Beer, a lot of gear, or all of the above, we’ve come out with some great accessories to pair with the daily grind or once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Check ‘em all out here.

The Frost River Limited Build Two Tone Collection in Field Tan and Olde Glory Red. September 2016

Limited Build of Old Glory Red - When we caught wind of a limited amount of classic waxed canvas made in Old Glory Red, we jumped at the opportunity and made a limited build of our own. In early September, we opened up preorders for two-tone packs built from the rare canvas for one week only. Now they’re all across the world. We’ve got a couple still remaining… Give us a call!

No.382o Sawbill Trail Handlebar Bag by Frost River. A simple bag built for bikes but great for attaching to other packs too with the included straps. Rings at the ends work to stabilize the bag to a bike or haul it by a strap. Hunter Orange body helps to stand out in a crowd, in the woods, or in the bike lane.

Orange Expansion and Two Tone - At Frost River, we’re all about function, and, while Field Tan is the original, most functional of all (more on that here), there’re times when you’d rather stand out than blend in. That’s where our Hunter Orange comes in. This fall, we expanded our Hunter Orange line to include a bunch more products to help you stay visible in the woods, on the trail and on the road. At the same time, we came out with a selection of gear in Field Tan and Hunter Orange Two-Tone for a contrasting best of both worlds. Find them all here.

What’s Next?

There’s a lot in the cards for the coming year, and we can’t wait to share them with you! We’ll be working hard, sewing rugged canvas and leather into reliable softgoods, securing it with solid brass hardware and guaranteeing it for life. What we do isn’t new, but that’s called building on a legacy. We work toward the future with knowledge and skills gained from the past and built on in the future.

Sign up for our email newsletter to be the first to know about all of our new releases, read up on our blogs and keep rugged and reliable in your inbox. We try not to take ourselves too seriously, but the work that we do is serious business. You need your pack to hold, your strap to carry, your seams to stay. It matters to you, so it matters to us.

Thanks for a great year, and cheers to more adventures in 2017!

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