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I Want A Vintage Backpack
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Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/09/2008 23:27:18 MDT Print View

I've sort of got interested in vintage backpacking gear. I sure hope I don't get the bug, since I already collect TOO many things that I never actually use, especially for my budget. I thought it might be interesting to try an old backpack. I don't want a rare and expensive collectible, but something I can take out for an easy overnighter and not have to worry about damaging.

Any suggestions? I use a Granite Gear Vapor Trail for modern life now.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/10/2008 01:29:04 MDT Print View

Like WWII surplus, or were you thinking a little later 'vintage' than that?

Matthew Elam
(slashpastor) - F

Locale: Colorado now!!!
Re: Vintage Backpack... on 03/10/2008 06:10:28 MDT Print View

Were you thinking old REI gear?

Jon Hancock

Locale: Northwest England
I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/10/2008 11:51:46 MDT Print View

I use a Gwaltney Gear "Nessmuk" rucksack quite a lot (and I believe that it's available from other suppliers, too), a waxed canvas and leather pack with a nice arrangement of side pockets. It's not actually a vintage pack but it is a current version of a venerable design. Excellent for day hikes along with my Ventile smock.

There's also a Swiss canvas rucksack sitting in my wardrobe at the moment, made of the old "salt and pepper" canvas and leather, which is a lovely item but remarkably heavy for its size; not one for the trail so much but it gets a lot of use as a general purpose bag and has the great advantage of being widely available at army surplus prices.

If you really want to explore the world of vintage (i.e. cotton duck and heavy canvas) packs then you'll find that such things are still widely used in canoeing circles as well as by bushcraft and primitive skills enthusiasts.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/10/2008 13:51:05 MDT Print View

How about this beauty

I still see some die-harders carrying these things around here!

Ron Babington
(Ohbejoyful) - MLife

Locale: Greenville, SC
Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/10/2008 14:13:13 MDT Print View

Dude, you should totally check out the Jensen pack from RMW:

"Vintage" in style if not in fact..

Ryan Gardner
(splproductions) - F - M

Locale: Salt Lake City, UT
Great for the back... on 03/10/2008 14:28:42 MDT Print View


That pack looks comfortable as heck!

Chad Lorenz
(ChadL) - MLife

Locale: Teton Valley, Wydaho
canvas packs on 03/10/2008 20:58:05 MDT Print View

Piragis of the Northwoods may carry some Duluth style packs that you may be interested in checking out:


Alan Wenker
(justmeagain) - F
Vintage packs on 03/13/2008 13:53:59 MDT Print View

You can find nearly any, or at least a lot, of vintage packs on ebay if you are patient. It helps to narrow down your choices a bit, internal frame, external frame, soft pack, specific brand. Someone mentioned the revised Rivendell Mountain Works- you can't tell the new packs from the originals, I have both. Sized correctly they carry very well. If you narrow down what you are looking for I may be able to help you find something.

Class 5 Quim
Class 5 Quim

Hine Snowbridge Serex
Hine Snowbridge Serex

Holubar Royale Pack
Holubar Royale

Hine Snowbridge Tamarack
Hine Snowbridge Tamarack

Lastly, the Rivendell Giant Jensen, aka, the coolest pack ever madeRivendell Mountain Works Giant Jensen

Edited by justmeagain on 03/13/2008 14:05:23 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 03/13/2008 14:32:44 MDT Print View

I have a Trailwise external frame pack I bought in 1967. I don't know if that qualifies as vintage, but it's a great pack. It still has the original shoulder straps, with load lifters. In the early '80s I did replace the hip belt with a more modern one. The neat thing about Trailwise is that the two guys who started Trailwise sold it and started a company called Sierra Designs, which they sold and started a company called Walrus, which REI bought. It was cool to go into their "Factory Store", around the corner from the Berkeley, CA REI and watch them designing new tents in the back.

The Walrus service was really something. I left the tent poles for my Walrus Solo One behind when we broke camp because of an emergency. I went into the store and asked about replacement poles and one of the owners crawled up into the rafters and rummaged through boxes of poles until he found a set. He gave them to me for free and wished me good hiking.

Rob Blazoff
(Genetic) - F

Locale: Out back, brewing beer in BPA.
Mont bell on 03/13/2008 15:17:07 MDT Print View

I saw these at a gear shop in Kyoto.
I don't know if you can get them here.Montbell French Guide pack.

Alan Wenker
(justmeagain) - F
Another modern, retro styled pack on 03/13/2008 15:22:12 MDT Print View

I saw this earlier today.

Jared Williams
(Jared) - F
M 39 rucksack on 03/18/2008 14:08:46 MDT Print View

Swedish M-39 (1939 model) Rucksack.

Or if you can possibly find one a M-35 (1935 model) which seems identical to the 39 model, but with 2 side pouches and a back pouch. Extremely hard to find though.

Edited by Jared on 03/18/2008 14:10:03 MDT.

Jason Klass
(jasonklass) - F

Locale: Parker, CO
Vintage Pack on 03/18/2008 19:44:06 MDT Print View

Hey, this is, NOT! ;)

Jon Hancock

Locale: Northwest England
Re: Vintage Pack on 03/19/2008 12:02:20 MDT Print View

Nothing wrong with a little vintage. Kephart wrote about exceptionally light kit; Nessmuk, indeed, was notorious for it.

Materials may have changed, but the desire to get into the outdoors relatively unburdened has been with us since well before John Muir.

Mind you, I just love old camping stuff so I'll admit to a little bias here :)

Hugh Donohue
(Currahee_doc) - F
Vintage Backpacks - Still looking? on 04/30/2008 04:26:29 MDT Print View

I have two of potential interest: A Hine/Snowbridge Serex w/ optional side pockets, and A Frostline Venture Pack. I have modified them over the years, so they're not pristine original, but of course MUCH better packs as a result! I had a snow scree put in the Serex, royal blue to contrast with the Navy pack. The orange Venture now has contrasting blue daisy chains, and two additional external pockets on the top and back to accommodate quick-access stuff. Both were professionally done (Pack mod section in an outdoor shop near Ft. Bragg, NC) Email me at if you're interested and I'll send pictures.../Hugh

Eric Riddick
(50Miler) - F
Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 04/30/2008 22:48:54 MDT Print View

Ive still got an early eighties Lowe Alpine Systems internal frame pack. And its still in good condition. This is THE CLASSIC original style, internal frame frills. I figure its got another 500 miles on it at least. Back then, they made backpacking gear bombproof and most packs were made out of very durable cordura nylon.

Its heavy, its bombproof, it can handle a 100 lbs no problem as long as your fit to handle 100 lb loads and it looks mean...its an ULighters nightmare. And its a classic.


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 04/30/2008 23:25:12 MDT Print View

Vintage? Wouldn't that be a Golite Breeze? Or a GVP? Those are pretty classic man!

Then you could put a floorless Tarptent Squall inside.

Dude- flashbacks! Can all of you remember when Cuben was, like, NEW? I think I do!!!

And didn't there used to be stuff called "cordura"? Wait a second, do I hear Flock of Seagulls playing?


Eric Riddick
(50Miler) - F
Re: Re: Re: I Want A Vintage Backpack on 05/01/2008 22:47:06 MDT Print View

>And didn't there used to be stuff called "cordura"? Wait a >second, do I hear Flock of Seagulls playing?

1000 denier cordura...GREAT STUFF! You could: 1)throw it out of a plane and it would survive intact; 2) break off the trail and bushwhack through the thickest, nastiest briers and brambles that would totally tear up a UL pack; 3)go for years and years without having to buy a new pack; 4) use the pack to carry mega heavy resupply loads to base camp...UL packs simply wont handle that; 5) not have to worry about babying your pack while setting it on the ground during trail breaks or during airport handling.

Id like to see a synthetic pack material with the ruggedness of good old cordura nylon, but with the lightness of silnylon. Im not sure that would be possible, however.


Edited by 50Miler on 05/01/2008 22:47:59 MDT.

P. P.
(toesnorth) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: "I Want A Vintage Backpack" on 05/01/2008 23:36:52 MDT Print View

Wow! A Granite Gear Vapor Trail? I have a used one that I haven't used in over a year. Is it vintage yet??