Early Gerry Ruck Sack

I will preface by saying this pack contains no makers markings, tags or labels. It is believed to be from early outdoor gear manufacturer Gerry based on certain characteristics.

It wasn’t until the end of the second World War, when GIs returning from the European campaign settled rejoined the fabric of american life that outdoor exploration as a true hobby and leisure exercise really begin to gain a foothold in the United States.  campaigns in the Alps and Pyrenees along with  exposure to cultures that had survived and thrived in these areas provided some soldiers with a taste for the alpine life when their tour was over. Purpose built military gear provided the basis for these new adventure’s kit.  Modifications for civilian use at some point became drastic enough that an entirely new piece of equipment was created and their creators found business in doing so.

In this pack you can see the lineage of its predecessors.  Even with in this blog you can find examples of Swiss and other military packs of which this bag shares many characteristics. Heavy canvas has been replaced by lighter nylon blended material and  excess hardware associated with military use has been eliminated. The items that work remain; leather shoulder straps affixed with nuts and screws,  main compartment with external pockets for stowing items that need be readily available.  And OD Green, hey, it works and why would anyone want to stray from earth tones any way?

This pack’s tear drop shape, side compartments and top flap are consistent with another pack designed by the Gerry company in the early 60s featured on this blog here. In particular the way the top flap is secured by cords through nylon lashings and knotted. Gerry’s Gerry Cunningham was one of the earliest designer and manufacturer of commercial mountaineering and outdoor goods starting the company in 1946 after leaving the military. Since that time the company has gone through many changes and owners. Its most current incarnation can be seen at www.gerryoutdoors.com.

The North Face Leather Bottom Rucksack Backpack – Brown Label Made in the USA

Early TNF larger size semi-rigid tear drop shaped rucksack with extremely impressive ergo dynamics.  Classic TNF navy blue nylon makes up the back and sides, while the back panel is made of a heavy cotton. Two hidden rods, most likely a heavy plastic run from the bottom inside points up along the seam between the back panel and side to the top of the pack. These rods bow so when the pack is worn they start near your shoulder blades and end up on the sides of your hips. It pretty much hugs you when you wear it.

Beautifully styled with a suede leather bottom, lashing squares on the side, front and top flap. Felted strap pads attached to dark olive color nylon web straps. Top flap has zippered access underneath. Adjustable clasp waist strap. Large top and bottom hanging loops.

A truly amazing functional and fashionable pack.

Measures:
17″ from top of straps to bottom of back panel
16″ across at bottom
6.5″ deep
Top flap measures 10.5″x11″

Truckin’ Rucksack Co. Seattle Washington U.S.A.

Unique small rucksack by Truckin’ Rucksack Co of Seattle Washington USA.  Wish I had more details on the company and the origin of this bag, but I don’t and have not found anything out there. I’ve seen similar packs from unknown companies made in Japan but they always seem to be of a little inferior quality to this bag. This ruck sack is very small, almost child size, but such as the label depiction suggests, my guess is that it’s just intended to be used as a small day pack on  backpacking trips.

The nylon bag is coated on the inside with a poly urethane or similar rubberized substance for waterproofing.  The main compartment of the bag is made from a single piece of material with two wedges inserted on the side. One decent sized zip closed canister pocket lives on the outside.  Top draw string and flap closure. 7/8 inch wide nylon straps are gusseted with a piece of brown vinyl.

The label is screened on a cotton blend patch. This one bears the previous owners info.

The North Face Garment Bag

Travel in style with this early 80s TNF garment bag. This khaki and navy Cordura and Nylon bag is in good shape and ready to go.

Folded it measures 22″ wide by 20″ high and can be carried using a the soft leather hand strap or nylon shoulder strap. Front pocket containing the label zips at top and has front facing zip pocket as well. On the back side there is a small map pocket with Velcro access between the nylon webbing. Buckled compression straps on either side keep the bag together when folded.

Open the bag measures 40″ high. there are two pockets on the inside, the top measures about 22″ x 20″. The bottom is roughly the same size but is partitioned in down the middle. The inner Cordura layer zips 3/4 the way around to reveal the nylon inside measuring 22″x40″. There is a nylon belt across the center to secure garments. As well as two pockets at the top. There is a metal rod running through the middle of the bag at the fold for support.

All zippers are heavy-duty YKK and snaps are The North Face branded and in perfect working condition. There are some black marks on the front and bottom of the bag from use ( see photos) other wise is clean and free from holes. The insides are in near perfect condition.

1980s JanSport Leather Bottom Day Pack Backpack

Large day pack model has one main compartment, two side compartments with slide through channels between them and the main. This particular pack is an older version than what you may be used to seeing. The main differences are that it’s slightly squatter in shape, has lace through front compressions straps instead of plastic buckles. It also has a leather gussets on the back panel where the straps attach. This was a common practice on earlier day packs that was later foregone to save on production costs.

Lashing squares: 2 top, 2 bottom, 1 front. Large JS branded leather lashing panel as well. compression straps across main compartment front. Padded adjustable shoulder straps and nylon waist strap.

This pack is in good shape for its age. The Cordura upper is pretty clean. There is some slight discoloration around the main zipper at the top and side zippers, as well as on the back. All stitching is intact and complete. The leather bottom shows signs of wear but has no holes or deep gouges. Stitching around the bottom lashing squares is coming undone around the corners but they are still held securely. Inside is clean with fabric backing intact. All zippers and clasps work.

Main compartment measures (across back)
16″ high
13″ wide -at bottom
6″ deep

Kelty Soft Pack Day Pack Backpack – Sun Valley CA

Original Kelty Soft Pack day pack in rust orange. This top-loading pack features one main compartment closeable via a nylon cord through metal grommets with a large Progresco cord lock. The top flap features a second, rather large rectangular compartment that zips half the way around using C&C zippers. Top flap secures to the main compartment via two 1″ plastic clips.  6 leather lashing squares down the front and larger lashing panels per side add character and functionality.

Back panel measures:
16″ tall
10″ across at bottom
9″ across at top

Alpine Designs External Frame Backpack

Early external frame pack boards were made from wood or solid metal, then came the aluminum. The innovators  at Alpine Designs saw  a new  progression in this pack made of a PVC plastic frame. It’s definitely one of the most unique external frame packs I’ve encountered, and probably for good reason. The use of plastics instead of aluminum seems to save no weight at all (if not adding some). It’s also hard to imagine this plastic could withstand the stresses, shock and temperatures of an aluminum frame. Still this pack has survived rather well with no cracks and all plastic hardware intact.

Regardless of materials, this pack is very well constructed with plenty of details that make it Alpine Designs. Leather zip assist tabs, integrated pack handle on the frame, and innovative lace loops to secure the top hatch to name a few.  This pack also features very thinly padded shoulder and waist straps. It has no lashing squares but does have two pair of D rings on the underside.

Pack make-up includes:
1 top entry main compartment
1 front entry second main compartment
2 top entry side canister pockets
2 front entry secondary side canister pockets
1 small front entry compartment on the outside of the secondary main compartment.

Coleman Peak 1 Day Pack Backpack

Peak 1 was Coleman’s foray into the light-weight backpacking world and though Peak 1 may never have got the respect in this area as some of the other smaller brands of the era they still made goods with the quality Coleman was founded on. This day pack is an excellent example in my opinion. It is small, simple and unique.

The pack is very small at only 13.5 inches tall and 12 inches wide at the bottom, but it has plenty of strap to fit over the shoulders of the most grown man. It’s a great size for putting in your over night pack for day trips on a multi-day trip. Wider at the top than it is at the bottom but it’s evened out when the front pocket is stuffed.

The padded straps might be the only unnecessary bulk, but they’d make for a comfortable hike. Slightly A frame in structure but not as much as other packs. The zippered top opening gives you the access of a ruck sack with a clean, secure closure. The zipper extends as far as it possibly can opening the top up like a tin can.

The pack is in good condition. There are no holes or major stains. The inside is clean and the protective coating is not deteriorating. The Label has been scribed with the owner’s last name as well as the inside of the top flap

This pack is currently available, contact for details

Frostline Ski Bags & Boot Bag

Nice set of Frostline ski bags with matching boot bag circa early-mid 70s. Khaki and Royal Cordura throughout with nylon webbing. Sturdy construction and well sewn.

Ski Bags measure:
82″ long x 11.5″ wide

Boot Bag measures:
16″x16″x8″

The boot bag has individual pockets for the boots accessible from the outside. Top zipper gives access to a gear pocket protected from the boots.

Vintage Military Rucksack Backpack

Not quite sure about the origins of this pack, the colors would suggest to me German military, but the only distinguishable marking printed on the inside of the top flap reads “Decize” which is a town in France. The pack is made of heavy-weight Grey canvas with black leather trimmings and fittings.

The pack itself is very wide at 19 inches across the back, expandable by a few more inches via lace up expansions on the back sides. Two large cargo pockets on the sides and one front pocket all close via leather buckles. A draw string closes the top underneath a double buckle top flap. Finally another long leather belt runs from the top and buckles to the solid leather bottom.

Shoulder straps secure a metal external frame. The straps are adjustable by multiple buckles which create tension on a lower cross strap at the hips which keeps the frame from resting directly on the back. About a half inch of felted wool makes up the shoulder strap padding. One of the straps is breakable, a technique common to military packs allowing troops to slip out of them while in the prone position.