Gerry External Frame Backpack – Early, Leather Bottom Model- Boulder, CO

Vintage Gerry External Frame Backpack - Early Leather Bottom - Boulder, Co - Med

Early Gerry external frame pack. This pack bears the Gerry Boulder, Colorado label and denotes production prior to the company being purchased by Outdoor Sports Corporation. This pack exhibits many of the common traits that came to dominate external frame pack construction in the 1970s up through the 1980s, but has its differences. The white leather bottom for instance is a great touch and common for construction of day packs which are often sat on the ground, but the added weight of the leather and lack of need for a toughened bottom would mean it was a feature not built to last. Secondly the one main compartment could make getting to what you needed on the trail difficult if packed incorrectly. This one large compartment construction would soon give way to more compartmentalized construction. (Gerry’s later Vagabond pack would take compartmentalized to whole new levels). The primitive waist strap is also an area later designs would improve upon. Though this bag does feature the patented buckle design it bolts directly to the frame and does not form a full padded belt. This is before the notion of “shoulder the load with your hips”

Beyond its shortcomings the pack is still beautifully designed and constructed. There are four canister style side pockets with leather pull tabs (missing on one). The bag is constructed of 100% nylon which was probably still somewhat exotic in its time. Padded shoulder straps. There’s also a pretty ingenious handle built into the frame.

The label is marked ‘Second’ meaning they found there was something wrong enough with it to not be sold as new, or possibly it was a prototype model later sold as a second. A small tag above the label has it sized a medium. Definitely a cool bag for any collection or use for its intended purpose.

Vintage Waist Packs

Vintage Famous Trails Pack

Hine Snowbridge – One of the great old labels from Colorado. This is a large pack measures about 17″ around the waist 6″ high top to bottom. 5″ deep. YKK zips, large metal clasp waist.

Exit Expeditions International – Not familiar with this label and have not seen it anywhere else. This late 70s or 80s pack features Ideal zips, large Fastex clamp waist. Clean and in good shape

Maran – Popular maker of packs of all sizes in the early to mid 1970s. Smaller pack than the hine or exit. 12″ across waist 5″ high 3 1/2″ deep. Unique design with the YKK zipper across the top. Seatbelt nylon waist strap with interlocking metal buckle. Clean, nice shape

Mark Pack Works – Albany CA.Little known about this maker and a seldom seen label. Medium size pack 13″ across waist, 6″ high 4.5″ deep. Has one main compartment with two internal compartments and removable foam which helps the pack keep its shape. Two side pockets, one on each strap arm. Skinny seatbelt nylon strap with small Fastex clip. C&C zippers

Famous Trails – A prolific maker out of San Diego California and contemporary to Kelty. This medium waist pack measures about 11.5″ across the waist, 6.5″ high top to bottom. 5″ deep. Awesome color combo of brown and cream. Features one main compartment with two smaller side pockets. Ideal zippers, large Fastex clasp waist. Full color Famous Trails label pops.