One of the more rare packs I’ve found hailing from just up the road, Fort Collins, Co. This early 90s DeFrance pack is technical for its time, but based on sound pack design. The plastic wing hip flairs remind me of an early Gerry model with a removable rigid foil (I think there’s a post buried somewhere in the archive).
Great use of vibrant colors indicative of the early 1990s. Yellow compression straps almost encompass the main body
for a secure gear fit. I can imagine the popularity with those looking for lightweight loads and secure, fast paced travel up trails and extreme terrains, perhaps even climbing or skiing. The top becomes a waist pack for satellite journeys. The top detaches to become its own oversized waist pack. I’m unsure if this pack may have had a removable rigid spine, as found there was none.
Second to last pic is from the April 91 Backpacker Buyer’s Guide issue detailing DeFrance offerings. I believe this is the Trixter model.
The last pic is from a waist pack I found of the same name, but hailing from Sedona, Az. The Sedona examples I’ve come across utilize more muted fabric colors and appear to be overall less technical. Not sure the relationship, but I believe it to be a pre or prior iteration by the same maker.
Neat little late 70s early 80s Gerry day pack. Single main top zip compartment with leather pull-stays. Front zip bellowed compartment. Single contrasting blue seat belt webbing shoulder strap with gold nylon lower strap. Perfect for packing in your overnight bag for a day trip.
11″ wide at bottom
7.5″ wide at top
Early to mid 70s Gerry leather bottom backpack. Two compartments, stacked in the so-called “tear drop” fashion. Sturdy strap construction with thick padded shoulder straps and large D ring /leather top attachment. This model could be considered transitional from the earlier era of felt padded and leather straps. Front lashing with original nylon strap for holding poles or axes. Waist strap features the innovative Gerry two-pronged buckle.
ALP by Alpine Designs followed the Alp Sport label, but predicated Alpine Designs in the company’s lineage. I’d estimate this bag to date from the mid to late 60s possibly into the early 70s. The Bag is constructed of nylon and down fill. Unlike many other bags of the latter era this is not a “Mummy Bag”. There’s no built-in hood, though there is a draw string around the top to seal in heat. The draw would be held closed by the leather tabs. This suggests the bag predates innovations such as the cord lock and the popularity of the mummy bag. The bag also has ties at the top to hold the bag when rolled, so it doesn’t come with a stuff sack. It could however be transported in that manner for safer keeping.
The bag measures 70″ long and 28″ across at the top. Above he ALP label is a personalized name tag, indicating its former owner was a female. The last name, Pollard is also stenciled on the outside back of the bag.
There’s no tag giving down fill left. The bag weighs 3+ pounds and the fill is still very much puffy. Over 6″ thick when zipped. I’d say the bag would be easily good down to low double digits, possibly single.
This is a great parka from a rare Colorado company. First Lead exists today as an outdoor preparedness and training organization based out of Norwood Colorado, about 30 miles from Telluride. In talking with a spokesperson for First Lead I leaned the training outfit shares no direct relation to the outdoor gear company, but is cut from the same stock of friends and outdoor enthusiasts that started 1st Lead back in the 70s.
This piece is typical in many ways of other parka from this era by other Colorado companies like Holubar and Frostline. A shell constructed from a cotton blend (most likely 65/35 cotton/poly). Added weight and warmth from an inner layer of the same material. Standard parka trimmings like the yoked shoulder panel and multiple large pockets for storage. Beyond that, this parka has some major difference from its competitors. Maybe the most noticeable is the lack of a hood. It’s not that it got lost, there’s not even snaps or a zipper half to attach one too. The cut of this parka is lot shorter too, ending just below the waist as opposed to mid-thigh length. Another difference is the leather backed snaps. Not exactly sure of the purposes here, I am sure it added durability to the snaps, but it also adds weight. Peaks on the front of part of the shoulder yoke point a little more than others, and there is an absence of chest pockets. Maintains traditional accouterments like the back pocket (closed by a small talon zipper), waist cinch, and Velcro cuffs.
Can’t wait to find more gear from 1st Lead to see what other kind of things they were doing different so many years ago!
The Holubar Tiny Tent circa early 1960s is very simple, slightly glorified pup tent. The floor and lower edges of the tent are a mustard colored heavy Nylon. The Nylon is poly urethane (or similar) coated, this coating is slightly cracked in some places but in decent shape. The upper is made from a heavy cotton blend. Front supports come from two three-piece poles that fix into grommets at the corners and loop at the top. The back pole is a single piece that fits into grommets top and bottom. Tent and poles were originally sold separately as the tent can be set up using sticks, ski poles, guy lines or an ice axe. The front door is secured by two zippers starting at each bottom corner and meeting at the peak. There is also a fly screen that has one zipper going from the viewers bottom left corner to the peak. There is no zipper along the floor for the screen, the material is instead about 6″ longer to meet the floor and keep out all but the most determined intruders.
29″ high at front
16″ high at foot
Camp 7 medium duty wind breaker. Gore-Tex shell in light navy, fully lined with mustard nylon. Exposed main zipper in purple/grey with gold pulls by Talon makes for a subtle yet exciting contrast of colors. Elasticated cotton wrists and waist draw cord. This jacket has a slight contour around this midriff.
Extremely functional hood, draw string is run between the hood and peak and when cinched offers great closure with no bunching creating a brim that extends down the sides of the face. Leather cord locks keep the fit secure.
Camp 7 was a Boulder Colorado based company and 3rd brain child of outdoor gear pioneer George Lamb, founder of Alp Sport and Alpine Designs.
This Altra Kits of Boulder Colorado mountain parka is your quintessential parka and very comparable to other parkas of this era by companies like Class 5, The North Face, Holubar, Gerry and others. Good weight to the parka due to the double layer throughout. Red 60/40 poly cotton shell with a slightly lighter cotton blend interior in Tan. Two-way TALON heavy gauge loop tooth zipper in black. Velcro closure on the storm flap, hip pockets and breast pockets and inner pocket. Nylon draw cord cinch at waist and hood and at the waist.
This parka is in nice condition for its age. Clean fabric that shows little signs of heavy wear. Some light staining on the back of the right sleeve and around the wrists. No holes or snags. Washed and ready to wear.
Altra was one of the last to jump on the outdoor kit bus behind frostline and holubar. This gear was sold as sew-at-home packages during the 70s and 80s and allowed people to construct high quality gear at a fraction of the price (if the purchaser was or knew a capable sewer of course). This piece in particular is extremely well sewn. Nice straight stitches, no breaks, they followed the pattern to the T.
23″ pit to pit
22.5″ pit to cuff
30 inches neck seam to cuff
29.5″ top of zipper to hem
Frostline Anorak Parka in Rust and Khaki. This parka is in good shape and is well sewn. Rust colored thread throughout the piece make for nice contrast on the Khaki. Great details around the front zip as the rust is carried up into the khaki. 65/35 Poly/Cotton shell or similar with full Nylon lining give this jacket nice weight. Talon zipper closure throughout.
Zip Kangaroo pocket
Separate pass-through front pocket
Nylon waist draw lace with spring cord lock
Velcro adjustable cuffs
1/4 zip front
hood draw lace
The fabric on this parka is clean and in good shape, no holes or stains. Great contrast in colors from the yoke to the lower.
24.5″ pit to pit
23″ pit to cuff
34″ neck to cuff
31.5 ” top of zip to hem
For those of you who may not be familiar Frostline was a Colorado based sew-it-yourself outdoor clothing kit company that manufactured a wide variety of products and styles beginning in the late 60s. The products featured innovative designs, materials and constructions and could be had for a fraction of the price of the leading outdoor companies if you knew how to sew (or could bribe someone who could).