Gerry Rucksack with Fiberglass Back Board

This is an early Gerry rucksack. As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, the earliest outdoor gear was simply repurposed military surplus and this bag shares many characteristics.  Beyond the olive drab nylon the bag resembles very much a European military pack. Specifically one from a company called Bergans of Norway , which was made of more traditional materials, canvas and leather.

Though the design itself may not have been revolutionary or visionary the removable lightweight back panel is.  I believe the panel to be made of fiberglass, but may just be something similar. The removable panel replaces metal support systems used on earlier packs. The updated support system with the use of lightweight nylon saved this traditional design many extra pounds.


Gerry Vagabond Back Pack

Gerry Vagabond Backpack

Late 1960s early 70s model Gerry Vagabond Pack. This is the pack that help solidified Gerry’s role in the outdoor sports manufacturing industry. The design was applied to frame packs and became an icon and a signature style. Whether you’re a fan or not of the horizontal pockets comes down to personal preference I suppose. While allowing for maximum compartmentalized storage and organization the pockets were somewhat limiting of the objects that could fit within.

This pack is an earlier model as denoted by the Gerry Boulder, Colorado logo, Coats & Clark zippers and the very interesting straps. These are unlike any other’s I’ve seen. Nylon straps with a foam pad. The pads are coated like that of a floatation device and adjustable on the strap to provide a good comfort level.  The “wish bone” style pack support is removable and is secured by three snap anchor points.

This model pack was one of several featured in issue five of Backpacker Magazine (1974) and received good marks.


Gerry Rucksack Backpack

Vintage Gerry Rucksack Backpack

Very unique Gerry removable clam shell support ruck sack. This drab green nylon bag is complimented by white seem edges, nylon cords, leather pulls and lashing and aluminum zippers. One main compartment with two side compartments. Thick brown nylon shoulder straps attached to the bag via a very large D ring at the top. A nice thick piece of riveted white leather attaches the D ring to the bag and  allows the triangular clam shell support to snap into the back.  Navy mesh backing stretched taut across the concave support makes for a comfortable ride and  allows for the circulation of air across the back. The back support can also be removed to make for a less rigid ride. This back balloons to have quite the capacity but also works well with small loads.

Gerry was one of the original outdoor gear companies founded by Gerry Cunningham.  The label on this pack is earlier as later labels move to the G triangle shape and are marked Denver Colorado. I would estimate this bag mid-1960s or before.

Main compartment measures:
18 tall x  16.5 inches across 5 inches deep (at base)

side compartments measure:
9.5 inches tall x 5.5 inches across x 2 inches deep.

weighs 1.5 pounds