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.
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:
10″ across at bottom
9″ across at top
This bag has a classic look constructed of Cordura with leather trimmings. Designed and made well before laptops, this bag would make a great carrying case for our time. The main compartment houses an internal pocket. Two front pockets, the inner top zip and the outer front zip. There is also one top entry map pocket with leather strap belt on the back side. Handel consists of two cotton web straps that join at the top via a soft leather snap-close sheath. D-rings at either end support a shoulder strap – NOT included.
This bag is in usable shape. All zippers work and stitching is intact. The bag shows its age in some dark spots on the front back and bottom, I’ve tried my best to capture this in the photos. This bag is a little darker shade of red than it appears in the photos, almost Burgundy. The cotton strap is also a little frayed at the top but still holds strong. Leather piping around the front is also scuffed. Not sure if this bag could be dry cleaned but might clean up if so.
Offered for everyday use or appreciation by collectors of fine labels.
Wilderness Experience was started by a former employee of Kelty in 1973. For great insight into the Wilderness Experience brand visit this link
Main compartment measures
14.5 inches across
4.75 inches deep
12 inches tall.