An age of innovation is evident in this beautifully functional anorak parka. First let’s talk about the fabric choice. While Gore-Tex had been around for over a decade by 1980, commercial use didn’t really begin until 1976. So at the time of this parkas’ manufacture, the breathable, waterproof fabric was still new to consumers and just beginning to overtake old standards like rip-stop nylon, 60/40 and other poly cotton blends as go-to shell materials. The early version of Gore-Tex used here is much thicker than what we know today, and actually has a weight closer to 60/40. The white label found in the hood, an early commercial example (earlier versions were white on black), has what I believe to be a month and year of manufacture on the back side. I have never fully authenticated this theory, but after years of looking at these labels and comparing to catalogs and other resources, it seems to line up. The markings seen on this label are IV/82, or April, 1982. The practice of this dating on the backside of labels also appears to continue in the early black version of the Gore-Tex Label.
This parka featured fully taped seams inside. While most of the glue holding these in place has broken down and the loose strips removed, some remain as evidence of TNF’s commitment to building an advance take on an old design and getting the most out of this revolutionary fabric. The design intentionally avoids seams at the shoulders to further improve the overall waterproof effectiveness.
The closures on this parka get an upgrade in the form of the custom TNF zipper pulls. While The North Face embossed snaps had been around for probably a decade at this point, the proprietary zipper pulls are a new add. If we look at the back of the zipper head, we can see that the zipper is Manufactured by YKK. My guess is that custom zipper pulls offered YKK a great way to expand their business, attract customers and gain the dominance over the industry they have today. Prior to this time, there seemed to be a handful of zipper makers used in outdoor gear such as Talon and Coats and Clark or C&C. I am a little surprised the Fastex cord locks at the hood and waist drawstring are not The North Face labeled, but those were not too far off from this time period.
Maybe one of the biggest differences a vintage TNF fan will notice is the label update. Up to now there have been a few minor variations of the brown logo on white background, but now we’re looking at a white logo on navy background. This parka features only one small sleeve logo I think in an effort to preserve the integrity of the Gore-Tex being used. The Gore-Tex label is carefully tucked away in a seam of the hood drawstring. A material tag inside the jacket is maybe for a reason, brown print on a white tag. Not long after this piece was made The North Face would introduce the Extreme series, which continued this trend of innovative designs and construction for outdoor sports.
Unique early TNF Bivy Sack. Simple construction of one ply rip stop nylon in blue and green. Grommets at the corners for staking down. Not entirely sure if this was the complete unit or if there would have been a tarp or tube tent covering. Good for a layer of wind proofing and would keep your bag clean as is though.
Measures 92″ overall. 76″ foot to neck and 39″ wide.
A true early-mid 1970s mountaineering boot. This Kastinger has a couple unique construction attributes. The hinged heel allows for the boot to flex without stressing putting undue stress on the boot or the wearer. Second feature that makes this boot both special and revolutionary is the stitchless injection-molded welt, which is quite a departure from the Norwegian and Goodyear welts most boots of this era used.
The gaiters seen here are a similar era (maybe a little later) The North Face nylon blend model.
Nice example of a later first generation puffer jacket. This piece was manufactured in the mid 1980s near the end of this iconic style’s run. Some of the giveaways as to its more recent age are the embossed buttons, TNF branded zipper pull and materials tag. Earlier versions of this jacket were made of rip stop nylon inside and out as opposed to the 65/35 poly cotton shell seen here. Construction also included what I refer to as stitched rivets at stress points such as pocket openings.
The earliest down jackets from The North Face (and brown label equipment in general) were all made in the USA, but the label didn’t start reflecting that until the late 70s when a shift in manufacturing started to take hold. It wasn’t until people started to question where their items were made that it became part of the strategy to include ‘Made in the USA’ in the branding.
1980s The North Face Bullfrog tent. This is a later “brown label” model, a label that was used into the early mid eighties. I would classify the tent as a two-man, three season tent. Tent is a three pole free-standing tent. Sometimes referred to as a “bent pole” model as the shock cord poles are not perfectly straight when linked together. Two poles crisscross from the corners with another looping from side to side around the front for an easy yet sturdy structure. The rain fly includes a decent size vestibule. Zippered opening into the vestibule and through the fly screen and nylon door. Inside venting flaps are closed by Velcro in a weight saving exercise.
94″ head to toe
45″ high at entrance
54″ wide at entrance
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.
17″ from top of straps to bottom of back panel
16″ across at bottom
Top flap measures 10.5″x11″
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.
Late 70s/early 80s camp slippers by The North Face. These slippers consist of a light weight ripstop nylon upper, outside and inside stuffed full of down. The green bottoms are a heavier nylon and contain a 1/2″ thick foam foot bed. A piece of elastic feed though the inside at the ankle helps keep the booties on when walking.
Size small – measures 10.5″ inches heel to toe on the bottom and 4″ wide at ball of foot.
This North Face Gore-Tex anorak style parka represents technical innovations for the company in the early/mid 80s. Traditional 60/40 cotton blend materials are bypassed in lieu of the emerging weatherproof fabric known as Gore-Tex. Advancements in materials have pushed design by allowing the parka to remain weather proofed with more seams backed with waterproofing (note the seams mid sleeve). The growth of the brand from the “Brown Label” garments is also evident in the use of branded hardware. The embossed buttons (used on later “Brown Label” pieces) label screened cord locks and emblemized zipper pulls attached to TALON loop zippers. This piece is also clearly designed for a woman as evident in the contoured waist.
1/2 zip with zip and snap closure. Innovative two-piece hood with peak and elastic draw closure ran through a nylon sock for optimal, form-fitting tightening. Nylon lined front zip kangaroo pocket with pass-through velcro closed hand pockets. Elastic cord cinch at bottom.
This piece is in very nice shape. Almost no signs of wear with no holes or stains. All stitching is in nice shape and the Gore-Tex fabric backing is in great shape. Color is pretty much dead-on Navy Blue. Refer to the picture of the back of the parka for truest representation of the color.
neck seam to cuff: 27″
across at slimest: 17″
across at bottom: 19″
top of zip to hem: 25.5
This Parka is currently available on the BCV eBay store
This beautiful TNF vintage VE 23 Geodesic dome tent is classified as a two-man three season tent there’s nearly enough room for three. It Features quick and easy construction using three collapsible poles, two screen windows with door screen and solid flap. Rain fly with peak attaches under the poles and has a shock cord around the door to stabilize in adverse conditions.
This particular set up includes:
3 poles marked North Face 19
1 aluminum peak pole
12 aluminum Stakes
1 extra rain fly cord
Tent pole tips sheet