Please allow me to share letter below, it is one of the many we receive from our fans who like to write and tell us about their experiences with their Duluth Pack. We love to know how you are using your pack, and how it is holding up on trail. The letter appears unedited and in its entirety. Also, please note that I address some of the suggestions at the end of the letter.
I’ve owned the Wanderer since 2007, abusing it as my field pack for work and carrying it as my “man-bag” almost daily. I’ve taken this bag with me nearly every day of the past five years, worn it for 16+ hours at a time with 20+ lbs in it, and have used it in all four seasons in northern Minnesota. It’s been stepped on, slammed in doors, dragged through the mud and over rocks and between trees, submerged, frozen, dropped, thrown, and barfed on (I have young kids).
The cotton canvas is a great material. It’s durable, quiet, comfortable to wear in the hot summer, dries quickly when wet, and is easy to wash. The only wear on the pack is slight fraying of the shoulder straps, and a dime-sized hole on the outside of one of the outer water bottle pockets. (Where the water bottles in the pack rub against trees). In rain, the contents of the pack stay dry, to mostly dry. The stitching, leather straps, leather cinch cord, rivets, and buckles have also held up perfectly. The cotton has faded, but that’s to be expected.
It’s a good-sized daypack. The pack will easily hold all my field gear for a day’s work (lunch, water bottles, camera, GPS, maps, flagging, tools, foldable shovel, field notebook, field guides, fleece vest, rain jacket, etc.). Any clothing items that don’t fit in the main compartment can be rolled up, tucked under the main flap, and secured with the long straps. Shoulder straps can be lengthened to accommodate larger winter jackets, or shortened to wear shirtless. The outer bottle pockets add width to the pack and sometimes make it difficult to squeeze between trees (or between people at a grocery store), but it’s usually not an issue.
–This pack has an unpadded back, and bulky/pointy items (field notebooks, equipment, tools, etc.) should be packed deliberately between soft items (or on the outside of the cargo pocket) to maximize the user’s comfort for extended use. Sometimes I find myself packing an extra article of clothing with which to pad equipment…not a big deal, but sometimes annoying at the end of a long day. A flat “map” pocket built in the main cargo pocket (on the strap-side of the pack) could be used for holding padding. (If a back pad was included that could double as a diaper-changing pad , it’d get super bonus points…)
–This pack is not particularly suited to carrying heavy weight for long periods of time. For most users, this may not be an issue, but a waist belt and pack stays (to transfer pack weight from the shoulders to the hips/waist) might be a welcome modification for those that carry heavy loads for long periods of time. A sternum strap might also be nice…
–This pack might benefit from some strategically placed leather patches on areas that are likely to receive heavy wear or repeated abrasion. (Bottom of pack, bottom of water bottle pockets)
Overall, the Wanderer is a super daypack for most users/uses, with quality materials and workmanship and a very nice style. Those looking for a pack to carry weightier or bulkier items may want to look to a more modern pack, or petition Duluth Pack for some upgrades. :-) This pack is worth the cost, and I love supporting local business. Thanks, Duluth Pack! ~ D
D, thank you so much for taking the time to write and share your Wanderer story with us. Rest assured that we are listening and while there is no single pack that can address every need we are trying to make our bags the most versatile in the field.
First, let me point out that we have two daypacks that have a map pocket hidden under the flap. Both the Guide Pack and the Rambler have a zippered pocket under the main flap, which work great for small pocket guides and maps.
Second, while wear and tear is not covered under our lifetime warranty we will repair bags that have become worn. Additionally, we will customize bags with leather patches or heavy weight canvas in what you see as potentially high wear areas. While a leather bottom will add weight and cost to a bag, it is a great idea to add durability and good looks to a pack.
Third, let me point you to the Bushcrafter pack, designed especially for Duluth Pack by Mike Lummio of the Bushcraft Northwest. This pack is slimmer in design and slides easily between trees and tight spaces on trail. The Bushcrafter also includes some of the features you were looking for: padded straps, waist belt, and sternum strap. It is designed for heavy loads over a period of days and is getting great reviews from those who have put it to the test.
Thanks again for taking the time to share with us. Anyone who has a story to tell or a question to ask, may send their emails to me at: email@example.com. If I can’t get the answer, I know how to find the answer.
David Sproat presents everything you need to know about hiking Isle Royale in one week. Learn about the region, how to get there, and what to expect while traversing the Minong Trail.
For more than 20 years sportsmen have relied on the Mossy Oak® name for high quality camouflage apparel and accessories. Now outdoorsmen can get their favorite Duluth Pack backpacks, gun cases, hunting accessories, and canoe packs in that same high quality camouflage canvas.
Duluth Pack has taken the products most requested by sportsmen and begun producing a line of products with Mossy Oak’s® best-selling New Break-Up® pattern. This new line of camouflage will include, but not be limited to: pistol rugs, shotgun and rifle cases, all-day lumbar pack, hand-warmer, range bag, standard daypack, the rugged Bushcrafter pack, with the always-popular Rambler and Wanderer daypacks. All other Duluth Pack products will soon join this highly anticipated line, and can be made to order at any time.
Duluth Pack also offers their handcrafted products in 14 different colors of canvas, six colors and patterns of wool, in addition to traditional leather and American Bison leather. This new line in camouflage offers a unique and different option to sportsmen heading out into the field or the duck blind. President of Duluth Pack, Tom Sega states: “The New Break-Up® camouflage fabric from Mossy Oak® will round out an already excellent line of hunting gear.”
Avid hunter and current CEO Toxey Haas founded the Mossy Oak Company in 1986. Mr. Haas gathered up a bag of leaves, sticks, and dirt, went into the local fabric company, and dumped the contents onto the counter. His request; “can you print a fabric that looks like the stuff in this bag?” Mr. Haas realized good camouflage patterns must integrate realistic looking environmental elements as well as shadows and layers from the natural surroundings. Today, Mossy Oak has a large number of camouflage patterns and has grown to embody an outdoor lifestyle.
Let’s take our Duluth Packs on the road to visit Stormy Kromer in Ironwood, Michigan.
Our little caravan rolled into the Stormy Kromer production facility Thursday morning and was greeted with open arms. Kirsten showed us a very warm welcome as we shook off the weariness from the road. She also introduced us to Bob, owner and president of Jacquart Fabric Products, who lucky enough for us would also serve as our tour guide for the day.
We started in chronological order as Bob told us about the beginnings of the company and all the different projects taken on over the years. We talked about boat canopies and canvas, reupholstering furniture, and the pet division, which serves the needs of a myriad of our furry friends.
At one point I noticed a fairly familiar and famous Olympic face on the wall. Seems a few years back a couple very high-level speed skating competitions were coming to northern Michigan and they needed safety pads built around the track. With the help of the physics department at the University and Jacquart Fabrics, those pads got built to the demanding specifications of the speed skating governing body.
The Legend of Stormy Kromer began in 1903 when Ida took a baseball hat from George and added earflaps to keep him warm in the cold winds of the Upper Peninsula. Our visit to the modern Stormy Kromer, in their big beautiful factory, would surely make George and Ida proud. Quality and tradition can be seen in every Kromer hat being sewn together.
This was a special visit for us. Duluth Pack and Stormy Kromer seem to be kindred spirits that share American Made, 100 plus, year-old company stories. So much history is contained in the Stormy Kromer brand, I am very glad we took the opportunity to share in that first hand.
Thanks to Kirsten, Gina, Jessica, and everybody at Stormy Kromer for making our visit so memorable. And of course a big thank you to our tour guide, Bob who took us “out of bounds” for more than one special, behind the scenes peeks.
If they give you any trouble about being out of bounds Bob, blame it on the troublemakers from Duluth Pack.
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