Duluth Pack

Many of the companies we’ve featured on Classic American Style are relative newcomers. Happily, they’ve embraced a vision for American manufacturing that seeks to reverse the outsourcing trend that has plagued apparel production over the past quarter century.

But there are a few whose history stretches back into the 19th century. Duluth Pack is one of those.

Duluth Pack was established by French-Canadian Camille Poirier, who came to Minnesota in 1870. By 1882, he had filed a patent for the original Duluth Pack.

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Save for the modern touches of electricity and sewing machines, production of the company’s packs is largely unchanged from its 19th century origins. Rivets are hand-hammered. The canvas looks exactly as you’d imagine it did 130+ years ago, durable enough even for the needs of grizzled fur trappers.

And, yes, the packs continue to be made in their namesake city. Nary a hint of overseas production has intruded upon this venerable company.

As an added bonus, Duluth Pack offers a lifetime guarantee on all of its packs. For young companies whose existence is precarious, that might be a hollow promise. But, a lifetime guarantee from a company with the longevity of Duluth Pack means something.

So when Frannie’s backpack recently bit the dust, a Duluth Pack was the logical choice.

She opted for the Scoutmaster in olive drab. It has the leather strap/roller buckle closure that’s common to most of the company’s packs, an internal zippered pocket, cotton web shoulder straps and two side pockets.

Unsurprisingly, she sings its praises.

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Frannie on the Washington Mall with her new Duluth Pack
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Spring in bloom

I do, however, have a couple of complaints. The first is the fact that the website does not indicate those color options that are out of stock (and therefore backordered). The result? If the color you’ve ordered is not available, you’ll receive a phone call, albeit a very friendly one.

The second is the shipping charge. Fifteen dollars for a single pack seems a tad exorbitant, particularly given the comparatively dear prices for these packs.

But those are small demerits for an otherwise fine product.

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