wanting to get a canoe pack this winter. having trouble deciding between a duluth pack and a cookes custom. duluth is canvas and cookes is nylon. pros and cons for each, anyone?
I’ve only used cheap canvas through the camp I worked at. We had to use plastic pack liners to keep things dry. They worked fine. They weren’t great, but they worked.
There’s something about a quality canvas Duluth Pack style pack. They look darn good.
As far as comparing different canvas packs to nylon, I haven’t used anything but the one listed above.
"Conventional Northwoods Wisdom" says that the canvas packs "breathe" and allow any water that seeps in to seep back out through the fabric. But I always thought that wet canvas was pretty water-resistant? Otherwise, how would canvas buckets and water bags hold water?
Methinks that the pros and cons fall into two camps based upon which manufacturer is using which material.
My feeling is to buy either, based on whichever turns you on. Of course, I have no hands-on experience - I have been researching this myself.
Cheaper than Dirt
I recently purchased a never used before German Military pack for about 10 dollars. I received it in the mail and was amazed at the great construction and overall product. I'm not sure how it compares size wise to the Duluth Pack or Cooke pack, but it's a nice pack, and alot cheaper. That web site has a lot of good deals for campers/// back packers. By the way, the above mentioned pack is heavy canvas
where did you get…
the german pack?
I’ve heard the
same “Northwood’s Wisdom” that jsaults references, but can neither confirm or refute it. I have a CCS Explorer that I bought a few years back. I’ve never gotten water inside it, so breathing versus non-breathing has not been an issue. What I do like about it is that it combines the traditional with the new ; it has both a tumpline and a waist belt. I really like it. Anticipate that it will last my life time…
@ cheaper than dirt
They have a lot of decent bargains.
use Thompson’s water seal on canvas but NOT nylon.
Either bag will get water inside if a tip-over occurs and both require waterproof liners.
I’d go for canvas since you can treat the fabric to be waterproof while sitting in puddles in the canoe. they also have a “classic” charm.
PVC bags don’t requie liners.
i’ve got several dry bags. just wanting one solid pack to put the more important things: sunscreen, wallet, keys. i’d also like to have a pack to carry on beachcombing day trips while camping in the everglades. maybe i should just use a decent backpack and store it in a dry bag.
Faded, old and still a favorite
We have a 40 year old hand me down Duluth Pack that has visited 80% of the major BWCAW/Quetico routes.
I also own a good nylon pack and several other Duluths. I was briefly sold on nylon and the bells and whistles, but darned if I don’t end up taking the oldie but goodie and a 3 year old Monarch Duluth Pack on most trips. It just seems right. It fits in better. The Monarch is awesome and who can argue with 40 years and only buckle replacement and ears patched. Who knows how mush longer the old boy will last.
I, too, favor canvas, primarily because it will wick moisture to the outside and dry itself out. I don’t think it’s an issue of liquid water passing through in bulk, more that eventually the canvas WILL indeed dry itself out, all the way through, witout turning or emptying the pack. I don’t understand why someone doesn’t offer uncoated nylon in their packs- that would seem to me to be the best of both worlds. I’m very much a traditionalist, as long as it doesn’t impinge too heavily on utility (G). That being said, I much prefer the look, feel, and function of canvas. I don’t really think you’ll be disappointed with either choice, though- good luck!