I am new to Wilderness canoeing, but I have been canoeing on short trips for many years.
I am looking into portage packs, and on the advice of a friend, and a lot of personal research, I have boiled it down to the Duluth Pack and the Frost River.
My question is this, does either the Duluth Heavy Duty #4 or the Frost River Old #7 have a sternum strap?
Any input would be helpful.
No, ah’ don’t reckon
they do. Least not de ones ah' gots an' not accordin' to their websites. But both de Duluth an' Frost River packs are good.
and I bet either company would stitch or rivit one on for you. But the traditional portage packs are designed for use with tumplines, and not sternum straps. For that reason I use a Granite Gear pack with a SS and a waist belt: I have had issues with neck vertabrea and am not interested in a tumpline.
Custom work on packs
You might also consider the Ostrom line (nice stuff). They are very good about accomodating custom features on just about all their products. This is especially helpful after you use a pack for a few trips and have learned how you’d REALLY like it kitted out; for a very reasonable price they’ll redo it for you and you’ll end up with exactly the pack that your own experience has shown you that you need. They are a bit more pricey than the Granite Gear line. Nothing at all wrong with either Duluth or Frost River products, however. With any of them, you’ll find that remembering to use a liner pays off long-term.
I have a Duluth pack #4. It has a timpline, and a waist belt, no strenum strap. I was going to sew one on. I doubt I will now. I like my pack. I do not think I need the sternum strap.
Eastern European Military Surplus
You can get some really good military grade canvas backbacks from the former Soviet Block countries for real cheap