Duluth Pack Leather Straps

After years of disdaining Duluth Packs for modern ones, I broke down and bought a Northwoods with a front portage pack this Spring. Not only do I not regret it, I truly think this will be the last pack I will need to buy.

I just came back from my first trip using this set up and realized that with the heavy rains I paddled through, the leather could take a beating after a while. I just treated the leather with “Aquaseal Leather Waterproofing and Conditioner” http://www.aquaseal.com/leather-waterproofing.html

Has anyone had the leather on these packs crack or dry out? What other treatments have others tried?

“Snow-seal” is great for leather boots, but might be a bit sticky for shoulder straps.


leather treatment
I have a variety of Duluth packs, one of which is over 30 years old. It gets used a lot, but is well cared for. For the last decade I have been using Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP.


I use this paste on the leather boots that I work in every day. This product works very well in situations where leather gets wet often. The other day I got caught in a soaking rain, the trail I was on was entrenched so I was essentially walking through a 2.5 mile long puddle. My boots were saturated, but they dried out in a day without getting stiff and hard.

I Have Two With Leather Straps
One #4 Duluth and one Superior #3. I’ve always used Mink Oil on mine once or twice a year. Rub it in liberally, heat it with a blow dryer, then work it in some more. One pack was my 10th anniversary present, so it’s 11 years old, and the other is almost 20. The 20 year old pack is starting to get a bit threadbare, so looks like the straps will outlast the pack. WW