A Hard-to-Find Classic

This Vintage North Face Backpack Is as Good as it Gets


Before The North Face was the outdoor mega-brand that it is today, it was a small mountaineering retail outpost based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The brand started as a store in the North Beach neighborhood of SF in 1966, and moved its headquarters to Berkeley in ’68 to focus on designing and manufacturing its own mountaineering gear. One of the classic designs to come out of the early era of The North Face was its classic teardrop backpack. Made from Cordura, this bag featured a leather bottom, leather lash tabs and thick padded shoulder straps. The bag had two compartments — a top and a bottom — perfect for keeping gear separate and organized. The North Face eventually stopped producing this style, though it was revived in Japan for the brand’s Purple Label, and in the US for a limited release (made of waxed canvas and Horween Leather). Instead of scouring Rakuten for one of those Japan-only bags, check out one of the originals on Etsy. It’ll cost you $250, but that’s a small price to pay for a backpack that will last you for a lifetime, regardless of the fact that it’s a piece of mountaineering history.

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