Archival Clothing - Made in USA

Posts Tagged ‘chapman’

Shopping from the UK: Chapman Bags

January 12th, 2011

It’s great to see all these new Chapman special collaborations and Japan special make ups. I’ve always viewed Chapman as something of a Carhartt to Brady’s Filson. Chapman makes terrific, UK-made field bags out of what the testers at the Montgomery Ward Bureau of Standards might designate as good or “economy” quality materials. For example, the rubber lining on my older Solway game bag is starting to crack and the leather is in need of repair. Brady, on the hand, uses top quality bridle leather, solid brass hardware and mil spec webbing–components that result in a premium price. The Brady line is small and focused on a few signature styles (the Ariel, the Trout, the Gelderburn, etc). Chapman, on the other hand, offers limitless variations on classic British and Fishing styles including bags made from linen and tweed along with standard cotton canvas drill. If you cannot afford Michael Palin’s $295 Brady Geldenburn , shop from the vintage Chapman catalogs below for terrific, economical alternatives.











Price Guide

Field Bag Round-Up

November 16th, 2010


As I type, our sewing contractors are working on our first run of Archival Clothing Field Bags. Just like last time, we’ll preface the introduction of a new product with a round-up of existing bags.



We’ve always loved Brady Bags, and this small trout bag has served Lesli faithfully for years. We like the heavy laminated duck, the fine quality webbing, and the convenient pocketing. The side-mounted shoulder strap also ensures a comfortable, close carry.



We really are Filson devotees, but we’ve found their Field Bag series to be challenging. This example has been used heavily by the Archival family for 15 years. Though it’s built like a truck from top notch materials, we’ve found a few drawbacks. Abundant use of heavy twill, bridle leather and brass mean that the bag is heavy and bulky, even when unpacked. We prefer webbing shoulder straps to leather, as web is softer and more comfortable (and negates the need for a separate strap pad). Attaching the straps on the back panel means that the bag tends to flop downwards rather than hug the user’s back. And a panel of extra fabric around the bag’s opening keeps rain out, but also makes it harder to load and unload your gear.


One of our favorite bags, this Hunting World Safari Today is comfortable and convenient (there are two pockets on the inside). Of course, it’s no longer available, and it doesn’t fit laptops or much more than a half-day’s worth of gear.


Though we love the hand-knotted fishing net on this old Chapman game bag, we had to admit that its utility is limited in daily use, as fingers get caught and small objects vanish instantly. We’ll keep this one around for hunting squirrels, but we left the net off of our own Field Bag.


So surrounded by examples, both material and visual, we set off to design a workhorse shoulder bag that would equally serve an urban professional or a dedicated fisherman. Our requirements:

– Unquestionably durable construction
– A strap configuration that provides for a comfortable carry
– Useful pocketing while keeping the layout as minimal as possible
– Plenty of room for laptops
– Protection from the elements
– No features or finish that compromise function or unduly raise price (i.e. abundant leather trim)
– As with all of our products, domestic materials and manufacture to the best of our ability.


Results to be announced soon!