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Archive for August, 2011


August 27th, 2011

As Hurricane Irene nears my apartment in New York, I’m once again longing to be back home in temperate Oregon, where the only natural disasters we fear are the rare earthquakes and volcanos.

That said, we’ve always believed here at Archival that the apocalypse is an excellent opportunity to hone your packing skills. The contents of my Bug-Out Bag is one of my favorite subjects to ponder during a sleepless night, far better than counting sheep. Even Mayor Bloomberg is talking about them!

These images taken from the Flickr group “What’s in your B.O.B. (Bug-Out Bag).”

Stay safe out there, folks.

Shopping from the past: Rivendell Mountain Works

August 24th, 2011
Limited numbers of daypacks for sale at Goose Barnacle

Jensen pack and Bombshelter tent in use on Mount Shasta.

Rivendell Mountain Works was founded in the late 1960s to produce the revolutionary Jensen Pack. Up until the Jensen, most big-capacity backpacks were, essentially, bags attached to packboards – often very lightweight aluminum packboards, but packboards nonetheless. Tired of the wobbly, unbalanced carry of the external frame pack, Don Jensen designed a backpack that allowed the load inside to become the pack’s support without using a frame, stays, rigid sheets, or anything. The packs became instant classics and spawned endless imitations, most of them poor, some of them excellent.
I remember seeing beat-up old Rivendells on the trails and crags in Oregon back in the day… always liked the little barbell lash points.
Original Backpacker Magazine gear guide entry

Unfortunately, Don Jensen died young and his company did, too – in 1981, Rivendell folded. For a whole lot more history, read here.
There’s a fellow in Washington, Eric Hardee, who’s sewing top-notch reproductions, with a few tweaks, although I haven’t been able to get in touch with him despite phone calls and emails, and I’ve heard the same from others. I wanted to pick up a Jensen for this summer’s backpacking, good thing I stumbled across my Kletterwerks. Year-old interview with Hardee here. Word on the street is that J. Crew might have asked to buy a bunch, and Heritage Research did a collaboration… weird world out there.

Of course the old BOB-list folks know, but Rivendell Bicycle Works got their name from Rivendell Mountain Works. Birds of a feather. See Bob’s recent post.

Archival Clothing friend Alan has kindly allowed us to use some of his incredible image archive.

Chorus line of beauties!

Don’t bother mailing it, it sadly didn’t work when we tried.

We too love the Minox…

Archival Salute: Carhartt

August 22nd, 2011

OK, if you want to really learn the Carhartt ropes you should be over at 10engines right now (above image lifted from there). James has an almost worrisomely complete Optic.

Just got a few lovely deadstock lids, see above, from another Carhartt wunderkind, Jason of Wilderness Workshop. Reminded me to put up a couple of my old favorites.
Bequested double-front work pants, new in the 1980s, handed down from one CnT generation to the next. I got ’em for a few years and added quite a few scars and patches. Above: raising frame on an AT privy in 2006 with friend Ira.
One of my favorites. Centennial edition chore coat, blanket-lined. Thrifted a long time ago, in a thrift store far far away.
The fit got baggy in the mid-1990s and then it all went offshore… such a shame. Britches of choice for the lacrosse and hockey frats back in college, for better or worse. Love that sturdy dry duck.

Archival Release: AC Flap Wallet

August 17th, 2011

We partnered with Hollows Leather (in Minneapolis, MN) to produce this custom wallet for Archival Clothing.

With a signature Archival flap, our wallet is designed for those who prefer the simplicity of a single main compartment. Generously sized, the wallet fits most currencies, passports and a sizeable pile of receipts. There is also an outer card holder, beneath the flap, for quick access to your most frequently used cards. I like it for grabbing my license during airport security checks. Double stitching in red thread reinforces stress points where the stitching typically gives out.

The Flap Wallet is designed to work with the pocketing dimensions of Archival Clothing bags.

Build notes — the wallet is made from our favorite archival materials: Horween Chromexcel leather, solid brass hardware and red waxed thread sourced from Japan.

Available now in the Archival Store. For more about how the wallets are made, see an upcoming guest post by Nicholas Hollows.

Dimensions: 4.5″ x 5.75″

Archival Departure: Paris-Brest-Paris

August 16th, 2011

Tomorrow, I (Lesli) leave for France for Paris-Brest-Paris,”the most famous long-distance randonnĂ©e.” During the ride (which covers 12oo kilometers in 90 hours), I will be off the grid and out of communication with Archival readers. In lieu of a live broadcast, I’m providing some placeholder photographs documenting my experience.

Arrival at Brest

On the train

Lining up for the August 21st start (8 p.m.)

Traveling along a road in France

Overnight control in Loudeac

At the finish (August 25th).

Interested parties can track my progress via the Official Paris-Brest-Paris site. The Vanilla and I are registered as US frame number 4641. Eight riders from my club, the Oregon Randonneurs, will be making the trip. After PBP, I will be spending a week in Paris recovering from the ride and shopping from the present.

Archival Dog Collar: Danzig Bros.

August 15th, 2011

As a kid, despite not owning a horse, I used to mail away for equestrian supply catalogs. I would browse through the pages of bits, bridles, silks and saddles, kitting out my imaginary Man O War with a full set of racing tack. Over time, horses morphed in bicycles, but I recently found a source for dog collars and leashes made by custom thoroughbred harness goods company, Danzig Bros. I just purchased one of the Amish-made, laced leather collars for my pony sized Weimaraner, Chaz. Designed for the rigors of the track, the lace leather style collar is made from best quality bridle leather and brass hardware. The leather is hand finished and edge polished. I’ve cycled through a number of dog collars but this is the first one that actually looks like it’s going to survive our wet Oregon winters.

Chaz modeling his collar

Archival Pre-Order: Centralia Knitwear

August 12th, 2011

We’re taking pre-orders for our special issue Archival Shooting Sweater and Stripe Cardigan through August 14th. These sweaters will be made to order so if you want one, place your pre-order via the web shop by Sunday. Sweaters will be ready by the end of October. We will continue to stock the Archival Shawl Collar Cardigan in our signature multiweave and solids. If you wish to reserve a specific size, place a pre-order via the AC web shop.

Archival Shooting Sweater (made to order)

Archival Stripe Cardigan (made to order)

Archival Laundry Tote

August 11th, 2011

Last year, we asked the Steele Canvas Basket Company to reissue a square bottom janitor’s tote that we found in an old Steele catalog. We made some minor tweaks to the design, specifying extra heavy duty #4 canvas duck and opting for longer, 6″ handles. Working with Steele, we also brought back the original Steele stencil. In addition to laundry (the bag fits an entire comforter), we’ve been using ours to schlep packages to Fed Ex and the post office. We’ve also found the tote convenient for transporting small children. Here are some updated photos of the bag in action.

Shopping from the present: Dickies 1922 Shirting

August 9th, 2011
Workshirt excellence

You might have seen our review of the Dickies 1922 trousers, and we’re happy to have gotten a few of the Dickies 1922 shirts to review. Like the trousers, these shirts are beautifully detailed and made from excellent fabrics. The fit is more approachable than the original trousers, too – high armholes and a regular body make for a comfortable shirt that’s not too baggy.

The coming-soon painter’s white shirt is much lighter than the heavy Cramerton twill used in the original shirts and trousers – a nice option for summer months.
The Cramerton twill shirts are currently available in a rigid finish (left), but will soon be offered in a rinsed finish, too (right).

Suggested trouser pairing.

Meticulous detailing and impeccable construction.

Now I’m still hoping to review the upcoming Dickies 1922 Slim Straight trouser – hopefully it’ll be the answer to my prayers for a simple, bombproof, slim-fitting pair of chinos made in the USA. Fingers crossed! Until then, I’ll be wearing these rugged shirts through the cool Oregon summer.

Shopping from 1933: LL Bean

August 5th, 2011

I just received my LL Bean Spring 1933 catalog in the mail (egregious delivery delays!). I’m forwarding along to Archival readers in need of last minute moccasin sandals, pack baskets, tackle kits, Maine fishing coats, tobacco pouches or fly rod outfits for their August camps. To order your goods, complete the form below and send at once to LL Bean, Freeport Maine.

Place your order here:

“no explanation or excuses required for returning an item”