Love the bag. I use it for everything. Can carry a lot in it. I took the drawstring loose and put several brass clips on the drawstring in the open sections of the string. Now I can clip the coin purses and various other stuff to it. Nice fabric and made to last. Beautiful color. Hope they will make iPad pro sleeves from this fabric in the future.
Simple Canvas Pack
$330.00 to $390.00SKU: #03-10-0017
- 100-Year Warranty, details here.
- Free Shipping, details here.
- From the Mountainback Collection
- Built with uncommonly thick 24 oz waxed canvas from Scotland that is extremely rugged and water resistant.
- Canvas pack can be carried using the Old Bull grab handle or the adjustable 34" Old Bull leather shoulder straps that are contoured for a comfortable fit.
- Dark Coffee Brown Old Bull leather pad lines the back and bottom of the pack for comfort and protection from inside contents; Leather is stamped with month and year of construction.
- Exterior leather pad doubles as an exterior pocket and allows for items, such as a tripod or ax, to be carried under the bag
- Sewn leather tabs on the side of the backpack for lashing or hanging extra gear.
- Drawstring closure with adjustable flap to keep out rain; Main flap secures with easy-access pad eye closure.
- Wide open, simple design with three interior pockets
- Is over-engineered with high quality materials for when your life depends on it; Can (with much effort or very sharp knife) be shredded and wrapped to make a torch.
- Will outlast you and maybe your kids, or even your kids' kids
- Easily fits a 15” Macbook, iPad, or Notepad Holder - all with room to spare
- To be noted: Waxed canvas is the original water resistant fabric, and comes with the attendant charms and quirks of being a centuries-old technology. In the young days of your bag, you may experience slight wax transfer from the canvas to any particularly absorbent contents in the bag (such as paper, etc). It is recommended that these contents are kept in a case while in the bag. Something to keep in mind as the bag breaks in.
- Dimensions (approximate size):
- Exterior: 17” H X 13” W x 5” D
- Interior: 16 ¾” H x 12” W x 5” D
- 4.6 pounds
- Exterior: 14” H x 12 ½” W x 5” D
- Interior: 14” H x 11” W x 5” D
- 4.2 pounds
I've had my canvas backpack for about four months now. I just love it. I can use it on picnics ,at the car shows and at the dirt track races. It's stylish enough for classic car shows, yet rugged looking to carry at the dirt track races. I can easily put a jacket and snacks in with my basic carry items and have plenty of room. The stitching is really excellent quality. The leather back I treat with chamberlains protectant kit ,which I just ordered a new set of. I get the conditioner and the protectant for use on all my leather products. Have ordered for awhile now and all the products hold up excellent. I'm tough on my bags and Dave makes his products to survive everyday use.Thanks Dave for always making product that stand up to this Scottish girls tough life.
I own several SBL products and this was my first Mountainback product. I love the backpack! This pack makes me feel connected to another time. An older generation where nothing was synthetic, plastic, or artificial. I have been loading up my pack and taking adventures. Already been into the snow at 12,000 feet, a mountain pass in the Sierra Nevada range, across lake Tahoe, scouting a new location to camp, and a couple of picnic adventures. My kids already decided I need to get another so they can both inherit one from me. Ha!
The quality of pack is second to none! The ethos of the pack is exactly what I wanted.
At a functional level the pack is big enough for a day long adventure and rugged enough for all of the wear and tear you may throw at it.
Get yours! Get outside and have fun!
I worked on a ranch with cowboys doing their own leather work and repair on our tack and gear. I knew how to do the rivets and stitching so can recognize heavy wear connections and know what it takes to break down gear and what it looks like to have something that will stand up for the duration of heavy use.
I am going to use this pack hard and don't expect to make meaningful wear in the next 20 years.
The locking mechanism is elegantly engineered. It comes open with a grasp and will not accidentally open.
I would have reinforced the loops that are first at the ties, however. I pull on those a lot.
I'm really glad to have found this pack and am pleased there is at least one guy who knows how to build stuff for me.
I received my bag (size small) 5/27/16 after a about 30 day wait (more or less). I have to say, this bag is amazing and worth the wait! I have a number of SBL bags and this is by far my favorite! In fact, my mom was with me when I opened the box and she loved it. What's funny is that she's not familiar with SBL products, but when she looked over this backpack she said, "this will be around even after your gone," - that made me laugh because it is so true! I love the simplicity of the bag and the fact that I can tuck my Macbook as well as file folders, and wallet in the roomy main compartment. The inside side pockets are perfect for cords/pens/pencils etc. My flip-flops fit inside the back leather sleeve. I have a number of trips set for this summer with a fairly lengthy trip to Europe in August. Looking forward to using this backpack over the next few months. Hopefully, I can keep my daughter from snagging this one for herself!
I've been tempted by million-pocket, access-from-the-side, billion-zip backpacks before only to have them fail after a few years. A bung zip can take out the cleverest of backpacks.
Frankly, I can't see how this backpack will ever wear out. It's surprisingly light, sturdy and flexible. The leather back not only makes things comfortable (plus creates the pocket for my book and ipad) it helps keep the backpack flat and in shape. The leather straps, while not-quite-comfortable for the first month are now molded perfectly to my shoulders.
Why only four stars? I think it misses one thing - an outside canvas pocket. The interior pocket with the flap would be perfect on the outside. Just something for my work lanyard or a small water bottle when hiking.
This thing is tops. No regrets on the cost. I recommend it.
No doubt the best backpack money can buy!!! I received my pack as a gift date stamped 2/2016 the quality of this bag is beyond any words can describe. I'm an avid camper and backpacker. This bag will always be my first choice on all my expiditions. I own so many of Saddlebacks leather products I've been a collector for years now. I must say this canvas pack is my favorite to date.
This is the last pack you will ever purchase in your life. Buy once, cry once, as they say. Quality stuff like this is so rare. I so wish I could have had this as a book bag/pack when I was in college years ago. I'm as pleased as I have ever been with anything I have ever bought from Saddleback.
What an amazing back pack! Was trying to think of something special to give to our son for graduation and this is it! He will love it!
I received mine yesterday. It's made great. The leather back is beautiful and I can stash papers in the back pocket. I of course put some rings and clips on the leather cord that is the drawstring. The inside is roomy enough to through gym clothes or camping supplies in. I really like the stitching on it. It's a very stylish piece. It's a lot lighter than the leather front pocket backpack. So I think it's going to be great to carry to the car shows and races. I'm hoping Dave will design a iPad pro sleeve out of the canvas fabric. Looks like something out of an Indiana jones movie.
Another great product from the creativity of Saddleback Leather.
I bought this as soon as the limited edition bags were available and I'm so happy that I did. It's the exact quality I've come to expect from Saddleback in a new and interesting format. The canvas is insanely thick and sturdy, unlike any I've seen before, and the design elements are stylish without being overwrought. I'm really loving the way the waxed canvas ages, too -- that's also very akin to my experience with Saddleback's leather goods.
I'm thrilled with what they've done with the Mountainback imprint; I have never personally been wowed by Love41 but am glad that SB always tries new things and brings customers new offerings. In short, I am looking forward to even more Mountainback options, and I think it will be tough to decide between the original SB and this imprint when making future purchases!
Purchased the pack sight unseen as I had missed the live broadcast and knew from previous purchases that it would be crafted well. Beat my expectations, from the rich, heavy canvas to the beautiful leather back and base pad. Luckily I ordered it early enough to receive pack number "2" of the limited initial run! Unluckily, my 8 year old daughter immediately took possession of it and now uses it for her school book bag! Couldn't be happier! Thanks for another great bag!
The instant Dave showed this bag I knew I had to have one and I managed to get the one used in the video introduction. It's a perfect size, able to fit anything you might need for a day trip or throw some books/a sweatshirt and things for going to class or work. Really well constructed, easy to use and looks great. From the clasp holding it shut to the drawstring it looks and works great. Been using it for a week now and couldn't be any happier with it. I highly recommend it.
I have owned and used my pack regularly for two months and at this point feel I can offer a considered review. Most reviews already posted are exceedingly positive, so rather than echo what has already been said, I will in this review focus on two open questions, two minor niggles, and one major complaint about the design. These should be considered in light of the overall four-star rating, however, which suggests that they are ultimately secondary to the positive attributes of the pack – superb canvas, solid stitching, quality metal hardware, thick leather, great styling, decent comfort, etc. – that have already been covered by other reviewers. As this pack is designed for light travel, casual EDC, day hikes under controlled circumstances, etc., I will review it as such; using this as a proper hiking pack (at 12,000 ft., for instance) is … well, it is definitely not something I would recommend.
1. On the other leather backpacks I’ve used extensively (one old scout pack and two old army packs), the more hard-wearing side of the leather shoulder strap (the “outside” of the hide) faces the shoulder, ensuring maximum abrasion resistance (and minimal sweat absorption). I am as yet unclear about whether the decision to leave the “inside” of the hide against the shoulder is a sound one.
2. I agree with a previous reviewer that the last closure pull loops might do with some reinforcement (riveting?), as they suffers quite a bit of stress. I am not sure if they will hold up over time, but at least this is something that is easy to repair.
1. The closing mechanism looks cool and it is mercifully easy to operate with one hand. (Having spent enough time over the years fiddling with traditional buckle-and-strap closures, I am grateful for this.) As it is just one central strap, it does allow for quite a bit of movement in the flap in windy conditions, however, and it can be difficult to properly secure the contents if the bag is filled.
2. The shoulder straps are sewn and doubly riveted directly onto the canvas (reinforced with a little leather patch), leaving the entire weight of the pack pulling on the attachment points. The problem with this is that there is a lot of strain on the canvas itself centered on a very limited area, and I strongly suspect that the torsional stresses are going to lead to degradation/fraying over time. In fairness, there is none so far, but cotton has a nasty tendency to break down over time and the stitching around the rivets do exhibit some signs of pulling the canvas fibers apart. I do think that a different design that utilized D-rings (for less torsional stress) and wider, leather reinforced attachment points (allowing for greater distribution of weight) would have been a better solution.
1. The flap is the same width as the pack itself, ensuring that it becomes impossible to adequately cover the top opening of the pack when closed – almost irrespective of how much it contains. (As the pack is cinched shut, it leaves, because of the leather reinforcement of the cinching straps, little “mouse ears” at the sides that poke beyond the width of the pack and are not covered by the flap, no matter how you try to arrange things.) This means that if you are using the pack in the rain, you have to rely on a waterproof lining in order to keep your contents dry. As every other top-loading backpack I’ve ever owned in my life (and there have been many) have had flaps broader than the back of the pack, it is hard not to see this as a violation of some central tenet of Design 101. It is just, for lack of a more precise term, stupid – and should never have progressed beyond the prototype stage.
In conclusion, I will return to my initial caveat that while this is a review that focuses on the negative, there are a lot of things to like about the pack. Okay, so it’s more of an urban hipster pack than something to reach for when going into the great outdoors – to me, that’s fine, I don’t expect having to fight my way through the zombie apocalypse every time I go on a little trip. But most importantly – far and away most importantly – in spite of its faults, it makes me happy to use it – and it is the pack my hand pulls out of the closet for daily use. Granted, I probably have a more well-developed sentimental attitude toward both backpacks (self-reliance) and green canvas / leather (military) than most people – but I “like” this pack; it is a handcrafted product that, while flawed and sold to me by people who presumably are in business to make money), stands in some sort of ideal philosophical opposition to the sleek, competent, non-descript, mass-produced stuff we mostly come to rely on. This is admittedly wholly subjective (and I am aware of the psychological foible of such attributions) – but to me this pack has “soul,” which is, ultimately, the highest (and strangest) praise you can offer a consumer product. As long as you keep out of the rain (or worse), this is the companion you have been looking for. And SBL, please fix that flap in the next revision.
I literally own thousands of dollars of SBL, and this is already my favorite piece. I've also shopped A LOT for waxed canvas packs and haven't seen a thing that comes close. The look and feel are perfect, I love the color (even better in person), and the contrasting leather is just right to complete the aesthetic. Function and comfort are even better. The pack crumples nicely and maintains a low profile when wanted, but is surprisingly roomy when needed. The pockets are "just right" for anticipated carry, and the straps are extremely comfortable (and that's saying a lot since they are the stiffest they will ever be right now). Over the years, my wife would shake her head with every box on the doorstep... (even though half the purchases were for her). "There's more to life than leather, you know", she would say. Turns out, she's right...there's also waxed canvas!
First off, I have bought quite a many items on here from Saddleback over the last year(my first), where I first bought an XL Briefcase since I was looking for something to hold my large Apple 17" laptop, and then later realized I would prefer something smaller to tote around my area so had to have the thin briefcase (both in brown & the best quality constructed such products I have ever seen). I had also purchased a wallet and iPhone 6 plus case as well as the sunglass case holder and all are great products and have held up well - only a few scratches on the iPhone case, but not an issue for me.
I saw these new canvas/leather products and knew I had to own a few so I purchased this small backpack & a few others such as the medium carry bag and the smallest bag(possible gun holder) and a cable bag. Here, the back pack, initially I wanted the larger (medium) one, but it went out of stock fast, so I decided to buy the small one. Like some of you, I thought, why pay just $40 less to own the small, and considered sending it back for that reason, but now after receiving it, I see that there is much room inside and can just about fit my 17" laptop inside if I had to, and plenty of room for much more. These bags are built solid with thick strong canvas material (& somewhat smooth from finest quality), but of course not solidly rigid where they cannot move around, so without much inside, there is some collapse of volume if not full - getting excited to change that and put to much good use. And for me, being 5' 8" I really do not need the larger backpack, and in fact, if I had the medium, if full, I bet it would be too heavy. Maybe they should have a larger price gap on the two, but maybe buyers are just over-thinking it.....consider your size and needs and do not worry about that, as I had been before is my suggestion. You can always send it back if you don't like it.
And wow, did I say quality? The brass rivet holders of the leather to the bag & the quick one-handed closures and the feel of the Scottish waxed canvas is truly awesome. It sort of reminds me when I was in the military way back, except we had the cheap stuff and was not guaranteed to last a life time - so I definitely have a few seabag worthy products that will last a lifetime, unless some alligator gets a hold of them....lol.
Thanks Dave - great job, well done!
This pack is a great size for a day hike, or any adventure. Obviously, the materials are of the highest quality, but the construction and design are what sets this pack apart from similar products. The thick, leather piece that protects my kidneys from being poked all day with shifting contents is brilliant. Once it has some earned wear, it will be at the peak of it's beauty, and then be ready for a hundred years of service. I have no doubt that after I'm gone my son will get a lifetime of use from this pack, and then his kids can fight over it!
Fhis is The Backpack. End of story. As expected, it is exceptionally sturdy and well made. But the design is carefully considered and intuitive. In my eyes, this is The Backpack against which all others will be judged. An achievement to be proud of Dave.
Great Bag, feels like it will last a lifetime. Highest quality. The smell reminds me of my grandpa's ww2 canvas bag. This is going to be on my back for some great adventures.
So basically I'm just going to share some various thoughts and experiences with this pack; first the negative, then the positive and my conclusion for my overall rating:
I've ordered two of these Simple Canvas Packs in small. The first one I sent back due to the perimeter stitching around the edge of the bag coming undone (unraveling) in a section of the bag. I had a Large Gear Bag that I sent back that had the same issue (the Large gear bag was never used and came that way from day one; the Canvas Pack was used 2-3 times). I own a Medium Gear Bag as well and that has thankfully not started coming apart (unraveled) on me. When I called Saddleback regarding the perimeter stitching issue, customer service told me I could take a lighter to it... ya right. Not after spending over $700 on two bags... I'm not going to risk further damaging a defective product that in my opinion shouldn't have had those problems to start with. I suggest some quality control measures need to be added due to this repetitive issue I've experienced (unless I just have the worst luck with these bags). Plus, the threading needed to be redone due to a gap being missing where it was coming undone and the material coming apart on the edge on those bags.
I received my second Small Simple Canvas Pack in the mail today and found the same issue with a loose thread coming undone. I went ahead and tied off and secured the rogue/loose thread before it got any worst. I haven't noticed any others yet. I don't have this issue on my $50-100 backpacks by Oakley and Jan Sport. I'm irritated that I'm having this concern/problem on $300+ luggage/bags. I hope Saddleback takes note of this issue/review and also finds a better way to tighten down the stitches around the edge of the bag. Some of the perimeter stitching threads around my bag are loosely sewn in as well and I'm concerned something may eventually snag on them while I'm using either of my Mountainback bags.
Another negative to this bag is the way the shoulder straps attach to the bag; they just jut out of the back, which is a bit of an eye sore. I'd prefer the pack have something similar to the D-rings used on the leather backpack's Dave offers.
My final concern is the use of bull leather for the straps, the leather just doesn't seem as sturdy/substantial as the leather on my other leather backpacks from Saddleback, but time will tell. My concern arises from a bull leather bull belt that I had to return due to the leather pulling/tearing apart. I have to admit that that belt was a Dave's deal and didn't seem right from day one.
Not that this bothers me, but it may be something worth considering for some folks considering this bag. It does not stand upright on it's own unlike the leather backpacks... it will fall over if not supported in some fashion. My Square Backpack and Simple Medium Backpacks stand fine on their own when I pack and unpack them.
Now for the good stuff. Like my Medium Gear Bag, the open and close mechanism is my favorite feature of the Simple Canvas Pack.
I'm not sure why Dave decided to name the small Canvas Pack a small... I think it should be considered a medium; the medium should be called a large. I own the Square Backpack and the Medium Simple Backpack and the Simple Canvas Pack in small ironically has just as much carrying capacity as those two other bags. This is a very spacious pack.
The interior pockets on this bag are excellent! My Square Backpack has very shallow pockets on the interior making two of the four nearly useless. The interior pockets on the Canvas pack are deep and spacious. I also like that one of the inside-outside pockets has a flap... a bit of a pain to get to with one hand, but practical for items I don't want to find their way out. The pocket on the opposite as no flaps and is easy to get to with one hand. The outside pocket along the backside of the Canvas Pack is great for my kindle and iPad. I no longer have to worry about them sliding under some heavy textbooks and cracking the screen or damaging the products in any other way. It's also good having the pocket not up against where the pack would rest on a person back. I no longer worry about the contents of the bag crushing my iPad/Kindle Oasis e-reader up against my back possibly causing them to get damage and having undue stress put on them.
The canvas material is light, weather resistance and durable. I prefer the collapsible nature of canvas to my leather bags. I like that if I carry a single item, I can use the cinching mechanism to tighten up the loose fabric opposed to my Simple or Square Backpack. It keeps the bag centered on my back and compact.
So for the rating and summary, I gave this Simple Canvas Pack a 4 out of 5 stars and I think I'm being generous. If not for the cooperative customer service, design, warranty and overall quality of the materials used, I'd give easily give this bag a 2 out of 5 stars because I am just not confident in the thread along the edges of the bag holding up with time and use. The bag is pretty worthless if the stitching comes undone... the bag is nothing without quality/skilled stitching methods holding it together. However, it's easily one of my favorite bags to date due to the other reasons mentioned and it’s unique. I'm hoping the bag will hold together over time considering it does not seem as substantial as my experiences with the all leather backpacks and Medium Front Pocket Briefcase. The canvas used/supplied is solid, no issues/concerns there. The main issue I'm emphasizing again and again and again is that the brown thread used for the perimeter stitching... I can't say/mention it enough.... As far as the actual thread holding the bag structure together, it's been fine with what limited experience I've had with the Mountainback lineup.
Overall, I think Saddleback is headed in the right direction and it looks like fun and exciting company as a whole. As long as they continue to improve and support their customers, I'll be happy to continue to support and recommend them and their products.
Roald Amundsen (A.D. 1872 - 1928)
The year Roald Amundsen reached the ripe old age of 15, coincidentally, was about the same year his mother became the most active prayer warrior in all of Norway. Roald’s curiosity drove him to risk his life over and over again for the joy of experiencing the unknown and the uncharted. Those desires eventually took him, but not before he lived one of the coolest lives recorded in history.
In 1903, he was the first to make his way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific by going over the top of the North American Continent, now named the Northwest Passage. In 1911, Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole and in 1926, the first to reach the North Pole. I can only imagine the beautiful scenery and animals and all around fun experiences he took in and had. Makes this man want to go out and explore something right now.
And you can bet that when Amundsen was purchasing gear for an expedition, he never said anything like “But this one is only half the price of the really good one, and it’s probably good enough.” or “But it looks so nice and the lining has a really pretty world map on it”. When your life depends on it, quality trumps it all, period. If a tool failed, and he or one of his crew lost life or limb, the “100% Money Back Guarantee” was cold comfort. The selection of tools and materials were mission essential and vital to his team's existence and success.
Did Roald Amundsen become an inspiration to thousands, live the amazing experiences he did and are we talking about him so long after his death because of the gear he carried? Absolutely not. He was successful because he was the kind of man who valued a quality life, who surrounded himself with quality people and carried only the highest of quality gear. Now you go and do likewise.