Gear for the Cold North

A little bit about our goods in the cold:

Frost River gear is made to be used in all sorts of conditions, from the streets of Manhattan to the backwoods of the Boundary Waters and everything in between, and in every season. That means that warm or cold, the gear’s got to perform, and winter’s one of the times where Frost River’s reliable softgoods can really shine.

Water Resistance

Water resistance equals ice resistance. Waxed canvas helps water bead up and roll right off, so your goods don’t freeze solid. It’s not waterproof though, so try and avoid letting a pack soak in slush if you’re in below freezing temps, because water in canvas can freeze, and then you have to be a bit more careful with your gear.


Waxed canvas is made from natural materials, chiefly cotton, and cotton is one of the best materials for deep cold. Parkas made from the stuff help you breath and keep from overheating, while providing defense from the winter wind. Waxed cotton canvas in packs help ensure pliability in cold. Sure they’ll get stiff and stand up on their own, but the materials hold up and resist cracking, unlike some synthetics which can crack when the needle drops.


One of the great benefits of solid brass hardware is its resilience: It doesn’t rust, bends before it breaks and shines real bright-like. That translates to cold, too. Try wedging a plastic buckle between a rock in the dead of winter and see what happens—Usually not the best when you’re in the backcountry and reliant upon your gear to get you where you gotta go. Brass holds up, and takes the cold like a champ. Just take a look at the video below.


It’s a bit of a stretch, but Frost River goods are quiet. What do we mean by that? Well imagine walking along a quiet woods trail at a brisk pace. You’re wearing synthetic pants, like snow or rain pants. All you hear is the swoosh, swoosh as they rub together. Now imagine the quiet of wearing a pair of your old jeans. It’s the same with packs. Synthetics can get loud, swooshing along as you go. In the winter, when the land is even more quiet, it really makes a difference. Frost River waxed canvas is more like those old jeans, it maintains a low profile in the woods. The brass’ll ring a bit, but secure the buckles and they’ll hush right up. 

So however you enjoy winter (spring, summer or fall!), enjoy it with some quality waxed canvas packs and bags made by hand in Duluth. Pair that with a couple of our dutiful mittens, and you’ll be ready to strike out into the beautiful land of snow with confidence!

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