And a Bison Backpack
Story & photos by Greg Aragon
eople often asked about my favorite travel apparel and gear. This happened
to me at the airport recently. One question came as I was putting back
on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint striptease. Before
leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey, I really like
your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I found a uniformed
employee staring at my feet.
Appreciating her obvious sense of style, I smiled and
told her I got them online from Orvis. "These are their new Leather
Walking Boot," I replied, "handmade in the USA, very comfortable
and perfect for travel."
The Orvis Walking Boot is rugged, classy and comfortable
Moving on to my terminal gate, I stopped for a coffee
and was approached by a man who wanted to know where I got my backpack
and what type of leather was used on it. "It's the new Bison Redwood
Backpack #515 from Coronado Leather," I replied. "It's handmade
Diego, California and the leather is American bison."
As the compliments on my travel fashion went to my head,
I pondered the quality of fine, American-made leather products.
The Orvis Walking Boot is hand-sewn in the USA by skilled
bootmakers in Wynne, Arkansas for Orvis. As Americas oldest mail-order
outfitter and longest continually-operating fly-fishing business, Orvis
offers a wide assortment of mens and womens clothing and
sportswear, as well as luggage, travel accessories and outdoor gear.
Rugged and classy, with a hint of "combat boot"
style, the Orvis Walking Boot is at home in the office, on the trail,
or strolling around town. The boot is crafted from a beautiful cowhide
leather finished with a slightly waxy touch.
The Walking Boot is handmade in the USA by expert
Besides being sturdy it is also very comfortable. I
wore these puppies everywhere on my recent trip to Switzerland
and they held up perfectly as I walked more than five miles a day over
cobble stone streets, through lush vineyards, up mountain trails and
more. My feet always felt comfortable. I am looking forward to many
years of good, solid use from them.
A highlight of the chocolate colored boots is the double-stacked
leather midsole and storm welt around the toe and up the side of the
vamp for protection from the elements and added durability. They feature
traditional toe-lasted construction finished with a faux-moc toe stitch
detail and a rubber outsole. They also boast six lace-up eyelets, with
two speed laces at the top, for easy on and off.
The Bison Redwood Backpack is handmade in
San Diego, California
Then there is my latest backpack. Hand built and sewn
by Coronado Leather
in San Diego, California, the Coronado Bison Redwood Backpack is a masterpiece.
The company, which has been handcrafting leather bags and accessories
for more than 25 years, sources the finest materials from around the
world for its products. It gets leather from Horween in Chicago and
waxed lined cable thread from France.
For the Bison Redwood Backpack, Coronado Leather uses
its signature American Bison leather which is tanned exclusively for
the company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coming in rich walnut or deep black
color, the backpack features a combination of three amazing materials:
bison leather, waxed canvas, and Horween leather. This trio makes it
lightweight, rugged and water resistant.
To create the pack, craftsmen start with 10oz. waxed
cotton canvas and sew it with shrunken bison leather. They then add
straps, handles and trim pieces are cut from stout 10oz. Horween Latigo
leather for durability and limited stretch.
The backpack, which comes with a limited lifetime warranty,
is also spacious. Measuring 16 inches tall by 12 inches wide by six
inches deep, it has enough room for me to pack a week's worth of clothing
and computer accessories. It features a huge main compartment, two interior
zipper pockets for storage, an interior sheath with snap closure for
a laptop or documents, three large exterior leather-lined pockets for
easy access to necessities, and a key-locking, concealed carry weapon's
pocket on the back, which I used for valuables. The backpack is rounded
out with premium brass hardware and zippers, a bison wrapped top carry
handle, and a meticulous diamond quilt design on the rear with added
foam for impact reduction.