Duluth Pack

Duluth Pack
Camille Poirier
  • Product Design

In 1870 Camille Poirier moved to Duluth, Minnesota, and opened a small shoe and leather goods shop in the bustling port city. Considered the last major city before Minnesota’s vast Boundary Waters area to the north, which is accessible only by canoe, Poirier began designing a new style of backpack for such journeys. Dubbed the Duluth Pack, he received a patent for it in 1882. Poirier’s design consists of a single, large canvas that is secured by straps and buckles rather than a zipper. Its square shape is designed to fit into the bottom of a canoe and can be carried by two shoulder straps and an optional strap that can be placed around the forehead, facilitating the portage of the canoe atop the head during land crossings. Duluth Packs and other canvas bags and accessories of the company remain popular today.