Rucksack: vintage or 'new' WPG Bergans?

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by pipvh, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Could it be that spring is almost here (well, the snowdrops are up anyway)? Because a chap's fancy is turning to matters outdoor. Having found an excellent pair of traditional hiking boots (Pivetta style 8, £1 on ebay and they fit like a glove) and a Grenfell walking coat, I now need a 'new' rucksack (time to pass my old one onto the next generation). Rather than resurrecting an old thread from 2008, I'm taking the liberty of starting a new one.

    I've handled a salt and pepper Swiss army rucksack and may end up with that, though it is a bit heavy. I've thought of holding out for an actual vintage Bergans of Norway from the 'bay - they come up quite often but I always miss them - or some other vintage sort, preferably of the European multi-pocket, leather and canvas flavour.

    I've also seen the reproduction British Army commando 'Bergans' that WPG offer. It looks very much like what I want, but I'm wondering if any fellow Loungers owned or have seen one? I can't tell from the website how big they are, but I'm guessing 40L which is the outer limit for a daypack. Any experiences would be gratefully assimilated.
     
  2. nobodyspecial

    nobodyspecial Practically Family

    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    I've been watchign for similar boots in my size on ebay and just have not come up with anything. Nice job.

    I've not used any of the packs you mentioned, but I'd opt for a genuine Bergans rather than a reproduction. I've seen the Swiss rucksack and it is rather heavy.
     
  3. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    The WPG Bergen is probably a good buy if you want a "WW2 Commando Bergen"
    but maybe you could try a soft(rather than a frame) rucksack, if you're looking for a day pack of 30lt, or less?

    Post-war Norwegian Bergans/Bergens are cheap but are still frame type and are
    laid out differently from '30s/'40s styles and they're around 40lt, too.

    20-30ltr vintage rucksacks are a'plenty on eb.de


    I'm watching some at present.

    More later...


    B
    T
     
  4. Gijoe

    Gijoe A-List Customer

    Messages:
    308
    Location:
    SWITZERLAND
    The WPG Bergen is a good pack , but looks a bit to "army" for me !
    I use a swedish army Rucksack. Looks stylish comfortable to wear and light enough !
     
  5. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    England
    Go for an oldie rather than a repro. If not a Bergan, then a another canvas one. As BT says, they're not in short supply on Ebay and elsewhere.

    You've probably already tried the Swedish army 40L canvas rucksack: they're a little lighter than the Swiss salt n pepper ones.
     
  6. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Thanks for the advice, everyone.

    My inclination is to go vintage. I'm extremely tempted by the Swiss bag, if only because it is such a magnificently well-made bit of kit, but original Bergans of Norway pieces come up fairly often, though almost always in America - why is that, I wonder?

    I do quite like the small A-framed packs, but a frame isn't a deal-breaker for me. I need room for water, lunch, a windproof and a jumper. The Swiss bag seems a bit excessive, but hauling it around will be character-building - or so I tell myself. It's a question of whether or not I can resist it next time I'm up in town.
     
  7. Creeping Past

    Creeping Past One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,567
    Location:
    England
    There's a smaller version of the big Swiss s/p sack. It's a day pack, but fine for carrying a sweater, flask, map, pork pie, etc. The Swiss ones are great: it's a bit like bespoke luggage, what with all the heavy leather and metal trimmings.

    Give the Swede a try, too. They're a lot simpler, lighter and cheaper.

    It's easy, without much effort, to gather together a great number of canvas sacks. Each one has a specific use. It's less easy to get that message across to the people you share limited space with...
     
  8. Mysterious Mose

    Mysterious Mose Practically Family

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    Gone.
    True, that.
     
  9. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    So true.

    The one real hiking essential...
     
  10. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Also guilty of having far too many rucksacks...


    The Swedish ones can be had for a tenner- good value but choose a nice one if you have the opportunity.


    B
    T
     
  11. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    You're probably avoiding it...
    Don't forget the original rucksack thread/s:
    http://www.thefedoralounge.com/showthread.php?t=18459

    Czech rucksacks are nice, especially if you cab get one with the removable
    leather straps, rather than the sewn-on nylon webbing-

    ebay has one- #170447683304

    Here is one of mine- my best Czech:
    [​IMG]

    I just did a Google image search for "Czech rucksack" and as happens so often,
    the first result is one of mine, from here...

    Keep looking, you'll find the right one.

    B
    T
     
  12. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    No, no - the original rucksack thread was very inspiring indeed. I think it was the first FL thread that made me think wait a minute, other people are obsessing over/stuffing their cupboards with this stuff...

    Those Czech packs do like nice. I have a civilian Czech daypack from the 70s with a leather flap which has gone many miles with me, but it's time to pass it on.

    I'm going to check out Endicotts in Exeter today - they have some pretty interesting surplus, including the smaller Norwegian pack. We'll see!
     
  13. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Now if I could find one of these:

    [​IMG]

    An old Karrimor from the archive of the Mountain Heritage Trust...
     
  14. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Isn't that an early example of their "Alpinist"? :eek:


    B
    T
     
  15. cbrunt

    cbrunt One of the Regulars

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    221
    Location:
    Maryland
  16. nobodyspecial

    nobodyspecial Practically Family

    Messages:
    514
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
  17. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    I saw it but didn't investigate - great pictures. An original Bergans from the '20s or '30s came up for sale on the 'bay a while ago, in Florida of all places! Needless to say I found it too late, but it didn't go for much. I really love the logo of the two blokes - 'with & without.' I'm determined not to be 'without...'
     
  18. Speedster

    Speedster Practically Family

    Messages:
    876
    Location:
    60 km west of København
    Endicotts are out of the Norwegian packs. I ordered one in October last year and was informed accordingly. Just checked again and received reply from Kevin:
    "Still no luck I'm afraid.
    We've tried many times with various suppliers but they have all sold out.
    We tried a 'commercial copy' but the qualiyty was pretty grim.
    Apologies re this !!
    Do keep in touch though"
     
  19. BellyTank

    BellyTank I'll Lock Up

    Norwegian Bergen/Rucksack

    Which Norwegian one in particular is it you want, Speedster and Pipvh..?

    Picture? Link?


    B
    T
     
  20. pipvh

    pipvh Practically Family

    Messages:
    639
    Location:
    England
    Speaking for myself, this one:

    [​IMG]

    But there are a lot of very similar packs out there right now.
     

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