We choose to build our products from USA-made materials. It's typically the highest quality and truly the best option when building bags intended to last. As a brand committed to building gear that's guaranteed for life, we opt for the most durable, longest lasting, best textiles on the market. 

CORDURA® Nylon

CORDURA® is the best woven nylon available on the market. But its success over the years is similar to that of Kleenex® or Xerox®. When you build a product that is the clear industry leader, often your brand name becomes synonymous with the entire category of product, lumped together with the imitators and infringers. With so many copy-cats (legal or otherwise) on the market, many companies will use imitation nylon and simply call it CORDURA® without thinking twice. That's not us. 

Today, to use CORDURA® brand nylon in your products is truly a differentiator. We only source 1000 denier* CORDURA® for the outer shells of our bags. It's durable, rip and wear resistant, and it's even coated with a durable water repellant (DWR) finish making it fairly water resistant. This fabric is built to last and we are some its biggest fans. 

*What's a denier you might ask? For reference, 'denier' is a unit of measure for the linear mass density of fibers, is the mass in grams per 9000 meters of the fiber. That's how fabric is measured and rated, with a higher number indicating a heavier weave, thereby (in theory) being more durable and abrasion resistant.

X-Pac™

All of our weatherproof bags use a variant of X-Pac™ sailcloth from Dimension Polyant made in Connecticut. Lightweight, strong, with a waterproof laminate backing, X-Pac™ provides durable weather protection without a significant weight penalty. It's also incredibly abrasion resistant and many feature an X-PLY® monofilm backing.

X-PLY®'s signature diamond or 'X' pattern is often visible through the outer face fabric, which retains strength across the bias (45 degree angle)--a traditionally weak point in most ripstop fabrics. For technical, all-weather applications, X-Pac™ is the ultimate balance of weight, durability, waterproofing, and affordability. 

We use X-21 most frequently as our drop-in liner in many of our waterproof rolltop bags (Flanders, Davis, Clinton, Woodward, etc.). X-21 is a sailcloth with a 210 denier nylon face fabric and black polyester X-PLY® 22° monofilm. It weighs 149 g/m². Tear strength 71 N.

Sometimes we use other variants like X-33, VX-42, and X-51 depending on the application and intended use case scenario. The varying numbers denote the weight of the face fabric bonded to the waterproof laminate, with a higher number indicating a heavier and more durable outer sheath.

X-33 uses a 330 denier CORDURA® nylon face fabric making it durable and abrasion resistant. A layer of X-PLY® monofilm is bonded to the backside making it tear resistant, waterproof, and has high-tensile strength. Also our current stock features the official US Army Multicam camouflage pattern.  214 g/m². Tear strength 102 N.

LS-42 'LiteSkin™' is a non-woven polyester face coated sailcloth impregnated with a pigmented polyester resin. It features a 420 denier nylon backing holds stitching really well. It's highly abrasion resistant and lightweight. Ours is called Black Heather and it's a beast of fabric. Plus it looks absolutely boss. 234 g/m². Tear strength 93 N.

VX-42 features a 420 denier CORDURA® nylon face fabric, making it more durable and abrasion resistant than most other fabrics. A standard black polyester X-PLY® 22° monofilm is backed with a 50 denier polyester taffeta. Also called 'Rugged X-Pac™' it's best suited for high-stress/abrasion areas on a bag intended for rugged usage in a lighter weight package. 285 g/m². Tear strength 139 N.

X-51 is truly tough stuff. It features a 510 denier CORDURA® face fabric bonded to black polyester X-PLY® 22° monofilm. It is highly abrasion and tear resistant, waterproof, with high tensile strength. Very very gnarly material. We love it. It's 312 g/m². Tear strength 174 N. 

[X-51 to be featured in forthcoming products!]

Fabric Care 

Whether it's made from CORDURA® or X-Pac™, we recommend keeping your North St. Bag clean with occasional spot treatment on stains or accumulated dirt with a damp cloth. For set in stains use a brush with lukewarm water and mild detergent or hand soap. Please do not machine wash or dry. Seriously. Air dry for an hour or two. 

To keep your bag looking fresh and keep water from accumulating on the outer shell face fabric, reapply a DWR finish. We like Nikwax TX Direct.

 

Duffles vs. Duffels?

January 26, 2017

Duffle vs Duffel? Which is it? Why did we go with Duffle?

Great questions, all of them. Honestly, we were on the fence about it. We've seen it both ways and really, both are commonly accepted spellings of this word. In an instance such as duffle we might speak the word without really ever considering its actual spelling.

You may ask, why all the nitpicking over the spelling of a word? Now, none of us at North St. are linguists, per se, but when creating products and choosing naming conventions we end up throwing our hat into the ring of public opinion and we inevitably take a linguistic stand in our choice of duffle vs. duffel. 

Neither choice is wrong, and we're not claiming we're particularly correct, but our choice came down to some research and then our own comfort and gut sense about what felt natural.

For us, it was growing up with a particular spelling and what we were comfortable with. Duffle is an Anglicized version of the word which comes from the Belgian town, Duffel, where a coarse woolen fabric used in coats and blankets originated. This fabric was eventually used to make large gear bags and the term duffel bag was born.

In keeping with the English language tradition to complicate words and create their own standard, duffle eventually became an alternate spelling and was used fairly frequently. That's the version that we grew up with and it somehow made more sense to us when comparing other similar suffixes of words like scuffle, truffle, shuffle, ruffle, kerfuffle just to name a few. 

So, we don't mean to be difficult, nor overly opinionated, but we're sticking with duffle and we'll keep on making them here in Portland, Oregon and as always we'll guaranty them for life. 

[editor note: that last part was also meant as a joke about the usage of guarantee vs. guaranty. Nerdy to say the least, we know...]

 

Made in USA Bandanas?

January 25, 2017

Made in USA Bandanas? Impossible?

As you probably already know, we make all of our bicycle panniers, duffle bags, totes, backpacks, and hip packs in house in Portland, Oregon from Made in USA materials. This is a fact of which we are incredibly proud. It's a matter of principle, convenience, sustainability, scalability upon which our business is built and firmly rooted.

So...we decided we wanted to make some bandanas to add some merch to our lineup. It seemed a simple enough of an idea. Lots of people use them and we wanted to up our accessories game a little bit. Our brand awareness is growing and there are fans out there that would cherish a limited run bandana adorned with a cool print and the North St. logo.

In our minds we picture Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park wearing one as a neckerchief while simultaneously looking debonair and down to earth--a near impossible task to pull off.

Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park

We thought it would be simple to make happen. As it turns out not so much. 

We were in search of a USA made 100% cotton fabric with a tight weave that would allow us to screenprint our unique design. As we work with 1000 denier CORDURA® nylon and heavy duty #10 duck canvas to make our bags, we were lacking the specific machinery and tooling for a couple of key fine finishing steps to make bandanas.

Accordingly, we were seeking out some pre-made bandana blanks that we would be able to send to our (awesome) screenprinter here in Portland, Oregon. After doing some research online and making a few phone calls we found that not only were there next to zero options for USA made bandana blanks (pre cut and edge finished), much less no tightly woven cotton fabric in bulk available.  

We were perplexed.  

After some headscratching, we called up Bandanaman.com to see what they might say. Now we're paraphrasing here, but we learned that the machinery for this type of textile weaving is virtually non-existent in the United States. According to our friends at Bandanaman, after the passage of the Environmental Protection Act in 1970, near the entirety of denim and woven cotton manufacturing industry was shut down in the US and pushed overseas. Apparently it is near impossible to source fabric for bandanas (a lightweight, tightly woven, cotton fabric) of any quality in the United States. In fact, Pakistan, Turkey, China, and Vietnam are the leading production locales. 

This project was still important for us to pull off, so we sourced some Midnight Blue blanks from Bandanaman and sent them to our printer here in Portland. We are pleased with the end result but we have aspirations to provide a fully USA made product for our fans. 

If anyone has any suggestions or leads on high quality 100% cotton bandana fabric made in the USA, please drop us a line at info@northstbags.com.

Winter Break 2016

December 15, 2016

North St HQ will close for Winter Break

Dec 24th - Jan 2nd

North St. Bags will be closed down for or our annual winter break from December 24th through Jan 2nd. All produciton, shipping and most of our communications will be paused during this time.

Ordering & Delivery

We'll still take orders through the website during the closure, and we'll resume shipping after we re-open on Jan 3rd.

  • Items marked "Ready to ship" will be shipped out by Jan 5th.
  • "Made to order" items will be produced and shipped out in the order that we receive them
  • If you place your order before 12/24 and we're unable to ship it out before we leave, we'll reach out to inform you of the new ship date.

We'll do our best to ship out all orders within a week after re-opening. If you have specific shipping needs, please reach out to us or make a note in your order.

Customer Service

  • If you need to reach us, please shoot us an email at customerservice@northstbags.com. We'll be checking this intermittently during the break.
  • All voicemails and calls will be returned after 1/3/2016 

We are a small team of real people making high quality bags from scratch in SE Portland. We hope you'll enjoy your holiday break as much as we will ours.

From all of us at North St - Happy Holidays!

Holiday Deliveries 2016

December 09, 2016

Holiday Orders and Shipping Deadlines

As the holidays arrive faster than ever, we wanted to share some deadlines on orders for delivery by December 25th, 2016. Let us offer the caveat that we will not be able to guarantee delivery perfectly, but we will do our absolute best to get orders out the door so they may reach you in time, weather and standard delays permitting.  

That said, we're at the mercy of our partners and the realities of global shipping logistics. We've been given some guidelines from our shipping partners for holiday schedules and delivery windows. See below for recommended deadlines.

  • All 'Ready to Ship' orders on our site will ship out same or next day.
  • 'Build to Order' items are ready to be assembled and will ship as soon as possible.
  • Given our staffing demands with holiday traffic we will do our absolute best to get items to you and will send notification once an item has been shipped.
  • All custom orders must be placed by Sunday, December 11th to ensure delivery by the 25th. We will send confirmation that a custom order is in process to ensure it is feasible. 
Shipping Carrier /
Order Availabilty
Ready to Ship
(At Once)
Build to Order
(3-4 Days)
USPS
First Class
12/17
12/13

USPS
Priority

12/20
12/15
USPS
Priority Express
12/21 12/16
UPS
3 Day
12/17 12/14
UPS
2nd Day Air
12/20 12/16
UPS
Next Day Air
12/21 12/18

 

 

Outside Online reviews the Pioneer 12 Hip Pack

 

Converting the Woodward Backpack Pannier from Bike Bag to Backpack in Seconds

The Woodward Backpack Pannier is a waterproof bike bag built for on and off the bike use. Like everything else we make, it's built from 1000 denier CORDURA® brand nylon and uses a waterproof X-Pac™ sailcloth for a drop-in liner. 

We didn't invent the category of a backpack / pannier 2 in 1 combo bag, but we like to think we've somewhat refined and raised the bar of its design. For the Woodward, the biggest selling point for our users is the speed at which the bag transforms from pannier to backpack and back. 

Check out the video below to help understand the conversion process.  

Woodward Convertible in Action from North St Bags on Vimeo.

 

To mount the bag to the rack check out the steps below for reference or check out the video below. 

 

Local company makes tote bag for front basket of Biketown bikes

Posted by on August 8th, 2016 at 3:19 pm

North St Bags bike share tote -1.jpg
North St.’s new “Townie Tote” model. It also comes in dark grey.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

In just the latest sign that Portland has gone head-over-heels for bike share, a local company has added a Biketown-specific bag to their product line.

Southeast Portland-based North St. Bags has adapted their “Tabor Tote” model to fit snugly into the front rack of a Biketown bike. The new “Townie Tote” comes in two colors familiar to Biketown users: dark grey and Nike orange. Other features in the new, Biketown-edition Tabor Tote are an internal zippered pocket, reflective side tabs, and an optional set of straps that will attach the bag to the rack. The bag has a 25-liter capacity and is made from 1000 denier Cordura nylon.

North St.’s new tote will sell for $45 (the straps are an extra $10). Kevin Murphy, the company’s product marketing manager, said the bag will be available soon on the company’s website. They’re showing it off to Biketown staffers today and they hope to make it available direct from the BiketownPDX.com website. Murphy says he’s heard grumblings from local bike shops about the loss of business due to Biketown, so he thinks offering the Townie Tote might be one way for shops to draw bike share customers in.

Murphy also said since the Biketown racks are similar on all the bike share systems that use bikes made by Social Bicycles, they can easily work with other cities as well.

Is this the first in a long line of products to complement the emerging “bike share lifestyle” market? Which company will be next to capitalize on this new transit system that has taken Portland by storm?

Here are a few more images:

North St Bags bike share tote -2.jpg
North St Bags bike share tote -3.jpg
North St Bags bike share tote -5.jpg
Optional straps with buttons can tether the bag to the rack so it doesn’t pop out when you hit a pothole.
North St Bags bike share tote -6.jpg
North St Bags bike share tote -7.jpg
North St Bags bike share tote -9.jpg

Curtis Williams launched North St. in his home in 2009 using a sewing machine he bought off Craigslist. Today his company has grown to eight employees and his bags are sold by over 60 dealers and distributors around the globe. All of their products are made in a 1,200 square foot space just off of Southeast Clinton at 23rd that includes a retail store, offices, and a full production facility. Check out the rest of their offerings at NorthStBags.com.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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Men's Journal Reviews the Extra Large Tabor Tote Bag - September 2016

 

 

Don't count out the tote -- nothing beats the convenience of one on a weekend road trip. And the abuse-ready North St. Tabor Tote, made from 1,000-denier Cordura, hauls 63 liters of gear while looking cooler than most others. $59; northstbags.com

--Men's Journal September 2016

 

 

 

For years, North St. Bags has been known for its stylish and highly functional waterproof bike panniers and backpacks. We are especially known for our convertible backpack panniers built for use on and off the bicycle.

Route Six Pannier - Steel GrayRoute Seven Pannier - CustomWoodward Convertible - Forest Green

Our capacity to build high quality bags in-house truly differentiates our company from many other brands that rely on outsourcing their production--often times overseas. Additionally, our choice to use Made in USA materials like 1000 denier CORDURA® brand nylon and X-Pac™ waterproof sailcloth, reinforces our strong value offering and is the reason we wanted to expand our product line into arenas beyond the bicycle commuter market.

We took our years of production experience and launched several new models of bags, including our line of Scout Duffle bags, Buckman Gear Bags, and our favorite, the Tabor Totes.

 Buckman 31L Gear Bag

Tote bags offer a simple means to pack and carry all sorts of gear and are truly the simplest bag design there is. By choosing 1000 denier CORDURA® and heavy weight #10 cotton duck canvas (coming soon!) for our shells we have built a tough, durable, and water resistant utility bag, capable of withstanding lots of abuse. We also chose to build our Extra Large Tabor Tote with a capacity that is simply huge. At nearly 63 liters volume, this bag is able to haul as much as you're likely able to lift. It's deep and plenty wide and with solid inch and a half nylon webbing straps it's comfortable slung over one shoulder or over both shoulders like a backpack if needed. Both straps also offer key lash points on the front to secure a carabiner or key chain as needed. We included a nice packcloth drop liner and a zippered internal pocket as well to secure phone, keys, and wallet when on the go. 

Days at the beach, camping trips, large grocery hauls, or filling these bags with ice and your favorite canned beverages are all part of the daily duty of the Tabor Totes. We even built one specifically to fit Portland's very own BIKETOWN bike share bikes (built by Social Bicycles), so that tourists and locals alike can more easily carry their essentials around town on the bike. Our Townie Tote has quickly become the unofficial BIKETOWN bag in no time. Featuring a pattern specific to the to be compatible with the front rack on bikes from Social Bicycles, this bag will also likely work with other SoBi systems around the globe. Reflector tabs, a snap closure, and optional secure lash straps are extras that we added to the design to make this the simplest drop-in and go bag offering for the best bike share systems around.

Learn more about the Tabor Totes HERE and find your own bike share compatible Townie Tote HERE.

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