Canoe Camping Trip Ostrom Outdoors Portage Pack, Canoe Barrel

ostromoutdoors2022/02/25 08:41
Canoe Camping Trip Ostrom Outdoors Portage Pack, Canoe Barrel


We know all about knarly portages! Our canoe trips have taken us through Quetico/Boundary Waters, Wabakimi, Woodland Caribou, and the Yukon.

That’s why, since 1987, we’ve been on a mission to ease the pain of portaging with superbly designed canoe packs. There is nothing more amazing than paddling into remote areas.


Bill Ostrom is the designer in the family. He was the first to design:

·         An internal frame canoe pack/portage pack using backpack technology,

·         The first custom-fit canoe pack, and

·         The first canoe barrel harness that didn’t dig into your spine.


Our design and fitting expertise comes from having been the lead designer for the Canadian Military rucksack.

Bill worked with an ergonomics firm, Queen's University, DRDC (Defence Research & Development Canada) and 100s of soldiers.

Lessons learned around fit and construction was incorporated into our frame, hip belt, and shoulder strap designs.


Our biggest pet peeve is when a canoe packs or barrel harness is “One Size Fits All.”

In reality, that “one size” is a misfit for a significant part of the population.

And it affects your ability to carry a load comfortably and safely.

That's why all our canoe/portage packs and barrel harness can be custom fit to you.


Up until 2013 we designed and manufactured our packs in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Sadly, we needed to close the manufacturing part of our business due to rising costs. Honestly, it was the hardest decision we’ve ever made.


The good news is that Bill kept designing, bringing other people’s dreams to market.

This is Louise from Advanced Freedom.

Bill designed the prototypes and helped her bring the Handipac to market.

It’s the first-ever front-facing wheelchair bag.


Through this work, we found a manufacturer in China we can trust.

We've worked with them for 5 years and they stand behind their work exactly as we do.

From our perspective, they consistently manufacture to our specifications and communicate well. So far, they have exceeded my expectations.

So we decided to refresh our own designs based on customer feedback and bring them back.

They are more comfortable than ever with some industry-leading changes!

·         Adjustable torso sizing.

·         Custom fit for traditional frameless canoe packs.

·         Voyageur Canoe Barrel Harness Load Shifter - an adjustment to fit tall people.

·         Ability to convert the barrel harness to a pack board.


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