Made with the best to stand the test of time with style.
Our Canvas and Fabrics
While we use canvas in varying weights and levels of water resistance, we only select from the very best quality. All of our water-repellent canvas is supplied by Martin Dying and Finishing, a U.S. company, renowned for enduring quality, that has been owned and operated by the same family since 1838.
Martin canvas is treated for water repellency as part of the dying and finishing process, using proprietary waxed-based materials, not environmentally-damaging fluoropolymers or formaldehyde. The water repellent is not applied just to the surface, the fabric is completely impregnated for consistent weatherproof protection.
Martexin Original Wax (OW)
OW fabric is the most water-repellent canvas produced by Martin. It will repel water under continuous rain conditions. When new, or after re-application of wax, OW fabric shows creases and folds on the surface, which contributes to the unique look and beauty of this fabric. Over time, the canvas softens and becomes more uniform in appearance, giving you a bag that distinctively improves through the years.
Water Repellent (WR)
WR fabric is treated with the same wax-based water repellent formula as OW, just to a lesser degree. WR fabrics provide very good water repellency under most conditions of limited rain exposure. We use WR fabric when less water repellency is acceptable. WR fabric is also available in a wider range of colors than OW.
Inside linings and pockets that will not be exposed to water are made using unwaxed canvas, or lightweight WR.
We use synthetics selectively to provide the best performance, usability, and value in each product we offer.
We make our own canvas edge binding using some of the same waxed canvas materials used for the rest of the bags. Our canvas binding adds to the beauty of 48North bags and imparts a unique look and feel. Nylon binding is used to finish interior seams.
Horween is recognized as one of the premier U.S. tanneries because of its high quality leathers. Which is why we use Horween leather for all of our tote straps.
We’ve got a thing for canvas
You may have noticed. We love canvas. It endures, ages well and looks great from the get go. It's soft to the touch and stylish. The top quality canvas we use in our bags has been hand selected and will stand up to extreme levels of use and abuse while protecting your gear.
Sure, we’ve designed nylon bags in the past. But what we’ve come to believe is that it’s hard for even the best pack or bag design to have much soul when it’s made in nylon. They can be sleek, rugged, lightweight, practical—you name it. But there's something lifeless and sterile about them. They aren't traveling companion quality.
Waxed canvas has character that nylon can never match. Plus, it can be extremely water repellent, rivaling even the very best nylon bags. Not only that, you can recondition your 48North bag at home to restore its original water repellency. Which is pretty cool and speaks volumes for its longevity.
Care for your 48North Bag like a friend.
Some words for the wise. When your bag gets wet, always let it dry completely before storing it in a closed space. Never put your wet canvas bag in a plastic bag, or in a closed space like a closet or trunk of a car for more than a few hours. DO NOT (never ever) throw it in a laundry dryer! You may not recognize it when you take it out. And that’s a sad thing for a bag this nice. Or a friend.
Pretty simple. Water from a hose or your shower and a soft brush or damp cloth works wonders for cleaning heavy dirt from our waxed canvas bags.
For spot cleaning stubborn stains, we recommend mild bar or flake soap (NOT detergent). Saddle soap will also remove stubborn stains. Be sure to test these cleaning methods in an inconspicuous spot before trying it on highly visible place.
Things NOT to do (the big NO-NOs)
- DO NOT Dry-Clean
- DO NOT Wash in a Washing Machine. Fatal wounds to the waxed canvas are guaranteed.
- If you run into a problem you can't solve, please send us a message from our Contact page—we’re here to help!
Restoring Water Repellent Finish
With time and use, the water repellent qualities of waxed canvas of your 48North bag can diminish. Not to worry. The good news is that you can restore the fabric to its original finish at home.
Here's a good refinishing guide:
Archival Clothing has a great refinishing guide on their website.
Be sure to read the comments, there's some good information there!
Our Promise to You
We are 100% committed to satisfying your needs. From creating the best bags in the world to helping you care for them, we’re there. Your business and loyalty are essential to our success. Your happiness is our number one goal. That's why we offer this guarantee:
48North products are guaranteed to give you 100% satisfaction. If you are not completely satisfied with your 48North bag, return it at any time for a full refund. We do not want you to have anything from 48North that is not completely satisfactory.
48North will repair or replace your bag for free if it ever fails due to defects in materials and workmanship. While normal wear and tear is not technically covered under our guarantee, please use the contact us button below if you are unsure what exactly that means.
Of course, we want you to be happy owning and using a 48North bag. We want it to be a trusted companion. If for some reason you are not, or if your bag fails due to a defect in materials or workmanship, please return it to us for repair, replacement, or refund.
If you purchased your 48North bag at a retail store, we may be able to provide warranty or return service through the store. If that is not convenient for you, send us a message using the contact button below. Please tell us where and when you purchased your bag.
Return shipping on all returns is at customer's expense. 48North will pay shipping costs to ship your warranty replacement or repaired bag back to you.
Please contact us for instructions on packing/shipping of returns.
We honor our warranty for all of our customers, wherever they live. And they live all over the world. Please use the button below to contact us for details on warranty returns from the further reaches of the planet.