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.

Unwaxed Canvas
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.