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The Romanian army rucksack was already vintage-inspired when it came out in some 70's. Today it will cause spontaneous soiling of the pants among the vintage/retro fanatics, including us.
First off, YES, these are made of thick canvas and even thicker leather, all cobbled together with strong thread and steel rivets. With a volume about 40 litres, this pack should serve you well during longer journeys as well.
A piece of art on its own right, the Romanian pack is well made and seems bombproof. Let's see what kind of secrets it holds.
From the inside this is a simple thing: it has one large main space closed with a piece of string. Dimensions from seam to seam about 30-35 x 40 x 26 cm. The pack is wider from the bottom than on the top.
The main space is covered by a large lid closed with a traditional one-prong buckle system. You can punch in more holes to the strap if needed.
The lid has leather attachment points probably for a mess kit and that large, interesting looking piece is for a spade (our best guess). On the sides you'll find attachment points for a blanket/tarp roll and on the other side there's a handy little pouch for a bottle of booze, or a canteen.
All the corners are reinforced with leather. Certainly this is a thing born out of love.
Anyone familiar with WW2 German gear will instantly recognize the carrying system, and those who aren't might have to stop for a while and think. We'll make it easy: the slim straps with the loops are suppopsed to be attached to the hooks on the bottom of the pack. The wide straps with the hooks are meant to be anchored on the combat belt kit.
Yes, the straps will easily slide out of the hooks. This feature is good for mlitary use when you have to discard the pack fast, but no so convenient on civlian life. The simplest hack is to slam the hooks "shut" so the loops won't slide out. Another trick is to cut off te slim straps at their base and just attach the hooked straps together any way you wish - this makes a neater appearance, but we will leave the historical integrity aspects to the reader.
This ol' thing certainly has very strong vibes from the era of the Tornister type packs which were small and difficult to use. Although this is not one of them, it looks kinda similar. We found manufacturing dates from the 70's and 80's, which truly is a small wonder, as the appearance would place the design to the 50's or something. Well done, Romania!
Anyway, if you're after a proper usable vintage pack, this is your ticket!
Usually very little used, but old. We strongly recommend wiping the pack clean with a moist rag and treating the leather with generous amounts of grease. The musty warehouse smell will eventually vanish with use.
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