|Classic ANNIVERSARY CANOE-traditional canvas over cedar strip construction-limited edition of 10...built in Maine for L.L.Bean by partners Old Town Canoe $7500|
"CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF EXPLORING THE OUTDOORS"
Outdoor Retailer, SLC
words/images Judith Ecochard
Happy were we to discover more than just the third level (it exists!) of the Salt Palace Convention Center---it's was also where the celebrated lifestyle/sports/everything brand L.L. BEAN---took over a large space to display it's truly iconic wares for the upcoming season.
Even though these days e-commerce sales have overtaken the memorably catalogues--no surprise...given its international reach...
What did surprise us was just how many branded items (20,000!!!) are worthy of the L.L. BEAN imprint in addition to such keepers at the last forever canvas Boat and Tote Bag.
Founded by an avid outdoorsman named LEON LEONWOOD BEAN---who cobbled together the revolutionary idea to stitch leather uppers to workmen's rubber boots= the Maine Hunting Shoe®---
L.L. Bean the brand- was born outta a bro's basement- and organically morphed into a giant retailer- purveying high quality essentials of daily living ---outdoors or inside----that it is today.
Frankly, another surprise for us---was the breadth of high quality/value priced merchandise we saw---including tech savvy outdoor performance wear and gear made from cutting edge materials-in addition to --- highly rated pima cotton bedding, stuff for the dog that deserves the better than the children, and collectible limited editions that even an urban trendster ---allergic to the woods--- would love.
We started our 'tour' with some of the hand crafted, limited editions of authentic, L.L. Bean pieces that "hark back into our heritage."
FYI-extremely limited editions-all made domestically---some items in Maine- available in their Freeport, Maine and Tyson's Corner VA store (near DC btw)...and online/inserts special catalogues.
|PACK BASKET handcrafted by master craftswoman Tracy Santagate using wood from her property, we were told. Based on the original Osgood Adirondack Pack Basket-hardwood reed, hand carved rim and handle, canvas web, brass hardware...$395|
|BEAVERTAIL CANOE PADDLE-made in Maine- from decades old, reclaimed spruce logs from the Penobscot River "originally sunk"-$169|
|we doubt Janie's getting this gun....|
|MAINE SNOWSHOE-Steam bent Ash frame and cowhide decking with traditional leather H binding-functional/classic $329|
|MAINE HUNTING SHOE manufactured by L.L. Bean Manufacturing in Brunswick, Maine-original 12 inch height, rawhide laces, full grain cowhide upper, gum rubber-original brick red colored outsole M/Ws-$139|
|Packet of Sno-Seal™ brand waterproofing included|
|COLLECTOR'S KNIFE-we liked the beautiful wooden display box -stores the basket weave patterned with 3-row stitching-sheaf in a drawer under the knife|
|individually numbered 001-750, stag handle, 6 inch stainless steel blade, L.L. Bean countersunk brass medallion $749|
|SOULE COASTAL DUCK CALL-engraved and numbered (001-300) brass band clips to lanyard, walnut barrel with engraved logo, brass reed $149|
|DOUBLE L® SPECIAL BAMBOO FLY ROD|
|Limited production of 25-numbered individually---quite the holiday gift for gazillions of guys we know-better hurry-$3495|
Plenty-for Spring 2012---outdoor gear and wear...all at very attractive price points-and smartly made. L.L. Bean items may retail for less than some of the pricier outdoor brands we cover---but they don't stint on the details or quality of manufacturing. And of course, their customer service is legendary. Even their Freeport store (really an entire complex) is open 365 days/24 hours-making this a great way to spend Christmas Day if you happen not to celebrate Christmas.
|LOVED!!!--MAINE GUIDE WAXED CANVAS Briefcase (c), Rolling Duffel (l), Rucksack (r)-made from same fabric used in L.L. Bean Filed Coats from the 1930's. Features-multiple pockets, full grain leather straps, weather resistant and rugged!|
|Rucksack top loading design with drawstring closures|
|EXPEDITION TRAVEL PACK made of tough diamond-ripstop nylon, exterior loops for gear, poles etc, padded tuckaway shoulder straps|
|AT 35 DAY PACK $99-210 Denier high tenacity ripstop nylon w/perforated compression molded foam straps and lumbar belt, compressions wings each side for accessory attachments, dual ice ax loops, aluminum butterfly frames-nice price, nice color waves|
|Assorted outdoor ready footwear-lightweight and supportive=-Pathfinder Hiker $69-$79, Explorer Sandal $69, Trail Sneaker $59 women's...Waterproof Trail Model Walker $99|
INFO: L.L. BEAN.