The Original Back Door Bag (from 1990)

I just found my Original Back Door Bag from about 1990. I forgot how wonderful it was--simple design, YKK zippers, "D" rings, real "tie down" straps, hidden backpack connectors, etc. It's been sitting in storage for awhile and needs a cleaning--musty smell, dirt, etc. If anyone here has one of these bags and has cleaned it, I'd like to know what you did? Do you also remember what type of material is used? I think it's nylon. (For everyone else--this is NOT the Back Door bag that is sold today. This style/model changed well over 10 years ago. The material is different, the zippers are different, the design is different.)

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22015 posts

Frank II, The original ETBD Back Door bag was made of Cordura Nylon as I recall. Although that was slightly heavier than the material they're now using, it was much more durable (IMO). I'm not sure what the cleaning instructions were for that particular product, but typically they should be something like this: "We recommend you hand-wash your item with a mild soap and line dry. Avoid brushing the exterior or the inside fabric coating with a stiff brush, instead use a soft sponge or cloth. Do not use bleach as this could damage the fabric and the coating. Do not put it in the washing machine or dryer!" You could always add a bit of Febreze or whatever to the water to help with the odour situation. You could also have a look at this Thread on the subject: Good luck!

Posted by Frank II
4682 posts

It's amazing what you can find when you use Google. Thanks, Steve. I mean Ken. :)

Posted by Thomas
Vienna, Austria
517 posts

I think its very cool that you have an original Back Door Bag.
The other day I found a very old military surplus canvas shoulder bag that I used as a book bag in university. I was about to throw it out, but my teenaged daughter grabbed it, and now its her favorite school bag. Love that vintage stuff!

Posted by Bruce
Whitefish, Montana
921 posts

We have a couple of the original bags and the durability, simplicity and functionality remains good. I just wished better shoulder straps (curved, more padding) were included. We just remove the foam insert, wash on a gentle cycle and air dry.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
22015 posts

Frank II, "Thanks, Steve. I mean Ken. :)" Now, now - no need for insults :-)

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1751 posts

Frank II, you ignore us for ages, and then you want help with your laundry?? I'd suggest that after you sponge it with a mild detergent and water, that you sponge it with a vinegar and water solution. Then let it air out and dry in the sun. That should take care of mustiness, but if it's mildewy you are probably out of luck. Take before & after pics. Maybe you can get on the RS website!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
7962 posts

For musty smells, I'm a big fan of a good Fabreeze spray followed by some time hanging in fresh air and sun.