Thursday, March 3, 2011
Svenska Armén Kavalleriet Ryggsäck, Swedish Army Cavalry Backpack & Harness
I picked up a vintage Swedish Army backpack a couple of days ago to use with my vintage bicycles, specifically the Bundesgrenzschutz bicycle. The bag was sold with the attached Y-strap harness and I was told that it was a WW2 vintage Swedish Cavalry pack. So far I have not found any information about Swedish Cavalry equipment from that era, or any photos either. There are no markings or dates on the bag, but it definitely looks Swedish. So for now, we will just call it a "Vintage Military Bicycle Backpack".
When I received the pack, the leather was in DIRE need of oiling. Several coats of oil later, and the leather has taken on that great vintage oiled leather patina and is starting to soften up nicely. It took me awhile to figure out how to rig up the Y-straps. There were two leather straps on each side of the pack that were buckled into loops and the ends of the shoulder straps were buckled through these loops, but that was obviously not going to work and was definitely not correct. I ended up removing the side loop straps and installing a couple of leather studded tabs that came off of an old Swiss bread bag that had rotted out. I used a couple of brass rings as the connectors between the Swiss tabs and the shoulder strap ends. It worked perfectly and looks like it was meant to be set up that way.
One odd thing about this bag is the leather mystery mounts on the bottom of the bag. It holds a length of 7/8 inch broom stick perfectly. It has a closing strap that seals off one end. At first I thought it was possibly for holding a bayonet, but it is definitely not going to work for that........ For now, I've just installed a piece of broom stick until I can figure out what to store there. If anyone knows what this holder is for, please leave me a comment or drop me an email!
The outer flap has a very cool closure system with brass u-studs that push through a slot and then are held closed with a length of leather thong that passes through all three. I've seen this style of closure system on the later models of Swedish canvas bags, so this also fits with this being a Swedish bag.
This is a great looking bag and it will fit in nicely with my vintage military bike gear......... I may never know exactly what it's history is, but I'm glad to have it in the collection.
Here are a few "parting shots" of some of the little bag details, like the rear straps and internal top flap.....