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L.L. Bean limited-edition 100th anniversary outdoor gear

For its 100th anniversary in 2012, iconic outdoor brand L.L. Bean will release commemorative versions of some classic Maine gear.

Ten, individually-numbered, Anniversary Canoes will be made by Old Town, a longtime partner of L.L. Bean. The Model A canoes have traditional canvas over cedar strip construction and will cost $7,500.

You can pair that canoe with two Beavertail Canoe Paddles, made from decades old spruce logs from Maine's historic river drives, reclaimed from the Penobscot River ($169).

There's also an ash-frame Maine Snowshoe with cowhide decking and leather H Binding ($329), Classic Trout Knife ($49), handcrafted bamboo fly rod ($3,495), and Pack Basket, based on the original Osgood Adirondack Pack Basket, now handcrafted in Saranac Lake, N.Y. ($395). 

And, of course, there's the classic Maine Hunting Shoe, at an authentic and original 12-inch height. That boot, along with his customer satisfaction guarantee, launched L.L. Bean's career and an outdoor brand, back in 1912.


Bean's doesn't begin to do its sporting legacy justice with the pictured items. Surely this particular inhibition arises from not wanting to remind the faithful how quickly many of their best outdoor items go out of production for eternity no matter how many offer to buy another. Speed Guide Gore Tex Hiker. Military color(s) original model commando sweater. While we're on inhibitions I might also add the refusal to sell shorts with an inseam shorter than six inches, the way many serious athletes prefer. Look through the picture, and the text. These are things you would never grind into the dirt, abrade with logs and rocks, or haul your bed and meals through the backcountry in. 

Tell me 'bout it ....

I just returned, a couple hours ago, from shopping at L.L. Bean's factory outlet store, nearby (abt 25 miles).

Oddly, without even thinking about it, I was wearing an old (1990 vintage) pair of L.L. Bean Cordura hiking pants.   Torn-out crotch, and all.   Other than the occasional seam tears, the pants are "bomber".  Have them in the shorts-version, also.  "Ugh-wee" colors ... but, who cares?

Yeah ... me, too.  I hate the "longer-style" shorts that are all the rage, now-a-days.   Michael Jordan started this insanity.

I've called the factory home store, asking if they might be making these (the Cordora pants and shorts) again.   NO.

I visited the factory home-store in Freeport.   Was looking at old Leon's original "Maine Hunting Shoe", that they've got encased in a lucite display case.

I've gone through about 4 pairs, in my time.  I have one pair that looks worse than Leon's originals.   I might (?) donate them.   Wonder if they'll put 'em in a display case?   Maybe, me?


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