Denver Born and Raised: The History of Gear and the Frostline Kits

FrostlineA few weeks back, I talked about the vests you can find this season at the Gap. They’re good looking for sure. When I told my older brother about them, he quickly shot me a link to an item he had just purchased: a vintage 80s North Face down vest. It’s like we were operating on the same mental wavelength without knowledge. This happens quite often actually. I’ll get an email from the brother regarding either an item, a business idea, a project, etc. corresponding exactly to what I was just thinking.

Frostline1Back to the vintage, now. Through a little searching last night, and an eagerness to trump my bro, I came across the old Denver-born Frostline Kits. While I was only able to track down a handful of products by said brand, their vintage ads alone are worth a look. While owning a new down vest, say, from the Gap, I would much rather sport one from years gone by. Personally, I just think “worn in” is a better look than shiny and new. For instance, I’d rather putt around in a Scout International or Defender 90 than look like a fool (personal opinion) in a Smartcar or Prius. My carbon footprint is size 8.5. And it leaves a Sperry print.

(Images from Blurb)



9 responses to “Denver Born and Raised: The History of Gear and the Frostline Kits

  1. I too want a Defender 90 in a bad, bad way.

  2. Oh the nostalgia. I made several things out of the kits back in the 70’s and 80’s, from Frostline and Altra. I thought Altra was more stylish, but the directions were inferior to Frostline’s. I still have unmade Frostline kits for a green rain parka, and blue down booties. My husband still wears the booties I made him in the 80’s. I wish I could find a kit for some nice warm ski/snow pants, as I’d like to make my own now. Wish that Frostline waw still with us:(

  3. Rochelle Machado

    I was going through a drawer at my mothers house that she saved all kinds of things that I had left behind when I moved on in life. So what did I find….a Frostline Kits catalog and one very worn rust colored mountain parka that I had made for her in the early 80’s. I, too, wish Frostline Kits were still around.

  4. Funny, today I unearthed the 2-man mountain tent I made from a frostline kit 25 years ago! My youngest son needed “a tent” and after pitching it for the first time in 22 years, it is still amazing. I made many of their kits back in the day… it was an excellent resource.

  5. My mom made these for me and my siblings when I was younger. Had a super cool down coat that zipped off the sleeves to become a vest. Really wish frostline was still around, as there is something about making things yourself that is curiously satisfying. Didn’t realize that until I was older. 🙂

    Ditto on the mental wavelength – except mostly with my wife, though sometimes other people in my life.

  6. I have access to three Frostline kits. Two Mountain Parkas 255, both dark green, one a men’s small/ladies medium and the other a men’s medium/ladies large. The third kit is for a Down Sweater 241, navy blue, men’s medium, ladies large. Sale of these items goes to a shop that supports a local Hospice House. Anyone interested?

  7. If you still have the frostline kits, I’m interested. What are the prices for each?


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