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The Shell Purse Turning A Century Year Old | Duluth Pack

The History of the Duluth Pack Shell Purse – Turning a Century Old

Duluth Pack has been continuously handcrafting canvas and leather packs, bags, duffels, and outdoor gear for 139 years. Over the past century, we have stood by our core values, and our products show just that. We produce premium products that are handcrafted with the highest quality materials, are made in the USA, and are guaranteed for life. One product that has stuck with us through the test of time over the last 100 years, consistently meeting our core values, is the iconic Shell Purse.

One of Duluth Pack’s top-selling and most versatile bags, the Shell Purse, is 100 years old. This unique crossbody product has evolved, but not changed, over the past century; it still follows the original design pattern, including the stitching and fabrics used. Each bag is made with Duluth Pack's quality materials (15 oz cotton duck canvas, American cowhide or bison leather, and or of the premium wool fabric), has a large main compartment, an internal slash pocket, and an adjustable crossbody strap.

The satchel style pivoted in the early 1900s and took off in the 21st century. A common misconception about this bag is the origins of its name. Most individuals think the shell purse got its name from its shape, when in fact, it's from the original use and intention. One hundred years ago, the purpose of the Shell Purse was to hold shotgun shells for hunters and outdoorsmen alike. Sizing for the Shell Purse was based on how many shotgun shells each size could occupy; our smallest option can carry 50 shotgun shells, our medium style fits 100 shotgun shells, and our larger options can hold up to 200+ shotgun shells. What used to be a bag specifically made for an outdoors person is now seen as an everyday purse. The Shell Purse effortlessly transitions from a day of exploring to a relaxing weekend brunch bag. From being used as a conceal and carry purse, a travel bag, or a simple work crossbody, this design is literally for everyone of all ages.   

In the past 100 years, Duluth Pack has expanded on the Shell Purse. While we still offer the simple Shell Purse design, we have grown the product line by adding the Deluxe Shell Purse and a variety of limited editions versions of the purse. Some of these limited-edition versions of this classic bag include The Uptown Series Shell Purse, the Bison Leather Shell Purse, the Classic Wool Shell Purse, and the Conceal & Carry Shell purse. There is a Shell Purse for everyone. The options are endless.  

You can find more information about the Standard Shell Purse lineup by clicking here or by visiting Duluth Pack’s YouTube channel


Happy celebrating, friends!