Nice thread, I like that picture in post 2, reminds me of my wall tent trips to Lows Lake in NY ADKs.
I really like my wanigan for all the reasons mentioned, but not being another piece of plastic puts it at the top of the list. When I “carried” around the upper dam at Lows the wanigan rode in this 18’ wood canvas canoe on my cart. Nowadays I don’t portage, so the wanigan is pretty much part of my kit.
Wanigans have many good uses,
I recently added leather straps to my wanigan, one step closer to a wood, canvas, metal and leather outfit.
Here’s a video of me building my wanigan, I’m no wood worker but it’s held up well for many trips.
I replaced one of my Duluth packs with a Wannigan last seaon. I'm happy with it. Easier to organize, makes a good seat or stool if needed. Mine has a chess board on the underside of the top. I'm a fan.