Retro Packs From Lakes-Based Millican
It's always nice to see something a bit different out there and the new Maverick series of packs from Lakes-based, Brit brand Millican is certainly that with a distinctive, slightly retro look and an unusual canvas fabric based on a mix of cotton and polyester.
Millican, named after 1900s Lakes legend Millican Dalton, is based in Keswick and committed to using sustainable materials. The new Maverick range, set to launch next year, is designed to use a small number of panels with minimal seaming to reduce production waste and maximise durability.
The second element in that equation is the fabric, Bionic X Millican fabric, which combines cotton with high tenacity polyester and recycled polyester fibres in a patented mix that's been developed in partnership with fabric specialist Bionic and is claimed to have 'up to triple the strength of conventional cotton canvas'. In total the fabric is reckoned to be 57% recycled polyester, 38% cotton and 5% HT polyester.
Smith the Roll Pack
The collection has been 18 months in the making and we like the look of it. There are five models in the range starting with Smith the Roll Pack, a lightweight roll-top all-rounder aimed at walking, cycling and commuting and available in 18L and 24L variants with weights of 850g and 1050g respectively.
Features include removable waist and sternum straps, reflective stripes and a lap-top sleeve. Prices will be £95 and £110.
Fraser the Rucksack
Fraser the Rucksack is a 32-litre mountain pack which was inspired by alpine classics and aimed at walkers and travellers. It's a classy looking pack complete with modern touches like hip-belt pockets, metal Load Locker-style buckles and ice axe/pole attachments. Claimed weight is 1300g.
In modern style, the pack is hydration system compatible and features a bunch of pocket options for additional storage along with compression straps to hold things together when the pack's just partially loaded. Fraser will sell for £125 come spring 2015.
Finally Miles the Duffle Bag comes in 40L and 60L versions and is a weatherproof duffle aimed, predictably enough, at travellers. Again it's been thoroughly moderned-up with removable pack-straps for easy transit carriage, internal pockets, lap-top and document sleeves and compression straps.
Looks neat and classy, though the prices - £140 and £160 respectively - are at the premium end of the duffle market.
Bag For Life
To be fair, against the high initial cost, you need to balance Millican's commitment to durability and repairability and their philosophy that they're selling a bag that's 'good for life'.
“We are determined never to see a bag go to waste" says Millican Co-Founder, Jorrit Jorritsma."We maintain an aftercare and repair service that’s second-to-none – ensuring our bags are good for life. As a brand, we also work hard to inspire our customers to understand the great potential of sustainable innovation.
Last but not least, a little bird tells us that one of the UK's top freelance pack designers had a big hand in the packs, so they should be right on the ball when it comes to function and not just a nice story about sustainability and pretty retro aesthetics.
The Maverick collection is due out in early spring 2015, but you can see Millican's current range of more general luggage at www.homeofmillican.com.