We’re always keen to learn about and support independent, home-grown brands. So when we received a Millican Smith Rolltop in the mail last year, we were stoked to try it out. We’d struggled to find a functional rucksack which can be worn in the wild but also looks good on trips into town or on short trips. Because wearing your 40l hiking backpack to run errands on a Saturday isn’t exactly a great look, is it?
Millican is a brand which was born out of the love of meaningful travel, inspired by the open road. Founders, Jorit and Nicky had returned to ‘normal life’ in London after travelling through South America when they heard the story of Millican Dalton, a maverick who left life in London for a simpler existence in the English Lakes. They quickly followed in his footsteps and moved to the solitude of the mountains and began to grow their small business at the foot of Skiddaw. From the heart of the Lake District, the small team at Millican produce beautiful bags made from recycled and sustainably sourced materials.
Smith Rolltop 25l
The Smith rolltop is simple in its construction yet clever in its design. It comprises a main compartment, a front pocket, two drinks holders and a secret laptop pocket which keeps your laptop safely against your back. The outer is constructed from a Bionic Canvas made from cotton and recycled polyester and will hold up against the worst of the British weather. Inside, the liner is made from 100% recycled polyester- a common theme throughout Millican’s range of packs.
The rolltop is perfect for loading the bag to the brim and strapping any extras, such as a spare jacket or t-shirt, onto the outside. The double drinks holders are there to help you stay hydrated or even strap a tripod into when you’re out taking photos. And the front pocket can happily hold all those essentials you need to hand, such as spare film, map and compass, sunglasses and notebook.
For us, the 25l pack size is the ideal for a daypack. Enough room to carry camera equipment, a spare layer, water and some food. However, if you plan to spend a full day in the hills, we advise sticking with your hiking pack.
We’ve been carrying the Smith rolltop for the past 6 months on various excursions. From weekend wanders through the woods, to fleeting visits to London to visit friends, and most recently whilst travelling through Asia. Not once has the bag looked out of place in any of these settings- simple and stylish, and rugged in equal measures. And even after a lot of wear and tear, the fabric is still as resilient as ever. You know, as soon as you touch the bag, that it has been made to last.
You can find out more about the Smith Rolltop and the full story behind Millican here.