Discovering Salkan

Diane Richardson

By Diane Richardson, Playtime Editor (supporting emerging brands,

SSACHS caught up with William Bouch, Co-founder of Salkan to hear their brand story…

Salkan, the adventure travel backpack brand set up by two friends, Tom and Will, who pushed each other in their adventures. We set up Salkan in 2018, producing adventure travel backpacks for getting off the beaten track. 

Digging out old travel backpacks reminded us of that frustration we felt at their lack of functionality and suitability, as well as at their overbranded and over-technical styling. We saw an opportunity to develop a backpack that better-suited travel and that also fitted into everyday lifestyles. The Backpacker is made up of a 45ltr Mainpack and a 20ltr Daypack that can be hooked together or can be used independently. 

The styling was an important aspect to us during the design process. We wanted simple lines and minimal branding. We were very much inspired by the mountaineering gear from the 70s which has stood the test of time. This aesthetic fits into anyone’s lifestyle who finds themselves in the mountains or the city. 

18 months on design and the development (with the early days spent in the garden shed developing card prototypes and sewing basic samples), led us to the perfect design. To ensure the backpack was fully adventure-proof, we worked with John Clarke from 632Design on the tech-pack and sampling. He has a vast experience working with outdoor and sports brands and his expertise was greatly valued. 

We want you to explore the world and have and have your own adventure, so we’ve made the backpack to take with you. Our gear has been designed to take on what ever you throw at it and keeps everything you need at your fingertips. Responsibility is at the heart of everything that we do and we do this by creating products that last a lifetime and promote responsible travel.

Ho Chi Ming City, Vietnam – a hot spot for technical backpack manufacturing – was our choice for production. We were able to take our design to our highly skilled factory, knowing it was ready for the factory floor. 

My background in industrial design, as well as Tom’s three round-the-world trips, gave us a good insight into the way travel backpacks are used. The Backpacker opens up through its large front opening, where packing cubes, internal side pockets and a laundry bag can be easily accessed. Our laundry bag hooks into the top of the backpack whilst separating any wet and dirty gear from the clean gear.

Instead of developing a small ‘afterthought’ daypack that attached to the Main pack (as we experienced with previous backpacks we had owned), we made sure to design two backpacks that would stand alone as individual backpacks as well. The Daypack has its own 15” laptop sleeve, waterproof pocket, scratch-less valuables pocket and other features that make it a great everyday carry.



The team at Salkan wish you safe and well at home and when you are ready to start planning your next adventure, head over to their website and learn more about their technical backpacks. All profits currently are going toward the NHS.


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