Based in the Lake District, Millican inspire an image of an outdoor lifestyle of explorers and adventurers (Like the Lake District legend Millican Dalton they are named after). They talk of a simpler, slower way of life; analogue to the worlds digital, as if harking back to the Victorian era. Much like Finisterre, they have taken the quality and transparency approach over the more technical mass appeal approach adopted by many large manufacturers. The stories behind all their bags and the materials and processes used to build them are a big part of what they are offering.
The first bag I purchased a couple of years ago was Matthew the daypack. It weighs in at 1200gms and has a divided main compartment which is closed with a draw string. There are two concealed front pockets and a zipped area in the lid and lastly two outer side pockets that double as bottle holders. It has a padded and meshed back, as well as a leather grab handle.
They may seem low tech compared to the competition, but a lot of thought has gone into the design. They are made of cotton canvas, and although not totally waterproof, are tough as anything else you will find out there, and have included an inbuilt raincover at the base of the bag just in case (They do come from the lake district after all!). The popper fasteners take a bit of getting used to, but make for a satisfying pop once you do. The front opening zip adds great flexibility to allow access to all the bags contents.
The bag has been all over the place with me. Its spent hours and hours on trains, planes and automobiles, its explored tombs and deserts as well as festivals and picnics. It has aged wonderfully and has taken all things thrown at it with ease. My one gripe would be that the weight of the bag when fully laden can be a tad high, but i would say that is probably a fault of my packing rather than anything Millican could have avoided.
I would like to think that I am a discerning consumer, sometimes painfully so, and I know I have spent far too long researching, examining and using rucksacks of all shapes and sizes, but I was blown away by the feeling of craftsmanship and esthetic quality that is part of Millicans bags. They aspirationally talk of being able to leave pieces to their grand children, but my fantastic experiences with Matthew the daypack inspired me to buy Dave the Rucksack for my Father, which I think says it all.