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Written by George Fisher


Many of today’s best-known outdoor brands originate from kitchen table start-ups. Almost always these were passionate individuals who were frustrated at the lack of decent outdoor gear, and started to design and make their own.

Eagle Creek originates from Idyllwild, California, where its story started back in 1975 with - guess what - a rucksack frame that broke on Mount Whitney. It belonged to Steve and Nona Barker, the owners of a shop called Mountain People. Forced to abandon their trip, they became convinced that a better and more reliable solution was to design and build their own backpacks. Just five years later the Barkers had established themselves as Eagle Creek, pioneers of a new industry sector they created and named Adventure Travel Gear.

Much of their success is down to the recognition early on that their customer’s lifestyles are changing. Steve recalls how, “At the start we made sturdy backpacks for young people who had a lot of time but little money. Now most of them have got real jobs. Multi-week backpacking holidays have become seldom and instead they fly to the Alps for a week, or combine a business trip with an outdoor trip.”

Their insight resulted in luggage that combines the resilience of a backpacking pack with the comfort or a suitcase. Reliability and durability are crucial; as Steve once observed, “It’s not so important how much a backpack costs, it is about how much it would cost if it fails”.

Whilst no longer owned by the Barkers, Eagle Creek remains faithful to their original design philosophies: responding to the changing needs of today’s travellers, pioneering new technologies, and staying focused on new ideas. Last year the company celebrated its 40th anniversary, and now offer a complete travel system of luggage, organisational products and accessories with unbeatable warranty guarantees. View our full range of Eagle Creek.