Rohan Bags – The Original Multi-Functional Outdoor Trousers

Rohan Bags

Back to the Future

In the words of Andrew Marr “The trouble with celebrating the future is you never know what the future is about to deliver”

So lets stick to what we do know Rohan is 43 years old and Rohan Bags have been in constant production for 35 years.

For those not around in 1979, Rohan Bags first year, a little back drop from Wikipedia to set the scene how the year started…

Prime Minister – James Callaghan (until 4 May; Labour), Margaret Thatcher (Conservative)
10 January – Prime Minister James Callaghan returns from an international summit to a Britain in a state of industrial unrest. The Sun newspaper reports his comments with a famous headline: “Crisis? What Crisis?”
15 January – Rail workers begin a 24-hour strike.
22 January – Tens of thousands of public-workers strike in the beginning of what becomes known as the “Winter of Discontent”.

A quick scan through Wikipedia 1979 and it is easy to conjure up the feelings of the Winter of Discontent. But not in the mountaineering world. Britain’s Alpinists where amongst the best in the world. The first Rohan Bags were made for them. They needed lightweight and fast drying trousers with plenty of secure pockets. They put on their Bags when they left home and they took them off (or maybe kept them on) when they reached the mountain faces and put on down wear. If they took them off the Bags went into their rucksack and up the mountain with them.

From the 1983 Workshop Manual

Originally designed for mountaineers to go to and from the mountains, yet take up virtually no space or weight in their rucksack. Now they have developed into the travel pants as used by leading explorers, naturalists etc as everyday wear – and by businessmen off duty when abroad. Their ability to be warm or cool, their durability and knack of emerging from weeks in a sack or months in the jungle still looking good makes Bags even more user friendly. Read More

From 1987 catalogue

Bags – The Thinking Mans Jeans

One is almost at a loss to know what to say about Rohan Bags. They have become so universally accepted that it is hard to believe that anyone could be unaware of their benefits. Bags are standard for practical people as Swiss Army Knives. Used on every continent, with endless uses by an infinite number of varied individuals.

Never the less for those who are new to Rohan or have been in a Siberian salt mine for the last few years, its worth listing the benefits and uses. You never know you might find one that you hadn’t thought of. Read more

There are not many outdoor garments that have been in constant production, unchanged over a similar period. Helly Hansen Lifa Base Layer and Patagonia Snap T are two. Any others?

The history of Rohan Bags had been discussed on Rohantime over the years with stories and photos from customers. We also had a Q&A with our Co-founder In the beginning there were Bags. The story of where they were made, the Bags Price Index and the history of Airtlight Fabric

I have a suggestions let’s have a 2015 Rohan Bags Day. Share photos and stories. Dig out our oldest Bags. Suggest a date?

Rohan Sale Now On


  1. Simn Barber says:

    I bought my first pair in, I think, 1984. Not still in use as I can’t get into them! Second pair bought a year or two later, charcoal colour, still in use for gardening. Third pair and all subsequent pairs. still in use. How many pairs? At least a dozen. When a new colour comes out I often buy it. I also have Dry Bags, Winter Bags, Bags Shorts… It’s easy to get hooked and I did!

  2. Peter Clinch says:

    Spring equinox as they’re still spring chickens, or summer solstice so you can have as long as possible to play…

    What colours have I got? errr, too many! I think most were in that entry for the Mint Cake contest where we laid them across a hill…

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