It all began with a backpack. A twice-nearly-stolen backpack, made by a very recognizable high-end brand you’ve probably heard of. That backpack drew a lot of attention while traveling through developing countries and across questionable border checkpoints. That backpack inspired Jan Chipchase, SDR Traveller’s founder, to make a less noticeable but no less durable travel bag. And the success of this plain yet rugged duffel spawned a brand built on under-the-radar travel and over-the-top durability.
SDR Traveller’s ethos can be summed up in that original bag, the D3 Traveller. To the untrained eye, there’s nothing special about the unbranded black carry-all, but that’s the point. The bag is made from two layers of ultra-strong Dyneema composite fabric, allowing it to maintain a slackened look even when packed full. The bag’s detailing is in the same vein; the shoulder strap slider is machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum, YKK zips are reinforced with water-resistant Uretrek. And, just to underline the brand’s thesis, the D3’s zipper pulls are accented with river stones from the Pamir Mountains, a vast and remote range located in a region where borders and laws are less tangible.
But SDR Traveller offers much more than the D3. The brand recently released a commuter-friendly messenger bag (constructed with expedition-grade Dyneema, of course) and offers a full line of discreet money pouches that are sized according to their raw bill carrying capacity, from $10K to $1 million. The pouches can, of course, be put to other purposes, like packing toiletries and other travel necessities.