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Everything starts in May 1979, when the "Great Bach Packing and Construction Company" is founded in a shed in Waterford, Ireland. A few old machines from Camp Trails and its customers’ address book were the start-up capital.

Over the years

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Everything starts in May 1979, when the "Great Bach Packing and Construction Company" is founded in a shed in Waterford, Ireland. A few old machines from Camp Trails and its customers’ address book were the start-up capital.


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In its early days, BACH developed the Orthoflex back system and patented one of the first functioning internal frame carrying systems for backpacks, a massive innovation at that time. Alongside, BACH also produces backpacks on behalf of third parties, for example for Lowe Alpine and The North Face. But despite all, in September 1989, a good ten years after its foundation, the company is on the verge of going out of business.


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Beat Vogt, responsible for purchasing at Transa, a Swiss outdoor retailer, develops friendly ties with the Irish company and finds a solution for Bach Hi-Tech Leisure Ltd. Firstly, a Swiss investor takes over BACH. Secondly Martin Wiesmann, a Swiss mountain guide and backpack freak moves to Ireland to join the company.

They develop the foundation for which BACH is known today: reduced design, robust materials, and adjustable fit. The small but fine collection continues to be produced in Kilkenny and the aim is to conquer the German and Swiss markets. The company grows slowly: BACH moves into a larger building, the backpacks are available in up to four different back lengths with individually exchangeable hip and shoulder straps and the brand goes from being an insider tip to a regular supplier to outdoor retailers. However, growth also means changes and, as the Irish economy is booming – and wages increasing, BACH is moving parts of its production to Asia - probably the last European manufacturer to do so. The decision to outsource most of the production was not an easy one but no one was left behind. All employees easily found new, often better paid jobs than they had with BACH.


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In 1998, the management team, led by Martin Wiesmann, decides to return to Switzerland. BACH is spread over two countries, which does not make things any easier. Customs and logistics are more complicated, so the shipping warehouse remains in Ireland; within the EU, many things are simpler and cheaper. In Switzerland, the company has its finger on the pulse of its customers and is winning more and more fans with its BACH philosophy - clean design, great workmanship, and perfect fit for every back. BACH is expanding slowly, but solidly. The old carpenter's workshop in Wiesendangen now houses the management, design, production coordination, marketing, and sample production - and is staffed by a total of four employees that take every decision themselves.


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It soon becomes clear that there are many advantages to producing in Vietnam. Despite the distance and cultural differences, the teams learn to work together, and the results are showing. Thanks to the production’s knowledge in pattern making, it enables the BACH team to find solutions for problems in product development that they couldn’t solve for a long time and there are close to zero production errors apart from some incidental human mistakes where the woven BACH label is sewn upside down. The shops take it with humor and sell them as “unique” BACH products.

The team of designers in Switzerland can focus on developing new backpacks concepts, sewing prototypes, testing them, and, once they are fully satisfied with it, send the prototype alongside the patterns to Vietnam. Few weeks later they visit the sample room and work together on finalizing the pre-production samples.

With this way of working, BACH can come up with innovative designs and technologies like the 3D Smart Divider and the Weatherproof concept that were awarded a couple of times. BACH starts to strengthen its international position by selling backpacks in the USA and in Japan.


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After 40 years in business, BACH agrees to join forces with the SCOTT Sports group. BACH is well established in the world of technical bags and travel equipment and sees an opportunity to strengthen its global position and further expand its distribution internationally.

Shortly after, the team starts thinking big about the future of the brand and the idea to expand the range of products beyond bags starts to grow. “We began talking and dreaming about tents and things have moved quickly” said BACH’s Brand Manager, Maarten Harteveld. BACH acquires the product and production details from Nigor Tents & Furniture, a Dutch manufacturer of tents, tarps and camping furniture and starts developing top of the range products with important performance levels.


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BACH backpacks was ready for a new chapter and the brand BACH equipment was born.

“We have increased our team of designers and our experience as pack builders gives us an advantage when our skills are applied to making tents and furniture” continued Maarten. “We have even discovered that it works the other way round too: spending time working on tents and furniture is enhancing our knowledge of how to build even better packs. The brand goes to market with improved versions of former Nigor nylon tents and aluminum furniture under the BACH Equipment brand.”

The line features a range of products specifically designed for trekking: the tents are lightweight, resistant, and easy to use, meeting the needs of trekkers, cyclists, polar explorers, and mountaineers.

For 2022, the brand is also introducing new Trekking, Hiking and Everyday packs, featuring its signature thoughtful design, functionality, and uncompromising durability.

BACH Equipment now can boast a complete line of outdoor equipment that makes no compromises, created, and developed by a team of outdoor lovers that continuously test their prototypes in the roughest environment. The priority is to offer to its consumers products they can rely on anywhere in the world under any type of conditions.

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