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Our history


1908 Norwegian Ole F. Bergan bends a juniper branch to support his soft rucksack, relieving the chafing wounds, while on a hunting trip. After he got home he made a prototype with tubular steel frame and leather straps.​

1909 December 18, The invention was patented (number 20547) in 22 countries, and a Norwegian industrial adventure began.

1909 The "with" and "without" logo, portraying Bergan himself, smoking a pipe, was drawn by Ole F. Bergan's brother.​ This was of course a message about the advantages of the invention, but also that using the best equipment had something to do with mastering the outdoor life. It was used in the marketing for many decades.


1910 The first leather backpack hit the market.​ It was awarded a state medal at the International Hunting Exhibition in Vienna in 1910.

1911 February 11, Sverre Young, a wholesaler from Christiania bought the patent for NOK 1,500 and established A/S Bergans Meis og Rypesæk (although the backpacks were marked Bergans Meis og Rygsæk), with office and factory in Kirkegata 17, Kristiania (Oslo).

1911 Our first sponsorship - Roald Amundsen's expedition to the South Pole​.

1913 Bergan's rucksacks were introduced into the Norwegian Armed Forces​.

1914 Bergans' patented backpacks were awarded gold medal at the Norwegian anniversary exhibition, on the fields which is now Frognerparken.

1915 Bergans switched to electric sewing machines, and retired the old treadle machines.

1916 Bergans moved head quarter and factory to Øvre Slottsgate 7.


1920 Bergans now had a varied collection of backpacks, including three models for women. The backpacks were made in durable cotton material, with leather trimmings and straps.

1922 Bergans equipped the British Mount Everest Expedition which had the first serious attempt to ascend the mountain.​ It was also the first attempt to do so using oxygen masks.

Bergans designed and produced frames for carrying different loads, like heavy boxes, instruments, military equipment, and in this case the oxygen tanks. In addition, sanitary frames for transport of sick or wounded personnell were used by both the military and the Mount Everest expedition.

1929 Bergans introduced the signature logo, based on Ole F. Bergan's signature.

Photo: Narve Skarpmoen, 1925 (the original photo is from The National Library of Norway)


1930 Bergans launched the patented ski bindings with leather toe straps and sole holders for cross country skiing, and steel wires with the patented tightener for jump- and slalom-skiing.

In the 30s, Bergans launched a variety of new products: Tents, cycle-bag, gaiters, campers axe, wind-mittens, «Svipptur» backpack for short trips, belt packs, shoulder bags, a collection of sunglasses and several variants of the original backpack.

1930 The business name was changed to A/S Bergans Meis og Ryggsekk.

1931 The start of Bergans' knife production. The model «Sliring» became widely popular for decades.

1933 Bergans' patent in 22 countries expired and the backpack was widely copied by competitors. The «ORIGINAL» mark was used in all communication to tell customers that Bergans stood out from cheaper copies.

1935 Bergans' child carrier was invented​, using the same frame as the backpack.


1940-45 During the war Norwegian resistance introduced the Bergans backpack to british forces, who were thrilled and started copying them, because the originals could not be aquired. To this day a large military backpack is called "a Bergan" in Great Britain.

1945 Bergans bought the rights to use the famous Birkebeinerne theme and symbol as their brand image. The painting by Knud Bergslien depicted the Birkebeiner skiers carrying Prince Haakon to safety during the winter of 1206.

1945 A new model of the child carrier was launched, where the child sits with it's back to the carrier, and center of gravity is thus moved towards the carrier.

1945 After the liberation the demand for Bergans backpacks were massive, and quotas had to be introduced for purchasing backpacks.

1949 The model «Kremmerhuset» was introduced and patented. It was more narrow in the bottom and wider at the top, allowing the majority of the packaging to come higher, which made it easier to carry.


1953 Bergans equipped the Mount Everest expedition of Sir Edmund Hillary and the Nepalese Sherpa Tenzing Norgay, who were the first people to reach the top.

1957 Bergans launched the day-trip sack «Knekken», with specially treated fiberplates, which bends at the shoulder blades.

In the 50s, in addition to self-produced goods, Bergans imported and sold camping beds, water tight bags, flash lights, termoses and even hunting shotguns.

1958 Sverre Young died, and son in law Anatole Savabini took over, and included Bergans in the Young-Savabini Group.​


1960 Bergans started production of sleeping bags, hammocks and inflatable mattresses.​

1964 Bergan's life jacket​ came on the market.

1966 The Bergans signature logo​ got an adjustment.

1967 In Easter 1967, many people lost their lives due to storms. Soon after, Bergans launched their «Extreme Anorak», with the ideal combination of wind and waterproofness and breathability.

1968 December 19, Bergans established a temporary sewing production in Gardvik, Nord-Odal. Building of a new factory in Sand, Nord-Odal, started.​

1969 The frame backpack «Alpinist» is launched, for explorers and climbers. Several of Bergans' backpacks were introduced in nylon, in different colors.


1970 February 11, official opening of the new factory, by manager Reidar Hellgren.​ Production of the Ally canoe started​.

1971 The pipe was removed from the "with and without" logo, adjusting to the times, and the coming ban on tobacco advertising​. The trademark «Bergans OF NORWAY» took over for «Bergans ORIGINAL».

1972 Bergans launched the first light weight synthetic ski bindings in the world. There was no difference between left and right, and it was easy to open and close with the ski pole.​ Launched for elite skiers in '72 and for the public in '74.

1973 Launch of Bergans Fishot, a fishing slingshot, which was very accurate and with a large range, but didn't become a hit in the sports fishing community.

1974 / 1976 Gold and silver was won using the Bergans bindings at the 30 km at FIS Nordic World Ski Championships in Falun in 74. In the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck, 50% of gold and silver winners had chosen Bergans bindings. Total 11 medals.

1977 Bergans bought the Eggen ski factory and launched the innovative light weight cross-country skis with a honeycomb aluminium core.

1978 Bergans started producing workwear.​ The signature logo got a facelift.


1981 Bergans expanded the range of outdoor clothing with checkered sports shirts, jackets and nickers.

1982 December 12, New owners Baumann & Dahl A/S, closes the company Bergans Meis & Ryggsekk, but keeps the Bergans brand.

1982 The Norwegian ski elite chose Bergans sacks for the world championships in Oslo.

1983 Bergans launches the Compact-Line, backpacks which are both frame sacks and anatomical in one. The sack can be removed from the frame. Also a new school sack with adjustable frame is launched.

1986 The factory burned to the ground, and all products and design patterns were lost. Bergans designers traveled all Norway to buy back products to recreate the patterns.

1987 The factory is rebuilt and runs to 1990​.


1991 Bergans Fritid AS is formed (main owners are CEO Ragnar Jensen and investor Torstein Søland), with head office in Drammen. Production is moved to China and Vietnam.

1996 The head office is moved to Hokksund​.

1996 The Dermizax membrane was introduced on the Norwegian market (starting the technical clothing adventure).​

1997 Bergans revolutionized the market, introducing school bags with the same ergonomics and performance as large backpacks.

1998 Bergans launched the patented Quattro Stability System (QSS), which introduced shock absorbers and a more active transfer of weight from the entire sack to the hip-belt.

 1998 The Birkebeiners were stylized for a more modern look​.


2001 Bergans joined as a sponsor in the television show «71 grader nord» (71 degrees north) (foto: TV Norge / Ingerid Medhus).

2001 Bergans moved away from unisex sizes and launched models for women. Started making technical clothing for children.

2004 Norwegian adventurer Cecilie Skog becomes a long lasting ambassador for Bergans​ (foto: Asgeir Helgestad).

2004 The introduction of a great success – Isogaisa Jacket, which launched an era of more exciting colors and color combinations. It included 3-layer DermizaxTM stretch material, water repellent zipper and avalanche rescue chip.

2008 Bergans celebrates 100 years since the invention of the «Bergans meis»​.


2012 Bergans patents and launches the SPINE system, which allows the user to carry a bag without hindering the body's natural movements.

2012 The Bergans signature logo got a minor design change​.

2016 August 25, Oslo Flagship Store Opens​. 1000m2 with the largest range of Bergans products, a sewing room for repair and product customization, second hand sale, return service and equipment hire.

2018 Bestis – a collaboration project between Bergans, Esmod and Tise, introducing a more sustainable alternative to Black Friday, with free repair and a focus on redesign.

2018 Founding of bergans.future.labs – a cross-functional innovation method for exploring emerging technologies.

2018 Launch of Tour De Sy​, a repair service on wheels, traveling around Norway to repair and to inspire people to repair on their own.

2019 Launch of Collection of Tomorrow, our most important project, taking steps towards a more sustainable product development.

2019 Bergans X Kaibosh – relaunch of the 1930s sunglasses​.


2020 Bergans X WWF – Save the seasons campaign, a petition to get the seasons added to Unesco’s World Heritage list.​

2020 The Bergans office moves to Asker​, close to both nature and the capital. A pavillion with a large showroom was built, before 100 employees moved from Hokksund.

2021 August 26, Bergans Fritid AS is aquired by Sport Holding, becoming part of Norway's largest sports and outdoor organisations. The Sport Holding family includes Sport 1 and Intersport.

2022 Bergans X Sport1 Rabot Service Deal​, granting customers 3x service on the Rabot Collection, within 5 years, including repair, cleaning and re-impregnation.

2023 The signature logo got a significant redesign, making it more elegant and slimmer, inspired by the original 1920s-version​.

2023 Bergans launches Y MountainLine, high performing, cutting-edge products designed to keep the user comfortable and confident on the heaviest, toughest, and steepest mountain adventures.