As you know, I am a huge fan of Tom Bihn Bags. Tom and his business partner Darcy make simply outstanding bags and luggage in their facility in south Seattle. I am featuring Tom Bihn in my upcoming book, Simply American. Tom and Darcy have been incredibly supportive of both my book and this blog. And I have had the privilege of meeting Tom’s dog Riley.
A friend of mine at my office, Andy, is a big bike guy. I was talking to him about Tom Bihn the other day and he told me about a bag company I had never heard of: Red Oxx. I was intrigued.
Jim Markel of Red Oxx
I discovered that Red Oxx is the labor of love of Jim Markel Sr. After a 20 year career in the military, Jim “retired” to Montana where, drawing on his skills as a parachute jumper and rigger, he decided to create workout accessories in his basement. As his business grew, Jim needed help. So in the great American tradition, he shanghaied his son Jim Jr. into the business! Eventually the Markels made the decision to move from the workout accessory business to the bag and luggage market. They sell most of their bags on the internet and have an incredibly loyal following. They source a few things for their bags from a small village in Guatemala. They also carry out some other cool support efforts in the third world. The Markels sound like really great fellows and I hope to meet them someday.
Tom Bihn is very Seattle. Tom is a very thoughtful, soft-spoken fellow who seems to be thinking about his business, his employees and all sorts of other things all the time. Tom and Darcy seem to really love what they are doing here in Seattle. They have donated their time, their funds and their bags to a huge number of people and organizations. Given the great love of dogs of all kinds in Seattle, Tom cleverly designed a very cool dog walking bag, the Citizen Canine.
Red Oxx not surprisingly has a very Montana feel to it. As an example, Red Oxx offers a Varmint Master Rifle Case and a Sporting Clays pouch.
I would not hold your breath waiting for the debut of the Tom Bihn hunting collection. Both firms offer outstanding carry on bags, luggage, duffel type bags and backpacks and day packs. In my opinion, you couldn’t go wrong buying from either firm, since both firms’ products are made by members of our extended American family. But I am somewhat biased for all things made in Seattle. But now is your chance. I want to hear why you are a Tom Bihn believer or a Red Oxx supporter. Tell me what it is about either Tom Bihn or Red Oxx that has won you over. Is it the quality of the product? Outstanding customer service? Specialized product that is right up your alley? I want to know!!! Leave a comment to this post, and I will summarize the comments next week. So, may the best bag win!