When we were planning our Pacific Northwest crawl and decided to head into Seattle for a few days to visit family, it was an inevitability that there would be a stop into the manufacturing facility (plus embedded retail store) of one my favorite bag brands, Tom Bihn.
Located south of downtown Seattle in the Industrial District, Tom Bihn sits inside a long building housing a number of other functions, like Two Beers Brewing Co., Fulcrum Coffee Roasters, and Seattle Cider. It's a quiet little spot amidst the bustle of trucks moving in and out of the area. All of Tom Bihn's bag manufacturing happens here, so there's significant space in the building to accommodate the materials and sewing of products. But they're also open Monday through Friday from 6:30 am - 3:00pm ("more or less") for walk-ins to check the place out and peruse available goods. All the items in the corner shop are the same ones tied to their website inventory, so you know exactly what to expect.
When we stepped inside, a fellow named Cody emerged from the manufacturing floor and greeted us. He happened to the same person who helped my wife get a faster delivery of her new Synik 30 bag in time for this very trip, so it was perfect that he was there the day we visited. The store is really just a few peg walls and a long table cutting through the middle of the space, where Cody brought in and laid out a few items in which we were interested in seeing various colors.
They've also set up a vertical mirror for you to check the fit and style on your person, and covered the border of it with customers' submitted photos of sporting their bags all around the world. Felt very restaurant 90s, and I loved it.
Ashley decided on picking up a Side Hustle in Ursa Ballistic, which ended up as a perfect travel companion as we marauded up the rest of the west coast into British Columbia. If you're a Tom Bihn fan, it's absolutely worth the trip into their HQ, even if you end up just getting a few more of their endlessly useful swivel double-carabiners. And if you're in the area, curious about quality, USA-built bags for almost any context, it's definitely worth the visit. I only wish we had more time to ask for a full tour of the facility and to check out the really neat fabrics/materials they have on deck (like Halcyon).