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Bags Built to Last

Red Oxx Manufacturing is dedicated to Quality, Precision, and Durability in their stylish array of bags and travel accessories

Article by Stephanie Hower

Photography by Provided by Red Oxx

Originally published in Billings Lifestyle

Quality, precision, and durability are the cornerstones of Red Oxx Manufacturing, a business built by CEO Jim Markel and his father, Jim Senior. As former parachute riggers, father and son understand the importance of these vital elements and continue to develop their products with the utmost care.

“Back in 1986 my Dad retired from the Military and moved to Billings,” says Jim Junior, who is also a veteran. “He was into body building and noticed there wasn’t much in the way of fitness accessories available in the gym. He called me up and invited me to Montana after my commission was over and we began by making weightlifting straps.”

When the market for weightlifting gear moved offshore, the duo found it was difficult to compete. 

“I made the decision to build bags,” recalls Jim. “Once a rifle case zipper broke when I was hunting, that was the last straw. I knew I could build a better case.” Red Oxx Manufacturing had found its footing and began to take off, utilizing the global reach of the burgeoning internet.

“We started making a variety of duffel bags and pitched them to safari hunters. Our little gear building company grew, from out of a kitchen to a variety of affordable facilities here on the north side and we’ve been here ever since.”

After the safari contingent served to launch the company, Red Oxx approached Dog Dyment at onebag.com to help develop a “one bag travel” piece.

“I enjoyed the carry light approach to travel,” Jim explains. “We expanded our flight travel line from there. About the same time, as word got around we could build dependable bags, some Railroad engineers from the local rail hub stopped by asking for a Grip they could rely on. That market has been our bread and butter for many years.”

Products to Suit All Needs

Many of Red Oxx’s bags can serve multiple uses and be carried in a variety of ways, making them an ideal gift during the holiday season.

“For example, the Booty Boss can be worn around the waist, but it can also be carried over the shoulder, across the chest or by hand,” adds Jim.

All of their products are made from durable, Cordura nylon, which is easy to hand wash clean with mild soap and water, and backed by a lifetime warranty.

“There’s no fine print or hoops to jump through to get your bag repaired or occasionally replaced. That’s why we call it our ‘No Bull’ Lifetime Warranty…We’ve got 35 years of building a service infrastructure that serves the customer’s needs down to the finest detail.”

When shopping for travel gear, Jim recommends considering where the items are manufactured. 

“Does the company you’re buying it from state unequivocally their gear is made in the U.S.A.?” he asks. “Can they prove it? Or, are they a ‘shadow brand’ that says ‘designed in the U.S.A.’ but is actually put together off-shore someplace. Another thing to consider is the butterfly effect. Does the company you buy from source their materials or parts also from U.S.A. companies? We try to make certain 98% or more of our materials are sourced in America. Your dollars affect the families of not only our employees, but those whom we source from as well. They could be your neighbors or friends of friends.”

Love List 6

Each Christmas, the Red Oxx staff put together a compilation of their favorite gear called the “Love List 6”. Jim shares the new items introduced in 2019 which his staff adore.

C.C. Rider

“The Red Oxx design team spent a decade creating the ultimate messenger bag, with the C.C. meaning ‘Commute and Carry’. It’s also the name of a blues song. We wanted this bag to reek with ‘Oxx style’; our designer wanted lots of pockets that were useful; it had to have structure and laptop protection.”

Booty Boss

“Next up is the waist pack mentioned earlier. This is a fanny pack to end all fanny packs- it’s the boss! It’s handsome, like a miniature briefcase.”

Ladybug

“This spring we launched a packing cube our customer base had been requesting, a dual sided cube with a clear side and a mesh side. A bestseller and terrific compliment to our Packing Cube Set.”

Maximum Utility Travel Tote

'We’re big fans of wordplay here, and being a Veteran I’ve had my share of acronyms in the military. So, that’s where the M.U.T.T. designation comes from for our zippered top Maximum Utility Travel Tote. It’s a ‘super tote’. Everything you wanted in a tote, and then some.”

The Hound

“This is a nice handy purse-like shoulder carry bag that was sized to assist in carrying those doggy walking related items you need out in the field.”

B.A.R.K. Dog Leash 

“This one is a real treat because it affects the community and pet lovers. I was walking my dog down to our factory and I realized there was some leftover webbing in the closet there that we could offer as a dog leash. At the same time, I became aware of our local community pet rescue center was in need of pet leashes…I put together a campaign for the B.A.R.K. Pet Shelter. Buy a B.A.R.K. Dog Leash and Red Oxx will donate one…We just delivered the second 100 leashes to them and have a goal of 500 total.”

Red Oxx Manufacturing Factory Showroom and Retail Store

310 North 13th St. 888.733.6999

redoxx.com

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