Posted by Miles Arbour
Just a stone’s throw away from the center of Seattle, in the second story of a large industrial building, you’ll find the Swift Industries headquarters, including its storefront, production area, offices, and all. There, they create some of the most iconic bicycle touring and bikepacking bags available. I linked up with Jason “Goods” Goodman, co-founder of the company, for a quick bike tune up and boxing before a flight out of the city, and naturally couldn’t resist poking around the place a bit.
The Swift Industries HQ is divided into a few distinct areas. Roughly 70% is production space, 10% is for shipping and receiving, and around 20% is set aside for the storefront, including a little hangout nook, a huge selection of ready-to-buy bike bags, and all sorts of other interesting trinkets and adventure-inspiring items.
Swift has been around for over 10 years now, and although it started as a modest basement workshop, it’s clear that Swift has been steadily growing into something pretty impressive. With five full-time employees and several others working part-time, Swift has done a good job of staying true to their roots of being “homespun, vibrant, and delightfully unconventional.”
I felt somewhat like a kid in a candy shop wandering around the storefront. Lined with the vibrantly coloured and unique bicycle bags that Swift is known for, it was almost impossible not to pick up and feel every product in sight. Up until my visit, I’ve heard and seen so much about the company online, but the reality of what they’re doing there didn’t really sink in until I handled items like their new Sonora Panniers or huge Zeitgeist Saddle Bags – they’ve got something special going on.
The Swift staff were especially excited to show off the new Tenkara Rod Co. collaboration rods that will be available through their website soon. Although I’m not much a fisherman myself, there is something about riding bikes and bringing an ultra-packable rod along that unquestionably promotes taking breaks and having fun. I’m into it.
Jason also let us know that Swift will be announcing some pretty exciting plans that have been in the works for a while now. We can’t say too much just yet, but you can expect the addition of fully waterproof bags into the product line and the introduction of guided adventures with a twist. We’ll leave it at that.
As expected, the Swift Industries headquarters is exactly as cool as I thought it would be, if not more so. I could have easily mulled around their huge spread of bags, maps, custom fabric offerings, and general good-times vibes for another few hours. Not to mention the fact that Jason gave my Karate Monkey a bit of love before my Oregon Timber Trail trip and did an incredible job packing it up before my flight out of Seattle. Good job, Swift. Keep it up!