5 Minutes with

5 Minutes w/ Bart Kyzar…

by , August 27, 2012

Welcome back for another quick bite of industry insight courtesy of our ’5 Minutes With…’ series. Mission Workshop co-founder, Bart Kyzar,  shares his thoughts…

1 – What key insights drive your stuff?

We want our bags to add a benefit through either functionality or improved design.  If we can’t address an issue or improve something we’d rather move on to a different project since there always seems to be more ideas than time to pursue them.

2 – Who else is doing rad things in the world of carry? And why do you think they’re important…

Mystery Ranch of course pops to mind.  The quality and design of their packs is always top notch.  The ultralight packs from Kifaru are pretty amazing

I love the TAD HQ in San Francisco and their products are great as well of course.  The KILLSPENCER stuff looks really well built and they do a great job with their photos and the presentation of their products.

There’s a company called Otter Wax that is doing all natural wax coatings which we are going to experiment with.  I’m pretty excited to play around with the stuff and test out some different uses.

3 – Are there any things other brands do that you think are great or could be improved?

One of the things that drives me nuts are pockets just for the sake of having more pockets.  This really isn’t an issue with companies that make their packs in the USA since everything has to be well thought out from a cost/use perspective.  For companies that manufacture overseas, however, adding a pocket or ten really doesn’t add any cost so designers tend to go a little overboard with them.

4 – What’s next for you guys?

We’re going to keep expanding the bags and packs that use the Arkiv Modular System.  There are inline improvements in the works for existing bags.  It’s difficult to change a bag once it’s going but there’s always room for improvement so you have to be sure to make it happen as often as you can.

5 – What do you carry daily and how?

Daily I use brown waxed canvas Fitzroy with white Dimension Polyant VX 21 liner and the Arkiv closure buckles on the flap.  We only made 10 of these and three of them are with MW employees.  I have a VX51 Vandal I use when traveling.  The Vandal is the most versatile traveling bag I’ve ever used.


  • http://www.hefastus.tumblr.com J.B.

    I really like the attention to detail of this stuff!

    Mr. Kyzar seems like a humble guy who’s not afraid to give “props” to his competition and is not afraid of learning.

  • Taylor

    Bart is 100% class. This interview affirms many of the reasons we love Mission Workshop.

    • http://www.tortugabackpacks.com Fred Perrotta

      +1 When I was starting out he was nice enough to give me an hour or so of his time to answer questions on the industry and discuss how the MI business works. Thanks, Bart!

  • Urei1620@inbox.com

    Good interview. I like his answers–humble yet willing to defer credit to others.

    I would like to learn a bit more about the “creative process”.

    Do Designers bounce ideas off each other, respond to market demands or simply conjure up plans in the solitude of a remote cabin?

    What drives this? What keeps them motivated? Where do they see this market going? Will it saturate with all the copy-cat stuff going on especially in other countries where they don’t respect patents?

    Good stuff though.

    Mission Workshop is usually in everyone’s Top 5 within my circle of friends. I’m dying to see the next version of the Vandal-Rambler line.

    • Sean

      Better organizational systems and selection of color schemes that don’t just satisfy the color-blind would be awesome.

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