Hyke & Byke was founded with one core mission: to get backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts premium, lightweight, comfortable gear for sleeping outside -- at the best price possible. While most outdoor brands have to bake in huge profit margins so that retailers and middlemen can all get their piece, we’ve cut out all the baloney. We design the products, oversee manufacturing, and offer them directly to you.
Out in nature as in business, we believe in the ultralight lifestyle. You bring along only what you need, and you realize that the journey, itself, is the important part.
How Hyke & Byke was Born
The brand was born when our founder, Daniel (third from the left above), asked a question: “How much does it really cost to make this outdoor gear I’ve spent thousands of dollars buying for all my adventures?” After half a decade as a professional engineer and 14-er addicted backpacker, he thought it was time to look deeper.
Along with two friends, a civil and aerospace engineer, Daniel started seeking out and contacting some of the same manufacturers that make the gear they were using in their summer adventures in Colorado. Many of our sleeping bags are actually named for the 14-ers they summited in those years. They soon discovered that the cost of those $500 down sleeping bags was way less than what you’d pay for one at retail.
The founders started to wonder, “why do the big brands charge so much?” The answer to this question is what led them to believe it was truly possible for a small group of engineers to start an outdoor gear company. Basically, there are many non-product related costs that have to be accounted for in the price of a product. Some of these costs include marketing and advertising, shipping, warehousing, insurance, professional and legal fees, rent, utilities, payroll, accounting, tax filing, product design, distributor commissions, building maintenance, computer equipment, servers, IT, etc. (the list goes on ... plus, you need room for profit).
So the challenge was: Can we cut down on these costs so that we can sell gear at a price closer to the actual cost of the raw materials and manufacturing for the product and still make enough profit to live off of and to allow the company to grow?
Well, years later, we’ve done exactly that. Here are some of the ways we’ve worked to keep our products so honestly priced.
1) We don’t work with resellers. Big box stores and online retailers have told us we’d need to bake in as much as 50% margin just for them! We always tell ‘em, “We don’t even make that on our products!”
2) We have a small team that hustles each day, so our payroll is low
3) We’ve harnessed all of the business automations of the Internet age
4) We design our own gear
5) We don’t pay rent on physical office space and let our team work from home offices
6) We keep customer service in-house
7) We do most of our own media design
8) We work directly with factories and materials vendors and don’t “white label” anything
9) We don't have to meet shareholder earnings expectations and can grow at a comfortable and healthy rate
10) We don't have a warehouse and run all of our computer software through the cloud so we don't have to pay for hardware and servers
Bonus: We don't spend much on advertising compared to the big brands which means we don't have to charge more for our products to cover that cost. Instead, we rely a lot on word of mouth, so please tell your friends about us as that is the best way for us to grow and offer more high quality products at much lower prices than our competitors.