How We Started

Navali is a destination on a lifelong adventure; a voyage commandeered by one man’s determination to chart his own course by infusing his career with his passion.

Rob Rothman was born and raised in New York City. Despite the wealth of culture and opportunity his home city offered, there was no doubting that Rob felt unrest; he was certain there was much more to see beyond the city’s confines and was committed to experiencing it all.

After graduating college, Rob moved to rural Vermont and started his own business. He experienced nature in its purest form, on pre-dawn runs, afternoons skiing, or evenings watching the sunset from his kayak on the lake. There was no temperature too cold or an activity too arduous, as each day brought a new challenge and a new way to connect with his surroundings.

As Rob grew his business, his adventures brought him to Europe, Asia, and Latin America; to rural towns, large cities, and historic destinations. It was during these years that he reconnected with his love for the urban lifestyle of his youth. Through world travel, Rob discovered many others just like him; who thrived on the thrill of a plane taking off, landing in a city without language skills, and experiencing the beauty of these places in its mountains, oceans, skylines, and citizens.

Since it was the journey that was quintessential to all of Rob’s travels, he soon realized that the kind of gear he took with him was also a critical part of the way he went from place to place. For a bag to be successful it needed to be durable and functional, while being timelessly fashionable. He wanted to create a kind of bag that represented the kind of lifestyle that he lived, and the kind of approach he used for life. Bags that could fit just the right amount of necessities, and that could easily adapt into any kind of culture. Thus, Navali was born, a line that encompasses everything that Rob stands for—a bag line meant for living life.

Navali derives from the Latin word navalis, meaning “pertaining to ship”, and was born out of Rob’s greatest passion: the water. For each city where he has laid roots, the water has been Rob’s mainstay, whether sailing on Lake Champlain, kayaking on the Frasier River, ferrying across the Bosphorus, or watching container ships in Victoria Harbor.

Navali products are a practical companion for a lifestyle of adventure, passion, and ambition, that remind us of the power of water and the early explorers who built civilizations by taking to the sea.