From one man’s love of adventure and passion for wildlife conservation came the inspiration for HUNTING WORLD. That man is Robert M. Lee: builder, developer, adventurer, explorer, sport hunter, author, designer,conservationist, merchandising and marketing genius. It all began in 1955, when a young Bob Lee made his first trip to Africa. Struck by the awesome beauty and magnificent wildlife that he found there, he decided to return one day to open his own safari organization. And so he did in 1959.
©Robert M. Lee Most of Mr. Lee’s clients arrived with luggage and camera bags which were woefully ill-suited for the bush, so he began to design functional gear to lend them and had it manufactured by a sail maker in Luanda, Angola. But he didn’t stop there. He also re-designed the entire safari outfit from tents to camp furniture to provide more comfort and easy transport. Inevitably, his clients wanted to buy the equipment at the end of their expedition. During his years in Africa, Bob Lee led photographic, scientific and hunting expeditions into 17 countries. During this time, he began to explore parts of Angola where motorized vehicles had never before ventured. To his dismay, he discovered that poachers were decimating the dig game population in these areas. To counteract this, Mr. Lee set up an organization which brought in sport hunters from all over the world. By turning the poachers into guides and game guards, and permitting a limited amount of sport hunting, he introduced wildlife management, a form of conservation, which benefited all concerned: the animals, the local population, and the sport hunters. Bob Lee’s adventures have taken him to some of the most remote and exotic corners of the world. One his most noted adventures led him to the “roof of the world” 19,000 feet above the sea level in the Chinese Pamir Mountains. He went in search of the legendary Marco Polo sheep, a species many believed no longer resided on the Chinese side of the mountain range. However, by 1965, political conditions in his safari base in Angola had deteriorated and it became too dangerous for him to continue his safari business. It was time to come home. After his return to New York, he established “HUNTING WORLD INC” where he turned his considerable talents to designing luggage, leather goods, apparel, watches, and other outdoor sporting specialties for an international clientele who appreciated their classic design, functionality and outstanding quality.
©Robert M. Lee During his years in Africa, Bob Lee needed a material to protect his cameras and film from the extreme heat, humidity and dust. None of the available materials met his expectations. So there was only one choice―he had to develop one himself. After experimenting with a number of different options, Mr. Lee came up with a 3-ply nylon fabric with a protective polyurethane coating, an insulating, shock-absorbing foam core and a snag-resistant nylon jersey inner layer. He tested the fabric not only in Africa, but also under conditions of extreme cold. That fabric is now known the world over as HUNTING WORLD’s exclusive BATTUE. “BATTUE” was the first collection of HUNTING WORLD and it remains HUNTING WORLD’s best-selling collection. Since 1965, it has constantly been refreshed and updated while remaining true to Bob Lee’s creation of a very lightweight, durable and elegant travel collection, developed and tested on safari. All the bags in this collection are water-resistant polyurethane-coated nylon cloth with a shock-absorbing foam core and a snag-resistant nylon jersey inner core. It is 45% lighter than canvas so it can easily go anywhere with you. Whether you are packing clothes, cameras, of other treasures, establish your own style with BATTUE BEYOND. BATTUE LEATHER is our other core collection for HUNTING WORLD. Ingenious new materials honor the original development of the first BATTUE cloth. The leather is selected and worked to be as lightweight as possible while still retaining a unique texture. Then we apply a polyurethane foam backing for structure and shock absorption without added weight. The result is a beautiful leather collection that boasts function, good looks, and the best features of the original BATTUE.