Last week at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City, a brand we have come to love and even take for granted humbly celebrated its 20th birthday.
What started as a simple request from a friend for a better portable, outdoor dog bowl essentially came to revolutionize the way we play outside with our four-legged friends — or at the very least greatly improved the experience for both man and beast.
While trying to give her dog Moqui a drink, Patrick Kruse’s friend Liz emptied half of her water bottle into a plastic bag and held it while the Rhodesian Ridgeback took a few slurps. Moqui then walked away and Liz was left holding a bag she couldn’t set down and she didn’t want to dump what was left back into her water bottle.
That was 1992. Kruse was a kayaker and small business owner designing paddle sports apparel and accessories as part of Salamander Paddle Gear. With his experience in technical fabrics and design, he set out to build a waterproof bowl that would pack small for outdoor adventures. After 16 months of research, development, and testing, The Quencher dog bowl was created — the first known collapsible waterproof fabric dog bowl.
The Quencher accompanied Patrick and Salamander to Outdoor Retailer in the summer of 1994. Set out on a table at the front of Salamander’s booth, the collapsible waterproof fabric bowl drew crowds, and a buyer at L.L. Bean placed an order for 8,000 units, setting in motion the official launch of Ruffwear and a new outdoor product category to enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions.
“I had no idea that designing a collapsible waterproof bowl for outdoor-loving dogs would grow into a brand offering a full range of products,” said Kruse, founder/product development for Ruffwear. “Over the years we’ve listened to our customers and let them determine where we head next.”
The driving force behind Ruffwear’s designs has always been solving problems — such as how to hydrate and feed your dog in the backcountry (Quencher Dog Bowl); how to protect paws from rough terrain(Summit Trex); and how to keep water-loving dogs safe (K-9 Float Coat). By combining technology, quality, fit, function and safety, the brand continues to evolve and lead in meeting the demands of adventurous canines.
Ruffwear is committed to preserving open lands and waterways through partnerships with The Conservation Alliance and regional grassroots organizations. Based in Bend, Oregon, Ruffwear is available through specialty pet and outdoor retailers and at ruffwear.com.