Today is the first day of the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show. A show where all of the brands in the Outdoor Industry convene on Salt Lake City to show the latest and greatest gear. It is also the trade show where, twenty years ago, the first collapsible dog bowl was revealed, and Ruffwear was born. Here is that story. We celebrate the past twenty years and are more excited about the next twenty!
It started as a request from a friend. 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 panting, and Liz was left holding the bag—she couldn’t set it down without losing the water and she didn’t want to dump what was left back into her water bottle. “You need to do something about this,” Liz said, challenging Patrick to develop a solution.
That was 1992 and Patrick was an intrepid kayaker and small business owner designing paddle sports apparel and accessories through Salamander Paddle Gear. With his experience in technical fabrics and design, Patrick set out to build a waterproof bowl that would pack small for outdoor adventures. In 1994 after 16 months of research, development, and testing, The Quencher™ collapsible food and water bowl was created.
The Quencher accompanied Patrick and Salamander Paddle Gear 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 while a buyer at LL Bean placed an order for 8,000 units. Ruffwear had officially launched.
Since that Outdoor Retailer show in 1994, Ruffwear has pioneered a category and a movement, building performance products to enhance and inspire outdoor adventures for dogs and their human companions. The driving force behind Ruffwear’s designs is solving problems such as, how to hydrate and feed your dog in the backcountry with collapsible fabric bowls; protect paws from rough terrain with durable, well-fitting boots; and keep water-loving dogs safe with the K-9 Float Coat. By combining technology, quality, fit, function and safety, the brand continues to evolve and lead the way in meeting the demands of active and adventurous canines.