Ruffwear Celebrates 20 Years
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 food and water bowl was created - the first collapsible waterproof fabric bowl.
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 L.L. 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.
“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 for dogs who adventure outdoors with their human companions. Over the years, we’ve listened to our customers and let them determine where we head next. The organic and consistent growth of Ruffwear has been phenomenal to experience and I look forward to seeing where the next 20 years take us,” said Patrick Kruse, founder/product development for Ruffwear.
Over the years, The Quencher has seen small design refinements, but has kept true to its original form and shape. “The pyramid design works well for stability. If the dog bumps it with a paw, the water will splash up and back into the bowl,” said Kruse.
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.
In celebrating The Quencher’s 20th anniversary, Ruffwear will be launching new bowl color schemes at Outdoor Retailer and selling current Quencher Bowls with proceeds going to The Conservation Alliance.
Ruffwear is committed to preserving open lands and waterways, providing important habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for humans and canines. Through partnerships with The Conservation Alliance and regional grassroots organizations, Ruffwear is able to give back and create opportunities to strengthen the bond between humans and their dogs. Based in Bend, Oregon, Ruffwear sells their products through specialty pet and outdoor retailers as well as at www.ruffwear.com.