This Week in Outdoor Gear Startups: Kokopelli's Rogue Packraft!

KickstartersAmy Hatch

Kokopelli Rogue Packraft - Outdoor Gear Startups Small BrandsFun Fact: Garage Grown Gear grew out of the sport of packrafting. But we’ll get to that in a minute. First, we want to highlight Kokopelli’s Kickstarter for the Rogue Packraft – a lightweight inflatable raft that weighs less than 5 pounds and folds down to the size of a paper towel roll. With 9 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, it's already more than doubled its goal, raising a hefty $62K ... so far!  

Kokopelli Packraft was founded out of a garage in Denver, Colorado (Wait, what about that sounds familiar?!?) with the dream of designing and creating products that open up remote water corridors.

In other words, just roll your packraft up, bury it in your backpack, and then use it to explore backcountry rivers, high alpine lakes or remote canyons. In the latter scenario, often when repelling into a canyon, water is your only exit option.

Check out these fabulous videos to learn more ...  



While there are dozens of packraft brands on the market (visit our flatwater packraft and whitewater packraft roundups to learn more) Kokopelli offers the best price point by a couple hundred dollars on a technical, performance packraft (especially if you purchase through its discounted Kickstarter pricing!).

I’ve been in touch with Kokopelli’s founder, Kelley Smith, for years now. And while I haven’t (yet) tried out the Rogue myself, I can vouch for the dedication and diligence they’ve put into creating their boats.

OK, one more gif of Kokopelli’s Rogue, and then Garage Grown Gear’s founding story ...

Kokopelli Rogue Packraft Kickstarter - Outdoor Gear Startups Small Brands


Several years ago I founded another company called Jackson Hole Packraft. We rented packrafts both locally in Jackson Hole as well as across the country. Much like a satellite phone rental, we’d put a packraft in a box and FedEx it to a renter. When the renter got done with a trip, he/she would just put it back in the box and mail it back to us using a pre-paid label.

Packraft - Copyright Garage Grown Gear

I eventually sold Jackson Hole Packraft, but not before having my eyes opened up to all of the amazing other outdoor gear created out of a garage (sometimes literally, sometimes figuratively). At that time, the only way to find cool, new, innovative gear from the little guys was to comb through forums, read blog posts or stop random passersby to ask about their gear.

I felt like a hub needed to be created to highlight this emerging segment of the outdoor industry, and thus Garage Grown Gear was born.




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