Who are we?
First and foremost, we are boaters! We have had a long 9 year run in whitewater photography, private boating, and even some commercial rafting. All that, mixed with our love for art and design, we decided to start River Station Gear. “Why don’t people make hot pink throw bags?” I asked Jodi one day. “Let’s do it! I even have a name.” It was born that quick. The following day we started ordering materials and coming up with different designs for throw bags. At first we had all sorts of bad, failed ideas but eventually we came up with some good, fun, and unique river gear. That has always been our goal since day one, to stand out and make unique gear.
Where are we located?
We operate and manufacture out of Canon City, Colorado. Home of the Royal Gorge section of the Arkansas River. We literally make our rafting gear from scratch right here on the north rim of the Royal Gorge. Last house on the road and about ¼ mile from Sunshine Falls, the first class 4 rapid on the section. Being located this close to the river is actually very beneficial for our business. We have easy access to go take beautiful marketing photos. A whopping 10 min shuttle if we want to go down a world class section of whitewater. I'd say we are pretty lucky to be in this location doing what we love!
What do we offer?
Throw Bags -
Throw bags of all shapes and sizes. Our first product that we ever launched was our Zip-Hip Pack. It's a mix between a fanny pack and a waist throw bag. Made to be colorful, multifunctional, safe and unique. There are so many possibilities for color combination options with this pack, and that's why people love it.
After that we had guides wanting something FAST! So we created the Rapid Pack. Another innovation to the whitewater world that is unique to us. Not only does it detach from the quick release belt fast, but it also reattaches to the belt fast. Which is something that doesn’t exist with other products.
From there we have experimented and came up with other fun, colorful throw bags in different sizes. We eventually came up with good designs for each size and we really do offer something for everyone's needs. In addition to that, we also had our high quality rescue rope custom made in HOT PINK and that is an option in all of our throw bags!
Mesh Bags -
We had some scrap mesh lying around one experimental afternoon and WAH-LAH the River Station thwart bag was made. Another unique idea for the rafting world. It is such a useful bag for so many reasons. It first and foremost is a storage bag that cam-straps around your thwart. It has many other features as well like having built in OS handles, having multiple stainless steel d-rings for clip-ability and even functioning as a wearable backpack. This product remains a best seller and people really love it.
The bag we never knew we needed. The mesh gear bag. It was originally made for our own personal use. I had never had one before so we whipped one up and it is life changing. Having all of your rafting gear together in one place is so incredibly nice and convenient. I'm not even sure what I was doing all these years without one. Gear was just spread out all over the place! That is how our mesh gear bag was born, and of course we made a few different sizes.
Dry Bags -
Innovating the rafting world. The first product we made was a throw bag. The first product we had an idea for and WANTED to make, was the dry thwart bag. This bag was really an idea we had before River Station Gear and something we know we wanted to play around with. The early days of trying to create this bag are quite comical. We were going to sew bags from polyester, and then turn them inside out and spray them with liquid polyurethane. Hah. As you can imagine, that was a complete disaster. We had about 5 more failed ideas before we drew up some designs and found a company who would manufacture them for us. Someone with PVC/RF welding experience. After months of samples and upgrades we finally produced the world's first dry thwart bag. We are currently in the process of making them bomb proof and ready to manufacture in large quantities. Easily one of our best sellers and what we are know for. If you are interested in finding out more about the River Station Dry Thwart Bag follow the link here!
Like most companies we wanted to have some clothing options. We started with just logo T-shirts and hooded T-shirts. All of which had designs that were hand drawn by us, then put into a program to make digital, printable logos out of. (Same for all of our waterproof stickers) Recently we have gone on to design some sweet fleece river dresses and mens fleece hoodies that will be available very soon! We are not interested in becoming clothing manufacturers so we outsource them to be made for us. But we use sustainable, green factories that only use 100% recycled materials! And we are super proud of that!
Our motto since day one was “Stand Out”. We built our whole company off of the idea to not copy others and stick to our own designs. We think that it is super important to be unique and not just recreate the same products that already exist. Really anything that you can dream up in your head you can make into a reality. Not all ideas are winners, but having bad ideas usually leads to good ones. We are all about doing RnD and making concept pieces that don’t exist in the world yet, or updating and improving on old systems. If you know about River Station Gear please share us with your friends and help our little business grow!
By: Jason Caligaris Jr.