To provide quality, cost effective products that kindle outdoor adventure
and to utilize business to implement sustainability in developing communities globally.
“Boreholes (such as the one pictured below) can provide access to clean drinking water to hundreds of people in developing communities. Having the opportunity to raise funds for this well changed my life in ways I could not have imagined, and has given me a purpose greater than just running a business. I will donate 10% of Rugged Road’s annual proceeds to the Rugged Road Foundation. The primary focus of the foundation will be to build wells in developing countries around the globe, with the help of people like Zakaria Yakuba (pictured left).” - Spencer Sutlive, Founder & CEO
Did you know that 771 million people around the world still lack access to clean water today? That's nearly 1 in 10 people.
When you shop with us at Rugged Road, not only are you supporting a local business, but you are helping us serve families in need with the gift of clean water.
As of March 2022, we have raised just under $40,000 through the generosity of those on this journey with us. With this money, we have officially broken ground on our first well in Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world. Just one well will bring water to an entire community of people. We are overwhelmed with excitement to see our vision come to life.
If you feel moved to donate or contribute, you can do so by clicking here.
Spencer founded Rugged Road after graduating high school in 2016. He spends as much time as he can outside, doing anything from white water kayaking in the Southeast, to scaling rock faces in Yosemite. Rugged Road was inspired by his love for the outdoors, and he has made it his mission to curate the highest quality gear for any outdoor enthusiast to rely on.
In a chemistry class in 2016, Spencer encountered an innovative proprietary spray coating that was developed for many military applications, including bomb-proofing the walls of the Pentagon. After witnessing a demonstration, he knew something revolutionary could be done with this product. While taking on school as a full time student at the University of Georgia, Spencer juggled working part time jobs, and began building the Rugged Road brand from the ground up.
In 2019, he applied for his first U.S. Patent and brought the patent-pending lightweight cooler to the market by pre-selling several hundred units on the Kickstarter platform. The goal of $25,000 was hit within the first 24 hours, and Rugged Road went on to sell over $55,000 worth of coolers before the conclusion of the campaign later that month. The profits from the Kickstarter were soon put towards the first manufacturing run of the world's lightest high performance cooler, which would come to be known as the Onitis 45.
The Onitis 45 was wildly successful and well-received by Rugged Road customers. However, it was clear that there were improvements to be made, both in its appearance and functionality. Spencer soon began working with an engineer out of Athens, Georgia who helped fine tune the cooler and improve the overall design. They decided to ditch the elastic harness and add a marine grade latch, handles, drain plug, and patent-pending hinges. After many months of R&D, Spencer was able to launch the Rugged Road 65 and go on to sell the new coolers in all 50 states.
Today, the Rugged Road team has expanded and found its home in Atlanta, Georgia. As our business grows, we look forward to releasing new and innovative products for years to come.