Rugged. According to the dictionary, to be rugged is "to have or require toughness and determination." This definition perfectly summarizes not only our brand and products, but also the community of people on this journey with us.
Rugged Road was founded by Spencer in 2016. A student at the time, he knew that he was being called to do something big, but wasn't sure exactly what that would be. One day in chemistry class, a chemical engineer demonstrated a spray that he had helped develop for many military applications like coating the walls of government buildings to make them blast proof. Rumor had it that if you coated an egg in this spray and threw it off a building, it would bounce. Spencer knew that there was some potential here, so he quickly got to work brainstorming a way to utilize this spray for consumer goods. When the idea of an ultralight cooler came about, he knew there was no time to waste.
When the first sample arrived, Spencer had to put the durability of the cooler to the test. Being an 18 year old boy living in his parent's house, there wasn't much "official" testing equipment available to him at the time, so he had to get creative! He shot the cooler with a bow and arrow, threw it off the roof, parked a jeep on it, and knee boarded on the lid... okay that "test" was just for fun. Needless to say, it passed each test with flying colors. It was time to bring this vision to life.
Throughout college, Spencer washed windows and worked plenty of other odd jobs to financially support his Kickstarter in 2019. His primary goal for the campaign was to gauge the market’s appetite for an ultralight high performance cooler, and there was a clear answer when the fundraising goal was crushed within just 24 hours of launching. The next few weeks were filled with plenty of R&D, sewing, and hours in a U-Haul making deliveries to customers in the greater Atlanta area. The first rendition of a Rugged Road cooler was named the Onitis 45; it was named after a species of beetle that has a higher strength to weight ratio than any other living creature on the planet.