It makes sense that a company whose roots are entwined with adventure, toughness, and quality would pick Wyoming as a place to expand its operations.
Kifaru International, a manufacturer of high-quality, long-lasting outdoor equipment, has opened a new production facility and storefront near downtown Riverton. Known for quality adventure gear, Kifaru sells tents, sleeping bags, sleds, stoves, shelters, backpacks, and frames among other things.
“Everything you can wear on your back in the backcountry,” Cullen Frazier, Riverton store manager said.
The magic of Kifaru outdoor gear is that it is custom fit to each individual. The base price on a backpack, frame, or other personal item includes fitting, and custom design to fit each person exactly. There is no “one size fits all” with Kifaru products.
On well-traveled routes to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Riverton is providing the “Gear for Life” company with a perfect location. The new store, storage, and production facility currently has 25 employees. The company plans to expand with another building that will be dedicated to cutting, sewing, assembly, and custom fitting products. This future assembly would bring another 200 jobs to the area
“This is a great opportunity for Riverton and the county,” Riverton mayor Rich Gard said. “The possibility of 200 more jobs is tremendous.”
As a show of commitment to the community, Kifaru has plans to build apartment-style housing to handle the influx of workers.
“We came to work with the county as much as we can,” Frazier said. “We want local workers to have a chance at a good job that pays a good wage.”
Kifaru has other facilities in Texas, Illinois, and Colorado, and also works heavily with the United States military in supplying field equipment for outdoor deployment. They work with the 10th Mountain Division, Tier I special forces units, and have a large presence in the military.
“We don’t have a huge markup on our products,” Frazier said. “We use high-quality materials and pass that quality on to consumers.”
Kifaru traces its roots back to the 1970s in Colorado. Patrick Smith was a wilderness guide in the Colorado Rockies and opened the Colorado School of Outdoor Living. He concentrated on wilderness survival skills such as building snow caves and surviving avalanches as well as backcountry travel. He continued to design sleds, packs and heated, carriable sheds. After working in Alaska, he invented a rifle carrying system that was unique in style while remaining reliable and durable in the backcountry. In 2014, Smith retired, and Aron Snyder became the president and CEO.
If you’re a serious outdoors enthusiast or just looking for quality outdoor gear, the Kifaru showroom is another great reason to make a stop in Riverton.