Rockgeist Acquires Porcelain Rocket (Statement & Interview)
With a hint of bittersweet, we’re excited to announce that Rockgeist has acquired Porcelain Rocket and will keep the brand’s innovative line of bikepacking bags alive. Find details, statements from the two companies, and a video interview with the founders here…
It seems like there has been a lot of “end of an era” headlines lately. Today’s announcement continues that trend with the news that legendary bikepacking bag maker Porcelain Rocket will be no more. But, don’t be sad. The brand’s technologies and innovative products will live on. Asheville, NC-based Rockgeist has acquired Porcelain Rocket in a move to expand their product line and offer welded, waterproof bikepacking bags alongside their existing range of handmade products.
If you’ve spent any time on this website, or in the bikepacking community in general, you’re likely familiar with Canadian bikepacking bag maker Porcelain Rocket. Started by ceramist/mountain biker Scott Felter in 2009, the small brand began by making custom frame bags and seat packs known for their superior durability and smart aesthetics. Along the way, Scott developed several groundbreaking designs that changed the trajectory of bikepacking bags, including Mr. Fusion, first fully stabilized seat pack, and the Orbiter, the first zipperless, roll-top frame bag.
Later, Scott and his team developed a welding technique and began making several innovative waterproof bags such as 52hz, the world’s first fully waterproof frame pack, and the clever and useful Nigel handlebar bag, among others. As this website’s founding editor, it’s been an amazing ride watching Porcelain Rocket evolve since we started back in 2012. But, all good things must come to an end, and we’re excited to see a new beginning for this product line and watch the next chapter of this story unfold. Greg and the team at Rockgeist do amazing work, so in my view, this is the perfect match. To talk through how these two met and thoughts about the merger, Neil Beltchenko sat down with them for an interview in our latest YouTube Video. Watch it below and scroll down to read statements from Greg Hardy, Rockgeist’s founder, and Scott Felter…
Statement by Greg Hardy,
founder of Rockgeist
We are honored and humbled to announce that Rockgeist will be acquiring Porcelain Rocket, makers of exceptional waterproof, welded products for bikepacking. After a difficult decision to transition away from manufacturing, Scott, the owner of Porcelain Rocket, reached out to us asking if we’d be interested in acquiring the brand, its welding technology, and continuing its legacy of producing dependable, high-quality waterproof bags.
For over 11 years, Porcelain Rocket has set the bar for innovation and quality. Scott and his team have paved the way for companies like Rockgeist by helping to create a space in our industry where small, custom-based companies can contribute in a meaningful way to the bikepacking community. There is no doubt that Scott could have found a large industry buyer for his company. Instead, he chose a small, cottage gear company that aligned with his ethos to carry the torch. This decision speaks to Scott’s values and continued dedication to his craft.
Personally, I have always been inspired by Porcelain Rocket and they are a big reason why I started Rockgeist. Over the years, I have modeled my business after Scott’s: doing my best to emulate their human approach to business, their dedication to details, and their ability to implement creative solutions.
But there is so much more to Porcelain Rocket’s success. Over the last year I have gotten to know the people behind Porcelain Rocket on a more personal level and found that they are kind, caring, and generous—everything our small bikepacking community strives to be. It’s these people who have been a part of such an important and beautiful beginning to the modern age of bikepacking. Thank you Scott, Tim, Skyler, Rhonda, Panthea and everyone who has supported Porcelain Rocket over the years. As we celebrate the past, we look forward to a bright future and another 11 years of carrying on the products and values of Porcelain Rocket.
Statement by Scott Felter,
founder of Porcelain Rocket
2009. In the entryway of an apartment in Banff, on a well-used $150 industrial sewing machine that I knew little about, it would have been impossible to imagine today.
Eleven years seems like a long time to do anything, and I suppose it is. More than a quarter of my life, about half of my adult life, and the only ‘job’ I’ve held for longer than a few years, Porcelain Rocket defined my 30s, and will continue to inform the rest of my life.
I have said, for as long as I can remember: “I never wanted a business, but I got one.” And it truly feels like that. What began as a basement endeavour of solitude and risk, eventually added another, and slowly grew to a crew of five. I have never been a good manager of anyone or anything, but I gave it my all. I sincerely hope that I provided a space that was a source of creativity, laughter, friendship and care. Not every day had all of these things, but when I look back, the smiles certainly outnumber the tears. Porcelain Rocket provided a living wage for four others. Never would I have ever imagined I could do this.
Today makes real one of the hardest decisions of my life. Porcelain Rocket has driven, defined, and informed my entire being for the last 11 years, and I’ve decided that it’s my time to turn the page on this chapter. This decision does not come lightly, but I make it with full confidence and belief in the path I’ve chosen for the legacy of the brand.
I am excited to announce that Greg Hardy and his crew at Rockgeist are acquiring the designs for all of our waterproof, seam-welded gear. When I approached Greg with this proposal several months ago, I did so with plenty of apprehension, but with a deep respect that I have felt for him and Rockgeist, as I’ve watched their evolution over the last few years. Before I had even spoken with Greg, I felt that we shared a kinship. A dedication to staying small, making durable things in our own spaces, with people that we genuinely care for, and with an overlying spirit of innovation and exploration. And as I’ve gotten to know Greg throughout this experience of transition and growth, my respect has only matured. I feel we can often ‘smell our own kind’, and Greg is most certainly my kind. I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the right decision for the time, money, and love that I’ve invested in Porcelain Rocket, and that this is only the beginning for these designs. I can’t wait to watch as Rockgeist becomes not only the hub of everything handmade bikepacking, but also an invaluable resource for our sport.
2020. The weirdest of years. I’m proud and thankful to have called this community my family and my life for the last 11 years.
Founder of Porcelain Rocket
At this point, many of you might be wondering about the availability of the Rockgeist Porcelain Rocket series bags. Rockgeist’s plan is to have a rolling release of all products starting in late December or early January. Nigel and Meanwhile will likely be on sale first, followed by 52Hz and Mr. Fusion shortly thereafter. In the meantime, there is still some remaining Porcelain Rocket-branded inventory on their web store, which will remain there until it’s sold out. Also, there will be some inventory completed and added in the coming days to clear back stock of sub-assemblies.
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