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Stohlquist Life Jackets

Stohlquist Life Jackets are made by people whose passion is boating under extreme environments!

Stohlquist Life Jackets

Stohlquist Life Jackets are a consequence of entrepreneurial spirit, workmanship and unique designs originating from the business mind of founder and president, Jim Stohlquist. Each life jacket follows the lineage of 30 years of product inovation, refinement, and the incorporation of the most state of the art raw materials, into development and production that supplys their clients with the finest life jackets.

In early 2004, Stohlquist and Aqua Lung joined together as partners to capitalize on the strengths each has in growing the company, with products for both above and under the water. As president, Jim Stohlquist continues to direct the business providing the vision, direction and guidance with help from a robust group at Aqua Lung. OK, Jim is certainly an enthusiastic scuba diver, but his focus stays  on his real love for sailing and paddle sports and producing top of the line safety gear. He has committed a lifetime to watersports and his distinctive and progressive products have been the natural result of his dedication.

From the initial days, Stohlquist has been a family owned firm. Situated in Buena Vista, Colorado the business is near the  Arkansas River. Their goal has been on making the perfect product for security and comfort when on the wet and chilly water. Stohlquist continues to lead with advanced life jackets made for the extreme water enthusiast, and their primary product line is designing great life jackets for paddlers and boaters.

Some Stohlquist history,Jim and Bonny Stohlquist currently live high within the Colorado Mountains near the headwaters valleys of the Rio and Arkansas Grande. But before then, while studying Business and Engineering at CSU, and serving as president of the CSU Outdoor Club, he started a boat building business.He made a 22 pound kevlar, Glass Vinylester Epoxy, white-water playboat for the members of the outdoor club. It was light and powerful, practically bullet-proof, and made by his own hand. Out of this effort, Jim started Colorado Kayak Supply a mailorder company.

Immediately after graduating, Bonny & Jim married, and the company focus changed to the initiation of designs that propelled the development and rise at Stohlquist WaterWare. Paddling equipment was not available locally and the Arkansas river was always freezing cold, since most of it's water resulted from the runoff of the nearby 14000 foot mountain slopes. There were no drysuits or drytops at first, just stuff borrowed from other sports such as wetsuits and coated nylon work-out suits and even hockey helmets.

On a cold February day, Jim walked into a tiny, local sewing business in Salida, Colorado and discussed his ideas for a new type of life jacket, intended simply for kayaking. The sewing business was making watertight bike rain suits, had great products but also had  deficiencies in distribution. Jim's designed his first life jacket and it was a winner in the marketplace. The business grew. He stopped building boats concentrated on white water gear survival gear developing one new product after another. Drytops, Drypants, Drysuits,  Life Jackets, every one unique, and each completely intended for paddling sports. The company grew, and Stohlquist is now a real force in the production of kayacking equipment and water safety equipment. Their life jackets are among the finest made. Take a look at their offerings, you probably will find one that suits perfectly!

Stohlquist Life Jacket and PFD