Behind The Brand: Railriders Outdoor Apparel

Railriders Outdoor Apparel is performance clothing engineered for adventure. Using lightweight, quick-dry synthetic fabrics, their technical designs have a true reason for being. Whether your passion is backpacking, fly fishing, adventure travel, sailing, or kayaking, Railriders Outdoor Apparel is meant for folks who travel.


Railriders has been one of Flylords longest supporters – they supported us on our first trip overseas into the Bolivian Jungle. This was a wild adventure – as we spent 7 days pushing up the Amazon river searching for Golden Dorado and camping on the edge of the river.


We put our Railriders gear through the elements on this trip – and it sparked a long-lasting relationship – and appreciation for the brand.


Our next trip sent us to the Seychelles for two weeks searching for Giant Trevally, Sailfish, and a plethora of other pelagics – once again Railriders gear was the apparel of choice – not only did they make kickass shirts, but their pants and shorts were top notch.

Rail Riders - Josh Hutchins-7711
Photo: Aussie Flyfisher

After these first two trips its been over a dozen trips always putting the gear through the elements in different parts of the world. We couldn’t be more proud to support such an awesome company.

Rail Riders - Josh Hutchins-7512 (2)
Photo: Aussie Flyfisher

In this feature, we had a chance to sit down with Railriders founder and CEO John Darbleoff to ask a few questions about how Railriders came to be!

John D. With his first Striper on the Fly

Flylords: When did Railriders go from idea to reality?

John: In 1990 when we launched our first sailing collection. It was 4 pieces, a sailing short, a jacket, and 2 shirts.

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Flylords: What was the first product you brought to the market? What made you run with that?

John: Our waterproof padded Sailing shorts, there was a need for this in the market, we sold about 4,000 of them over the next several years and ironically we introduced a new one just last year with Bitter End Yacht Club.
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Flylords: Where did the name come from?

John: Racing Sailboats. Sailors would sit on the rail of the boat to make it flatter in the water which gave the boat more speed. Hence Railriders, Rail Meat.

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Flylords: How have you seen the outdoor industry change over the last two decades?

John: Pretty much matured out. The retail business is all about the big brands, so it’s great that the internet produces lots of cool new brands that are innovative and alive. The big brands just exist with little innovation.

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Flylords: If you had to describe Railriders in one sentence what would it be?

John: We are a company that designs clothing that is engineered for adventure and has bread authenticity and innovation for over 20 years.

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Flylords: You have been supporting Flylords adventures for the past few years – why do you think Railrider gear goes so well with fly fishing adventures?

John: Our beginnings were all about water, sailing was our bloodline. When I got into fly fishing it was a natural extension, we understood water and how to design gear that dealt with those elements. Wet wading, gear for under waders, quick-dry fabrics, etc.

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Flylords: What is your favorite item in this latest fall/winter collection?

John: The Safe Passage Shirt, a classic from the start and sales have shown that.

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Flylords: If someone was going to purchase their first item from Railriders what would you recommend?

John: Our Extreme Adventure Pants, these go back to our roots and they made it to the top of Everest in 1991 with Rich Wilcox’s team. There is nothing like them on the market, light and tough as nails.

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Flylords: Do you have any fun products on the radar for this upcoming spring launch?

John: Always.

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Be sure to check out Railriders online here and follow them on Instagram at @railridersgear.

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