Sometimes you don't have to reinvent the wheel; you just have to add a more functional inflation valve or lightweight spoke. That's the direction that TrekPak takes in redesigning the photography backpack. The start-up uses a new, simple type of hardware to make organizing your camera gear fast, easy and secure.
A camera backpack with configurable compartments is nothing new, in and of itself. What TrekPak brings to the table is a patent-pending pin system built into an organizer that's retrofitted to a regular backpack or hard case. So, instead of buying a dedicated photography backpack, you can get a regular backpack or carry case and outfit it with the TrekPak system.
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Trekpak adds custom compartments to your backpack when you have a lot of gear to organize, but can be pulled out and left at home when you don't need that level of organization. A regular backpack doubles as a sophisticated photography pack, reportedly making the TrekPak more comfortable and versatile than other photography backpacks.
Denver-based TrekPak also says that its pin-based system is superior to existing Velcro systems. The hardware consists of padded nylon walls and dividers with multitudes of holes on top. You can arrange walls in whatever way you need and then lock them in place with u-shaped pins. Slide, divide and secure. While TrekPak is built with photography in mind, the system can be useful to anyone with a lot of gear that needs to be neatly organized.
Of course, since backpacks and hard cases are different sizes and shapes, TrekPak is designing its organizers for specific packs. Currently the company is working on models for men's and women's Deuter Freeride Pro backpacks, as well as 15 different Pelican hard cases. The TrekPaks fit snugly within those models and are easy to install and remove. TrekPak hopes to add systems for additional backpack and hard case models in the future.
TrekPak recently kicked off a Kickstarter campaign looking for funding to finalize design, purchase materials and begin manufacturing. The company plans to get the product launched at the Overland Expo in Flagstaff, Arizona in May. The men's Deuter backpack with TrekPak system will retail for US$250, and the women's version will cost $220.
The video below shows the TrekPak system in action. About 2/3 of the way through, you might want to mute your computer if loud, obnoxious electronic music is something you try to avoid.