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WHY REINVENT THE PACK?

At SlingFin, we pride ourselves on approaching design differently. When we decided to tackle a backpack, we started from scratch and developed something entirely new. 

The Honey Badger features a lightweight yet extremely durable semi-rigid external skeleton. We invented a new method of pack frame integration so new that we were awarded a US utility patent for the technology.

The pack body is made of a semi-rigid Durian (recyclable high density polyethylene with UV inhibitors) shell and a woven polypropylene thermoplastic composite. It carries more weight comfortably than a fabric pack of comparable size because of its rigid construction. Instead of needing a separate frame inside the pack, the pack body itself functions as a frame to evenly distribute the weight for a comfortable carry.

 A magnetic, auto-closing buckle facilitates easy one-handed opening and hands-free closing of the pack lid.

Throw an LED or even a phone flashlight in the body of the pack and the translucent material will illuminate, providing fantastic visibility for anyone who wants to be seen at night or generally look awesome.

Some might even say it's #lit.
Some might even say it's #lit.

The Honey Badger comes with a high-quality, 25-liter dry bag for unsurpassed protection from the elements and to ensure your pack contents stay dry, even when fully submerged.  

The roll-top dry bag fits neatly into the pack as a liner and can be used as an ultralight, standalone backpack.
The roll-top dry bag fits neatly into the pack as a liner and can be used as an ultralight, standalone backpack.

 The included Flip Pocket is reversible, with a mesh side and a solid side, and can be used to hold lights to light up the pack. Clips in the pack allow the pocket to be used underneath the lid or hanging down into the pack.

The mesh side of the pocket lets you easily find your essentials; the solid side offers increased protection.
The mesh side of the pocket lets you easily find your essentials; the solid side offers increased protection.

The Honey Badger can be used as a bicycle pannier with our pannier attachment. The pannier system can be mounted on the pack with the straps on. This means that unlike other pannier packs, you can seamlessly transition from carrying the pack on your bike to carrying it on your back.

 

The pannier attaches securely to the bike and keeps the contents of your pack accessible.
The pannier attaches securely to the bike and keeps the contents of your pack accessible.

 

Easily switch the pack from your bike to your back.
Easily switch the pack from your bike to your back.

The Honey Badger isn't just a great bike commuter's companion; it also shines as a climbing pack. The integrated daisy chain provides an abundance of places to clip gear and clothing, and sharp pieces of gear won’t poke the user in the back when stored inside the pack. 

Clip your carabiners, tamagotchis, etc. to the integrated daisy chain.
Clip your carabiners, tamagotchis, etc. to the integrated daisy chain.

An optional laptop sleeve clips to the inside of the pack instead of being integrated into the body. This innovative attachment method protects your laptop from impact in case the pack is dropped. It also allows the laptop sleeve to be removed and used as a standalone case.

The laptop sleeve has a pleated, zippered pocket that can accommodate even large chargers and cords.
The laptop sleeve has a pleated, zippered pocket that can accommodate even large chargers and cords.

  

Suspended sleeve design protects your laptop from drops.
Suspended sleeve design protects your laptop from drops.

The pack body's materials can be cut or melted to customize your pack. This allows you to add straps or other accessories to suit your needs If you somehow manage to damage your Honey Badger, it can be repaired quickly with readily available tools and items. 

Customization is easy with readily available materials.
Customization is easy with readily available materials.

 

Pile it on! The Honey Badger doesn't care.
Pile it on! The Honey Badger doesn't care.

The customization opportunities don't stop at straps. You can also "art" your Honey Badger with many conventional art media. The sky's the limit! Or just plaster it with stickers.

Illustration by Emi M (http://www.emimotokawa.com/)
Illustration by Emi M (http://www.emimotokawa.com/)

  

          TESTING

Over the past few years, we have used, abused, and generally beat the crap out of each prototype. We put it through the nastiest tests we could think of and from those results, we refined the design until we came up with something that was worthy of the Honey Badger name. Our testing included dragging it behind trucks, dropping it out of planes, floating through whitewater rapids, rappelling off waterfalls, and bushwhacking through canyons just to name a few.

We had lots of fun putting the pack through its paces.
We had lots of fun putting the pack through its paces.

THE PLAN

The design of the Honey Badger has reached the final prototyping stage and with your help can we begin full-scale production.

We have decades of experience producing and delivering sophisticated outdoor equipment. Our existing relationships with fabricators and materials suppliers will allow manufacturing to proceed smoothy. Finding the latest and best materials is what we do every day in making expedition gear.

Reaching our Kickstarter goal will allow us to purchase fabrics, foams, and other raw materials for production. It will also allow us to make production molds for the pack body and lid. These pre-production costs really add up. 

With your support we plan to deliver all Honey Badger packs within five months of project funding.

Ride off into the sunset with your new Honey Badger.
Ride off into the sunset with your new Honey Badger.

WHO IS SLINGFIN?

We're a Berkeley-based business founded in 2010 by former founders and employees of Mountain Hardwear. We strive to make the most innovative, best quality outdoor gear available, carrying on the spirit and sensibilities of the original outdoor industry innovators before corporate overlords and Wall Street money arrived.

Our LFD tent holding down the fort on Mount Everest
Our LFD tent holding down the fort on Mount Everest

 We entered the market in the Spring of 2011 with a limited number of tents for high-altitude expeditions. Our expedition tents are trusted by elite mountaineers all over the world, and have been used on many of the world's highest peaks.

The SlingFin family of expedition tents
The SlingFin family of expedition tents

 

 Since 2015, we have expanded our line to include several high-end backpacking tents that are perfect for those who aren't planning on taking their tents to Everest but still want the highest quality product design and construction available.

Our 3-season backpacking tents
Our 3-season backpacking tents

 

Some of us have worked in the industry for decades. Some of us are recent converts who punched out of the worlds of high-tech, online media and engineering to work in a more satisfying environment for little or no pay. We share a common passion for the outdoors and quality equipment.

Protoyping the Honey Badger's laptop sleeve
Protoyping the Honey Badger's laptop sleeve

Design is led by Martin Zemitis, who is perhaps the best-known tent designer in the world. His designs have been relied on for decades as trusted expedition shelters. Martin created all of SlingFin’s current offering of high-altitude expedition tents as well as all of Mountain Hardwear’s tents and most of their sleeping bags through 2008. He designed a number of tents and sleeping bags for Sierra Designs and The North Face before that. Martin’s product designs have won dozens of awards including Backpacker’s “Gear of the Year.”

Members of the design team working on a shelter prototype at our Berkeley studio
Members of the design team working on a shelter prototype at our Berkeley studio

We love the freedom and excitement of designing, building, and bringing to life new, innovative products and the true team spirit that comes with a start-up business in this industry.

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Risks and challenges

SlingFin has always relied on seed money from friends, family, and outdoor enthusiasts. Only with your help can we start full-scale production of the Honey Badger pack.

As an established company with a variety of products already on the market, SlingFin has a wealth of experience when it comes to getting products from idea to production. We've already located suppliers for all our materials and parts, in several cases from companies we already have relationships with. This means that risk is minimal, as we've already done the legwork on the small details that can derail other projects.

The main challenge we face as we enter production is scale. We produce the packs in our studio in Berkeley, CA by hand, and it's a time and labor-intensive process. If the pack takes off (and we hope it does!), we'll have to work to streamline production to prevent shipping delays. Funding will help us purchase machinery such as a laser cutter so that we don't need to outsource production. This will ultimately reduce price and lead time.

This Kickstarter is low-risk, and will mainly fund acquisition of the raw materials from suppliers that we've already vetted, as well as production of some of the accessories from companies that have already provided us with pre-production samples. All the pieces are lined up, and the funds from this campaign will be the final push that sets it all in motion.

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