About this project
We’ve all been there: asking our friends to borrow their truck or running items through our open windows because they’re too large to fit in our car. The Stowaway makes it so you never get stuck trying to move items too big for your vehicle, or trying to squeeze yourself around gear in the back seat. It’s an amazingly versatile roof rack that helps your car do more. We're excited about it. Hopefully you are too!
Are you press? Click here for high res images and the Stowaway backstory.
With tool-free setup, the Stowaway stores easily in your trunk then assembles into a full roof rack when you need it. It fits on any car - no bars or rails needed - and carries almost anything: skis, boxes, furniture, you name it!
Plus, it’s feature packed. The Stowaway can connect to your roof or your trunk. Vertical pillars hold narrow items like skis or snowboards, while rubber pads accommodate wide items like boxes or lumber. Slots intersect the rack making it easy to attach items in almost any configuration. Plus, it’s super customizable. Threaded inserts make it easy to bolt on existing accessories, or to make your own. And that’s just the start of it!
Using it’s patent pending tie down method, the rack attaches to your car with durable nylon straps which lay flush against the roof to reduce noise and vibration. This makes it possible to connect the rack to any car. It also makes it possible to use many rack units together. For instance, use three rack blocks together and the track carries 6 sets of skis or snowboards.
There are two options for the Stowaway - a two block version called the Duo and a four block version called the Quad.
The Duo is perfect for long, narrow items like skis, snowboards, lumber, surfboards, narrow kayaks and boxes.The Quad is for larger items like plywood, furniture, or a family’s worth of skis.
What's It Carry?
The Stowaway carries just about everything. The Duo is better for narrow items, while the Quad handles wide items like boxes, tables, and large furniture. Some common items the Duo carries are: skis (2 pair), snowboards (2 pair), kayaks, surfboards, 2x4s, lumber planks, piping, wakeboards, waterskis, and other long, narrow items. The Quad is essentially two Duos put together. It carries double the number of items as the Duo, plus accommodates large items like plywood, large furniture (tables, mattresses, etc), and cargo racks. The Quad can also be retrofit to carry rack rails like traditional roof racks.
How Does It Attach?
The Stowaway simply straps to the top of your roof or trunk. This is what makes it such a versatile, and convenient solution. Here's a short video to illustrate the ease of setup.
Growing Up With Kickstarter
I mentioned briefly this isn't my first Kickstarter campaign. It's not my second either. I launched my first campaign in July of 2011 when I was a Freshman in college and Kickstarter was just two years old. My second campaign - the Handleband - went live two years later.
What's cool to see is how one can experience Kickstarter's growth through the change of its community and campaign creators. If you look back at my own campaigns this change is striking. In my first project video, I looked like a baby. Fast forward to today, and like Kickstarter itself, I've become older and more composed.
When I launched the WINGStand (my first project), the world of product design was completely new to me. As a parallel, Kickstarter was also young and learning about what it meant to bring good ideas to life. My first project was simple, but fraught with manufacturing challenges and delays. So too did Kickstarter go through its own growing pains as it made it to the big stage.
The Handleband was smoother. I was older, and knew what I was doing, and as a result the project raised double my first campaign. Kickstarter too was finding its stride. Between 2011 and 2013, the amount pledged on Kickstarter increased nearly five fold. New rules came out to make campaigns more effective and reliable, as the platform grew into a household name.
There's still a lot to do. Fresh out of school and full of ambition, I have a lot planned - the first step of which is the Stowaway. Kickstarter too is growing larger and larger. A new million-dollar project seems to pop up every week these days. As we look forward, it's worth taking the time to look back. Crowdfunding has come a long way. So has its community. I'm incredibly grateful for the journey thus far, and to have been part of such a powerful movement.
That said, what's most exciting to me is what's next.
Are You Press?
Perfect! We've compiled a press kit with our favorite photos and videos. You can find that folder by clicking on "Press Kit" below! Thanks for the support!
Can I order internationally? Yes, just select international shipping when you choose your reward
Can I order more than one? Yep! If you want an extra Duo just add an extra $45 to your pledge (i.e. for 2 Duos, pledge $95). If you want an extra Quad add $85 to your pledge (i.e. for 2 Quads, pledge $180).
Why The Stowaway and not a Yakima or Thule rack? Portability, affordability, and versatility. The Stowaway is super compact and costs 80% less than traditional roof racks. You can also trade the rack between different cars, unlike a bolt-on rack.
Will it leave marks? The rubber strips on the rack are designed to prevent scratching and vibration. For them to work effectively, you must first clean the surface where you are placing the rack. Otherwise, the dust and dirt may get trapped and mark your car. In this way, the rack functions like most soft racks or bicycle trunk racks.
When do you plan to deliver? February of 2017. We already have production samples, so we know we can make the Stowaway. Factory production usually takes 8 weeks, and shipping 6 weeks. Units should begin shipping to backers in late February.
Does it work with my car? The Stowaway works with any car, but it’s best for 4 door vehicles with flat roofs. With 2 door cars, the rack blocks can’t be placed at distance from each other. If your roof has rails, it’s easier for the straps to catch wind. That said, the rack holds strong for all of those cars and will definitely help you get your items home.
Is there weight limit? We recommend not loading a pair of rack blocks with more than 75lbs of weight (a pair of skis, for comparison, weighs roughly 6lbs).
Is there a speed limit? Depending on conditions, driving past a certain speed will cause the straps to create vibrate and create noise. We’ve reached 100mph without noise. However, the recommended no-noise speed limit is 65mph. This is a much faster speed than our competitors.
Roof or Trunk? Yep, you can strap the rack to your trunk if you simply want to free up your back seat. It makes a sweet snowboard-spoiler if you’re jonesing to get to the mountains.
Does the Strap Get in the Way? For most cars, you hardly notice the strap. It is designed to stay above the user's forehead and outside of their direct field of vision. If you have a particularly short car (to all you Ferrari drivers) or if you're especially tall (6' 5" or taller) you may notice the strap more, but it should still be fine for short trips when you're stuck moving something large.
Can it hold my bike? The Stowaway is not designed to hold bikes by itself, but we hope to release a bike-carrier kit if the main Kickstarter campaign is successful. This kit will bolt into the blocks of the Stowaway Quad and carry up to two bikes.
How do I customize the rack? The rack accepts standard 1/4"-20 bolts, meaning you can bolt on almost anything. We hope to release after the campaign for standard Yakima and Thule accessories. Until then, let your creativity wild!
I want that cargo carrier! Yea, it's pretty sweet! If we reach our goal, we may add a cargo carrier or bike rack as a stretch goal. If not, we'll let you know how to get one yourself.
What else should I know? This rack is a great solution for around the town driving or the casual sports enthusiasts. The idea for it came when I was trying to bring back some 2x4s from Home Depot but couldn’t fit them in my trunk or backseat. Careful driving is still recommended. You shouldn’t slam on your brakes with heavy cargo on your roof - with this rack or any other. That said, if you’re looking for a convenient way to bring your skis to the mountain, or bring some lumber home from the hardware store, the Stowaway has got you covered!
Special thanks to Rob Van-Dusen for his great work and patience helping on this campaign. He's a really good person. Video credit goes to Scott Lynch (http://www.scottlynchfilm.com/). Extra thanks to my Grandma for her tremendous acting in the garage sale scene.
Risks and challenges
Physical products are a hard business, but we've done this before and know what we're in for. The largest challenge we face is production lead time. While we have production samples already, it still takes time to manufacture the final units and ship them to the states. If production obstacles pop up (international holidays, supply chain issues, etc) that may push our production back slightly. Likewise, if demand is larger than expected, it may take more time to get all our products shipped. We know that this product can be made, and we know that it functions properly, and we're working hard get it to you quickly. We'll be sure you know whats going on as we move towards our ship date.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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