A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Welcome to our project! We’re brothers Brian & Dan… and we're making the World's Best Icepack for Beverages. We call it YAKET ICE... the only ice you'll need for your cooler!
Regular ice can be great for cooling... but you need to fill up your cooler up for it to be most effective and it often ends up a melted soggy mess.
Ice packs are a great concept... they offer great convenience but most are generally ineffective at really cooling beverages when compared to ice. Some of them even market themselves as ‘chillers’. Would you rather have a ‘chilled’ beverage or an ‘ice cold beverage’?
We believe we've designed the world's best beverage ice pack… better than a typical ice pack and even better than ice in many ways. Read on for the details...
While YAKET ICE is a very unique product, it’s fundamentally still an ICE PACK with all of the inherent benefits… leave one (or two or three) in your freezer and it’s grab and go when you need it. It won’t ‘melt’ and make a pool in your cooler. Go ahead and add snacks, sandwiches, etc. to your cooler without worrying about drowning them.
The pack is much larger than a typical scalloped beverage ice pack… weighing in at just over 3 lbs. The reasoning is simple, a bigger pack has much more cooling capability to get your drinks colder, faster… and keep them colder, longer.
Shape-wise the pack is longer and wider, but we’ve also made the pack taller than typical scalloped packs to better match beverage sizes. Overall, it's 9.9" X 3.25" X 5". While the pack is ‘larger’, it still fits in many ‘small’ sized coolers. When using with cans, you can even stack them if that works best for your cooler size.
We use the best/coldest cooling fluid. Our pack freezes at -15C/5F... most packs freeze to ~0C/32F. The -15C/5F cooling gel is much more expensive... but we're out to make it the best pack, not the cheapest pack.
We’ve designed a compression ICE BAND to assure your pack and beverage always remain in contact. The band is held securely in place by grooved features on the pack ends.
The ICE BAND is key to promoting maximum heat flow between the beverage and pack through conduction. We have a patent pending on our innovative pack design.
Lastly, we designed standoffs on the bottom of the pack to limit how much of the pack touches the bottom of the cooler. We're all about maximizing YAKET ICE's ability to make your beverage cold.
There are many factors that come into play when reviewing pack performance. Beverage type, beverage size, beverage starting temperature, cooler type, cooler size, ambient temperature, how frequently the cooler is opened and closed... to name a few.
We've optimized YAKET ICE for 'outings' use... think tailgating, a day at the beach, a BYO cookout, etc. As such, we want the pack to get beverages super cold as fast as possible... and keep them very cold for at least 12 hours... with no extra ice required.
We're not testing in best-case scenarios. To highlight the cooling capability, the testing below was done on 16oz water bottles... these are 33% larger than your typical 12oz beverage.
Again, we're not testing in best-case scenarios. All testing was performed in medium sized, inexpensive consumer grade coolers (think Coleman/Igloo not YETI). The better your cooler, the better your long term cold keeping performance will be.
The packs are constructed to last years and years. Again, we're trying to make it the best... not the cheapest.
The cooling gel (non-toxic) does not lose it's cooling effectiveness over time.
The housing is durable HDPE plastic (recyclable) molded extra thick to handle the 3lb+ pack weight and to keep it's shape over time.
The seal point is a special small diameter 'over cap'... which we believe to be more durable and long lasting versus a typical larger 'plug-style' seal.
We've thermally stressed the packs by taking them straight out of the freezer onto a 100+ degree deck... and repeated. No issues.
We've physically stressed them... packs have been drop tested 24 times from 3 feet onto concrete. No issues.
The ICE band is molded from high tear strength silicone. It's not a flimsy part, these will last years and years. I've tried to 'snap' one by over stretching and I can't do it! No issues.
We've designed/configured a premium, long lasting product. The reality is that when you manufacture products in higher quantities, some things can go wrong occasionally. We're all about making a quality product and providing exceptional customer service. If you experience a product issue, we're here to take care of it (we've been in business over 10 years now).
Super Cold Considerations
Due to the pack size/weight and the -15C/5F freeze point, it takes about 36hrs. to freeze a room temperature pack in a normal freezer (most consumer freezers are set at -18C/0F or lower). If you intend to use YAKET ICE daily... pledge for two or more:)
Can my drink get too cold? Depending on factors, it's possible to freeze or partially freeze drinks. We've partially frozen 12oz bottled waters. Most beers and sodas are carbonated and under pressure... both of which lower the freeze point to ~28F. YAKET ICE will get them there! We've not frozen an unopened beer or soda outright, but we've iced up a few upon opening and releasing the pressure and carbonation. If in doubt, a minute out of the cooler before opening will typically take care of any issue.
We're two brothers that started a product design & development company… aptly named Conti-Bros, Inc. Brian is a mechanical design engineer and Dan has a business background. We see opportunity when we run across products that seem to make sense, but yet don't work well. Typical beverage ice packs were a perfect example... we have them, but we don't use them because they just don't work well.
While we've done lots of projects of various types... over a year ago we developed a silicone grip sleeve for the very popular YETI vacuum insulated Rambler tumbler series. I still remember sitting at my kitchen island with my brother brainstorming names. Dan threw out YAKET... and we laughed and moved on with other names. But after a while, we came back to YAKET and decided to add grip to it and go with it... it seemed kinda unique and memorable. And so, the YAKET brand got it's start.
We decided to build on the YAKET brand with YAKET ICE… we love our brand and think the pack is a nice complimentary product to the tumbler grips.
The design work is done. The tooling is mostly complete. We've prototyped and tested... and prototyped and tested... (make sure you check out the prototype galley section above). The next step is initial production... there are two parts to make... the pack and the band. The supplier who has prototyped the pack will be doing the production. We've been impressed with the supplier's capabilities and have developed a good relationship with them. I'm confident they'll do a good job making the production packs.
We have great experience with the supplier of the silicone rubber YAKET Ice Band... it's the same supplier that makes our original YAKETgrip. We've received the prototypes to test and review the design... the next step is to move forward with initial production on this part.
As far as schedule goes, if funding goes well, we plan to finish up production tooling approvals and get in to production in August... allowing us to start fulfillment in September and into October.
We do it ourselves! Sure there are lots of services who pack and ship products to backers. Many projects utilize services that even ship directly from factories to backers. These services are just not a fit for us... we need to get the parts ourselves. We'll inspect each one before we package them up. Sometimes we’ll throw a surprise extra in a random box… or into a box of a backer who’s been active helping us get visibility for the project.
Fulfillment is a lot of work, but we want to make sure everything is right!
We provide a tracking number when your reward ships and we’re easy to get in touch with if there are any issues. Remember, we’ve shipped many projects before… we’ll get it done!
Kickstarter is a great platform... it helps us in two big ways...
1- Funds... The funds we raise go towards the upfront expenses associated with the project... patent filing, tooling up the product, and producing the initial production.
2- Market interest and feedback... Does the world want a better icepack? We sure think so... our experience has been that many people don't mind spending a bit more to get unique/superior performing products (and support small entrepreneurial businesses as well). Hopefully many will support the project. We are eager to get the product into backer hands to get feedback.
Risks and challenges
While the 'Conti Brothers' Kickstarter account is new... we've individually created and fulfilled 9 Kickstarter projects under our own names, Brian & Dan. We've backed 60+ projects. We're experienced with the Kickstarter process and what it takes to get a project from idea to reward fulfillment. For us, the risks come down to 1-relying on supplier/partners for the quality manufacture of our designs, 2-getting everything done per schedule, and 3-Effectively handling logistics of this medium sized/heavy product. To mitigate risks, we've done a good amount of up front prototyping to validate the design and develop a good relationship with the selected parts manufacturers. Beyond that, we'll work extra hard on the back end to maintain our established record of largely on time fulfillment! Through it all, we'll keep you regularly updated... we're very update-y :)