About this project
- Stretch goal 1 - Reached! Everyone at the backpack level or above gets a free upgrade to tree-friendly straps. (Backers at the $30 or $50 hammock level can upgrade to straps for an additional $15.)
- Stretch goal 2 - Reached! backers at the hammock level and above can add $10 to get a sweet HackedPack v1.0 limited edition t-shirt.
Hi. My name is Nick Scroggs. I love hammocking with my friends, but many times during my day-to-day life I would stumble across a perfect hammocking spot with 30 minutes to kill, only to realize I'd left my hammock at home. That's when it came to me: if the hammock were part of the backpack, I'd be able to make any break anytime, anywhere just that much more relaxing. So I invented the Hammock-Backpack, an innovative combination of two of my favorite outdoor products.
The Hammock-Backpack is a high-quality day hiker's pack with a hammock hidden away in a specially designed pouch. It is quick and easy to set up and is perfect for hammockers of all types. I have been using mine every day for over a year to carry my school books, and I take it with me on all my bike rides. Even though I am super busy, with my Hammock-Backpack I still find time to hammock 2 or 3 times a week.
With the Hammock-Backpack you can hammock ANYTIME ANYWHERE. It's great for a 10 minute break, an hour lunch break, or an afternoon with your family or friends. You'd be surprised how quickly you can turn a grove of trees into a fun, lively, and relaxing place! Just don't forget to pack out what you pack in. Please hammock responsibly :)
Setting up the Hammock-Backpack is as easy as 1-2-3, just
When you are ready to go, just pack it up.
It's quick and easy!
My friend and business partner, Fred Bane, and I are both Americans, currently living in Nanjing, China. I am a Master's student in 'Teaching Chinese as a Second Language' and Fred is a media producer and translator for an NGO which often sends him to the far reaches of this beautiful country.
A few months ago I saw Fred's backpack and offered to make a Hammock-Backpack for him. Later that day while hammocking it just sort of clicked: we love this thing, and we think other people might too. So we shook hands and agreed to start a Kickstarter in order to raise part of the funds needed for the first production run.
In May of 2013, Fred and I founded HackedPack with the goal of making hammocking a greater part of everyday, spontaneous urban life.
The idea for the Hammock-Backpack came into my head pretty much fully formed one afternoon last year: a hammock hidden away inside a special pocket on the back of the pack. However, this did not mean that every pack would work equally well.
The pack is the critical component of the Hammock-Backpack, so we invested the most time and thought into bag selection.
We decided to go with a hiking-style pack. We really like all the awesome pockets and large main bag. The ventilation void is spacious and accessible from the outside. This provides easy access and good a storage space for the hammock.
Hammock selection was also very important to us. After spending 100's of hours in hammocks, we know that larger hammocks are more comfortable and versatile.
In the photo on the left you can see how much bag space you save by installing the hammock in the ventilation void. We tested out a number of hammocks of different sizes and quality and decided to go with a 3 meter (9.8 feet), triple stitched nylon 'parachute-hammock.' We have tested the hammocks up to 350 pounds, but have not stressed one to breaking yet, so we do not know the maximum capacity. We will post an update with this information. The hammocks are comfortable, durable and are easily removable for cleaning.
The Flap is an essential feature of the Hammock-Backpack. Without the flap the hammock looks messy and falls out of the sides.
The flaps added to our prototypes are made of black denim and are secured using velcro. Although this is fine for a single pack for a personal project, it is not professional enough and would not really scale. However, the local factory managers all said it would not be a problem to add on a zippered pocket of the same material as the pack during production.
Many hammocks and hamocking systems do not come with straps. We want our backers to be able to go hammock the moment they receive their Hammock-Backpack. We decided on going with a long loop of strong rope that has a lot of overhand knots tied along the length. This would allow for quick set-up without any need for any measuring before hand.
Since we hit our stretch goal of $9000, we are offering a free upgrade to tree-friendly straps for all backers at the backpack level and above. (Backers at the $30 or $50 hammock level can upgrade to straps for an additional $15.)These things are super long, over 3 meters, and very secure. They can fit around a huge tree trunk with tons of room to spare.
Every factory has a minimum order for a custom production run. It took us a long time to even find a factory that would do anything less than 1000 (some would only discuss orders of 10,000+ units).
Not only are we trying to raise money for that first production run, but we are also trying to gauge the interest in our product. We are willing to invest our own money in this project, but we would hate to have 200 Hammock-Backpacks collecting dust in Fred's home office with no one to buy them.
So while we are slightly limited by the size of this order, If this run is successful, the sky's the limit! We have tons of ideas for how to improve the hammocking experience and are really looking forward to the future.
Our goal is to raise $6,000 to partially cover the cost of the first run.
Living in China and speaking the language has certain advantages. We have access to all kinds of producers. We looked around, and found a mom and pop backpack factory just outside of Nanjing run by Mr. Tang and his wife, Ms. Jiang. When we say "mom and pop factory" we mean it. Mr. Tang opened his small factory about 8 years ago after a change in management at his old factory. Because of his reputation as an honest and friendly person, many of his clients followed him to his new factory. They specialize in export to the European market, but said he was more than willing to help us produce a small batch of customized backpacks for our first production run. Because of Nanjing's convenient public transit system, we can take the hour and half trip to the factory by subway and bus. This will make quality control and inspection very convenient.
For the hammocks we found another small factory outside Yiwu that had amazing quality hammocks at an unbeatable price. He has also helped us get in touch with someone that can provide tree straps, and we are currently negotiating with them.
Unless the number of packs ordered vastly exceeds our goal, we will have the rewards delivered to all our supporters before the start of "Hammocking Season 2014" (otherwise known as "Spring").. After the project wraps, we will have the factory begin production. Mr. Tang said it would take about 45 days to get the product to us. We estimating about 2 weeks for the final assembly and packaging we are doing ourselves. We are also factoring in another 2 months for shipping.
To keep the prices manageable, we will be shipping by container ship from China to America and then using the U.S. Postal service. Non-U.S. orders will have to be shipped individually from China so shipping costs will be a little more.
You can learn more about us and our product by following the links below
- www.HackedPack.com - Our website
- www.facebook.com/HammockBackpack - Our Facebook page
- www.twitter.com/HackedPack - Our twitter feed
- www.KickingItForward.org - Support other great Kickstarter projects.
- www.reddit.com/r/hammocks - A great place to connect with and talk to other hammock enthusiasts
- Listing on Gadget-Review - where they describe our product better than we can ourselves!
- Listing on Startup Tank
Risks and challenges
Because of our location and our ability to speak Chinese, we don't foresee any major problems with the production side. However, there can always be unexpected delays. We will do our best to minimize these by being proactive and visiting our selected factories before, during and after production. Look forward to updates on this.
We will also be doing some of the final assembly and packaging ourselves. If there is overwhelming demand for the Hammock-Backpack, then it might cause some delays. However, we have coordinated to have about 10 part time employees that have already promised to help us for a few 5 hour days at only $10 an hour. We hope this will reduce or eliminate any delays.
Because we may be shipping to location all over the world, there can also be delays involved with handling and customs. We are currently doing a lot of research to make sure that the shipping will be both smooth and cost effective.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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