About this project
Rethinking How We Carry Things
We don't always need ALL of our stuff.
We tend to collect bags that all suit different purposes. But what if there was one bag that could adapt to any type of activity? When setting out to solve this problem, our goal was to design a pack system that would allow users to break a full-size travel bag down into smaller "day bags" for shorter jaunts. With this solution, for example, travelers could reconfigure their carry-on to whatever size they needed it to be when they reached their destination.
We've got major charging anxiety.
Our phones always seem to run out of power at the worst times, forcing us to have to "ration" by closing apps, turning down the brightness of our phones, toggling Wi-Fi off -- you get the picture. Being power users ourselves, we focused on a solution that would provide a powerful, reliable energy source to take with us wherever we go.
Introducing the SOOT Electropack
- Transform your pack into three distinct sizes.
- Charge up to four devices at once -- from smart phones to tablets, and wireless speakers to smart watches. The SOOT Electropack charges anything that's USB-powered!
The Mini Messenger
The Mini Messenger (AKA the "Tablet Messenger") is the perfect small pack for quick trips into the city. At just over 10 Liters, you can pack in a light jacket, a 1-liter water bottle, your iPad (there's an integrated protective sleeve for that!) a book, your keys, and a bit more! On a long flight? Keep your entertainment charged up along the way via the built-in 10,000mAh battery! Includes an outward-facing battery compartment that houses the SOOT Battery with dual USB ports.
The Commuter is a space-optimized 24-Liter backpack with a protective laptop sleeve. This is your best bet for that daily commute to the office. Just like the Mini Messenger, the Commuter includes an outward-facing battery compartment that houses one SOOT Battery with dual USB ports.
Combine the Mini Messenger together with the Commuter to form the Carry-On. Made of premium ballistic nylon and ultra-high grade marine vinyl, this is the SOOT Electropack in its most voluminous form -- and it's the perfect travel bag for a weekend getaway. At just over 34 Liters, it's great for packing in larger cargo and taking on board your next flight!
The SOOT Electropack includes two outward-facing battery compartments (one in the Mini Messenger segment and one in the Commuter segment) to house the SOOT Battery with dual USB ports. Switch the battery between the two compartments according to your preference, or opt for the SOOT Electropack Volt! for twice the charging power.
Each SOOT 10,000mAh Battery keeps your phone juiced for up to a week off the grid. This is the thinnest battery in its class and sports a satin aluminum alloy enclosure. The dual USB ports allows you to charge two devices at once with up to 5.1V / 2.1A output. (This ensures your iPad charges at full speed, unlike many laptop USB ports.) Charge your mobile devices, wireless speakers, camping lights, or anything else that's powered by USB.
Battery life will depend on how many times a week you generally charge your devices. If your iPhone lasts an entire day, you're good for a week off the grid with a single-battery Electropack.
Upgrade to the SOOT Electropack Volt! to charge four devices at once for up to two full weeks (approx. 14 iPhone charges) off the grid!
Not planning on taking your bag with you? Good news: SOOT Batteries are easily removable and can be used independent of the bag system.
How it Works
That's awesome! How would I use it?
To Charge Your Devices
We're a generation of people who are constantly connected, but the mobile devices that we rely on struggle to make it through the day, especially when we're out and about. Never be stranded again!
As a Camera Bag
We've designed the Mini Messenger to be the perfect compact DSLR camera bag. Add the custom DSLR Camera Bag Insert to any pledge level for $29!
You never know when it could happen. Keep your friends' and family's phones charged up during emergencies or power outages.
Combine the Mini Messenger with the Commuter to form the Carry-On. Split the luggage-grade pack system in two once you're on board and stow the Commuter in an overhead bin. Keep the Mini Messenger at your seat to keep you loaded up with essentials for your flight -- your iPad, a bottle of water, a book, and a light jacket for when things get chilly.
For Short Hikes
If you're going off the grid and want to bring all your gear, you no longer have to pack smaller bags into your larger pack for when you go exploring. Simply detach the Mini Messenger from the Carry-On and you've got a light pack perfect for carrying a 1-Liter water bottle, a light jacket, a flashlight, and some energy bars.
To Carry Less Stuff
The modularity of the SOOT Electropack is what makes this an extraordinarily practical bag. Break it down to whatever size you need it to be and carry only what you need for the day.
The fact is, you don't always need all of your stuff. And when you do, just assemble the bags back together to carry more cargo.
You can either choose to combine the medium and small bags to form one large, open volume, or you can keep them isolated when they're attached so that you can access your smaller gear easier. There's a cinch-top sleeve at the top of the Mini Messenger and a closable pass-through at the bottom of the Commuter, so keep the pass-through open or keep it closed -- it's up to you!
Custom DSLR Camera Bag Insert
Add to any pledge level for $29
For die-hard photographers, the Mini Messenger works great as a camera bag. Add the custom Camera Bag Insert to protect your DSLR while you're on the go.
NEW! Custom Rain Cover: Add $24
Keep Your Gear Extra Protected
The SOOT Rain Cover has been custom-tailored to hug the SOOT Electropack, giving you an added layer of protection in a downpour.
An integrated pocket allows you to collapse the SOOT Rain Cover down for portability.
Laptop and Tablet Divider Sleeves
The Mini Messenger includes a divider sleeve lined with microfiber fabric to protect your tablet, resting right against the back pad for maximum shock absorption.
The Commuter sports the same microfiber-lined sleeve style for 15" laptops.
Organize Your Gear
There are plenty of pockets of all sizes to help organize your smaller gear in both the Commuter and Mini Messenger.
Hidden Passport Pocket
Keep cash and valuable documents like passports and ID tucked safely away between the seams of the back padding.
Alex, our Pattern Maker and Prototyper, has a ton of experience restoring interiors of classic cars and upholstering yachts with super high-grade Marine Vinyl. It's unconventional, but we were really inspired by this waterproof, fade-resistant material, so we decided to make it one of our main fabrics for the SOOT Electropack since it’s designed to withstand extreme weather conditions on yachts like direct sunlight, salty ocean air and sand.
Combined with luggage-grade Ballistic Nylon, the quality of our materials makes the SOOT Electropack the bag that travels extremely well and never fades.
A breathable channel runs through the center of the soft mesh back padding to allow for optimal air flow.
"Virtually Indestructible" Quick-Release Metal Coil Zippers
No plastic here! We're using the absolute highest-quality zippers available. The quick-release, water resistant metal coil zippers used on the SOOT Electropack are what's found on Jeep canvas tops. These zippers are designed to stand the test of time. Don't worry -- they won't break!
Colors: The Ballistic Series
Dark Grey Ballistic Nylon Body, Limon & Light Grey Honeycomb Marine Vinyl Accents, Light Grey Neoprene Trim
Black Ballistic Nylon Body, Mandarin & Black Honeycomb Marine Vinyl Accents, Black Neoprene Trim
Black Ballistic Nylon Body, Aqua & Black Honeycomb Marine Vinyl Accents, Black Neoprene Trim
Black Ballistic Nylon Body, Limon & Black Honeycomb Marine Vinyl Accents, Black Neoprene Trim
Colors: The Tidal Series
Waterproof Marine Vinyl Fabric in Cement with Limon Accents
Waterproof Marine Vinyl Fabric in Aqua
Waterproof Marine Vinyl Fabric in Limon
NEW! Tidal Carbon
Waterproof Marine Vinyl Fabric in Carbon with Aqua Logo Accents
Customize with a Friend
Not only can you switch up MiniMessenger and Courier packs with a friend, but the flaps on each Mini Messenger are swappable via a separating zipper as well!
Where Hardware and Soft Goods Collide
We're trained to study people and solve problems
Our team of product designers met back in 2008 when we were designing a modular hydration pack for Ultra Marathon runners. We studied the biorhythm of elite athletes on 100-mile runs to ensure the pack we were designing didn't interfere with the body's own natural cooling system. Our invention would enable runners to compartmentalize their hydration loads, reducing sloshing as the packs emptied. And since it was modular, the pack could be broken down to a single chamber for shorter races.
We're working together again with the goal of addressing the needs of a much larger population of people whose needs are continually evolving. What better way to address these needs than with a bag that literally transforms?
Where will the Kickstarter funds go?
The money you pledge here on Kickstarter will go directly toward paying to produce the SOOT Electropack. We've been working hard over the past year to refine and perfect the SOOT Electropack -- so when funding closes, we won't have to spend any more time or money developing our product -- it's already production ready.
Alex has created patterns that can be passed over directly to our manufacturing partner in San Diego. As soon as funding closes, Alex will head down to San Diego to kick off production and check quality.
Manufacturing and Shipping
We're manufacturing and shipping the SOOT Electropack with American companies whenever possible. This means that our fabrics, hardware, strapping, padding, etc. are being sourced from here in the United States. So far we've been unable to locate a battery manufacturer here in the States, so we do need to rely on a manufacturer in China to produce our battery. But all of our sourcing, production and fulfillment is staying domestic with US-based partners.
We're already making improvements
We've been using our SOOT Electropack prototypes for a few weeks now and have pinpointed a few areas for refinement and improvement, all of which will be complete by the time our funding closes:
- Pockets! We realize we need more of them. We're adding them at this very moment and will include photos in a backer update.
- Increase padding on shoulder straps
- Improve waist belt webbing
- Replace velcro on Mini Messenger flap with snaps at corners
- Add zipper pull cords to the Commuter pass-through flap and battery compartments
Sept. 17: Campaign Begins
Oct. 17: Funding Closes
Nov. 1: Production Kick-Off
Dec. 1: First Batch Complete
Dec. 15: First Batch Ships
Jan. 1: Second Batch Complete
Jan. 15: Second Batch Ships
Risks and challenges
While we have already lined up our manufacturing partner in San Diego and our fulfillment partner in Los Angeles, obstacles can always pop up when you least expect it. This is the nature of manufacturing. We've had several meetings with each of our partners and they're both committed to getting started as soon as funding closes. But if for some reason our manufacturing partner pulls out at any point (which is unlikely) we'd have to look for another partner.
All of our materials have been sourced here in the United States through multiple vendors. If any of the materials become unavailable, we may have to look for other (domestic) sources. This could potentially throw our delivery date off, but not by much. There are a lot of moving parts involved in creating the SOOT Electropack. If one of our vendors is slow to deliver the promised materials, this could also set us back a bit. To prevent this, we've located alternate sources for each of our materials to reduce any unforeseen delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
While solar technology is improving, it's still not efficient, reliable or affordable enough (all in one solution) for the mass consumer market. There are extremely efficient solar technologies that exist today, but they're incredibly expensive. And there are solar technologies that are affordable, but are completely inefficient. (We know -- we've tested them.) We do envision incorporating solar into future products at SOOT, but wanted to first bring you an affordable, highly reliable energy source that's as efficient as plugging directly into a wall outlet.
The SOOT Battery has been integrated right into the back padding of both the Mini Messenger and the Commuter so as to not take up any room in the bag. (And don't worry, the battery is super thin so you won't be able to feel it on your back through the padding.) When you zip the Mini Messenger to the Commuter to form the Carry-On, you can swap the battery between the Mini Messenger segment or the Commuter segment. (We recommend keeping the battery in the Mini Messenger segment since that's where your tablet and other mobile devices will generally be stored.)
The fabric on the Tidal Series is 100% waterproof, but any time you introduce seams and zippers, you have a chance for water to permeate. The Rain Cover is added protection to ensure your consumer electronics stay dry in a torrential downpour and is a great add-on for just $24.
Yep -- at native speeds, in fact. At 5.1V / 2.1A output, you're charging at speeds comparable to a traditional wall outlet.
Unfortunately laptops require too much power draw to charge from such a compact battery. The SOOT Electropack will, however, charge all of your other devices that are powered by USB -- like your Jambox, your Pebble, your iPhone, your iPad, or any Android device.
Yes. If you zip the outward-facing battery pocket closed, the ports become accessible from the inside of the bag.
It does. In fact, we were able to take a rolling suitcase on board a domestic flight with us in addition to the SOOT Electropack. The airline considered our modular pack system a "personal item."
These are extremely tough luggage-grade materials (which is what makes the SOOT Electropack so protective.)
The Carry-On (the Mini Messenger + Commuter bags zipped together) weighs 3.9 lbs.
The Mini Messenger on its own weighs 1.6 lbs.
The Carry-On: 26"L x 13"W x 6"H
The Commuter: 17"L x 13"W x 6"H
The Mini Messenger: Tapered (10.5"L at narrowest) (13"L at widest) x (6"W at widest) (4"W at narrowest) x 9"H
Camera Insert (Inner Wall Dimensions): Tapered (9.5"L at narrowest) (12"L at widest) x (5.5"W at widest) (3.5"W at narrowest) x 8.5"H
Battery: 6"L x 3"W x .375"H
Note: TSA states carry-ons can be only a maximum of 24"L, however since this is a soft pack, it easily condenses down to 24"L and fits perfectly into the "bag sizer." When we traveled with it, the airline considered the SOOT Electropack to be a personal item, and we had no issues bringing an actual carry-on with us on board. (This is a great way to not have to check any luggage!)
Suggested operating temperatures where the battery can be expected to perform at its peak levels are between 14°F to 122°F (-10°C to 50°C)
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