Cotopaxi Connect lets you build your own backpack with a confection of color

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Salt Lake City-based Cotopaxi is well known for its innovative outdoor gear and its efforts to make the world a better place. After all, the company backs up its “gear for good” motto by using part of its proceeds each year to fund some important projects around the globe, including efforts to educate girls in India and fight malaria in Africa. That is because the company was founded on the belief that it could use its own products to help improve the health, education, and livelihood of people living in the developing world. So far, it has gone to great lengths to stay true to that credo.

But if you ever took a look at the Cotopaxi catalog, you know the company has a whimsical side too. This routinely shines through in the gear it produces, which is usually colorful, fun, and unique. For instance, the Luzon daypack is a particular favorite with customers in part because of its simple, but functional design, but also because no two bags ever look exactly the same. This is due to the fact that Cotopaxi gives its pack makers free reign to mix and match whatever fabrics they choose when handcrafting an individual bag. The results are some of the most eye-catching backpacks imaginable.

Now, the company is hoping to give its customers the chance to actually create their own custom made Luzon packs as well. Through a new project dubbed Cotopaxi Connect, those customers will work in conjunction with the company’s professional pack designers at their factory in the Philippines. They will start by first signing on to cotopaxi.com where they will have the opportunity to sort through dozens of different colors and patterns that can be used to create their very own custom Luzon daypack. The site will allow them to assign their chosen colors and patterns to the top, bottom, front, and side panels of the pack, giving it a unique look unlike any other.

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Next, one of Cotopaxi’s pack makers will take a look at the request and match the color and pattern selections with other suitable options that will the be applied to the back panel and shoulder straps of the pack. Once the look of the bag meets with the customer’s approval, it will then be assembled to those exact specifications before shipping directly to their home.

Regardless of the colors used to make it, each Luzon built through Cotopaxi Connect will share a few of the same features. For instance, they will all be built to accept a hydration sleeve and will be made from repurposed fabrics that consist of highly durable nylon. They will also have a drawstring closure on the top, and a spacious main compartment for hauling around lots of gear. A zippered front pocket provides quick access to smaller items such as a smartphone, while lightweight shoulder straps, an adjustable sternum strap, and a waist belt allow the wearer to dial in just the right fit. It will also share the same design as the classic Luzon that Cotopaxi sells on its website, but its colors will be completely unique to that specific bag.

At the moment, Cotopaxi Connect is just a concept that the team at Cotopaxi is hoping to get off the ground with a Kickstarter campaign. The plan is to raise $25,000 to build the system that would allow customers to design their own daypack and interact directly with the company’s pack makers. If that goal is reached, the system is set to go online early in 2017 with the first custom packs shipping to customers in May. After it launches, using Cotopaxi Connect to build a Luzon pack will cost $80 (as opposed to $50 for a non-customized version), although early bird backers can reserve a pack now for a $45 pledge plus get free shipping.

To find out more about Cotopaxi Connect, visit the project’s official Kickstarter page.

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