After spending more than five years in development, it looks like the Honey Badger backpack from SlingFin is finally about to become a reality. The pack originally made headlines back in 2012 when the company first revealed that it was exploring options for creating a durable hardshell bag for use in the outdoors. But, it turned out there were a few design and production issues to overcome before it could be released to the masses. Now, it seems it is full speed ahead, for the Honey Badger, with a Kickstarter campaign schedule to launch next week.
Unlike most other packs, the Honey Badger actually features a translucent hardshell made from polyethylene and self-reinforced woven polypropylene. Those materials are held together with Perlon cord and cable ties, giving the pack a simple and clean look that was nevertheless incredibly complex to create. The team at SlingFin spent the last five years coming up with a way of using these materials together in a smart and efficient manner that lived up to the company’s high standards. The result is a backpack unlike anything else on the market today.
The Honey Badger’s rigid outer shell gives it a high level of durability while still managing to keep the pack surprisingly lightweight. SlingFin says that its production models will weigh in at 1 pound, 13 ounces and offer 25 liters of internal storage capacity. That keeps it out of the ultralight category of backpacks, but the hardshell does make it completely waterproof. The pack even ships with an integrated dry bag — complete with roll-top enclosure — to help keep moisture at bay.
One of the more intriguing features of the Honey Badger is that its shoulder straps and waist belt are removable, allowing it to quickly convert into a pannier for long-distance cyclists. This gives the bag a nice level of versatility that isn’t found in other backpacks. SlingFin says that its simple design makes it easily repairable in the field as well, which is something that hikers and cyclists can appreciate.
SlingFin, which is best known or making a line of very rugged tents, will launch its crowdfunding campaign for the Honey Badger on Monday, October 16. At this point, it is unclear what the retail cost of the pack will be or what kind of discounts early-bird supporters can expect. Those interested in receiving updates on the product can sign up for email alerts on the company’s website.