Let us be the first to admit that ours is a gear-heavy industry. To strike the right balance of weight, material and performance to suit each and every sport, there are tons of hyper-specialized gear pieces—approach shoes for accessing crags, road bike-specific shorts, singletrack hydration packs—and it seems like new categories are being invented every day. So when tiny, San Francisco-based gear company Boreas set out to create a new pack system that included a dry bag, day pack and hydration pack, it wanted to be budget-friendly without compromising performance. Rather than build three entirely separate packs (expensive) or one do-everything pack (with inherent shortcomings), Boreas dreamed up the Bootlegger series.
The Bootlegger is a 3-in-1 modular pack system in which the individual packs—30-liter Scrimshaw Dry Bag, 28-liter Hopper Day Pack and 13-liter Torpedo Hydration Bag—mount onto the same, proprietary Triple Tramp Suspension, bringing down the overall cost and weight of the system, as well as allowing you to customize what you bring on your next adventure based on the activities you’ll be doing. It looks like a sharp system, and we wrote about the Bootlegger a couple of months ago, after seeing it at Outdoor Retailer.
After announcing plans for the system, Boreas started a Kickstarter campaign in early April to raise $10,000 for production, an increasingly common practice among small or budding gear companies (see examples here, here and here). Within a day, they'd made their goal, and now the campaign is careening towards $90,000 with nine days left to go. They've set a new goal of $100,000, with intentions of creating an online store specifically tailored to the Bootlegger, where customers will be able to tailor their system for other uses, like photography, snow sports and bike touring.
It's impressive to say the least, though we can't say we're too surprised. It's a completely flexible system. The packs can nest inside of each other—dry bag on the outside for inclement weather—allowing you to carry the whole, four-pound set on a big adventure. Or you can mix and match them, bringing one or two along on a trip, and mounting activity-specific packs on the suspension as you need them—for a rafting trip, day hike or, say, a day of singletrack downhill. Also, the proprietary Triple Tramp Suspension is customizable.
And, at $200 for the Bootlegger set, it's entirely reasonable. Check out the video below, then click through to the Boreas Bootlegger Kickstarter page to learn more, and to order your own system at a discount.