Honey Badger serves as a backpack and a bicycle pannier


October 10, 2012

The Honey Badger backpack is a durable composite pack that doubles as a bicycle pannier

The Honey Badger backpack is a durable composite pack that doubles as a bicycle pannier

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Once a relatively lesser known member of the animal kingdom, the honey badger rose to infamy last year, becoming a legend among critters. It's not all that surprising to see the animal referenced in a product name, especially one designed to bring some of the animal's tenacity and ferocity to the outdoors. The new Honey Badger backpack may not survive an all out attack by a honey badger, but it'll survive all kinds of other adventures.

"If you can’t show up with something that redefines the market, don’t bother to show up at all."

As that self-made introduction implies, SlingFin is a manufacturer bent on showing up to market with innovative solutions developed outside the box. It feels that other outdoor companies are too preoccupied with copying each other's designs, focusing on fashion and compromising for profit to properly innovate. We've seen its massive base camp tents in the past, and the Honey Badger backpack is a smaller manifestation of its design credo.

The Honey Badger has been developed with a goal of being super-tough, versatile and waterproof. It's designed for all kinds of outdoor activities, including climbing, backpacking and canyoneering. The Honey Badger is based around a semi-rigid shell that SlingFin calls the ExoPak. The pack is built out of abrasion-resistant composite and includes integrated tie downs and climbing rope for hanging, lashing and tucking gear. Inside, a removable dry bag liner keeps gear dry and fresh. Because of its semi-rigid construction, SlingFin is able to eliminate the internal/external suspension systems used in other backpacks.

The ExoPak secures to a shoulder-waist harness for use as a backpack. It can be quickly detached from the shoulder-waist harness, allowing it to be reconfigured as a bicycle pannier or duffel bag. We'd assume that SlingFin could also use the two-part system to allow you to use different shapes and sizes of packs with the same shoulder and waist harness. The company lists the weight of the 23-liter (1,400 cu in) Honey Badger at two pounds (.9 kg), or two pounds five ounces (one kg) with the dry bag.

To ensure that the pack is as much a survivor as its namesake, SlingFin ran the pack through what it calls "Test to Destruction." This regimen of abuse included dragging it behind a car at 60 mph (96 km/h), dropping it from 1,200 feet (366 m) while skydiving, and putting it through water testing. It didn't make it out of all tests unscathed (you can read more about that here), but it definitely showed grit and resolve.

In an effort to make it less beholden to investors and more focused on building gear, SlingFin has funded its operation mostly through funds raised from family, friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. As such, it has limited resources to usher its designs to production and has turned to Kickstarter in an effort to get Honey Badgers scampering off out of the factory.

SlingFin plans to get the Honey Badger to market next year with a retail of US$229. A $95 Kickstarter pledge gets you a build-it-yourself Honey Badger kit, and a $175 pledge gets you a full pack.

Source: SlingFin

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Apropos of Nothing: Author Robert Ruark named his auto/semi/non/- biography, The Honey Badger. Why? Because he said that it was the only animal in nature that went for the groin to make a kill ... a less than veiled reference about his formers wives and lovers. I can think of a lot of ways to work THAT into an ad campaign!

Gary Joyce

With a little tweaking, I could see this converting into a hammock or raft. I'll take 3% royalties, ha!


for someone like me who can carry and likes to carry all my gear, it's too small, make one that's 3 times bigger and i would be interested, other than that how about some camo versions?

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