The Birth of VentaPak -- Origin Story
"This thing is legit a game changer for those who do long walks/hikes or bike" - C.J. Kuper, Kickstarter Backer, after field testing the VentaPak
Backpacks are one of the great inventions of all time. We rely on them to carry our stuff wherever we go, work, school, traveling, wherever. Since I was young, I have loved and depended on mine. However, after many years, many miles and many destinations, I became increasingly bothered by a few well known shortcomings in their comfort.
Most of all, after bike commuting in Manhattan for years, I got fed up with how my backpack clung to me when I rode, causing sweaty shirts and a sore spine. Both detracted from an otherwise exhilarating and pleasurable ride.
Like many inventions, the VentaPak originated from identifying a problem and thinking continuously (obsessively) how I might solve it. Working as an engineer, consultant, and start-up executive has been part of my longstanding drive to find ways to make things work better.
If I was having issues with my backpack, I was sure others were as well.
This is how the VentaPak was born.
I worked up a crude prototype with foam, mesh, and hook and loop attachment. Encouraged by how much better my bike rides felt with even this crude prototype and with support of some early fans, I began iterating designs with a leading industrial designer. The result is the current version of the VentaPak that’s available in our shop. I’m proud it’s made by a high quality and committed supplier who shares my vision for this innovative product.
In September 2020, we launched a Kickstarter campaign. With the help of the community, friends, family, and early beta testers, I succeeded in raising $8400 from 162 backers -- early adopters who mean a lot to us and were integral to our journey. The campaign was a lot of work but it was a great, public first step and validation of the appeal and potential of VentaPak.
In October, we initiated marketing on our website, www.ventapak.com, and Amazon and have been steadily growing sales.
We love hearing how people, all over the world now, are enjoying VentaPak with while biking, hiking, fishing, walking on campus, and even “working in a hospital" and now "able to carry their backpack with them all day.” Someone even described it as a “Herman Miller Aeron chair for the back.”
You can see what people are saying about the VentaPak on our website.
I love what Kickstarter Backer - C.J. Kuper, shared with me on the Kickstarter Comments board. This is what fuels our purpose and passion - improving people's daily lives and helping them enjoy the outdoors more!
I can’t wait to continue sharing the VentaPak. Thank you for coming along for the ride.
This thing is legit a game changer for those who do long walks/hikes or bike. I was out for 3hrs today on a hike with my dog it felt great the whole time. Even laid it down and used it as a pillow when my dog needed a rest and water. Full camelback and barely noticed it. Afterwards I took a little 5mile bike ride and it definitely felt a lot cooler than it did in the past. And I live in the gulf coast of Texas.
💯 happy with the purchase and am extremely glad I decided to back this product.
C.J. Kuper, Kickstarter Backer #162
VentaPak feels great on and I love hearing how it started. Thanks Mark!