Title:
MODULAR BACKPACK SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular backpack system may be provided. The modular backpack system includes a first back panel, a second back panel configured to be removably attached to the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel, and an adjustable attachment system connected to the first surface of the second back panel including a plurality of attachment rails disposed along at least a portion of the vertical length of the second back panel in a substantially parallel configuration.



Inventors:
Hunter, Scott Leroy (Wellesley Hills, MA, US)
Application Number:
12/408246
Publication Date:
09/23/2010
Filing Date:
03/20/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/156, 224/583, 224/637, 224/642, 224/645
International Classes:
A45F4/02; A45F3/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080231029Tool support adapter for trailer hitch receiverSeptember, 2008Hummel
20090120986Pivoting hitch-mountable bicycle carrierMay, 2009Sautter et al.
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20070210088Receptacle with ventSeptember, 2007Wentz et al.
20080251553Lanyard device for childrenOctober, 2008Goldstone et al.
20070000964Accessory for detachably connecting a web-belt to a backpack or the likeJanuary, 2007Howell
20090201671Illuminated BackpackAugust, 2009Huntley



Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PEPPER HAMILTON LLP (UNION TRUST BUILDING 501 GRANT STREET, SUITE 300, PITTSBURGH, PA, 15219-4429, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A modular backpack system, the system comprising: a first back panel; a second back panel configured to be removably attached to the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel; and an adjustable attachment system connected to the first surface of the second back panel including a plurality of attachment rails disposed along at least a portion of the vertical length of the second back panel in a substantially parallel configuration.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the plurality of attachment rails comprise a T-beam cross section with a stem and the stem is connected to the first surface of the second back panel and the plurality of attachment rails are positioned to be accessible while the second back panel is attached to the first back panel.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein the modular backpack system further comprises a set of removable shoulder harness straps attached to the first back panel.

4. The system of claim 3 further comprising a removable waist strap attached to the second back panel.

5. The system of claim 4 further comprising a modular pack designed to attach to the attachment rails via a plurality of cam lock mechanisms.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein the second back panel further comprises a lumbar pad flexibly attached to a bottom edge of the second back panel and the lumbar pad can be moved relative to the second back panel to form an L-shape camp chair.

7. The system of claim 6 wherein the lumbar pad may be unfolded from the second back panel to form a substantially flat sleeping mat.

8. A portable camp chair, the chair comprising: a back panel; a seat pad flexibly coupled to the bottom edge of the back panel; and a plurality of side support straps with a first end connected to the back panel and a second end connected to the seat pad and disposed to operate in tension to restrict the back panel and seat pad to substantially an L-shape while the camp chair is in use; wherein the camp chair is configured to integrate into a wearable system when not in use.

9. A modular backpack system, the system comprising: a first back panel; a second back panel configured to be removably attached to the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel; and an adjustable attachment system connected to the first surface of the second back panel including at least one attachment rail: wherein the first back panel attaches to the second back panel by covering at least a portion of a center section of the first surface of the second back panel.

10. The system of claim 9 wherein the at least one attachment rail comprises a T-beam cross section with a stem and the stem is flexibly connected to the first surface of the second back panel.

11. The system of claim 10 wherein the at least one attachment rail comprises two attachment rails, and the two attachment rails are disposed along at least a portion of the vertical length of the second back panel in a substantially parallel configuration.

12. The system of claim 11 wherein the modular backpack system further comprises a set of removable shoulder harness straps attached to the first back panel.

13. The system of claim 12 further comprising a removable waist strap attached to the second back panel.

14. The system of claim 13 further comprising a modular pack designed to attach to the attachment rails via a plurality of cam lock mechanisms.

15. The system of claim 9 wherein the second back panel further comprises a lumbar pad flexibly attached to a bottom edge of the second back panel and the lumbar pad can be moved relative to the second back panel to form an L-shape camp chair.

16. A modular backpack system, the system comprising: a first back panel configured and disposed adjacent to a user's back, the first back panel including a fastening flap; and a second back panel configured to be removably inserted into to the fastening flap of the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel; wherein the first back panel and the second back panel cover substantially the vertical length of the user's back when the second back panel is inserted into the fastening flap of the first back panel and the first back panel is worn by the user adjacent to the user's back; wherein the second back panel is configured to be removed from the fastening flap of the first back panel, unfolded to a first position, and used separately as a camp chair in the first position and further configured to be unfolded to a second position and used separately as a sleeping pad.

17. The modular backpack system of claim 16 further comprising at least one module that is removably attached to the second back panel.

18. The modular backpack system of claim 17 wherein the at least one module is daypack.

19. The modular backpack system of claim 18 further comprising an additional volume module removably attached to the second back panel.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a modular backpack system.

BACKGROUND

Currently, most backpacks are constructed with a specific size (that can be minimally reduced with compression materials or straps)and are therefore limited by design to meet a limited range of hiking/backpacking activities. Further, packs are designed to carry camping gear, and are not designed to serve a secondary purpose. Further, when a backpacker/hiker carries a backpack, it is critical that the bulk of the weight being carried be proportionately distributed near to the user's spine, and low on the user's hips. Using too small/too large of a pack can cause severe discomfort and/or injury. Further, almost ⅔ of the 13.5 million Americans who backpack take at least three trips a year, and activity studies have shown interest in different durations/types of trips within this multi-user group. The combined impact of these factors creates a setting in which users are forced to buy a series of different sized backpacks to meet their own varying needs. There is therefore a desire for a backpack system that can support multiple individual needs, regardless of the trip planned or the gear that needs to be carried, by allowing greater versatility in the size of the pack.

Thus, there exists a need for a backpack which, via a modular system of core components and modules that can be used individually or collectively, provides pack equipment that is capable of being tailored to different size requirements, and multi-configurable by the user to several different types of activities or uses in which backpackers and hikers engage.

SUMMARY

From the discussion given above it can be appreciated that an improved modular backpack system is desirable. The following discussion provides improved modular backpack systems and methods.

Embodiments of the systems and methods described herein provide a product that allows interaction of a series of components to create a backpack system that can be used collectively or independently as individual components. The upper and lower pack components connect to form a back panel, and accept connection of modules to the back panel via an attachment system placed on the back panel and disposed along the vertical length of the back panel. In so me embodiments, the adjustable attachment system on the back panel provides a free range of motion in the sense that there are substantially no limits for where a module can be connected to the back panel. This will allow users to best adjust their carried load to adhere to generally accepted methods for loading, in which the majority of weight being carried is to be placed low (near hips) and close to the user's back. Further, this functionality can allow users to customize their pack for specific uses based on the equipment they need, eliminating the need to carry additional weight generated from packs that are too big for a user's need. Some embodiments can allow each individual component/module within the system as a whole to be used independently from the system to expand the useful nature of the gear, and to allow for secondary uses of each piece.

Further, there exists additional opportunity for this system to be used in military applications, by soldiers who must carry their own gear, and whose gear may change between roles. By allowing quick-connection of modules, every soldier could be issued the core backplane, and modules could be applied thereto based on need. The release of modules can allow soldiers to remove weight quickly in an emergency situation.

In general, in an aspect, a modular backpack system may be provided. The modular backpack system includes a first back panel, a second back panel configured to be removably attached to the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel, and an adjustable attachment system connected to the first surface of the second back panel including a plurality of attachment rails disposed along at least a portion of the vertical length of the second back panel in a substantially parallel configuration.

Implementations of the system may include one or more of the following features. The plurality of attachment rails comprise a T-beam cross section with a stem and the stem is connected to the first surface of the second back panel and the plurality of attachment rails are positioned to be accessible while the second back panel is attached to the first back panel. A set of removable shoulder harness straps attached to the first back panel. A removable waist strap attached to the second back panel. A modular pack designed to attach to the attachment rails via a plurality of cam lock mechanisms. The second back panel further comprises a lumbar pad flexibly attached to a bottom edge of the second back panel and the lumbar pad can be moved relative to the second back panel to form an L-shape camp chair. The lumbar pad may be unfolded from the second back panel to form a substantially flat sleeping mat.

In general, in another aspect, a portable camp chair may be provided. The portable camp chair may include a back panel, a seat pad flexibly coupled to the bottom edge of the back panel, and a plurality of side support straps with a first end connected to the back panel and a second end connected to the seat pad and disposed to operate in tension to restrict the back panel and seat pad to substantially an L-shape while the camp chair is in use, wherein the camp chair is configured to integrate into a wearable system when not in use.

In general, in another aspect, a modular backpack system may be provided. The modular backpack system includes a first back panel, a second back panel configured to be removably attached to the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel, and an adjustable attachment system connected to the first surface of the second back panel including at least one attachment rail wherein the first back panel attaches to the second back panel by covering at least a portion of a center section of the first surface of the second back panel.

Implementations of the system may include one or more of the following features. The at least one attachment rail comprises a T-beam cross section with a stem and the stem is flexibly connected to the first surface of the second back panel. The at least one attachment rail comprises two attachment rails, and the two attachment rails are disposed along at least a portion of the vertical length of the second back panel in a substantially parallel configuration. The modular backpack system further comprises a set of removable shoulder harness straps attached to the first back panel. A removable waist strap attached to the second back panel. A modular pack designed to attach to the attachment rails via a plurality of cam lock mechanisms. The second back panel further comprises a lumbar pad flexibly attached to a bottom edge of the second back panel and the lumbar pad can be moved relative to the second back panel to form an L-shape camp chair.

In general, in another aspect, a modular backpack system may be provided. The modular backpack system includes a first back panel configured and disposed adjacent to a user's back, the first back panel including a fastening flap, and a second back panel configured to be removably inserted into to the fastening flap of the first back panel, the second back panel including a first surface such that the first surface of the second back panel is wider than the first back panel, wherein the first back panel and the second back panel cover substantially the vertical length of the user's back when the second back panel is inserted into the fastening flap of the first back panel and the first back panel is worn by the user adjacent to the user's back, and wherein the second back panel is configured to be removed from the fastening flap of the first back panel, unfolded to a first position, and used separately as a camp chair in the first position and further configured to be unfolded to a second position and used separately as a sleeping pad.

Implementations of the system may include one or more of the following features. At least one module that is removably attached to the second back panel. The at least one module is daypack. An additional volume module removably attached to the second back panel.

Other uses for the methods and apparatus given herein can be developed by those skilled in the art upon comprehending the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature and advantages of the present invention, reference is made to the following detailed description of preferred embodiments and in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary small backpack to be used as 1) a hydration pack, or 2) as part of the complete system, a first back panel;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the exemplary hydration pack/first back panel of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary padded structure to be used as 1) a sleeping pad/camp chair, or 2) as part of the complete system, the second back panel;

FIG. 4 illustrates a view of the exemplary padded structure of FIG. 3 from the other side;

FIG. 5 illustrates the exemplary second back panel of FIGS. 3 and 4 configured as a camp chair;

FIG. 6 illustrates the exemplary second back panel of FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 configured as a sleeping pad;

FIG. 7 illustrates an exemplary daypack module;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary additional volume compartment/bearbag;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary cam-lock mechanism handle; and

FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary cam-lock mechanism

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure describes modular backpack systems and methods. The modular backpack system includes several core components which can be configured to meet a particular user's body size as well as the user's activity requirements. The core components can be attached and detached from each other to meet specific needs. Further, a series of activity specific/other camp need modules can be provided as add-ons to the core system to increase functional use and to improve usefulness of the system.

We now turn to a description of an exemplary system for providing an improved modular backpack system. FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary and simplified representation of a hydration pack/first back panel 100. The hydration pack/first back panel 100 includes a detachable shoulder harness/yoke 110, a hydration/storage module 120, and a waist strap 130.

In the exemplary arrangement of FIG. 1, the hydration pack/first back panel 100 includes detachable shoulder harness/yoke 110. With further reference to FIG. 2, a simplified side view of the hydration pack/first back panel 100 with the shoulder harness/yoke 110 attached is shown. The detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 can allow the user to tailor different shoulder harness/yolks to the wearer and the situation. For example, the detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 can be designed differently for a man or a woman. Also, the detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 can be provided with varying levels of padding or support according to the user's personal preferences. The detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 can be attached or coupled to the hydration pack/first back panel 100 through various methods including, but not limited to, fabric hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g., Velcro), fabric hook-on-hook, or interlocking mushroom-shaped stem fastening systems (e.g., 3M Dual Lock). Other fastening methods can include buttons, zippers, laces and buckles. The detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 can be attached or coupled to the hydration/storage module 120 by being inserted into a first fastening compartment which can be configured with one of the above mentioned fastening methods and disposed to mate with a corresponding fastening element or elements on the detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110. The opening or mouth of the first fastening compartment is configured to be oriented at the top of the hydration/storage module 120 during normal use or when the hydration pack/first back panel 100 is right side up. In some embodiments, the first fastening compartment can also be described as a fabric sleeve with a fastening mechanism on the inside of the sleeve. The detachable and adjustable design (e.g. fabric hook-on-hook) of the first fastening compartment with the corresponding shoulder harness/yolk 1 10 allows the entire hydration pack/first back panel 100 to be adjusted to a user's height by allowing the hydration/storage module 120 to be moved up or down vertically relative to the shoulder harness/yolk 110 on the user's back. In some embodiments the shoulder harness/yolk 110 is not detachable from the hydration pack/first back panel 100.

The hydration/storage module 120 includes a hydration compartment 121, a first storage compartment 122, and a second storage compartment 123. In other embodiments, the module 120 may include a hydration compartment 121 without a first storage compartment 122, or may include a first storage compartment 122 without a hydration compartment 121. In still other embodiments, the module 120 may include neither the hydration compartment 121, nor the first storage compartment 122. The module 120 can be designed to be used beginning at the user's shoulders, and extending ½-⅔ of the distance from shoulders to hips. The hydration compartment 121 is designed to accept a liquid hydration bladder system. The hydration compartment 121 may be configured, in some embodiments, to accept a liquid volume hydration bladder of up to three liters. The hydration compartment 121 can be configured to receive the hydration bladder through an opening on the top of the compartment. The first storage compartment 122 may be configured as a traditional daypack volume and functionality. The first storage compartment 122 may be selectively used at the user's discretion and can be compressed to save space when not in use by numerous means including but not limited to zippering a zipper, buckling straps, or fastening Velcro, disposed on the compartment's vertical circumference. The second storage compartment 123 can be a small storage space for such items as cameras. The first and second storage compartments 122, 123 may include a plurality of access zippers 126. The module 120 may also include side storage compartments 127, and exterior elastic storage 128. The second storage compartment 123 can be positioned on the lower half to third of the module 120. The hydration compartment 121, first storage compartment 122, and second storage compartment 123 are arranged within the hydration/storage module 120 such that the hydration compartment 121 is closest to, or proximal to the user's back. The first storage compartment 122 is adjacent to the hydration compartment 121 away from the user's back. The second storage compartment 123 is the most distal from the user's back and adjacent to the first storage compartment 122. The hydration pack/first back panel 100 includes a back panel 124 that is adjacent to the user's back and proximal to the hydration compartment 121, and may be constructed of molded foams with an overlay of a stretchable material for padding and comfort during use. The hydration/storage module 120 also includes a second fastening compartment 125. The second fastening compartment 125 can be positioned inboard of the hydration compartment 121 proximal to the user's back. The second fastening compartment 125 can also be configured with one of the above mentioned fastening methods and disposed to mate with a corresponding fastening element or elements on another module of the system as described below. The opening or mouth of the second fastening compartment 125 is configured to be oriented at the bottom of the hydration/storage module 120 during normal use or when the hydration pack/first back panel 100 is right side up. In some embodiments, the second fastening compartment 125 can also be described as a fabric sleeve with a fastening mechanism on the inside of the sleeve, or as a fastening flap with a fastening mechanism on the inside of the flap. Although three storage compartments have been shown in this exemplary embodiment, other quantities of storage compartments may be used. Also, in some embodiments, the storage compartments may be individually detachable.

The waist strap 130 can be permanently attached to the hydration/storage module 120 and utilized as a normal waist strap by the user when the hydration/storage module 120 is integrated with the detachable shoulder harness/yolk 110 to form the hydration pack/first back panel 100 which is worn on the user's back as a backpack. The waist strap 130 can include straps and a buckle or other fastening means (e.g. Dual lock) to connect around a user's waist or mid-section. The waist strap 130 may also be used to help compress the hydration/storage module 120 when the storage compartments 123, 122 are not in use. The waist strap 130 can fold under and wrap around the hydration/storage module 120 and be cinched tight against itself to assist in the compression of the module 120.

Referring to FIG. 3, with further reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a second back panel 300 includes a back panel frame 310, a first T-beam 312, and a second T-beam 314.

The back panel frame 310 can be built out of a molded, rigid yet flexible material to provide structure, and will include molded foam for padding and comfort during use. In one embodiment, the back panel frame 310 includes an adjustable attachment system which includes at least two rigid T-beams 312, 314. The T-beams 312, 314 can be fabricated from several materials including, but not limited to, aluminum, plastic, and/or composites. A first T-beam 312 can be positioned on a first side of the back panel frame 310 which is distal or outward facing from the user's back when worn. A second T-beam 314 is also positioned on the first side of the back panel frame 310. The first and second T-beams 312, 314 are oriented to run vertically and substantially parallel along the length of the back panel frame 310. The first T-beam 312 can be positioned substantially close to the left edge of the first side of the back panel frame 310 and the second T-beam 314 can be positioned substantially close to the right edge of the first side of the back panel frame 310 so as to allow other components and modules to be positioned against the center portion of the first side of the back panel frame 310 between the first and second T-beams 312, 314. The T-beams 312, 314 have a T-shaped cross section with a stem and the stem is connected to the first side of the back panel frame 310. The T-beams 312, 314 are designed to support the connection of a series of other pack modules via cam locks (not shown). The physical characteristics of the T-beams, 312, 314 allow continuous attachment points along the vertical length of the back panel frame 310. The lack of discrete or finite connection point restrictions allows the user to variably adjust the connection points of modules up or down, to suit the user's size and preferences. The stems of the T-beams 312, 314 may be connected to the first side of the back panel frame 310 in such a manner as to allow bending or flexing of the T-beams about the base of the T-beam stems. Thus, in some embodiments, the T-beams 312, 314 may be connected to the deformable foam padding of the back panel frame 310 to allow bending of the T-beams about their stems. In other embodiments, the T-beams 312, 314 may be I-beam shapes with the lower half of the stem and the lower flange sewn into a fabric material covering on the back panel frame 310 thereby providing the equivalent of an exposed T-beam cross sectional shape which can flex or twist within fabric containing the lower half of the I-beam. In still further embodiments, be two channels can be riveted to the first side of the back panel frame 310. T-nuts, T-beams, or other attachment system may be designed and configured to slide into the riveted channels on the first side of the back panel frame 310. The T-nuts, T-beams, or other attachment system may be removed from the first side of the back panel frame 310 when not needed (ie—when using the panel as a sleeping pad or camp chair). The removable T-beams may allow the user to switch out the T-beams for other channels made of different materials based on the preferences of the user.

In alternate embodiments, the adjustable attachment system described as the T-beams 312, 314 above, may include fabric hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g. Velcro), fabric hook-on-hook, or interlocking mushroom-shaped stem fastening systems (e.g. 3M Dual Lock) instead of; or in addition to the T-beams. In further embodiments, an adjustable attachment system may be provided on the back side of the back panel frame 310 by an adjustable peg and hole, cam peg in slot, or other system configured in substantially the same vertical orientation as described above with regards to the T-beams 312, 314. The receiver holes/slots for the pegs can be positioned substantially at the left and right edges of the back panel frame 310 in a substantially parallel configuration. The receiver holes/slots can be designed to accept removable pegs or posts. The pegs may be configured to allow plastic, deformable C-shape receptors to snap onto the pegs to hold modules/packs in place on the back panel frame 310.

The center portion of the first side of the back panel frame 310 between the first and second T-beams 312, 314 may be configured with a corresponding fastening system (e.g. fabric hook-on-hook) element to couple with the second fastening compartment 125 at the bottom of the hydration pack/first back panel 100. Thus when the second back panel 300 is integrated with the hydration pack/first back panel 100 via the second fastening compartment 125, the second back panel 300 can be adjusted vertically within the second fastening compartment 125 to allow adjustment of the pack system for users of different heights.

Referring to FIG. 4, a second view 400 of the second back panel 300 of FIG. 3 includes a second surface 410, and a lumbar pad 420. The lumbar pad 420, can be a cushioned pad that is flexibly attached to the bottom of the back panel frame 310. The lumbar pad 420 is flipped up and attached to the second surface 410 of the back panel frame 310 which is proximal to the user's back to cushion the user's lower back. The lumbar pad 420 may removably attach to the second side 410 of the back panel frame 310 through various methods including but not limited to, fabric hook-and-loop fasteners (e.g. Velcro), or fabric hook-on-hook, or interlocking mushroom-shaped stem fastening systems (e.g. 3M Dual Lock).

In some embodiments, the second back panel 300 may include a detachable hip belt that includes a strap with a buckle or other appropriate fastening system. The detachable hip belt can be attached to the second back panel 300 by sliding the detachable hip belt through a sleeve or series of belt loops on the back panel frame 310. The detachable hip belt sleeve (not shown) can be positioned on the lower portion of the back panel frame 310. Thus, when the lumbar pad 420 is folded up and attached to the second surface 410 of the back panel frame 310, the lumbar pad 420 covers the detachable hip belt sleeve. While the detachable hip belt is attached to the second back panel as part of the modular backpack, the detachable hip belt may function as a normal hip belt by securing around the user's waist.

The second back panel 300, when not in use as a component of the modular backpack system can be used in a secondary manner. Referring to FIG. 5, a portable camp chair 500 can be provided. The portable camp chair 500 is provided when the second back panel 300 is unfolded into two half-sections to a first position to provide a seat and back for the camp chair 500. Support for the L-shape of the chair can be provided by suitable connecting straps 510 that connect the first half of the second back panel 300 to the second half of the second back panel in a triangular shape on each side. Further referring to FIG. 6, the second back panel 300 can be unfolded (e.g. detach connecting straps 510) to a second position and laid flat on the ground to be used as a ¾ length sleeping pad 600 or other padded surface for user specific activities. When not in use as a camp chair 500, or sleeping pad 600 the second back panel 300 is integrated into as a component of the modular backpack system which is worn by a user. The second back panel 300 may also serve other purposes such as a crash pad (for climbing) or yoga mat.

Referring to FIG. 7 a technical daypack module 700 can be an internal frame backpack component that can provide volumes between 2500 and 4000 cubic inches using compression straps and expanding sections that are released by unzipping-or releasing Velcro connectors. In some embodiments, during independent use of the technical daypack module 700, the detachable shoulder harness/yoke 110 from the hydration pack/first back panel 100 can be removed and inserted in a similar fastening compartment or sleeve on the daypack module 700, and the hip belt from the second back panel can be inserted in a similar compartment or sleeve in the technical daypack module 700. When using the daypack module 700 as a part of the modular system, four cam lock mechanisms (as described in a following section) can be connected to the strapless daypack module 700 via Velcro straps (not shown), and then connected to the T-beams 312, 314 of the second back panel 300. The daypack module 700 may be placed low on the second back panel 300 when additional space is unnecessary (and other modules are not in use), or high on the system when other modules are in use. The daypack module 700 can in some embodiments include one central compartment accessible from top via draw string closure, a top flap to secure/compress the top of the daypack module 700, and a series of externally sewn pockets. Additional access points into the volume within the daypack module 700 may be integrated into the front of the daypack module 700, and an external jacket carrier flap, secured using nylon webbing straps, may overlay the exterior.

Referring to FIG. 8 an additional volume compartment/bearbag 800 can provide up to an additional 1000 cubic inches of volume if used in conjunction with the complete pack system, and may be thus connected to the modular pack system and specifically the to the T-beams 312, 314 of the second back panel 300 as detailed in a following section using two cam-lock mechanisms connected to the module 800 using Velcro straps (not shown). The additional volume compartment/bearbag 800 may be constructed out of scent resistant fabrics to ensure that the module 800 may be used independently as a bear-bag (a food/smell emitting item container that is hung from a tree to prevent encounters with bears and other wildlife). The additional volume compartment/bearbag 800 can include two molded foam sections with a soft material between the discs to provide the carrying bag with a draw-string closure. The two molded sections, placed on the either end of the bag, can be connected using nylon webbing straps that can be used to compress the contents of the bag when in use. Access to the compartment may be available after releasing one of the molded sections, or by unzipping a side access zipper that will extend along the side of the soft material part of the module. As such, this access may be from the side when used in the system, and from an end when used as a bear-bag. A nylon webbing loop may be placed on each molded section allowing placement of ice axes when used in the greater pack system, or as a method to connect the bear-bag to the rope from which it is suspended from tree.

Referring to FIG. 9, a cam lock handle 900 includes a cam 910 and a handle 920. The cam lock handle 900 is configured to be part of the cam lock mechanism described below. The cam 910 includes a hole for a pivot point pin, and a rubberized cam surface. The handle 920 includes a thumb hole for the user.

Referring to FIG. 10 a cam lock mechanism 1000 includes the cam-shaped disc 910, the handle 920, a rubberized wheel or disk 1010, a cam mechanism housing 1020, a T-beam 1030, a module connector slot 1040, a locking pin 1050, and a cam pivot pin 1060.

The cam lock mechanism 1000 is configured such that the gap between the cam-shaped disc 910, and the wheel 1010 narrows when the cam-shaped disc 910 is rotated in a downward motion. This closure of the gap is thus used to provide the locking pressure on the T-beam 1030, which may be one of the T-beams 312, 314. During use, a module's cam locks can be slid from top of the second back panel 300 onto one of the T-beams 312, 314, and when in desired position, can be secured by the user pushing the handle 920 on the cam disc 910 in a downward motion, thereby creating a pinch effect on the center member of the T-beam. The cam lock mechanism 1000 can be detachably connected to various bags or modules via a snap in connector 1040 that is configured to receive a protrusion on the cam housing 1020. Multiple cam lock mechanisms 1000 of varying sizes can be included in a modular backpack system. Multiple cam lock mechanisms 1000 can be used to attach other modules to the T-beams 312, 314 of the second back panel 300 as described above.

In other embodiments, a series of other modules, designed to be individually functional for use in a number of other activities in the field, including (but not limited to) rock climbing, trail running, ice climbing, mountaineering, bait/lure fishing, fly-fishing, firearm hunting, bow hunting, or photography, or for use as another camp needed item, including (but not limited to) a tent or sleeping bag, may be designed and built to be used in conjunction with the modular backpack system and T-beams 312, 314 on the second back panel 300. These modules may connect to the T-beams 312, 314 using cam lock mechanisms similar or identical to those used with other modules, and these cam lock mechanisms may also be connected to these modules using Velcro straps. In addition, other items like coolers, kid carriers, etc. may be built to work using these same connection mechanics.

The present invention should not be considered limited to the particular embodiments described above, but rather should be understood to cover all aspects of the invention as fairly set out in the attached claims. Various modifications, equivalent processes, as well as numerous structures to which the present invention may be applicable, will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art to which the present invention is directed upon review of the present disclosure. The claims are intended to cover such modifications.