Big thanks to Paul Salitsky for bring this process to our Aug 2018 Hack the Pack Night!

The objective: add hydration to the Honey Badger. Paul thought the best approach would be to attach a hydration bladder to the laptop clip points. Great idea.

We reinforced the existing hanger points with a tough stiff fabric and grommets.

The next step was to add a connector with the male side of the clip that fits the laptop hangers.
A bit of web should work to suspend the hydration bladder. After a bit of testing to make sure the tolerances were correct, Martin sewed it up. What we’ve got is a hanger with a clip on one end and a loop on the other.
Paul used mini carabiners on the loop end.
The final step is to add a hole for the drinking tube. We made the hole with a Dremel tool.
(Mark Butcher had a different approach to this. He replaced the hinge with fabric and went out that way.)

Honey Badger Hack Links:
Use Hacks, Style Hacks, Function Hacks

Backpacking, use on trail:


James McBryan: Could I go backpacking with the Honey Badger on Medium


James’ youTube pack load video–>


Al Tabor – loading the pack for a 2 night trip.


A while ago, Alan sent me an email on some of the modifications he’d been doing on various Honey Badgers, and he mentioned he was planning to work on a hydration system. I don’t use a hydration system myself, and I don’t have one to experiment with, but I did have an idea for getting the flexible tube from the inside to the outside. For what it’s worth, here’s my idea:

Replace the hinge with 1 1/2” webbing, and make an additional protective strip from the webbing to protect the tube from the edge of the lid. I used my soldering iron to melt the holes (philistine), and seal the ends of the webbing with heat too. The screws will need to be longer to accommodate the extra thickness of the webbing, and additional washers are needed to sit under the nuts that sit on the webbing (inside the lid).

Sculpt cut-outs on the adjacent edges of the back panel and lid (seen here on the right), to accommodate the hydration tube.

Assembled hinge and lid. Note the protective strip above the tube on the right. (The tube is just one I had lying around that looked about the right diameter)

Showing the tube exiting the pack, replacement webbing hinge below, protective strip above.

View from the inside. (You can’t see the washers under the nuts on the webbing, but they’re there)

My original hinge—that you were worried had too deep a hinge and may fail—is still fine. (You supplied me with a replacement in case)

Having too much fun.


I’ve had heaps of compliments lavished upon me, or rater on the Honey Badger, both around San Francisco, and up here in Sammamish, WA. I’ve tried to get an ‘elevator pitch’ spiel for it, mentioning SlingFin and emphasizing durable, versatile, customizable, lightweight, etc. I’ve got a feeling there’ll be a lot of interest in this rucksack.

Possible Problem

First of all, there might be a small problem: I had to file down the barbs on computer pouch clips because I couldn’t release them by pinching them with my fingers, and before filing them down, had to use pliers to release them. This isn’t a problem with my top pocket clips. Maybe a different batch. Anyway, you might want to check the release of the clips you have there.

Here are two alternative small clips, with the clip from the top pocket on the left for comparison. I got both from Seattle Fabrics (link at bottom), and let me know if you’d like me to send you any to play with. The one on the right I think is made by YKK, and has a single push release, which potentially could release inadvertently:


Other than that, I’ve been having too much fun customizing my Honey Badger. Fantastic concept.

No problem with the original hinge yet. (I do have the improved replacement)

I use the ‘illumination’ feature several times a week as I’m often walking to work before light. Super feature!

Aircraft Baggage

For increased security to prevent inadvertent opening in aircraft baggage, latch the magnetic clip underneath the front loop, and clip the chest clip over the top:


For list of materials I used, see bottom.


I fastened Sewable D-Rings (drilled ø 3/16″ holes in center of tab) to the screws on the lid for lashing stuff to the top. The lid could have the D-Rings on the inside too (I didn’t bother).

Sides — Outside

I’ve put Sewable D-Ring tabs on the sides with 5” x 5” rivet spacing. At first I thought this detracted from the cleaner appearance of the original, but I’ve grown to like them (if you don’t look too closely at the rivets — it can be difficult to prevent some of the rivets tilting over). Whereas the rivets have a lower profile, the screws and locking nuts would be significantly easier to assemble.

Sides — Inside

To prevent stuff rattling around when partially filled, I added Sewable D-Rings inside, using the same rivets as their counterparts on the outside. I’ve used a length of orange shock cord, doubled over, that threads through upper D-Rings, and hooks to lower ones.

To illuminate the rucksack, I use a headlamp, which (obviously) can be useful as a headlamp in its own right. I keep it wrapped around the computer sleeve, and propped up by the crossing point of the orange shock cord that secures the computer sleeve from swinging and can secure books, files, etc.


The only shock cord size available to me in reflective orange was ø 1/8″, so I doubled it up for the inside for firmness. I used a double fisherman’s knot to join the two ends, and tied the doubled-over shock cord into the double fisherman’s knot. The ends of the shock cord are sealed with 1/8” heat shrinking tube.

The materials I’ve used:

  • Sewable D-Ring (drilled ø 3/16″ holes in center of tab)
  • ø 10mm Double Cap Rivet (size medium)
  • 1/8” reflective shock cord (orange) x 6’ length (doubled over)
  • 1/8” heat-shrink tube to seal ends of shock cord
  • Cord Hooks
  • 2.5mm reflective cord (black) x 6’ length
  • Nite Ize Figure 9 (size small)
  • Petal Tikkina headlamp ($19.95), hours of battery life. Doubles as a headlamp…er, obviously


Outdoor & Recreational Fabrics | Marine Fabrics & Vinyl | Industrial Fabrics – Seattle Fabrics
Tandy Leather | Leathercraft and Leather Craft Supplies
REI Co-op: Outdoor Clothing, Gear and Footwear from Top Brands –

I’d like to see other people’s customizations for inspiration, but I suppose the Feedback feature at the bottom of the web page would serve for this. You could mention the screw size used is #8-32 stainless steel button head cap screw x 1/4” long, with nylon insert lock nut, and washer.

Many thanks,