DIY TrekPak?

I'm far from the first person online to write about this but, I had to give it a go. Like many of you, I'm always seeking perfectly organized cases. I've gone as simple as a bare case with zipper pouches tossed in, pick/pluck foam, padded divider system and a custom solution from a place like My Case Builder. Padded divided systems waste a great deal of space and custom cut foam is expensive and limits your ability to change things in the future and let's face it, pick/pluck foam is just garbage.

That's where TrekPak comes in. It began as a Kickstarter in 2013 and was acquired by Pelican in 2018. It's a clever system that allow for a high level of customization and protection of your equipment. It's been very popular choice for many to protect and organize their gear. However, it comes with a high cost and limited pre-cut kits that are only for Pelican cases. 

Essentially, TrekPak is corrugated plastic sheets with foam adhered to both sides and held in place with metal pins. These are all things that can be sourced quite easily and with a little work you can make your own. 

The materials I bought to do this project were:

The first step is to adhere the foam to the corrugated plastic and cut to size. The most critical measurement is the depth of the case. After that things go rather quickly. Some have chosen to use spray adhesive and non adhesive backed foam but it's quite messy and the odor of the adhesive can linger for quite some time. A fresh blade makes cutting very easy. Start with the perimeter of the case and insert a roller pin at each intersection to hold the dividers in place.

I've seen others put a small piece of fabric as a pull tab on the roller pins like TrekPak does but I didn't find this to be necessary. I don't plan on rearranging the cases often enough and it's easy enough to remove them if needed. 

One thing I did note when setting things up is that some cases/compartments just don't need the foam layer. The corrugated plastic is all that is needed. You could also do just one side in foam and allow for more options. Leaving out the foam allows for more space to cram other stuff in the case as well. TrekPak doesn't offer this type of flexibility in your arrangement and the foam (while high quality) is thicker than what I was implementing. 

Another little addition I made was for the compartments that are quite snug against equipment was to add a little pull tab of grosgrain ribbon to help remove the items (seen below for the batteries) It's held in place with one of the roller pins.

I did find that it helped significantly to have a bottom layer of foam like you'd typically find in a Pelican case (this stuff). This layer helped keep the dividers in place. Without it, I found it beneficial to add a roller pin to the top and bottom intersection of the dividers to secure them. You might find this to be worth doing even with the foam if you have heavy items in the dividers.

In summary, I think this is a great project for anyone looking for a very custom solution for your cases while being able to save some money. It's especially great for anyone using non-pelican cases where you'd have to cut/customize TrekPak to begin with. I've also found it useful to make dividers for troughs and drawers on carts as well as milk crates.

DIY stuff isn't for everyone. It doesn't always save you money as you need to factor in your time. But, I'm one to have my gear work the way I need it to rather than work around it’s limitations.. The flexibility and cost savings of this project were definitely worth my time I was able to customize 6 cases for less than the cost of one kit of TrekPak.

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