Hybrid Soft Goods Backpack Design

Pelican U160 Backpack

Pelican's first hard case backpack line

In 2011, studioFAR was approached by Pelican to develop their first line of backpacks. After an international search for the right soft goods design firm, we were awarded the project. Thus began a 3 year project to develop the world’s first backpacks seamlessly connected to Pelican’s bomb proof, hardshell cases. The effort resulted in over 8 styles of backpacks kickstarting their Pro Gear product lineup.

Client: Pelican Products Inc.
Date: 2011
Services: Technical Backpack Design + Development


Designed for Adventure and Nature photographers who require an 100% waterproof case for equipment.

This half size pelican case is embedded inside a fully soft backpack construction. Positioning of the case was made for proper ergonomic, weight distribution along with front position of case lid.


Sketch, CAD, Prototype, Refine.

Working very closely with Pelican’s engineering team, a half size pelican case was designed to create a seamless connection from soft bag to hard case.


Any hesitation you may have to hire Fernando as a soft goods designer is herewith removed. I threw every monkey wrench I could find at him and it never slowed him down.

Fernando pioneered with Pelican a patented integration of plastics and fabrics. He sweated every bar stitch, zipper pull and material choice. His rendering skills gave our execs the confidence to green-light the product line, and he nursed the tech packs through our QC and Engineering for process control.

Most importantly Fernando was the voice of the product, working diligently over a year with our foreign vendor to bring a series of 11 innovative backpacks to market.

He also has the patience of a saint, and attention to detail that supports the work.

Kevin Murphy VP of Marketing at Pelican Products Inc.

Available styles at https://www.pelican.com