The advent of satellite based tracking and communication systems for the backcountry offers an increased margin of safety for the adventurer, not to mention more peace of mind for those awaiting their return back home. Both the DeLorme’s inReach line of products and the SPOT gen3 Messenger provide this functionality for those seeking adventure out on the fringes. These devices can certainly save lives, but with the caveat being that the unit must be within reach when an emergency arises. Keeping these gadgets inside a backpack for instance poses problems for activities such as mountain biking and kayaking. Similarly, being injured and unable to get to the device, or jettisoning the pack in a crash or river crossing, nullifies the technological advantage posed by carrying a messenger unit in the first place.
Giant Loop, of Bend, OR, specializes in light and fast soft luggage for the adventure motorcycling set, and have recently ventured out into crossover items such as a tarp based shelter as well. Satellite messenger systems have become rightfully popular for this type of traveler, and the associated risks demand that the messenger units reside in an easy to access location, while also remaining undeniably secure. To meet this need, Giant Loop has devised a holster system – dubbed the “Tracker Packer” – that has proven for this tester to be essential gear when venturing out of cell range.
The Giant Loop Tracker Packer secures the satellite messenger via redundant closures. The unit tested was specific for DeLorme inReach units, and secured the device in four overlapping, redundant ways: the clip already attached to the messenger unit; a Velcro strap running horizontally along its body; a Velcro strap running vertically across the device, and finally an overlapping, highly visible red “emergency” labeled Velcro strap as well. Foam on the back panel protects the electronics from vibrations and grip texture prevents slippage of the Tracker Packer as well. Reflective trim enhances visibility, while webbing loops and grommets expand mounting options too. All seams are fully bonded and materials used in its construction conform to military spec. The unit is easily mounted to the shoulder straps on your pack, as well as on the upper arm.
I recently went on a five-day adventure ride in Baja with my DeLorme inReach SE in tow. The device stayed secure for the duration of the trip mounted to a riding pant suspender strap most of the time. The Tracker Packer and messenger device both remained rock solid despite endless vibrations of all amplitudes. Even through a high speed get off where the motorcycle suffered extensive damage (and I amazingly escaped with minor scrapes,) both Tracker Packer and messenger were unscathed and remained securely in place.
Giant Loop’s Tracker Packer addresses a real need for those of us who routinely escape the bonds of cell towers, extending the usability of potentially lifesaving technology even in dire situations. Best of all, the Tracker Packer keeps the satellite messenger within easy reach – and quickly accessible – should an emergency arise. After all, isn’t that when you absolutely need the messenger the most?
For more information visit giantloopmoto.com (MSRP: Spot Gen 3 model: $40.00 USD; DeLorme inReach model: $45.00 USD)