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Backpack lock targets students, hikers

Oct. 10, 2000

By MAC MEADOWS

Reporter

An outdoors equipment company is marketing a device to prevent backpack theft, a problem that exists on many college campuses and throughout the world.

Outpac Designs Inc., designed the Pacsafe and introduced it in 1998. It has a slashproof, stainless steel wire net that surrounds the backpack and a locking device that allows the backpack owner to attach it to a fixed object to prevent someone from stealing it.

Dan Burman, a sales and marketing manager for Outpac Designs, said the Pacsafe is a diverse product.

'We are moving into more traditional luggage stores, the photo market and the scuba diving market,' Burman said. 'Students are also a very important market for us because they can use the product at college or for domestic or international traveling.'

The closest store selling Pacsafe is Recreational Equipment Inc., in Austin. Jim Closson, a retail and sales repr

esentative at the store, said Pacsafe sales have been good.

'We sell most of our Pacsafe products to kids who are going to backpack through Europe,' Closson said. 'The locking device allows them to fasten the backpack to something, and this product serves its purpose.'

Burman said sales have been great during the last two years.

'We are in 500 stores across the United States,' he said. 'This number is rapidly increasing as more people find out about us and as we enter new markets.'

Burman said college students are interested in Pacsafe devices for laptop computers.

However, outdoor equipment sales are the primary market.

Students can find a listing of Pacsafe dealers on Pacsafe's Web site at www.pac-safe.com.