Gear Shed

Crowdfunding Collection: Thrifty-Vac

Three Kickstarter-esque projects that caught our eye this week

Thrifty-Vac vacuum seal food snacks food storage preserves

    Photo: Courtesy of Tom Cannon

Backpackers and river trippers often rely on vacuum-packed food—it keeps longer and vacuum packing reduces a package’s volume, which means more space in your pack or drybag. Existing home vacuum-packing options for food use airtight containers or single-use plastic bags that can cost up to fifty cents each. They’re system-specific, and hard to find. What’s more—the vacuuming apparatus can cost $100 or more.

ThriftyVac’s hardwear is cheap by comparison—around $25, and it works with all existing resealable plastic bags.

Most vacuum systems pump the air out of bags. This one uses atmospheric pressure to press air out of bags. You insert your food bag inside a larger, outer re-sealable plastic bag. Then you draw a vacuum using a hand pump, on the outer bag, which collapses onto the food bag inside it. The only other component you need is a small check valve to prevent air from reentering the outer bag during the vacuum packing process. No adapters, heat, or foreign substances required. Eliminating the check valves embedded in current-day vacuum bags as well as the special materials and extra manufacturing reduces the retail price of the vacuum bag from an average of $0.37 to about $0.08. Thriftyvac’s Kickstarter campaign will help the inventor produce molds for the system, which should be available soon. The campaign has reached its funding goal, and it’s still going strong. $25.

 

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