The Story of HatPac

Idea to Invention

Belt buckles reflect the neon lights of the Strip as cowboy hats flood the sidewalks. It is a rare occurrence only observed during the first week of December as cowboys take over Sin City for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. It is a sight for any sore eyes in a city that typically does not sport cattlemen or rodeo athletes.

The airport is no different. Airport metal detectors warn of spurs and buckles as cowboys and cowgirls travel to the Thomas & Mack. Airport security stops multiple cowboys for a black plastic can in their hands.

Are they carrying an instrument? No. Is it a newly designed rope can? Also, no. Rodeo enthusiasts battle their way through security, juggling a hat can from one hand to the next.

If it is not the hat can, they stack hats on their heads, like the peddler from “Caps for Sale.”

Sitting at the airport in 2014, after watching each cowboy travel their own way with hats, Brent Walker looked down at his backpack. A lightbulb clicked. The idea for HatPac was born.

He could combine a backpack and a hat can to create an effective, comfortable, and safe way to travel with cowboy hats.

“Not too long after I was at home, I started cutting up a backpack,” Walker said. “I went to the dollar store and got a bowl. I fiberglassed the bowl where it would fit a cowboy hat and sent it off to get a sample made. I spent the next five years working on the design.”


Walker is also an actor and director with recent features on “Yellowstone”, “The Mandalorian”, and “Grey's Anatomy”. He and his wife, Abby, started Breakwall West agency in 2015. Breakwall West represents models and fit models and their western division represents cowboys and cowgirls.


Walker grew up playing soccer and played college ball at the University of North Carolina. After his collegiate soccer career, he was a wakeboarder for a number of years. That is where he met Ross Coleman, a PBR bullrider and the current coach of the Missouri Thunder. Coleman helped him get his start in the western world after riding a bull named Chocolate Chip for 3.5 seconds. It did not take much convincing for Walker to hop on the former PBR Finals bull. We jumped out of a plane on Monday. We rode bulls on Wednesday. I never thought about jumping out of a plane again,” Walker said. Since then, he was hooked on the western lifestyle. It's an honor to be a part of such a special industry. I have been a part of different industries over the years. And the cowboys I met were the most genuine people I had ever met.”

With the numerous hats he wears, metaphorically and literally, Walker is an avid traveler for work. He wanted this design as much for his personal life as he did for his professional.

“I needed this product,” he said. “It was solving a problem for me. I figured at least, if I got this thing right, I could use it for all my travels.”

After five years of designing, HatPac finalized and soft-launched at the 2020 NFR– the original birthplace of the idea.

The outside of the patented backpack is a rigid outer shell made to protect the hat. The inside houses an interior hat tray to fit hat sizes up to a four-and-a-half-inch brim. There are pockets throughout the bag for headphones, laptops, tablets, and other personal items. Additionally, there is a trolley strap and an exterior water bottle pocket.

Most recently, HatPac added a new color to its list of products. Outside of the original colors, black and blue, the backpack is now available in tan.

What once was a cut up backpack with a superglued bowl is now an innovative, patented design for traveling ease with cowboy hats. Cowboys and cowgirls can go hands-free in the airport, carrying all they need on their backs.

“Pack your hat and we’ll see you down the road.” - HATPAC