DIY Trekpak for under $20 (2023 Update)

The Trekpak Case Divider System is a beautiful piece of design. It’s simple, it’s clean, and most importantly, you can switch-up your configuration to your needs. It’s meant to replace the current pick-n-pluck foam system that Pelican and other hard shell manufactures use. The problem with the pick-n-pluck system is once you pull out the foam, you’re stuck with that set-up. If you decide to change the set-up, your only option is to replace it with a new foam insert. This will set you back at least $30, depending on your Pelican case and size.

Trekpak system
Trekpak system
The current pick-n-pluck system

My sole complaint with the Trekpak system is its cost. If you look closely at the materials used, there’s nothing you can’t pick up at your local art store. Essentially it’s 2 layers of EVA foam glued to a corrugated plastic board.

I have a couple of Pelican cases and over the years as my camera system has changed and evolved, I’ve had to reconfigure what gear goes in these cases. And every time I reconfigure I end up buying a new pick-n-pluck insert, which as I’ve said before, gets expensive.

Peli cases
My trusty and well used Pelican cases

I decided to DIY my own Trekpak system for both my Pelican 1400 and Pelican 1150 cases. Took me a few hour of my time to put this together and the results were magnificent, not to mention every-bit professional looking!

Materials for your DIY Trekpak

Materials needed for this project

The materials needed are straight-forward. You could pick up almost all these items at most craft stores such as Michaels Art Store.

  • Black EVA Foam (adhesive-backed)
  • Black Coroplast (also called Corrugated Plastic sheet)
  • Super 77 Spray Adhesive (use with N-95 mask)
  • Cutting mat
  • Utility knife
  • Long ruler or straight edge
  • Bobby pins or jumbo paper clips
  • Roller
  • Latex glove

The most important items in this project are the EVA Foam and Coroplast.

Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) is a closed cell foam. It’s used for exercise mats, sports equipment and props for cosplay. Closed cell means it does not absorb water, so don’t go out and get any old foam, it’s gotta be EVA foam. And if you’re thinking of cutting up your old yoga mat, don’t! The ridges in the mat won’t glue flat onto the Coroplast board and you’ll just end up with a mess.The other property of EVA foam is it’s ability to maintain density. Even after years of abuse, the foam should be just as dense and have the same level of protective as when you first bought it. Buy EVA foam from a reputable business.

EVA foam comes in different lengths, so you’ll have to figure out how much you need for you own project. The most important detail to pay attention to is it’s thickness. My recommendation is 2mm. I made the mistake of buying the 5mm, and it turned out to be too thick – usable – but a bit thick. More on this in my 2021 Update below.

If you feel the 2mm foam will be too thin, them go for the 4mm then. Don’t forget by the time you’re done, you’ll have 2mm of foam on each side, plus the Coroplast, which itself is 4mm thick. Your total thickness of each divider end up at 8mm, just over 1/4″ thick.

By itself, the dividers are not that rigid, but once you start assembling your configuration, the system hold itself together firmly.

Full disclosure: TNT Cosplay is an affiliate link, meaning I receive a small commission from sales, but the price is the same for you. I would only recommend a product I myself would use.

Where to buy EVA Foam

EVA foam

Adhesive Backed EVA Foam

If you want to avoid the spray glue step, I recommend buying the Adhesive Backed Sheets instead. Less messy and your lungs will thank you. The cost is slightly more for these, but well worth it and so much less hassle.



EVA supplier has since gone out of business. Looking for another EVA vendor.


Regular EVA Foam

This is the regular version of the foam. You’ll have to use spray glue if you go this route.



EVA supplier has since gone out of business. Looking for another EVA vendor.


In Canada (Montreal)
Canada’s Cosplay Supply Store – True North Cosplay
Size: 40” x 40”
Thickness: 2mm or 5mm


Where to get Coroplast


Coroplast (Corrugated Plastic Sheet) is widely available at any art store or even at the Dollar Store. The standard thickness is 4mm, it doesn’t need to be any thicker than that.

In the US
Corrugated Board at Michael’s
Size: 20” x 30”
Price: $4.49/sheet

In Canada
Size: 18” x 24”
Price: $5.49/sheet

Spray Adhesive

spray glue and knife
spray glue and knife

Scotch® Super 77™ Multi-Purpose Spray Adhesive

This is nasty stuff (just read the warning label). You definitely want to use this product outdoors. I usually line the area I’m spraying with newspapers so the ground doesn’t get all sticky from the spray glue. I highly advise the use of an N-95 mask so you’re not coating your lungs with spray glue. It’s not a bad idea to use latex gloves as well.

Putting your DIY Trekpak together

sketching out plan
Sketch out your measurements so you have a place to start. I ended up with extra dividers that I can cut down for future use.

It’s best to start this project on a sheet of paper. Draw out your configuration so you’ll know how much EVA foam to buy and a game plan of how to put this together. Because you’ll end up making more dividers than needed, it’s not critical to be absolutely precise – just have a basic idea. Start by measuring the interior space of your Pelican case. If you measure the dimensions of the old pick-n-pluck insert, that gets you the same measurements.

In my case, the interior is 12” in length x 9” in width x 3.5” tall. I needed to assemble the interior perimeter first before worrying about the dividers. I wasn’t too worried about getting the fit perfectly so I made each panel longer than needed and then trimmed it down to fit.

If I add up the length (12″) and width (9″) of my case, I get 21″ in total. I made 2 of these perimeter inserts at a length slightly longer than the 21″ for some wiggle room. I rounded the corners as I went along and trimmed off the extra length and used pins to join the 2 sections together.

12″ wide
The height of the dividers are 3.5″ tall
Interior perimeter finished, I can now measure the width of the insert panels.
Bending and shaping the corners with a lot of effort

Since I used 5mm EVA foam instead of the 2mm, shaping the corners took some effort. By the time you glue the EVA foam to both sides of the Coroplast, you’re looking at a thickness of 14mm (over 1/2” of material). That’s why I recommend using the 2mm foam instead.

Cutting the excess foam off

Once the interior perimeter was inserted it was time for the dividers. The EVA foam sheet that I bought was 24” wide, so I made as many 3.5” x 24” strips as I could. I first cut the Coroplast down to 3.5” x 24” strips and then glued the EVA foam to one side. The glue dries fairly quickly once it’s on the foam. I used a roller to apply pressure for better adhesion. I then trimmed off the excess foam with a utility knife. I repeated the same process on the other side. Once that was done I could start cutting them down to size to fit my configuration.

The depth measurement are different in my 2 Pelican cases so I repeated the same process above for the the other case. It all worked out.

eva foam thickness
2mm vs 5mm. Big difference

Divider Pins

divider pins

To finish this project off, you need pins to join the interior dividers. These I’m sure are custom made for Trekpak so I not expecting to find these on a store shelf. Getting a bit creative, I bought bobby pins, which in the end work great. Get the biggest ones you can find and you’ll have an easier time manipulating them. I also experimented with jumbo sized-paper clips. If you snip the ends off, they work just as well as the bobby pins.

For the pull tabs I found some Peel-and-Stick felt lying around the house. I cut them into strips and wrapped them around the bobby pins. The Peel & Stick felt is dirt cheap.

Peel & Stick Felt

Peel & Stick Felt
Cost: $1.20/sheet

These are circular peel off back felt stickers. You can get the same in sheet format.

Cost comparison

If you’re wondering what the cost comparison between buying the real Trekpak system vs the DIY Trekpak version. Here is the breakdown:

Pelican 1400
TrekPak Divider Kit for Pelican 1400 Small Protector Case
Cost: $78.95

Pelican 1150
TrekPak Divider Kit for Pelican 1150 Small Protector Case
Cost: $46.95

That’s over $125 total for two cases!!!

I recently picked up a larger case, the Pelican 1450. This one is quite roomy but the price of the Trekpak is $$$

Pelican 1450
TrekPak Divider Kit for Pelican 1450 Small Protector Case
Cost: $110.95

I’ve also read reviews from people who have bought the Trekpak system and their main complaint is they do not provide enough dividers with the system. So you’ll end up buying additional dividers, which of course adds to your cost.

My project costs:
I already had some Super 77 spray glue from another project. I also had some Peel & Stick felt lying around. I made the DIY Trekpak inserts for both my 1400 and 1150 Pelican cases and had plenty of extra dividers for future configurations.

EVA foam: $12.00
Coroplast: $5.00
Bobby Pins: $2.50

Total cost of this project in Canadian dollars $19.50 – about $15.00 in U.S. currency.


The end result looks just as clean and professional as the real thing. I will at some point redo my dividers and use the 2mm foam instead of the 5mm. There’s no need for it to be so thick, plenty of protection with the thinner foam.

I’ve got the flexibility to adjust my foam insert system for future configurations and I saved a wack of money doing it myself. I consider this DIY Trekpak project a success. Alright, Alright, Alright!


the final result
The final result looking very professional
the final result
My drone all safe and sound

2021 Update

How things have held up over the past year?

Well, I’ve been using my DIY Trekpak system for over a year now and it’s still amazing – no complaints so far. I’ve been out on many extended trips, in hot and cold weather environments and everything still works as it should. I was a bit worried the spray glue might start to separate in hot weather, but that hasn’t happened either. Perhaps if you leave your Pelican case in 100˚F weather for days on end in full sun, the glue might eventually start to break down, but I would be more concerned about what’s happening to the actual gear inside the case.

I do have a few suggestions based on my year-long experience.

  • Skip the spray glue adhesive and just get the self-adhesive EVA foam. Even after a year, whenever I open my Pelican case I still get a whiff of the adhesive spray glue – not sure why – perhaps this stuff never fully cures. The extra cost for self-adhesive EVA is so insignificant that there’s no reason not to get it. Again, you lungs will thank you.
  • EVA foam thickness. I’ve been experimenting using different thickness of the EVA foam and here are my conclusions. For the outside perimeter I would use a 4mm / 2mm combination. This gives it structure and protection from bumps and drops. For the rest of the interior dividers, 2mm works just fine. At first it will seem too thin, but once you put it all together, it all locks in place and it actually has a lot of structural integrity – like a honeycomb, the whole is greater than its parts.
  • For smaller cases. If you have a small case, such as the 1150, I would only use the 2mm. The case is so small you don’t need that much structure and you loose so much space with thicker EVA foam.
  • Make extra dividers. I am always tinkering with what gear to bring in my Pelican case. So spend a bit of extra time and cut a few extra dividers. That way you’ll never run out of configuration options. Or better yet, leave the extra dividers uncut, and you can then configure the interior however you want in the future.

Everything else has worked like a charm.


DIY trekpak divider for my DJI Mavic drone
2021 updated setup for my drone

Updated 2021 edition of my DIY Trekpak dividers for my DJI Mavic drone. I picked up this Pelican case off of Craigslist for $10. It’s more compact and my drone fits perfectly.

I reused the 5mm for the outside perimeter and switched to the 2mm foam for the interior dividers. I didn’t even bother with the felt pull tabs because this Peli case has become my drone case, so I won’t be switching configurations anytime soon.


2023 Update

It’s now been almost 3 years since I first undertook this DIY project, and I will say that everything still functions like a charm. I’ve updated a few other Pelican cases with the same system. I only use the self-adhesive foam now so never have to deal with the spray glue again. The self adhesive foam holds up really well, and has yet to separate after all this time.

I’ve also had many people email me to say thank you for the step-by-step tutorial. It makes me really happy knowing this DIY project has helped so many of you!

A happy customer!

More 2023 Update

My recommended EVA supplier has gone out of business, I’m actively looking for a new supplier. Stay tuned!


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