Hate it when your bag looks like other suitcases at the baggage carousel (these cover wraps, by the way, can help with that)? We know the feeling. Mistaking other people’s bag as yours and having others do the same to your stuff can get annoying, especially when it happens on a regular basis. If you want a bag that’s not likely to look like any other at any airport, you might want to check out the Freitag Zippelin.
Made from recycled truck tarps, the bag bears the original prints and designs of the tarpaulin’s past life, giving the bag a unique look that’s unlikely to resemble anything else at the baggage claim. Granted, that means rolling the dice that you actually get a bag that’s not in a plain solid color, although based on the samples they have on the product photos, it seems like that’s rarely going to be the case.
The Freitag Zippelin is an 85-liter travel bag that looks like a mix between a duffel and a rolling suitcase. Seriously, it’s like a large duffel with wheels. It’s huge at 16.5 x 33.5 x 10 inches, (width x height x depth), so this is strictly for use as check-in luggage. Unlike traditional canvas bags, it doesn’t come with a frame. Instead, the darn thing is held up using inner tubes (they used ones designed for 28-inch bicycle tires) that you can inflate when using the bag and deflate when putting it away. According to the outfit, this became necessary after an early prototype turned out too heavy because of the integrated frame, which forced the team to get just a little more creative with their design.
Because there’s no rigid frame inside, the bag is actually packable, allowing you to roll it into a bundle that measures just 16.5 x 8 inches (length x diameter). That means, you can bring this to a trip, put it inside another bag, and use it as a giant bag on the way home for all the souvenirs you purchase. Or something.
The Freitag Zippelin comes with a pair of axles and wheels that you can attach to the base of the bag to turn it into a rolling travel bag. They can be attached and detached with no need for tools, so you can easily remove the wheels during check in and put them back in as soon as you get it from the baggage claim. Multiple handles on the top and sides, along with an adjustable strap allow you to drag it, carry it in hand, or haul it over your shoulder like a regular duffel. Well, an oversized one to be exact.
It has a main compartment that’s accessible using dual lockable zippers, with an exterior zippered pouch, a sleeve (sized for a tablet or a magazine), and a zippered compartment sized to hold the wheel-and-axle assembly. The inner tubes can be easily accessed via a zippered compartment inside, so you can take them out for repair in case you notice any problems.
A Kickstarter campaign is currently running for the Freitag Zippelin. You can reserve a unit for pledges starting at €420.