Swiss company Freitag is known for their robust, water-repellent bags made out of used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes, and car seat belts. While their product catalogue includes over seventy products, the company had yet to create a rolling duffel bag due to weight issues. But they finally figured it out. Meet the Zippelin — the world’s first inflatable travel bag that’s spacious when you need it and compact when you don’t.
As truck tarps are made from a heavier material than your normal luggage, Freitag ran into weight problems when they added a frame and wheels. To get around the problem, the team ditched the frame all together. In its place, they added a bike inner tube which can be inflated quickly and easily using a standard pump (inflate to 30 psi). Amazingly enough, the pressurized air provides ample support without the weight. To repair or replace the inner tube, just remove it from an easily accessible zipped-up compartment.
The inflatable travel bag has a capacity of 85 liters (5200 cubic inches) and weighs eight pounds without gear. When deflated, the Zippelin takes up no more space in your closet than the two liters of booze you bought at duty-free.
Each bag is a recycled individual product (R.I.P.), and the truck tarps are perfectly suited to create water-repellent, robust bags that could never be mistaken for anyone else’s at baggage claim.
At check-in, simply remove the wheels by pressing a button on the hub. When you land, just connect the wheels back in place.
A two-way zipper down the front of the Zippelin gives you easy access to all your gear, while a quick access zipper in the back lets you stow those last minute items. You also find a magazine pouch on the back and a small zippered pocket for your passport and wallet.
Freitag is running a Kickstarter campaign to take pre-orders on the Zippelin — the price is just over $450, unless you want to choose your color/pattern from a limited run batch. That will set you back over $500. Expected delivery is at the end of next summer.