I love to travel and I also love technology, so I often write about areas where the two worlds meet. During my ongoing search for new and exciting travel technology, I've come across a number of techy suitcases and travel bags – some of which solve big problems – and others which are just cool. I'll let you be the judge of that though. Enjoy my list of 16 Techy Bags, Suitcases, Backpacks, & Carry-Ons that are redefining what luggage can do for a traveler.
Bluesmart One – GPS Luggage w/ Battery Pack
First on the list is the Bluesmart One and soon to be Bluesmart Series 2 (pictured) series which is on the way. What started out as a crowdfunding campaign by Alejo Verlini and Diego Saez Gil spawned a new wave of smart luggage technology. Bluesmart describes itself as a technology company that develops Internet-connected travel products as opposed to a luggage brand. The Bluesmart One is 3G + GPS equipped so you can track your bag anywhere in the world in winds up. It's got a built-in scale on the handle so you can weigh the contents via the phone app. And a digital remote lock that you can lock/unlock using your phone. The second generation – which is coming soon – comes in four forms: a Cabin, a Check, a Laptop Bag, and a Passport Pouch which are all connected by the app and feature location tracking, superchargers, digital locking, weight sensors, and a handful of other techy treats.
Modobag – The World's First Rideable Luggage
This next one might belong in our futuristic vehicles article as much as it it does here on our techy luggage list. The Modobag, or as they like to say, The Carry-On That Carries You, is a part-suitcase part-gokart carry-on bag that you actually sit on and ride through the airport! I swear that
if when I get one of these things I'm going to race everyone and everything I can through the airport next time I travel by plane. Heck, with its 8 mph top speed and 15 minute charge time (for 80% charge, one hour for 100%), I might just ride it around town! Aside from making you the happiest traveler in the airport, the Modobag comes fully equipped with a gaggle of smart features like USB outputs for charging your devices, a crush proof laptop compartment, and like the Bluesmart carry-ons, the Modobags also have built-in GPS so you can track your bag wherever it rides off to.
Chairpak – The Original Backpack Chair
Let's not forget that the definition of TECHNOLOGY is the practical application of knowledge to solve problems – and that doesn't necessarily have to include a battery or a smartphone app. This next backpack slash chair slash lazy traveler's dream bag is called the Chair-Pak and it utilizes neither electricity nor Bluetooth to solve the age old problem of where do I sit? The Chair-Pak was created by Les Ammann after seeing a bicyclist crash while trying to carry bags and folding chairs to the beach. So he got to work with some PVC pipe and a backpack, married the two in a common court of law probably somewhere in Vermont, and the rest is history.
Barracuda – Sleek, Smart, & Collapsible Luggage
Next up we've got Barracuda, a smart collapsible bag that will satisfy your tech luggage needs when you need it and not take up much space when you don't. This GPS-digital-scale-battery-pack-equipped collapsible smart suitcase (did I miss anything?) adds an extra level of style and function to the carry-on luggage scene with its oversized rounded handle, integrated laptop tray, and bold color options. And if that's not enough, it also comes with laundry and shoe bags. A classy functional bag for business travelers. Plus it collapses and folds down to fit into small spaces when not in use.
G-Ro – Revolutionary Carry-On Luggage
This next Kickstarter-launched suitcase looks like it could be a Segway with its big gyroscopic looking wheels but it's actually an all-terrain rolling carry-on bag. And it's smart too. The G-Ro features 2 USB charging ports and one DC outlet, GPS tracking, TSA locks, an exterior laptop pocket, and of course its signature durable oversized wheels. Founded in 2010 by industrial designer Netta Shalgi and strategist Ken Hertz, the company behind the G-Ro, Travel-Light LTD, was established with a focus on creating a luggage that meets the traveling challenges of the 21st Century.
Floatti – A Smarter Suitcase For Happier Travelers
Next up is the Floatti – successfully backed on Indigogo in May 2016 – and according to their updates is currently in production. Like many crowdfunding campaigns, Floatti experienced delays, but the creators have stayed in communication throughout the process and have taken it with stride. It's all part of the process and good things are worth waiting for. Feature for feature, the Floatti offers many of the same things as other luggage profiled on this list such as GPS tracking, a built-in digital scale, and a battery pack for cell phone and laptop charging – but they also add a few more features and put added emphasis into the suitcase design. Some of their proprietary features include a Smart Handle which you can use to make phone calls, send text messages, or check maps from your phone, among other things. It also comes with its own cube packing system specially designed to maximize space efficiency within the Floatti. Its detachable charger won't cause any issues at the airport security line if you need to quickly remove the battery, and its advanced tracking system will notify you as soon as your bag is in range if you decide to ship it through. With attention to details, like a patented handbag docking station for securing your other bags to your suitcase, the Floatti is worth checking out and hopefully available for sale to the public soon.
Trunkster – The World’s First and Only Rolltop Suitcase
Originally funded on both Kickstarter and Indigogo in Sep 2018 and later seen on Shark Tank, the Trunkster considers itself Luggage Reimagined, and to be fair, I've never seen another bag like it before. The big design revolution with Trunkster is its zipperless entryway rolltop door that lets you instantly access your belongings without having to find a place for the typical oversized suitcase flap. Aside from the easy access, Trunkster also boasts a removable battery, integrated scale, GPS tracking, and an oversized wide handle for added maneuverability.
Planet Traveler SC1 – World's Smartest Suitcase
From Planet Traveler USA comes the SC1, dubbed the World's Smartest Suitcase. But after seeing the other smart suitcases on this list, you can be the judge of that. I will say though – it's pretty darn smart – and could probably beat me at a spelling bee. In addition to some of the typical smart luggage features you've grown accustomed to having like GPS tracking and an integrated digital scale, the SC1 also features a biometric finger print unlock system, a built-in Bluetooth speaker, an anti-theft alert system, and a smart battery that'll last up to 225 hours on a charge. And as an added bonus – it looks like the type of luggage James Bond would carry – if not his arch nemesis.
Solgaard Lifepack – And Coming Soon: The Hustle Collection
The Lifepack by Solgaard was designed for the business traveler with a built-in solar panel / power bank / Bluetooth speaker. It also features a few anti-theft measures like hidden pockets, anti-cut straps, and a secure locking point. The Lifepack was successfully launched in Indigogo in 2016 and now the company is crowdfunding again for their Hustle Collection, which is their new series of business bags created based on customer feedback of the Lifepack. The new series features two new bag styles, a streamlined bag design, a bigger power pack, and an included steel locking cable. The Hustle Collection was successfully funded in Aug 2017 and is on track for December delivery.
Flak Sack – Theft Resistant Drawstring Backpack
Here's a bag that tries to solve the problem of where do I put my stuff while I'm _______? The company behind the Flak Sack, LocTote Industrial Bag Co., explain their invention as Pull it, lock it and leave it. It’s that simple. The patent-pending steel reinforced locking strap and heavy-duty solid brass lock enable you to lock your bag shut, and to a fixed object — making it virtually impossible to pilfer or steal without extreme force or heavy tools. The Flak Sack is built from a proprietary blend of slash proof polyethylene and it's water resistant too. I wonder who's put this bag to the test? I'm going to put $10k in it, lock it to a fence in New York City, and come back in a year. The bag might still be intact, but something tells me the fence will be missing!
Code 10 Bags – World’s Most Versatile Lockable Waterproof Backpacks
Now here's a bag I could've used while traveling the Philippines! The Code 10 Bag is a completely waterproof book bag as you can see from the photo above. No laptops were harmed in the making of that photo. It's also designed to deter against pickpockets with its roll down flap that makes it impossible for thieves to access the zip when you’re wearing the bag. It comes with a removable laptop sleeve just in case you don't want to bring your electronic gear into the ocean with you and a handful of other smart features like an included RFID safe travel wallet, a hidden strap system, and hidden pockets.
The Nomatic Travel Bag – The Most Functional Travel Bag Ever
This next bag gets a 5/5 Wow Review because I can't believe how much functional design went into the creation of The Nomatic Travel Bag – and soon to be Nomatic Travel Backpack and Travel Pack – including multiple compartments for water bottles, laptops, books, cords, sunglasses, and valuables. Honestly, you're just going to have to click over and take a look for yourself because I can't list them all here. What started out as the most successful travel bag Kickstarter of all time has evolved into a new line of travel bags created for everyday use based on the feedback of their customers. The Nomatic Travel Bag is available for sale on their website and the Nomatic Backpack and Travel Pack are currently available on Indiegogo and scheduled to be delivered in December. I currently TRY to utilize my Case Logic daily backpack in the way that these bags were designed, but you'll quickly see why it's no substitute for the Nomatic Backpack.
Cowarobot R1 – The First and Only Robotic Suitcase
Here's an autonomous suitcase that follows you around while you walk! It moves up to 4.5 mph, is designed to avoid obstacles, and even features a “Find Me” mode like KITT from Knight Rider. I can't tell you how many times I've had this exact idea while I'm lugging my bags through the city, and to my surprise, someone has actually brought the idea to life! The Cowarobot R1 was funded on Indiegogo in Sep 2016 and is currently in production to be delivered to backers. In addition to its autonomous travel, the suitcase also has a host of other smart features like a power bank, GPS tracking, and password protected locking system. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any information on the website about how non-backers can purchase one at the moment, but I'm thinking that the information will be revealed once the suitcase is available to the public.
Bobby – The Best Anti-Theft Backpack
Here's another anti-theft bag made from cut-proof material and designed with hidden zipper closures and secret pockets to keep your belongings safe – this time in the form of a backpack and soon to be Business Briefcase Backpack. The original Bobby was Kickstarted in April 2016 and is now available for sale to the public and the briefcase version aka: Bobby Bizz (pictured) has been successfully funded on Indiegogo and is expected to be delivered in Oct 2017. The name comes from the well-known nickname for the London Police Force that was created in early 1800s, characterized by the round top police hats.
ECEEN – Solar Powered Backpack
Bags with battery packs are convenient and helpful, but what do you do when the juice runs out and you're far from an electricity source? ECEEN solves that problem with their line of solar paneled bags including this ECEEN Backpack that comes with a 7W solar panel and 10000mAh power bank that can be used to recharge your mobile phone and small electronics on the go. And hopefully in a few years as solar panel technology improves, they'll come out with a series of bags that I'll be able to hook it up to my Tesla and recharge that too!
Coocoon Grid-It!® Bags
Last but not least from Cocoon comes an innovative way to organize your bag's belongings via their patent pending Grid-It!® system. I remember reading about this bag when it first came out in 2009 and thinking how great of an idea it was, but at the time I wasn't traveling very much so I didn't splurge. The idea has since withstood the test of time and the company Cocoon Innovations now offers a whole line of backpacks, messenger bags, laptop cases, and standalone organization grids. Many new bag brands have entered the market since the Grid-It!® was created but Cocoon continues to evolve and expand their line of unique organization bags.
So what'd I miss? What techy luggage should I either add to this list or put into a Part 2 of this article? Drop a comment below or e-mail [email protected]. And be sure to share this post with your travel friends who are looking for new and innovative ways to pack their bags and get the heck out of here!
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