Traveling to work in the city on a crowded train or bus has become a necessary part of the daily grind for many urbanites, and the backpack is often the weapon of choice for the transport of commute necessities. But Sarah Giblin spotted a design flaw in this useful storage solution and set out to do something about it. The problem is that unless you take it off or wear it to the front when enjoying the rush hour squeeze, all of those exposed compartment zips are just asking for probing fingers to dip in and remove the contents. Giblin's answer is the RiutBag, which has no zips on the outer shell.
The waterproof RiutBag is made from foam-lined Cordura and Kevlar. All of the backpack's storage access points are placed against the wearer's back, which means that opportunist thieves will have quite a bit of work to do to get at the contents without being noticed. There's no need to worry about protruding zips making life on the road uncomfortable though, as the padding should prevent any contact.
The main compartment of the unisex RiutBag is big enough to hold a 15-inch laptop, and there's a pocket for small items like keys, a smartphone and a wallet. The backpack features an adjustable chest strap for comfort, a bottle holder on each side, with shaped recessing for a snug fit, and straps that have small pockets for storing travel tickets or boarding passes.
"The days before RiutBag existed, I used every plane, train and bus journey to sketch," said Giblin. "Traveling from London to Berlin by plane most weeks, I got plenty of observation market research done: my own feelings traveling alone with a normal rucksack, the other rucksacks out there and how people react to those around them."
Over a thousand commuters and city folk were also surveyed to help Giblin perfect the design, and two years after the original concept began to take shape, the final design is ready for commercial production.
To get the RiutBag onto the backs of urban commuters, Giblin has launched on Kickstarter. The amount backers will need to pledge for this backpack varies according to when they want to receive it, should all go to plan. The cheapest level is £45 (about US$70) for May 2015 shipping. Impatient travelers can stump up £100 for estimated delivery in February.
Have a look at the pitch video below for a closer look at the RiutBag.