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Travel device blows up in your suitcase

Travel device blows up in your...
PaQ consists of a main device (lower left, in suitcase) that's attached to an inflatable bladder
PaQ consists of a main device (lower left, in suitcase) that's attached to an inflatable bladder
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PaQ consists of a main device (lower left, in suitcase) that's attached to an inflatable bladder
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PaQ consists of a main device (lower left, in suitcase) that's attached to an inflatable bladder

When you ship something, you typically put bubble wrap or newspaper around it, to provide impact protection and to keep it from rattling around inside the box. Well, PaQ is a self-inflating gadget that does the same thing for the precious contents of your suitcase.

About the size of a thick smartphone, the ABS-bodied main PaQ device is attached to an inflatable PVC bladder that sits folded up behind it when not in use. The whole setup weighs a claimed 7.7 oz (218 g), and is powered by two user-supplied AA batteries that should reportedly be good for about two years of once-a-week use.

Once you've finished packing for a trip, you unfold the rectangular bladder and place it within your suitcase, over top of its contents. Next, you press a yellow button on the main device to start its air pump, then you close and zip up the case. The pump will inflate the bladder until it takes up all the empty space inside the suitcase (up to a volume of about 10 liters), at which point an integrated pressure sensor will automatically stop the pump.

As the suitcase is in transit, the inflated bladder will hold all your clothes, liquids, electronics, etc in place, while also protecting fragile items from impacts. Upon reaching your destination, the bladder can simply be deflated.

PaQ is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of US$29 will get you a standard unit, when and if it reaches production. The estimated retail price is $49. If the funding goal is met, there are plans to also offer a Bluetooth-enabled model that will notify an app on your phone once your suitcase arrives at the airport baggage-pickup carousel.

Source: Kickstarter

4 comments
Johannes
What happens when the random "security" check results in a suitcase being opened in the owner's absence? Bit of a surprise for the border protection folks? Taking that idea a little further, can the inflatable bladder be printed with a message for the unwary official or thief?
Brian M
Not sure about the headline but..... What happens in a reduced pressure cargo bay hold etc.?
fred_dot_u
A quick google search shows that most larger airlines and some smaller airlines operate aircraft with pressurized cargo holds. This suggests no worries with the Pac item. On the flip side, air pressure at altitude is not zero (vacuum) and moving from sea level to vacuum would increase the internal pressure by 1 bar (14.7 psi) which may be within the product's range of strength.
I think the issue of security opening the bag is of greater concern. An x-ray shows a battery powered device with an unusual shape surrounding it which would perhaps trigger a search. Will security know to push the button to deflate and later inflate it? Either way, it reduces or nullifies the value of the product.
It was amusing to see the motorcyclist place the Pac in his cargo bin, but not perform any activation, unless he pressed the button as it was placed. I see the product as useful for also shipping something to a family member or friend who can be counted on to return the Pac.
AngryPenguin
@Brian M
I'm guessing it's the same thing that happens when you bring a bag of chips onto an airplane - nothing dramatic, it just puffs up.