Hi, I am product design student, in my final year, and I am proposing to design a Round the World Travel backpack. I am planning to make it more secure so that theft will be lower and you will be able to travel with ‘peace of mind’. I have a few concepts in the pipe line but I am calling out for any input that you so wish to give. Has anyone experienced any kind of theft while travelling, or from a backpack, or has anyone adapted their backpack for a task, suited to your need, that the original backpack did not feature? I want to make this backpack the ultimate associate while backpacking, but I can not do this on my experiences and what I know alone, so please fell free to explain what you think should be included.
My pack was modified so I could carry smelly muddy hiking boots on the outside. Somewhere to fit my hiking poles would be nice - they hang of the outside and I'm always worried about them hitting people.
Gotta be comfortable to carry - not stick to your back
Should have an attachable daypack, than you can take of
Should be able to seal up, so that straps dont get snagged on conveyors
Should have sidepockets for camelback containers, and space behind them to fit your poles
In terms of theft, anyone determined to get in, will just use a knife to cut it open, or pliers to cut the measly padlock. Its the opportunistic thief that is the problem, who sees that you slip something in (and who shares your room), like an iPod, then nicks that. Traditionally, you just have a flycord that closes the top, and buckles to keep the lid down. If you could lock the buckels somehow, or maybe if you had a sewn in Kevlar pouch that could be locked, and keep your passport/tickets/ipod in there, that might be a solution?!
I would like to see some hidden pockets/compartments that aren't easy to find or access without taking the entire pack apart. Some place very unsuspecting. Not just the unzipped section at the back. Something intentionally designed into the pack. I guess anyone who bought the same pack would know where to look, but the random thief certainly wouldn't know.
How about attachable wheels? Most of the time the pack's on my back, but there are some times, I wish I could just drag the damn thing.
I love the detachable wheels idea - when i cue to check in for flights i kick my backpack ahead of me
my ideal backpack would have a zip on the top rather than a draw cord so you could lock it, and wheels that dont get in the way when its on your back, or take up too much space if they are detachable (still have to able to carry them in the bag)
If you can you should have a look at the Mountain Designs Odessey range and try and copy some of the ideas on that. Security measures on that are excellent and it also has plenty of hidden pockets like aimsuk says (which is another very important thing). Having zips that can be padlocked together without putting it through the two thin zip handles is also a very good idea. I know that the Odessey range has it, but many other backpacks that I have seen do not.
This is more a futuristic sort of design, but have an inbuilt power socket with a short pull out lead (similar in nature to that of a vaccume cleaner only not such a long lead) to be able to plug in to a wall socket. This would then allow a person to have a mobile phone, digital camera or even a laptop in their backpack overnight whilst having it on charge but being padlocked inside their backpack.
In the end nothing that you or anyone else does will do anything more than keep the honest people honest and the dishonest just have to work a little harder to steal peoples gear.
[ Edit: Edited on Jan 25, 2008, at 5:35 AM by aharrold45 ]
Thanks for all your replies, exactly what i needed to hear. Please feel free to add more ideas or views, anything goes, I want to hear even the smallest of ideas.
Here are some interesting links from other folks discussing the perfect travel backpack that I stumbled across a whil ago. I found these pretty fascinating and I bet at least one or two will give you some valuable food for thought: