Safe backwards backpack RiutBag starts 2017 with its largest capacity design yet: RiutBag R25 £129 ships 1 Feb 2017, 25 litre safe backpack for airlines accepting up to 55cm x 40cm x 20cm on board.
When I designed the first RiutBag in 2013, I built it for the commuter and digital nomad. I want travellers and commuters to move around with peace of mind, thinking about the things they want to focus on. That's why I removed all the zips from the outside of the RiutBag and planned them against your back. So, when you wear it, your zips are perfectly protected by your back.
New 2017 RiutBag R25, 25 litre
All RiutBags are carry-on safe. Until now, the R10 and R15 have been well within the carry-on restrictions for national and international flights. I'm able, for the first time, to reveal the RiutBag R25 which moves up to the maximum size limit for travellers who use a range of airlines.
What size is the RiutBag R25?
I've built the RiutBag R25 to the size 55cm x 40cm x 20cm (21.5 in x 15.5in x 7.5 inches). This is the current (25 Jan 2017) size restriction on carry-on luggage by airline Ryanair in the UK. Notoriously strict on luggage limits, this airline is a good measure for what will be allowed on other airlines too.
Like the rest of the R range (RiutBag R10 and R15) RiutBag R25 carries a 15 inch laptop, A4 documents straight, has two water bottle holders, a trolley suitcase strap, D-pocket and top pocket. It comes with four coloured - red, green, blue, pink - and reflective RiutBands.
Does it work in practice?
I have tested the RiutBag R25 on two key points: 1) Is it allowed on a range of airlines, nationally in the UK and internationally? 2) Can it carry a large amount?
A family member of mine has moved from England to New Zealand. I decided to travel to visit them taking only a RiutBag R25 for 30 days with no check-in luggage. I packed everything I needed into the R25 and set off.
Contents: I travelled from deepest winter in Berlin, through Beijing in winter and landed at the start of summer in New Zealand. The practical way to deal with this in terms of packing was to wear winter clothing and pack summer clothing. This meant travelling for 30 days was easier because the contents of the RiutBag R25 was thinner, lighter weight clothing and shoes. Using laundry service 3 times over 4 weeks meant I could pack more economically too.
When you're living out of one large backpack for a month - including laptop, chargers, external hard disk and important documents - you must be selective. But I was able to do it, and I even managed to fit a few (slim) presents in on the way back.
Which airlines accept the RiutBag R25?
My test journey started, on this occasion, in Berlin, Germany. I always fly via the cheapest options which means I tend to have to think hard about luggage restrictions:
Berlin, Germany > London Gatwick - EasyJet
London Heathrow > Beijing - Air China
Beijing, China > Auckland , NZ - Air China
Auckland, NZ > Wellington, NZ - Air New Zealand
Wellington, NZ > Auckland, NZ - JetStar
Auckland, NZ > Beijing - Air China
Beijing, China > London Heathrow - Air China
London Stansted > Berlin, Germany - Ryanair
The RiutBag R25, completely packed full, was accepted on all flights and is within the accepted luggage size for all these airlines. I took the RiutBag R25 onboard with no questions asked every time. It is too big to fit under the seat in front when packed fully, however, it fits perfectly into the overhead lockers on all flights.
Size is not a problem. The only thing to watch out for is weight. If you fill your RiutBag with heavy items, it could well tip over the weight limit on your flight. On one of my flights, I was asked to check the weight of my RiutBag. I'd managed to cram my coat and an extra jumper into it. So I removed those, carried them on one arm and came back within the weight limit for my flight.
RiutBag story so far
I built the RiutBag for people who want to carry plenty - valuables, tech and the other important contents of a daily backpack - but don't want to give a second thought to their valuables once their bag is packed. The person who travels through busy towns and cities most days: they walk, jump on buses, run to catch trains, trams and tubes. The RiutBag commuter wants to be able to carry a laptop in their backpack, documents straight and fill their backpack with gym clothes, or extras for a weekend trip away.
Thanks to over 2,500 backers on Kickstarter, we took this idea and turned it into the first ever RiutBag. I then asked for their user feedback and rebuilt the RiutBag to take their feedback into account and the RiutBag R10 and R15 resulted. The R10 and R15 are in their third iteration. Now the RiutBag R25 joins the R range of safe backwards backpacks.
Read the full story and infographic here: www.riut.co.uk/riutbag-story