Where should I keep my passport at the airport? Where is the best place to keep your phone? Where should you keep your debit, Oyster or Pasmo card after you’ve paid contactless? When you get on a bus, the underground or in a shop?
We need frequent access to our phone, passport, keys, payment cards when we travel. But if we’re in a rush, or don’t have time or space to put things away, they end up in coat pockets, back pockets or just held in our hands. It’s 2019. We can design better than that.
Secure cross-body bag for travel
RiutBag Sling a light, flexible and secure cross-body bag to easily reach your most important small items on the go. It's slick plain black and ultra minimal in style. It’s my latest design for travellers to be better prepared, travel secure and feel positive as they move through different travel scenarios. RiutBag Sling is different from other cross-body bags because 1) the zip is securely hidden against your body and 2) it’s smart, slimline, light and stretches if you need to hold something larger like a water bottle. It also has a key hook inside to keep your keys easy to find and separate from your phone. You can wear it with a suit or casual.
How to wear it
RiutBag Sling is worn across the body with the zip flat against your torso. When you need to access it, slide it up to your chest and unzip. It works on its own or worn under the straps of a backpack. On the go, you can move it to your side or even to your back; whatever is most comfortable for you. It has an adjustable, high-shine strap with a long, lightweight stretchy pocket. The zip always sits next to your body, hidden from sight, so you have total control when it is opened.
RiutBag Sling looks like a very slim pocket. Thanks to the folds in the side of the black material, and the light stretchy material, it changes size depending on what you put into it. Its total capacity is no more than 2 litres and it’s designed to hold up to 1.5kg. Larger and heavier items should always be carried in a backpack which evenly distributes weight over both shoulders, protecting your back in the long term.
RiutBag Sling gives you a secure version of current fashion to wear the “bum bag” or “fanny pack” across your front. My redesign makes it secure, with Riut’s blueprint secure design: the zips are controlled by you alone. The slimline, lightweight design means you get this function without looking like an extra in a 1990s music video. It’s possible to wear this with a suit, a work dress, or to go casual and wear it over a coat or a shirt. A few small design changes means the positive travel function of this small, handy bag is extended to the smart city traveller, the backpacker, commuter and capital dweller.
A few words from the designer:
"Pockets are great. But when we’re travelling, they aren’t the right place to keep valuables. Phones wear out our soft pockets, wallets slip out when we sit down, we forget which pocket our passport is in and worry hands might finds their way to it. I created the Sling to be your go-to place for your most valuable small items when you’re in transit, easy for you to access quickly without digging through your luggage. Between use, you know your valuables are there, close to your body and not accessible to others.
Worn alone, it’s really freeing. I’ve tested the prototype cycling through the city with just my phone and keys. When I’m fully packed to fly long haul, the Sling has my passport, phone, wallet, earphones, USB cable and a pen to fill in my landing card on arrival. I wear it under my large carry-on backpack, RiutBag X35. I was surprised at the positive impact the RiutBag Sling had on the flow of travel for my flight: I showed my passport at secure, stuck it straight back in the Sling, rushed on to my plane, heaved my hand luggage into the overhead locker and slipped into my seat hands free with my phone, passport and wallet already attached to my body. I was out of the way, not holding up other passengers and could stay in my seat without the hassle of unpacking again on the flight. It felt really good.
I don't mind telling you that having my passport stolen out of my hand on the last day of a 40 day trip through Vietnam - with all the distress, self-loathing and disruption that brought with it - left me thinking: so where can you keep your passport when you travel? Is there a safe place? If you put it in your bag, your bag might get stolen. Keep it in your hotel and it could disappear there. Keep it in your pocket and it could slip out. It needs to be there but invisible and inaccessible to the outside world. RiutBag Sling is my answer to that event. Keep your passport attached to your body at all times. Your passport is the most valuable thing you have when you travel. That's most clear the moment it's gone. So keep it where you know it's there. When travelling, I wear the RiutBag Sling over my top, under a shirt or jacket. And I can get back to travelling positively without ever worrying about theft.
That’s what I want to do. I want to use design to make your travel as smooth, secure and positive as possible. If you have the right product design supporting you as you travel, you will be better prepared, calmer, less stressed and more positive as you move around our towns, cities and the globe. Riut stands for Revolution in user thinking. My designs are here to help you think, feel and move positively as you travel."
Every RiutBag is built with security for travellers at its core whether large or small. This is the smallest of the RiutBag range, but just like the largest secure travel and laptop bags, all the zips are hidden against your body so no one else can get in. This simple design means you decide when you open the zips and you never have to worry that anyone else can open your bag.
Inspiration for this design
"I've been working on how to make your belongings more accessible but keep them secure for a while. I prototyped several holsters that wrap around your upper body. But they didn't quite work. The idea came back when I started working on a different way to access a water bottle! I was trying to make a multifunctional bottle holder that - wait for it - you could attach to your RiutBag and then remove and wear cross body when you only need a bottle - lets say on a day trip getting off a cruise ship, out on a hike or just going for a walk at lunch.
I became obsessed with the idea and prototyped many failed attempts. The main problem was how the bottle holder sat on the backpack when attached. It was nearly lethal when you ran with the RiutBag and had a bottle swinging off it. I realised I wasn’t getting anywhere with the removable bottle holder, so I simply redesigned a new permanent bottle holder for the RiutBag X35 model just funded on Kickstarter and got on with my life.
The prototype for the removed bottle holder was still hanging around my desk though. I liked it. I always use my prototypes for things I never intended. I started wearing it like a bag, over my shoulder, wrapped around my RiutBag and then cross-body. Worn on its own, it became so useful. It started changing into something well beyond a simple bottle holder.
I concentrated my prototyping on it as a bag in its own right. It started to become the small and accessible yet secure holster-like holder I initially wanted, but a little more flexible. I went through three further iterations of this design until the RiutBag Sling was born. This is the first edition. It's basically still in prototype form and I’ll be sending feedback to all my first edition users in the next year so we can see how you use it, what unexpected uses or problems it has. I’ll redesign it based on your feedback and we’ll develop it together."
Wishing you safe travels with it and I look forward to hearing where you travel with yours online!
RiutBag designer and CEO