ZIPPELIN: An inflatable, one-of-a-kind travel bag by FREITAG

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For 24 years, our team at FREITAG has been making robust, water-repellent bags out of used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes, and car seat belts right here in Switzerland.

Our extensive catalogue includes over seventy products, but there’s one item we’ve always wanted to make––a spacious, rolling travel bag.

Introducing ZIPPELIN––the world’s first inflatable travel bag that’s spacious when you need it and compact when you don’t.
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The world's first-ever inflatable travel bag that's spacious when you need it and compact when you don't.
The world’s first-ever inflatable travel bag that’s spacious when you need it and compact when you don’t.

 

The bag has a capacity of 85 liters (5200 in3).
The bag has a capacity of 85 liters (5200 in3).

 

Until your next vacation, ZIPPELIN rolls up for easy storage.
Until your next vacation, ZIPPELIN rolls up for easy storage.

 

Our first inflatable, rolling travel bag

At FREITAG we use old truck tarpaulins to make multifunctional bags that are all truly one-of-a-kind.

No two ZIPPELINs are the same.
No two ZIPPELINs are the same.

Each bag is a recycled individual product (R.I.P.), and our truck tarps are perfectly suited to create water-repellent, robust bags that––we are proud to say––could never be mistaken for anyone else’s at baggage claim.

Still, the weight of this hefty bag is problematic when it’s combined with the already heavy frame and wheels of traditional travel luggage. When we were first conceptualizing ZIPPELIN our initial prototypes were, not surprisingly, too heavy to get through baggage check––even when only half-full.

So, after several unsuccessful trials, we figured out how to keep ZIPPELIN lightweight without sacrificing space: We left the frame out!

When returning from a trip, you can store ZIPPELIN virtually anywhere.
When returning from a trip, you can store ZIPPELIN virtually anywhere.

Inspired by our favorite mode of transportation, we replaced it with the inner tube of a bicycle which can be inflated quickly and easily using a standard pump. And amazingly enough, the pressurized air provides ample support without the weight.

When inflated, ZIPPELIN is a light, tough travel bag with a capacity of 85 liters that is built for the long haul; and when deflated, ZIPPELIN takes up no more space in your closet than the two liters of booze you bought at duty-free.

ZIPPELIN can be inflated with a standard bicycle pump.
ZIPPELIN can be inflated with a standard bicycle pump.

 

Once ZIPPELIN is pumped and packed, it's ready to roll.
Once ZIPPELIN is pumped and packed, it’s ready to roll.

 

If needed, ZIPPELIN can be carried over the shoulder.
If needed, ZIPPELIN can be carried over the shoulder.

How it works

When you are ready to pack for your trip unroll ZIPPELIN and inflate it with a standard bicycle pump to 30 PSI/2 bar.
When you are ready to pack for your trip unroll ZIPPELIN and inflate it with a standard bicycle pump to 30 PSI/2 bar.

 

At check-in remove ZIPPELIN’s wheels.
At check-in remove ZIPPELIN’s wheels.

 

Once you land re-attach the wheels without tools.
Once you land re-attach the wheels without tools.

 

Use the double zipper when you need to access the main compartment.
Use the double zipper when you need to access the main compartment.

 

To quickly access the main compartment, open zip flap at the back.
To quickly access the main compartment, open zip flap at the back.

 

When you need to access your passport, papers, or your smartphone use the zipper compartment!
When you need to access your passport, papers, or your smartphone use the zipper compartment!

 

To repair or replace the inner tube, just remove it from an easily accessible zipped-up compartment.
To repair or replace the inner tube, just remove it from an easily accessible zipped-up compartment.

 

Specs, features, styles

Rewards

Choose your ZIPPELIN before anyone else! You will be one of max. 50 backers to pick first from 300 unique bags from our first production batch. Plus, you'll receive it before anyone else!
Choose your ZIPPELIN before anyone else! You will be one of max. 50 backers to pick first from 300 unique bags from our first production batch. Plus, you’ll receive it before anyone else!

 

You will be one of max. 150 backers (50 Super Early Bird backers and 100 Early Bird backers) to pick from at least 250 unique bags from our first production batch.
You will be one of max. 150 backers (50 Super Early Bird backers and 100 Early Bird backers) to pick from at least 250 unique bags from our first production batch.

 

You will be one of max. 300 backers to pick from 400 unique bags.
You will be one of max. 300 backers to pick from 400 unique bags.

 

You will choose from at least 100 unique ZIPPELINs from our unlimited production batch.
You will choose from at least 100 unique ZIPPELINs from our unlimited production batch.

 

Be surprised! Get one out of 50 ZIPPELINs with an unbeatable discount. You won't choose your ZIPPELIN, but let's be honest, all our bags are great!
Be surprised! Get one out of 50 ZIPPELINs with an unbeatable discount. You won’t choose your ZIPPELIN, but let’s be honest, all our bags are great!

Do you want to see ZIPPELIN live? Our prototypes are available for viewing in a few F-Stores. Check out the ZIPPELIN store locator to see if you are close by!

How to pick your ZIPPELIN

The ZIPPELIN, like all of our other bags, is a R.I.P. (recycled individual product), which means we won’t just ship you any random bag if our campaign reaches its goal.

Instead, we will give you an access code to our online store where you can choose the color and design of your ZIPPELIN once production is done (unless you pledged for the “Blind Booking” reward).

You will choose your unique ZIPPELIN from our online store.
You will choose your unique ZIPPELIN from our online store.

ZIPPELIN will be produced in different batches with corresponding delivery dates. So be sure to pay close attention to the delivery date of your specific reward tier!

VAT, duty, and import taxes are included for the following countries: USA, United Kingdom, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

If your shipping country is not listed in the list above, you will be responsible for VAT, duty, and import taxes.

Timeline

Why Kickstarter

This Kickstarter campaign is about far more than funding. It’s actually about one of our core values: avoiding waste.

Our production team wants to know if you are as excited about ZIPPELIN as we are before we start cutting out the first bag from limited materials. The ZIPPELIN is already geared up for production and inflation, and we don’t need to “pump” anything more into product development.

Kickstarter is about experimentation and collaboration. So, we couldn’t think of a better place to connect with our community and get this innovative product off the ground together!

From truck till bag

Curious about our overall process? Transforming old transport truck covers into functional, unique bags takes place in five highly-complex stages at the factory:

STEP 1: TRUCK SPOTTING

Our five tarp buyers – also known as truck spotters – are either on the phone or scoping out the truck stops of Europe to hunt down beautiful truck tarps.
Our five tarp buyers – also known as truck spotters – are either on the phone or scoping out the truck stops of Europe to hunt down beautiful truck tarps.

STEP 2: TARP CUTTING

Once acquired, we free the grimey, gigantic tarps by cutting off eyelets, straps, belts––plus anything else that a FREITAG bag doesn’t need.
Once acquired, we free the grimey, gigantic tarps by cutting off eyelets, straps, belts––plus anything else that a FREITAG bag doesn’t need.

STEP 3: TARP WASHING

Tarps are usually very dirty, and have to be cleaned! Our tarp washers transform “used” tarps into “vintage.”
Tarps are usually very dirty, and have to be cleaned! Our tarp washers transform “used” tarps into “vintage.”

STEP 4: BAG DESIGN

Our bag designers carve out exquisite, unique designs from the tarps using their templates and cutters.
Our bag designers carve out exquisite, unique designs from the tarps using their templates and cutters.

STEP 5: THE FINISHING

Only prototypes and test bags are sewn at the F-actory. We entrust the sewing of your ZIPPELIN to experienced partners, who understand how to carefully stitch together tarps that are sturdier than leather.
Only prototypes and test bags are sewn at the F-actory. We entrust the sewing of your ZIPPELIN to experienced partners, who understand how to carefully stitch together tarps that are sturdier than leather.

The F-Kickstarters

In addition to the FREITAG truck spotters, tarp cutters, washers, and bag designers who will bring ZIPPELIN to life––here are the guys and gals who are responsible for bringing ZIPPELIN to Kickstarter.

Tanita, the F-light Planner | David, the Alphabet Operator | Stefan, the Prototyper | Bianca, Queen B of Jay-Pgs | Elisabeth, the PR-Pilot | Pascal, the Why-Guy | Katharina, the New Media Miss | Nicola, the Pumpmaster & Zippelinventor
Tanita, the F-light Planner | David, the Alphabet Operator | Stefan, the Prototyper | Bianca, Queen B of Jay-Pgs | Elisabeth, the PR-Pilot | Pascal, the Why-Guy | Katharina, the New Media Miss | Nicola, the Pumpmaster & Zippelinventor

About FREITAG

This is the FREITAG tarp headquarters in the North of Zürich and the homebase of your ZIPPELIN.
This is the FREITAG tarp headquarters in the North of Zürich and the homebase of your ZIPPELIN.

In 1993, our founders Markus and Daniel Freitag were looking for a functional, water-repellent, and robust bag to hold their creative work. Inspired by the multicolored heavy traffic that rumbled through the transit intersection in front of their flat, they developed a messenger bag from used truck tarpaulins. The bags took shape in the living room of their shared apartment––each one recycled, each one unique.

Daniel and Markus Freitag
Daniel and Markus Freitag

Since then, we have been giving truck tarps new life as functional bags and accessories. In 2003, the messenger bag TOP CAT was accepted into the design collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA). We think and act in cycles and supply urban individuals all over the world with a choice of over 70 different bags, as well as compostable textiles developed in-house from the bottom up, called F-ABRIC.