Contemporary messenger bag that glows and can be seen from far away, runs on a rechargeable battery that charges your phone.
“niteRIDR bag project” Seagull Bags+Ryan Backhuus
Hi kickstarter, my name is Ryan Backhuus. I’m from Portland, OR. I’ve collaborated with Seagull Bags in Columbus, OH to make a standard messenger bag that is anything but standard.
I, Ryan Backhuus, and Seagull Bags bring you the ‘niteRIDR’. It’s not just a bag, it’s a utility of the daily routine. It doesn’t just glow, it’s bright from great distance.The battery doesn’t just last, it charges an iPhone 5 over 8 times from 10% to 100%. You can run the lighting and charge your phone at the same time. You can charge almost anything that runs on a usb charger. On the exterior, the lighting can get wet, and so can the bag. The interior is lined with 100% waterproof vinyl. The lighting is set up to come out of a side hidden area that the battery can sit in mostly unnoticed, leaving you lots of space for anything else you feel like carrying around.
I would consider myself more than an average cyclist, and I do not have a drivers license. Because of this limitation I’m usually out with a bag to carry my lock, groceries, whatever is on the menu for the day. I have owned several different brands of messenger bags designed for cyclists. Last summer was the inspiration of this entire project. I moved out to a rural area that did not have sidewalks or street lamps. I knew I needed lighting. Checking at my local bike shop I saw how expensive lights can be. Discouraged by the financial reality that I couldn’t afford to get safe, I looked for alternatives.
I discovered a material called electroluminescent.
Oddly enough this stuff dates back to the late 1950′s. You wouldn’t know it, but there are many pieces of this material behind many large flatscreen TVs as well as night-lights. It’s used for backlighting, due to its bright, yet soft illuminating nature with minimal electrical requirement. It is made from layers of phosphor paste, laminated and connected to an electric current, displaying what you see as a soft glow. I truly believe this alternative deserves more attention. For now, a bag. It took me a while to determine a power source that was not only sufficient, but somehow useful. I have done just that with a battery that utilizes a lot of USB, keeping it relatively universal with people. That was very important, and took almost 4 months to first find the proper inverter and then an appropriate capacity. I would eventually like to have custom li-po batteries made, large ones. I feel people need to charge their phones a lot, so I put in a battery that would support that. The market doesn’t really feel so much convenience should be put into a bag, but I don’t see why not.
It needed power..
When I saw the schematic and general electrical requirements, I pretty much laughed like a mad scientist. I can tell there is a great need for a paper thin lighting source with no bulb or diode. I got to work right away. My first designs on my own personal bags were nothing short of frankenbags.
For me they were great, but I wanted something worthy of the public, something refined and practical. I also wanted versatility because I, too, needed to charge my power-hungry devices. I’ve had some of the more expensive portable power options, and they’ve fallen short. Knowing what is out there, I wanted to put something together that was just more than the average bag, yet didn’t make you feel like it was much more than a bag.
The true highlight is the visibility factor. The bag can be seen from over 500 feet away in mid darkness, up to 1000 feet in total darkness. The possibilities of this are different than just ‘how bright can it be’, even the luminosity is softer yet somehow more effective than a sharp-lit LED. I want to bring this unbreakable material where it belongs, places that break stuff. I want to develop different forms of energy for this material as well. It’s all a very exciting process.
In total, the bag is composed of a messenger bag, electroluminescent panels, complete unnoticed wiring beneath the lining, an inverter for the battery to transfer power to the panels, and a battery to store the power. The battery is in its own side pouch away from the main compartments of the bag. Seagull tests all of their bags outdoors, and I have tested this for the last few months with nothing short of extreme durability.
The niteRIDR features:
2 outer front pockets that could fit an iPad mini
1 inner velcro-secured pocket that could fit an iPad mini, sideways.
large open layout
D-ring for keys, slack clips, shoulder stabilization strap, and metal clasp with padded main strap.
20000 mah battery: 2 USB ports, 1x 1.0a 1x 2.1a (iPad etc), which you can take out, around, and charge using any usb charger.
At this time, we are focusing on the blue/aqua color for glow, and black for the bag. We would like to visit the effective safety of other colors. Ultimately, this is a bag. However, its’ purpose is to be the right bag. I want to change what a bag can be and add the seemingly futuristic conveniences 2013 ought to have. For now, the idea of charging a laptop is something to reach for. I feel that certain laptops already have amazing batteries, so for now I want to focus on handhelds, etc.
Ryan Backhuus is a motivated creative-type with a great passion for trying to change the world.
Seagull Bags is a Columbus, Ohio based bag company that specializes in meticulous detail that is above all else.
Where you come in:
We need the kickstarter members pledges help to get materials and (electrical) supplies ordered for an idea of production, based on the pledges support as a form of demand.
The complete bag with battery and lighting will be available to kickstarter supporters for $225, shipped priority mail in the US for no charge. The cost includes all materials and assembly ‘man hours’. We are not sure what the retail price could be, but we are all committed to the project.
The funding from your pledges will go towards ordering materials such as EL panels, inverters, batteries, and lots and lots of material for bags. Everything will start within 5 days of pledge funding being complete.
The Kickstarter backers will be able to choose their bag color from the following
Black, Navy, Jean, Turquoise, Olive, Mint, Light Gray, Rust, Red, and Wine.
The glow itself will remain blue if your pledge includes it. The battery will remain white.
The final prototype: (approximate)
Width 15.5 in, 39.4 cm
Height 11.5 in, 29.2 cm
Depth 7.5 in, 19 cm
Length Across Top 24 in, 61 cm
Volume 1337 ci, 22 Litres
Weight 2.5 lbs, 1.1 kg
Buckle 2″ Painted Steel Float Bar System Webbing 2″ Nylon Seatbelt WebbingFoam
1/2″ Thick Closed Cell Foam
Buckles1.5″ Duraflex bucklesWebbing 1.5″ PolypropyleneVelcro1 & 2″ Industrial Strength
Risks and challengesLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
Fortunately we are working with a known concept. We spent nearly 9 months with several alternating stages of design and testing before ending up with a bag that does so many things–adequately. We hope to get feedback during the pledge phase to incorporate into the final release.
The only complication that stood out was receiving the lighting materials, but we sorted out shipping, making a deal with UPS in the originating country to ensure we receive everything quickly. The rest is up to us, and those odds we can handle.
Seagull had been making and shipping quality gear for over 10 years. This project has given us the chance to partner with Ryan to make a cool useful product and still use our know how and production capability.