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King Kong unfiltered – The journey to better luggage. (Part 1)

About six months ago, we identified a need for an innovative, durable, functional carry-on bag primarily for athletes Sportspeople who spend plenty of weekends away at competitions, training camps etc. We believe the best approach for this is a hybrid. A hard-shell case at the back and a softer, material front. This composite design would allow for the durability and impact resistance that comes with a hard-case, with the flexibility and functionality of a softer material construction.

Our research shows that the existing market of carry-on bags for travelling athletes is, basically, crappy. The quality is poor and functionality is terrible. Decent carry-on pieces are primarily designed for business use and cost upwards of $300 at least. And it seems that the luggage game is comprised of only big players.

 
We’ve been in the bag game for over five years now, and worked with many manufacturers along the way. But we had to ask some questions in order to take the next step. Why is luggage so expensive, why are there so few smaller brands in luggage and is it really that hard to make?

 
The first thing we discovered is that there’s more than one way to make a hard-shell.

THERMOFORMING VS. INJECTION MOLDING
Two ways to make hard cases. Thermoforming is cheaper as it only needs a mold on one side. Injection molding is more expensive as it needs an enclosed mold. But it has multiple advantages including the ability to produce more detail, better consistency, variable width components and reduced waste, as the scrap generated during the production process can be reground and re-used.

 

 
After chatting to a few factories, we discovered that the injection molds for each hard case (front and back) are not the same – a different injection mold is required for each side. And they cost between $25,000-$60,000USD EACH!
That’s a lot to ‘shell out’ (!) before anything even gets made. We started to understand why only the big boys were playing in this game.

Luckily, we only need one of these molds with…A COMPOSITE DESIGN

How to describe the perfect luggage for athletes? Probably a bit like you – tough…yet flexible.
We think a hybrid design, with a hard-shell at the back and a softer, material front is the answer. A composite design allows for the durability and impact resistance that comes with a hard-case, with the flexibility and functionality of a softer material construction.

Much more to come!

Stefan.

 
If you want to join us on this journey to build better luggage – and get early-bird access when we launch it, enter your name and email below.
 

 

 

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