Does cycling to work leave unsightly creases in your sweaty suit? If so, then Cambridge Design Partnership’s latest invention could be of interest.
The Suitpack rucksack provides crease-free solution to cycle-commuting, CDP says. Still at prototype stage, the compact rucksack uses a patented roll-fold concept. Designed to hang easily from locations wherever required, it allows easy-access to the clothes, toiletry and shoe compartment, with a novel folding system.
The potential market doesn’t just include cyclists, either, with the Suitpack providing a convenient temporary storage solution for smart clothes while the commuters goes to the gym before or after work, or during their lunch break.
According to the makers, the Suitpack also fits within the dimensions of ‘hand luggage’ allowed by European airports and in railway ceiling racks. It also provides space for a laptop and accessories.
“We know the challenges faced by anyone who has to pack smart clothes for the journey to work,” explained Ben Strutt, head of Design at Cambridge Design Partnership. “Most people who go to the gym early, cycle or jog to work, and commute regularly in ‘practical’ clothes understand the need to change into smart attire upon arrival. This can be annoying and time consuming, leaving the unsatisfactory options of disruption to personal routine; lack of exercise, or commuting via different methods. There is also the issue of office changing facilities which tend to be cramped, impersonal, with floors too wet to put clothes on.
“Very often the trick of good design is not to reinvent the wheel; but to identify and understand problems, give a fresh perspective, and address a burning gap in the market. Here, Cambridge Design Partnership has provided an innovative, graceful solution to what is, for many people, an everyday problem, and which addresses a huge market need.”
The firm highlighted the growing market for its product, with the convenience of cycling as a form of exercise, the popularity of various government cycling initiatives, and financial and environmental concerns, all resulting in a significant net increase in cycle-commuting. 1.3 million new UK cyclists joined the roads last year, with now 783,000 cycle commuters and the increase in cycling levels is predicted to continue to grow another 20 per cent by 2015.
Graham Henderson, business commuter and partner in the project, said: “Life in the city can be fast and days in the office are often long, so many people find they don’t have time to go to the gym or play any sport. Commuting by bike solves this problem by incorporating exercise into your daily routine, so a healthy lifestyle and a busy job are no longer incompatible. But the problem of what to wear means the only options seem to be turning up with crumpled trousers, keeping your wardrobe under your desk or taking transport and exercising later. The Suitpack is a smart solution to all this."
CDP’s Head of Design Strutt added: “Cambridge Design Partnership’s most recent demonstrator has evolved during the application of our usual iterative design process; with rapid experimentation and critiquing of successive models and prototypes we quickly learn about problems and opportunities, while refining the design for cost and labour effective manufacture.”
Cambridge Design Partnership is now interested in speaking with potential partners about the future branding and development of the Suitpack backpack, or its core innovations into other luggage designs, and on to the manufacture and distribution phase of the products development.