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Backpack Innovation - A Long History!

Onli Travel is about to get it’s third patent issued. Starting with the basic idea of a three part modular bag that could be recombined, we’ve progressed to several new ideas that will be in the new patent. And, we have other patents that we have applied for that are being considered by the patent office.

We all stand on the shoulders of those who went before us. Someone once said, “progress is the increase in the number of things you can take for granted”. So, as I contemplated our third patent, I did a little searching on the history of innovations in backpack design.

You have to go WAY BACK to find the starting point. You may remember Ötzi The Iceman, who was discovered frozen in the Alps. He was dated to about 3300 BC, so he’s about 5320 years old. And - you guessed it - he had a backpack!

It looks like his backpack may have been one of his prize possessions. It had a wooden frame made from a curved hazel stick that distributed the weight, an animal hide container, a rope net, and shoulder straps made of goat hide. In it, he carried the essentials for his trip: a flint knife, a copper-bladed ax, a fire-starting kit, and several pieces of dried meat. The rope netting secured his bow, and a quiver of arrows, kept outside the backpack for quick access. The whole design was innovative and functional, and allowed Ötzi to travel light.

We’d probably have trouble today getting on a plane with a flint knife, a copper ax, or a bow and arrows. (We may still need the beef jerky if the flight doesn’t have meal service!) But the point is that Ötzi’s backpack solved problems, given his environment. That’s what we are trying to do too!
Today’s traveler or digital nomad doesn’t usually face enemies with arrows, but we do have a host of problems to overcome:
  • Limited storage space - our bags split into components, so that you can find places for them to fit!
  • Expensive baggage fees - our bags are designed to avoid checking, so that you don’t have to pay them!
  • Need for quick access - we’ve tried to design one-zip access to what you need!
  • Multiple objectives for a trip - our bags work well for business, adventure, and leisure travel, and it’s easy to toggle between them, and adjust on the fly!

Our hope is that, with our equipment, you can pack with less stress, travel with what you need with more freedom and flexibility, and solve problems along the way.

Thanks for the inspiration, Ötzi! That’s probably what you would have wanted too! We’ll keep trying to keep moving your innovative backpack ideas forward!

Happy Traveling!

Dave, and the Onli Travel Team