Made from lightweight, durable, and water-resistant nylon fabrics, the Free Spirit features a 30-liter capacity for hauling plenty of gear. Unlike most travel packs, it does not feature a rigid frame of any kind, which gives it the ability to pack down to a surprisingly small size. In fact, when compressed to its smallest form, the bag is just 8 inches across and 7 inches wide, making it easy to slip inside a carry-on bag for use later. When you are ready to hit the trail, simply take it out, expand it to its full size, fill it with gear and supplies, and get moving.
But we have seen packable travel backpacks before, and while they often offer a great deal of convenience, they do not always have the organizational elements that are common in more traditional bags. That is not the case with the Free Spirit, which includes five internal pockets for keeping stuff organized. Several of those pockets are even designed to expand to carry larger items or collapse completely out of the way when not needed. An additional five pockets can be found on the outside of the pack as well, allowing the wearer to access important items such as a cell phone or wallet much more quickly. The pack is even hydration ready with a built-in bladder sleeve and two water bottle holders too.
Additionally, the Free Spirit comes with some extra features that are not commonly found on a bag of this type. For instance, it has an adjustable chest strap that slides up and down to accommodate different sized torsos. It is also equipped with a padded hip belt (complete with zippered side pockets) and shoulder straps that are surprisingly well-padded. There is even a lower back pad that provides a bit of extra support too. Despite all of these features, the pack weighs less than a pound, allowing it to slip into your luggage practically unnoticed.
Gobi Gear hopes to raise $45,000 to get this travel backpack into production and, if successful, the company hopes to begin shipping the final product in February. It is expected to retail for $79, although early-bird supporters can reserve one now for just $63. Find out more here.