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Kickstarter Highlight :: The KNOMO #LiveFree Backpack

Kickstarter Highlight :: The KNOMO #LiveFree Backpack

by , April 27, 2017

Crowdfunding is fast becoming the world’s go-to platform for new releases. But do you ever find it hard to cut through the noise and pin down the ones worth your hard-earned? Well, that’s where this new sponsored series comes in. We’re vetting carry Kickstarters for you, digging up the facts, and shedding light on the ones we think are worth a closer look.

Our first selection: KNOMO and their #LiveFree Backpack.

The need for something new

As lifestyles have evolved over time, so have people’s luggage requirements. There is less interest in specifically designed document briefcases, laptop cases or gym bags and more demand for versatile equipment that can serve a range of needs.


KNOMO, the mobile accessories brand known for their design and organisation expertise, have developed what they believe to be the ‘perfect 24/7 backpack’, something that could be used for work just as easily as a weekend away. The idea was originally conceived from a desire to address the needs of remote workers and tech enthusiasts alike. As Howard Harrison, CEO and Co-Founder explains, “Over the past 12 years our team has grown, spreading across 15 locations and seven different countries, so we understand the problems that the connected generation is facing.”

The result is the #LiveFree Backpack. A tech-filled, weatherproof bag which promises to address everyday issues, including dead batteries, misplaced belongings and disintegrating documents.



DropGos and Chipolos

The #LiveFree’s tech integration is what makes it really appealing to remote workers, frequent travellers and straight up busy individuals, all of whom will be familiar with the frustrations of a dead battery. The DropGo wireless charging pocket combines a Qi standard inductive power bank with KNOMO’s device guide which will keep your mobile device firmly in place to charge on the go. iPhone users can be part of the wireless team by using the specially designed case with their phone, whilst Samsung S6/7 and newly released S8 users can take advantage of the native compatibility by simply dropping their device into the pocket.

DropGo Wireless Charging

Constantly being on the move can also throw up problems for the forgetful types, which is why KNOMO have partnered with Chipolo to include a Bluetooth tracking disc that slips into a hidden internal pocket of the bag. Like other trackers, it allows you to see the last known location of your bag, but Chipolo take their tracking a step further. Being the loudest on the market, the device allows you to ‘ring’ it via a mobile app so it emits a loud sound whilst displaying the location on the map.

Chipolo Bluetooth Tracking


As we know, tech and water don’t mix well, which is why KNOMO have chosen to use weatherproof waxed cotton canvas for the outer layer. The unique fabric blend, called ‘Chera 12oz’, has been developed by British Millerain; the original creators of water-repellent waxed canvas used in ship sails since 1893. The hard-wearing material has undergone a bespoke, top-secret waxing process in their Lancashire, UK, factory, designed to repel driving rain and wear in beautifully over time, something KNOMO see as compulsory for a piece that is expected to last. But note: the zippers aren’t waterproof, so in a heavy downpour, we’d still recommend it’s best to find cover.


The design thought is deeper than the outer layer however. The #LiveFree contains a range of compartments designed for pretty much every daily item you can think to carry. Amongst others, they include a side pocket with capacity for a 500ml water bottle and key attachment, a mesh zipped headphone and wire pocket, plus an RFID-blocking front pocket, perfect for storing electronically sensitive items such as bank cards and passports. Sitting separately from the rest is the easy slip-out laptop and tablet section, complete with foam padding and large enough to fit devices up to 15.6”. This two-compartment structure ends the need to unpack your neatly folded clothes when going through airport security.


KNOMO packing


The result may look polished, but as Tim FitzGerald, KNOMO’s Lead Designer, explains it didn’t happen overnight, “We spent 12 months getting the design perfect, customising, testing and refining all aspects, including bespoke pullers, custom closures and unique design accents, ensuring every detail is functional and sleek”. This attention to detail is evident up close and Harrison highlights that feedback from the existing KNOMO community has heavily influenced the overall product design.


The team have turned to crowdfunding for the first time to launch their latest product with the intention to continue taking on feedback from their growing community. Now, with the Kickstarter campaign well under way and having surpassed the initial £50,000 ($64,140) target, they have added a stretch goal. As requested by backers, a new colourway will be unlocked if they reach the next milestone of £80,000 ($102,624).

With the project successfully funded, bags are expected to ship this September. If you want to get your hands on one, you have until 7th May, with prices starting at £175 ($224).

Note: this is a sponsored series, but only the best candidates are given this feature placement.

Above are the facts, but there’s always a little risk when backing a crowdfunder, so keep that in mind before you decide back / purchase. 😉


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