Smart luggage maker Kabuto is now selling a 95L Trunk with magnetically attachable Backpack that itself can double in capacity from 9L to 18L. The hard shell trunk includes a TSA-approved fingerprint lock, removable battery to charge your gadgets, and magnetic Fidlock fasteners, just like those found on the Kabuto Smart Carry-On bags launched on Kickstarter in 2019. Both bags should begin shipping by the end of summer as vaccine-fueled travel begins again.
The $629 (early bird pricing) Kabuto Trunk measures 72 x 36 x 37cm (28 x 14 x 14.5 inches) and weighs 4.7kg / 10.4lb. It can be configured with a $29 30W 10,000mAh battery for smartphones or a beefier $79, 60W, 20,000mAh battery that can also charge most USB-C laptops. The batteries can be stored in an optional $69 Pocket that magnetically attaches to the front of the Trunk and charges devices stored inside or out thanks to an external charging hub. That means you can sit down, wheel the trunk in front of you, plug in your laptop, and place it on the boxy Trunk for a mobile workspace on the go. When you check the Trunk, just pop off the Pocket to keep all your valuables (and battery) with you on the plane. The Trunk is available in black / copper or blue / silver color combinations.
The fingerprint sensor can store up to 10 fingerprints, making it suitable for sharing with family or friends. Like the Carry-On, the Trunk’s fingerprint sensor has its own dedicated replaceable battery that will warn you when the charge is getting low. Nevertheless, you’ll also get a set of slim back-up keys that can be carried in a wallet or purse. Kabuto claims the sensor is fast. I tested the sensor on the 2019 Kabuto Carry-On and that’s already very fast — equivalent to what you’d expect unlocking a modern smartphone. Assigning fingerprints is also quick, although you’ll likely need to relearn the steps should you ever share the bag as it’s not entirely intuitive.
The $299 (early bird pricing) Kabuto Backpack includes a USB-C hub on the side. It doubles in capacity using hidden magnets that incrementally expand the sides of the bag as pressure builds. And like the Pocket, it snaps onto the Kabuto Trunk using a magnetic Fidlock mechanism that Kabuto says can securely hold up to 10kg / 22lb. The Trunk remains upright with the help of four “tires” that Kabuto claims are “the most silent wheels ever.” The Backpack is available in silver, blue, grey, and a nude beige.
The Trunk / Backpack combo is available for $929 via early bird pricing. Kabuto bags are covered by a lifetime warranty and are expected to begin shipping in September at the tail end of Hot Vax Summer, just as the world hopefully emerges from our collective traveling funk.
A note on crowdfunding:
Crowdfunding is a chaotic field by nature: companies looking for funding tend to make big promises. According to a study run by Kickstarter in 2015, roughly 1 in 10 “successful” products that reach their funding goals fail to actually deliver rewards. Of the ones that do deliver, delays, missed deadlines, or overpromised ideas mean that there’s often disappointment in store for those products that do get done.
The best defense is to use your best judgment. Ask yourself: does the product look legitimate? Is the company making outlandish claims? Is there a working prototype? Does the company mention existing plans to manufacture and ship finished products? Has it completed a Kickstarter before? And remember: you’re not necessarily buying a product when you back it on a crowdfunding site.