As I headed off to South East Asia on my first Backpacking trip, I was nerdily excited at the prospect of having ‘one of those big backpacks’ that you see nomadic wanderers wearing on travel commercials and biblical travel movies such as ‘The Beach’, I fell in love with the idea of living like a vagabond, my belongings only what I could carry in my backpack.
Trip organised, flights booked, I set out to procure said backpack of such symbolic importance.
The sheer horror that ensued as I stepped into an outdoor clothing store and glanced upon a plethora of Mud Brown, Bogie Green and Mustard Yellow backpacks. It was like looking directly into the eyes of Medusa. I covered my eyes with my hands and recoiled in horror. I promptly wrote off the store and visited a second… a third… sadly the story was very much the same.
Why should we settle for such un-stylish baggage? Throughout my search, I noticed bags either fell into one of two categories – practical and ghastly, or pretty and useless… and that’s pretty useless.
This is why I was absolutely thrilled when I stumbled across Kiwi brand Elephant Stripes – their brand integrate the two concepts – style and practicality.
“Oh my God!” I said to myself as I looked at their online catalogue. I can get a 65cl backpack with a beautiful Geometric design? No Bogie Green? No Mud Brown? I almost fell of my chair!
Who are Elephant Stripes and what makes their brand so special?
Elephant Stripes is comprised of a group of Kiwi girls from New Zealand that love travelling – just like us! This isn’t a store that is just churning out products, it is a range of travel bags and accessories that have been tried and tested by travellers, for travellers. From identifying all the things that the majority of travel bags were lacking during their trip through South East Asia, and the aspects that they and their fellow travellers would like to see in backpacks, Elephant Stripes built their range.
The Elephant Stripes Range
All of the bags offered are available in two sizes – 45L (perfect if you want to take your bag on board flights and not have to check it, but still big enough for a backpacking adventure!) and 65L. Each one is available in one of six beautiful designs:
All bags are made with high quality water resistant 1000D Polyester material, and locking aqua-guard (water resistant) zips. The interiors of the bags have useful pockets, compression straps, and inspiring quotes to feed your wanderlust!
The only variance between the two bags is that the 65cl comes with a detachable day pack – this is a life saver as far as I’m concerned! A big backpack is essential for your backpacking adventures, but what if you want to pop out for the day on a hike or a day trip? Of course you’re going to need a smaller backpack for day use. I was one of the many backpackers that carried my big backpack on my bag, and a smaller detachable daypack strapped across my front… let me tell you that ain’t comfy, especially when the straps keep falling down or you need to get something out of one of them at an airport and you’re having a WWE wrestle with your baggage like your name’s Hulk Hogan.
The Elephant Stripes bags open like a suitcase to make packing and unpacking a breeze! This means you don’t have the nightmare of taking everything out if you need to get something from the bag, like is the case with traditional top loading packs.
As a backpacker you’re probably going to find yourself travelling in some less than desirable weather conditions. Don’t let rain get in the way of your adventure or affect your baggage – just throw on the trusty Elephant Stripes rain cover and you’re good to go! Also provides good protection if you check the bag in.
Zip-away straps and attachable shoulder straps
Transform your bag into a duffel in seconds! The zip-away straps are the perfect feature to ensure the harness doesn’t get ruined in transit and straps don’t get caught on everything while embarking and disembarking. When the shoulder straps are tucked away, the attachable shoulder strap is invaluable for navigating around airports or cities!
The Comfort Deluxe Harness
The Comfort Deluxe Multi-Way Adjustable Harness system is a fully adjustable solution for mid-weight loads, with cooling airflow, excellent stability and freedom of movement. Our hip belts are fully padded and adjustable to take the weight off the shoulders and the hip belt also features pockets to keep your valuables safe and handy
Have you noticed that if you ever take a suitcase travelling, the frame of the thing weighs almost as much as the contents?! This is another great reason to opt for a backpack.
The 45L carry on friendly backpack weighs in at 1.75kg (3.8lbs) and the check-in pack 2.45kg (5.4lbs) inclusive of the daypack.
Don’t worry guys! Elephant Stripes aren’t just about girly designs. They have great unisex backpacks that are suitable for both Men and Women, so you too can enjoy all of the practical and handy features of their backpacks – check out the ‘Rainforest’ and the ‘Geometric Explorer’ lines.
Want to see the features of the packs in action? Elephant Stripes have a great video that demonstrates these available here.
The Elephant Stripes Kickstarter Campaign
In accordance with the launch of this fabulous new range, Elephant Stripes are running a ‘kickstarter’ campaign for 30 days from the 19th April. [YES! THAT MEANS IT’S LIVE NOW!] The sooner you get involved, the better deal you get! Their prices are in NZD but I have converted to USD for you guys.
Buyers can choose their preferred design after the campaign is over.
Let’s see what’s up for grabs!
SUPER EARLY-BIRD: Up to 40% off retail price ($75 off RRP)! There are only 30 bags of each size available at this price.
45L Carry on: $101,
65L Check-in $177
EARLY BIRD: Up to 30% off ($50 off RRP)! There are 50 bags of each size available at this level
45L Carry on: $130
65L Check-in: $198
Kickstarter-Only Deal: $35 off RRP. There are unlimited bags available at this level
45L Carry on: $145
65L Check-in: $210
Please note that prices are exclusive of shipping costs.
[Note that international shipping is available – don’t be disheartened if you’re not buying in USD or NZD! Just use xe.com to convert to your local currency]
Bag for a Bag Scheme
Just in case you needed any more convincing as to why you should look to Elephant Stripes for your shiny new backpack, they have teamed up with a wonderful not-for-profit charity The Bali Children’s Project for the kickstarter campaign, a charity registered in both the United States and Indonesia.
For every Travel Pack bought during this Kickstarter campaign, Elephant Stripes will give a school bag to an Indonesian child in need.
The Bali Children’s Project is based on the idea that if children are empowered with education, they are more likely to live a fulfilled life. The families that they sponsor barely have money for food, let alone school supplies. The donated school bags will be a huge help for the families and something to treasure for the children!
For more information on this fabulous range, head over to the site at www.Elephantstripes.com.au