Knomo has long been one of our favorite tech-friendly bag makers, but it looks like they’ve really outdone themselves this time. The British company has always paid close attention to style, but now they’ve gone all-in on tech features, making the new #LiveFree Backpack the best tech bag we’ve seen yet.
Of course, how useful a tech bag is starts at how well it can protect its precious cargo, and the biggest threat is rain (especially true in Knomo’s native England). Knomo partnered with British Millerain to seal the deal on rain protection, literally. They used a special British-produced cotton canvas material, which then got a hydrophobic wax coating of the kind the sails on naval ships got. That also might make this bag the coolest example of “military-grade protection” we’ve seen yet.
Next up? Protection from dead batteries and data thieves. Early last year, Knomo debuted the Drop & Go Pocket, a wireless charging pocket. That pocket is in the #LiveFree Backpack, and has Qi wireless charging capabilities. That means it can charge most Samsung Galaxy S phones without any additional accessories — for iPhones, you’ll need a special Qi dongle or case to make wireless charging possible. On the data security side, they’ve also added an RFID blocking pocket — this will prevent rogue radio devices from hacking into anything that uses RFID, which includes bank cards with chips and passports.
And, last but not least, you need protection from yourself. Just in case you lose your bag, Knomo has partnered with Chipolo, makers of some of those tiny Bluetooth lost and found trackers. Chipolo’s tracker (including their very loud alarm) is included in the #LiveFree Backpack, and can be pinged using a companion app if you’re still within Bluetooth range. If not, you can still hold out hope that there are other Chipolo users nearby — Chipolo takes a community approach to finding lost things, so if another Chipolo user is within range of your bag, you’ll know and can get in touch with them immediately using the app.
You can bet there are padded slots and pockets galore on this bag, too. Combine that with the familiar sleek Knomo design and leather accents, and you’ve got yourself a must-have bag if you’ve got lots of devices to tote around. If you really are feeling like you must have it, it’s available on Kickstarter starting today — £162 is the minimum contribution required to secure one, but you’ll need to put down £222 if you want one with the Drop & Go wireless charging pocket.