Zippelin: an inflatable travel bag from recycled truck tarpaulins

For people who travel a lot, a large suitcase with wheels is essential, but they take up a lot of space when they aren’t being used. The Swiss company Freitag has come up with a solution for your storage problem: Zippelin, a travel bag with an inflatable frame.

Freitag has been making all sorts of bags out of used truck tarpaulins, discarded bicycle inner tubes and car seat belts for 24 years. Their collection consists of all types of bags, from backpacks to wallets. However, until recently, what they missed was a travel bag.

As they explain in the video, the problem was that they couldn’t create a lightweight rigid frame for the bag, so they decided to forgo it altogether. Instead, they put in a bicycle inner tube, which you can inflate with an ordinary bicycle pump. The advantage is that the bag is much lighter, even than comparable lightweight bags. If the inner tube is damaged, it can easily be removed to be mended or replaced.

The outside of the travel bag is, like many other bags Freitag makes, made of waterproof truck tarp. Because they use recycled material, no bag is the same.

The bag weighs 3.6 kilograms (8 lbs), has a capacity of 85 litres (5200 square inch) and removable wheels, which can be taken off when you put away the bag. The wheels can be removed and reattached without using tools.

When you’re finished with the bag, the Zippelin can be deflated and rolled into a package of only 42 x 20 x 20 cm (16.5 x 8 x 8 inch).

While the price seems a little steep at first, commentators claim to have been using Freitag bags for over 20 years, so it is a long-term investment. To join Freitag’s Kickstarter, click here.

Images: Freitag


  1. Marta Rink says:

    It is very nice. I would like to know of which materials are the tarpaulins you use made off.

  2. Sigrid says:

    Hi Marta,

    On their website, Freitag doesn’t specify what exactly the tarpaulins they use are made of, only that they are the durable kind. Perhaps you could best direct your question directly at them via their website:

    – Sigrid