If you’re a seasoned traveler who is convinced that a hard-shelled carry-on is the only one worth considering, Nendo wants to change your mind, at least partially. The Japanese design house has teamed up with Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano to create a hybrid suitcase with a hard-shelled body and a unique soft-shelled lid which gives it unprecedented versatility.
Called the Kame, Nendo’s carry-on opens in two configurations. When the Kame is being packed, it folds back and keeps out of the way, almost like a backpacker’s sleeping mat. When the Kame is upright, though, the lid can also be unzipped from the top, allowing you to quickly dig out your passport while you’re in line for customs, for example.
The Kame has a few other cute additions that make it worth your attention. A built-in, TSA-approved cable lock, for example, allows you to secure the bag’s zipper pulls while also keeping prying, non-TSA-approved fingers away from your stuff. It also allows you to lock your bag up if you need to leave it unattended for a moment: never again will you have to try to hold your suitcase above your head while using a cramped airport restroom stall.
The road warriors out there will sacrifice a little durability by moving to a soft-shelled top, but the versatility gained is well worth it, at least to me. I also just dig the aesthetic: from the front, the Kame looks like a Japanese bath lid, which is also what inspired the design of the iPad Smart Cover.
The Kame is already available for sale from Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano, and costs around $190 in shiro white, sun orange, eclipse blue, and wasabi green.
Read more about the Kame suitcase here.