When you travel a lot for work, you need a good hard shell suitcase more than you need a big apartment. The only problem? Storing that suitcase when you’re at home, a challenge in today’s ever shrinking microapartments. The Néit is a hard shell suitcase that aims to solve that problem–by collapsing down flat as an ironing board when it’s empty.
Now on Kickstarter, the Néit aims first and foremost to be a good piece of executive luggage. It comes in two sizes, for checked baggage and cabin respectively. Each suitcase is made from an aluminum frame and features a lightweight, durable polycarbonate shell to protect what’s inside. It also features four 360-degree wheels, which can be removed or rolled up into the base. And since all luggage these days needs to be smart, the Néit is also GPS-enabled, so you can track it down when your airline invariably loses it through a slick smartphone app that also doubles as a trip planner.
There’s tons of suitcases like that, though. What makes the Néit unique is that the entire frame is designed so that it can collapse down to just 30% of its full volume, allowing you to hang the empty suitcase on a door, slide it under your bed, or fit it into a handy crevice. Basically, if you have enough horizontal space for an ironing board, you have enough space for a Néit.
According to Néit founder Christian Cook, he was inspired by his team’s own needs. Having previously designed an iPhone case called the Néit Card Case, Cook and his colleagues were often bouncing between manufacturers in Southeast Asia and their own tiny apartments.
“We consider ourselves to be global citizens who travel regularly. Upon arriving home from one particular adventure in South-East Asia, we realized how frustrating it was that our luggage took up so much of our precious and otherwise useable space in our apartments,” he says. “The more we thought about it, the more we started to recognize that it wasn’t just luggage that hasn’t been adapted to modern day city-living. The Neit concept was born!”
Collapsible luggage isn’t anything new, of course. Your standard duffle bag is collapsible, technically. But most collapsible luggage makes a trade-off on design: collapsibility versus protection. What interests us about Néit is they’re avoiding that trade-off all together.
Currently on pre-order, the Néit is available for about $219 for a cabin bag, and $279 for a checked case, with delivery estimated by December, 2016.