“Like all great ideas, it came to me while I was travelling. Actually, over a series of incredible trips, broken bags, a short stint working in the tourism industry and a whole load of outrage over cabin bag restrictions.”
This is CabinZero’s story, as told by CEO Chief Travel Advisor, Neil.
It all started in India, way back in 1993. The world was in recession and decent jobs were hard to come by. So, passport in hand, traveler's cheques signed and a giant bag on my back, off I went. The trip was life-changing, but the bag sucked (to put it bluntly).
Six months later, I was on the road again, having swapped my useless backpack for a big travel bag with a rigid frame. My stomach, bank balance and love of travel remained intact, but - surprise, surprise - the bag broke.
I spent the next year battling leaky suitcases, broken straps and massively over-sized backpacks, continually wondering why no one had come up with a workable solution. Why was I letting my luggage dictate my travel - wasn’t it supposed to be the other way around?
It took three trips to India to finally crack bag-gate. Fed up of lugging giant, impractical bags around the world, I downsized to hand luggage - and never looked back. Sure, I had to make some compromises when it came to contents, but I knew I could buy anything I really needed on the road.
Without doubt, smaller = better when it came to buying a new travel backpack.
Travelling light was truly liberating. Plus, saving all that time at check-in meant extra time for a pre-flight beer!
Years spent island hopping in Asia and flying round the world on business trips had convinced me of the need to pack light. But why were other travellers still struggling through the airport with all their worldly possessions balanced on their back?
Perhaps I was simply getting too old to put up with the backache...
It was one of the bleakest moments in travelling history: the day the airlines set carry-on baggage restrictions. Paying to check in a bag? Faffing around with rulers and tape measures, comparing different airlines’ hand luggage rules? No, thank you.
The need for a practical, reliable cabin bag was greater than ever.
My dream was simple - or so I thought. A lightweight backpack with zippers that actually locked, durable enough for the rigours of travelling and small enough to keep by my side.
But after scouring the shops in the UK and Asia, I quickly realised that an adventure-proof, cabin-sized backpack just didn’t exist.
So I decided to make one myself.
We now have a global team, with stunning new style lines and distribution around the world, but I still test every new model personally to make sure it’s up to the task. If the bag gets bashed up by baggage handlers, we won’t sell it.
Features like a built-in lost and found system, lockable zippers and huge capacity free-up travellers to do what they set out to do - travel.
And the name? CabinZero = Cabin Sized, Zero Hassle.
We firmly believe that whether you travel for fun or for business, every trip should be a new adventure. Don’t let your luggage hold you back.
Neil Varden aka 'Leo'Choose your CabinZero