Freitag and Brompton Bikes collaborate to put a new spin on backpacks
It was inside a tiny, grotty apartment back in 1993 when brothers and graphic designers Daniel and Markus Freitag began making messenger bags out of recycled tarpaulins and car safety belts. It wasn't long before their space became a mini-factory, and the rest is design-icon history, as they say. Now the Swiss firm has collaborated with Brompton Bikes to create an innovative new bag for urban cyclists.
The Coltrane Backpack clips horizontally onto a Brompton folding bike but becomes a backpack once removed. It's a special version of the prototypical, rectangular, recycled Freitag backpack made of used truck tarp. It comes with an aluminium Brompton front carrier frame, which can be easily removed thanks to its Velcro straps.
The backpack straps then attach magnetically (and magically) to the back of the bag, enabling "one-handed docking" and removal on any Brompton bike with any handlebar type. And there's a double-zippered, padded main compartment made of recycled-PET fabric with quick access to a laptop compartment. Oof.
If that wasn't enough, there's also a zippered outer compartment, easily accessed from the saddle when you hit a red light. And an extra-long key strap so you can unlock your door even when the backpack is fixed to the bike. To finish things off nicely, included is a mudflap – cut from the same tarp that bolts to the front fender of any Brompton bike. Perfect.
That might all seem quite straightforward to anyone who hasn't yet fallen for the charms of the British folding bike pioneer. Still, it'll certainly excite any Brompton owner, especially those who love their graphic design.
This latest collab results from a perfect marriage: both Freitag and Brompton share a passion for "re-cycling" – which means "thinking and acting in cycles and riding bikes" – as well as a love for quality and functionality. As such, the pair has succeeded in putting an entirely new spin on two everyday items that have been through just about every change and improvement you can mention: bags and bike.
Andrew Ritchie built his first Brompton in 1975, changing free urban travel forever, while the Freitag brothers showed the world they could create functional, portable design objects from waste materials. We can only thank that the two pioneers put their heads together to give the humble backpack this new twist: clipping on to the front of a Brompton folding bike but then also sitting nicely on your back.
The Freitag F748 Coltrane – Backpack for Brompton will be available to buy from 14 April 2021 at Freigtag stores, Brompton Junctions and via freitag.ch.