If one of your priorities when riding is to be seen – as it damn well should be, in almost every situation – then chances are you’ll be interested in wearing the so-called world’s largest bike light, by Torch Apparel.
Yes, we did say wear. This isn’t a light for a bike – which is good because at 11x4in / 28x10cm, it might get in the way a bit. Instead, the light is a panel stitched into a large 29l bag, and the whole ensemble is called the Flux Backpack. It’s up for funding on Indiegogo now.
The Flux is the brainchild of designer Nathan Wills, CEO and founder of Torch Apparel, who devised it after getting hit by cars a number of times when riding home from work.
Wills states that in his opinion, “Small centrally mounted lights aren’t visible to vehicle handlers, and most people just won’t wear fluorescent vests. The solution is styling large active safety lights on the rider, not the bike.”
The light panel on the Flux Backpack is claimed to be waterproof and flexible, so hopefully won’t affect how much gear you can stuff into the bag, and glows red when switched on. The light comes courtesy of an energy efficient LED and fibre optic assembly, is powered by a USB rechargeable battery, and can be removed from the back when you want to recharge or clean it (or the bag).
The bag is an important part of this setup, and like the light it’s designed for commuters. A wide opening with a roll-top type closure gives access to stowed bits and pieces, and the nylon and tarpaulin outer is waterproof.
Although pictured in red on the site, the designers state that those pledging and pre-ordering will receive a colour survey once the campaign closes, so backers will mostly likely have the choice between a red or black bag.
A switch integrated into the shoulder strap of the bag means you can operate the light while wearing the rucksack, without having to take it off.
Wills and Torch Apparel are no strangers to innovative cycling products, having already successfully crowdfunded money to develop and produce the T1 and T2 cycling helmets. We had a look at them on 11spd earlier this year. If the Flux Backpack is successful, Torch has plans to branch out into a range of, perhaps unsurprisingly, apparel.
If you’re interested in owning the Flux Backpack, it’s available for preorder now via Indiegogo. There are a limited number of packs available at $150, a $61 saving over the anticipated retail cost. The campaign itself is aiming to reach $45,000.