Thank you Forbes for reviewing ESCAPE the smart carry-on. Here is the full read.
Racing through the airport to make a connection is a drag. Endless shops whiz by as you dodge slowpokes, be it in Dubai or Boston. There's no getting around that, but what if all that walking could actually do some good -- aside from the aerobic exercise. That was the thinking behind the Rollogo Escape, which uses patented wheels to charge a battery while you walk. And it's TSA-compliant. Saving you from sitting on the floor next to the only available outlet while stranded in Munich, for example, not that I'd know anything about that...
Traveling so much means I want a suitcase that is both practical and stylish – the right size and design for what I need. For checked bags, I always use my Travelpro Platinum Magna -- lightweight, wheels like a dream, and sturdy enough to haul home half a dozen bottles of Sauternes, if that's how you roll....
Rollogo is quickly becoming my favorite for short haul trips, because of a host of smart design features. The primary hack is the spare battery charger, powered by four patented spinner wheels that feed a removable battery in the top compartment. It didn’t take me long - a few minutes of walking – to get the battery enough power to give me a little charge once I got it out of the box. No doubt walking the long corridors of an airport like Chicago O’Hare or Hong Kong International will get you precious battery power when you don’t have time to pause and plug in. At a regular walking pace, it charges at the same rate as having the battery plugged into a standard socket, according to the company. Battery placement is thoughtful too, in a zippered compartment that’s on the top as you walk. It allows you to tuck your phone down inside to charge, but easily accessible. There’s a second USB port to fuel up another item at the same time too.
The battery is 8000mAh, which means it can provide up to about 8 hours of charging. I recommend removing the battery, which isn’t difficult, and charging the battery it up before you travel. A full charge for an 8000 mAh battery should take up to eight hours in a wall outlet, so better to have it fully charged and then top-up the battery as you walk.
A second neat feature it the battery also acts as a homing device for the suitcase in tandem with the Rollogo phone app. The app connects to your phone by Bluetooth and shows you on a map where your suitcase is. You can choose to have sound and vibration alerts for a few statuses: when the battery gets low, when any movement is detected at all, when your Escape goes out of range of your phone and when it comes back in range. The last feature would be great for letting you know your suitcase has come off the conveyor belt if you checked it, although it’s now required in the U.S. and most other places that lithium batteries can’t be in checked luggage. Bring the battery on board when you fly if you must check the Escape.
The Escape is ideal for the carryon traveler, and I wish I had it when I was making treks on the Acela to New York frequently. More than just technical prowess, the Escape has a really thoughtful design with multiple compartments to avoid having to pack everything together. There are two handles, one which telescopes out for walking and another that comes out just a couple of inches to assist in carrying and lifting. I’m charmed by the compact dedicated toiletry bag with four pockets, two of which are zippered and can hold liquids. The bag tucks into a well between the wheels at the bottom of the case, like the way a car hides its spare tires, while leaving a full rectangle to pack your clothes. The main compartment is suitable for holdings a few days of clothes secured by a wide Velcro strap. Folding down on top of that is a flap with two Velcro secured slots for a laptop, book or tablet lays on top of it. What I especially appreciate about this design is the section buttons to the main body, allowing you to access your computer, papers or a magazine by unzipping the exterior door a bit with no worries of your garments being seen or tumbling out. The exterior is treated to be liquid repellant, which is great for those times you’re stuck walking to a hotel or to a meeting.
There are a few caveats -- the interior is somewhat cramped, especially if you want to travel with a couple pairs of shoes, and perhaps because of those power-generating wheels, I found it a bit heavy, weighing about 10 pounds empty. Also, the Escape comes with a garment bag that attaches to the exterior by magnetic buttons. It’s a great idea, and also thoughtfully designed, but I did find it detaches a little too easily from the suitcase--definitely don't leave it attached if you ever check it. None of these are a a deal breaker, though, and the bag looks so stylish you probably won't be checking it anyway. Available in carbon grey and champagne. It retails for $799 and is available at Rollogo.com.