This story was originally published October 23, 2014.
A startup out of Slovenia wants to change our concept of "urban mobility" by combining a skateboard and a rolling backpack/suitcase to create the Olaf Scooter.
While product designers have always tinkered with high-concept luggage, Olaf Scooters looks to be a serious contender for reinventing the suitcase on wheels.
The new scooter, which combines the qualities of a backpack, a scooter, a trolley and a skateboard aims to be a new, lightweight, low-tech approach for lugging your stuff around. The company proposes to make two models: the OLAF Urban and the OLAF Business, both with very different configurations.
Developed by automotive engineer Bostjan Zagar, the two products have undergone significant research and prototyping. Olaf claims to have produced a sturdy, yet lightweight, steerable scooter with maximized storage that meets airline carry-on luggage requirements.
Olaf used Kickstarter to crowdfund the invention's manufacture, exceeding its $30,000 goal and raising over $61,000. Those pledging $310 will receive an early-bird Olaf Urban, and those pledging $349 or more will receive the Olaf Business. The company expects to retail the scooter for even more once it hits store shelves.
"Olafs are not simple plastic toys, they are high-end products," the company writes on its Kickstarter page. "They are handmade using best available materials for platforms (hand welded aluminum chassis, wooden platform made from locally sourced wood, high quality wheels and bearings) and suitcases/backpacks (impact resistant plastic, high-density EVA foam, PVC free textiles)."
Zagar says he was inspired to create the Olaf after many years of frequent-flying and always having to run from one plane to the next. Zagar hopes that the Olaf will provide a solution to having to travel faster with your carry-on luggage.
What do you think of the Olafs? Would you use them? Let us know in the comments below.