By Meredith Carey. Photos: Courtesy of Paqsule.
Sometimes it's a damp swimsuit, or maybe a pair of gym sneakers that make our suitcase smell—how do we put this—less than pleasant. Usually, you have no choice but to suck it up, maybe throw a dryer sheet inside, and stow the bag deep in a closet. But, as usual, it's Kickstarter to the rescue: Meet Paqsule. This bag has all of the usual pockets, a USB phone charger, a laptop compartment, reinforced foam walls, water resistant fabric and zippers, and more. But Paqsule's pièce de résistance is the cleaning system built into the side, which sanitizes and freshens all of the bag's contents.
No, we're not joking—Paqsule's system uses FDA-approved, chemical-free UV-C light and activated oxygen to kill bacteria and deodorize the bag and everything you've crammed inside. The lights, sewn into the top flap of the bag, and the oxygen activator, on one of the sides, ensure the next time you open the bag you won't offend people around you. According to the company's Kickstarter, this process can help disinfect neck pillows (because really, when was the last time you cleaned that thing?) and sweaty gym clothes and shoes. All you have to do is push a button on the outside and wait while your bag works through the cleaning process. (How long this takes isn't yet clear.) Luggage these days isn't high-tech without an app, so of course, Paqsule's iOS and Android users can control the cleaning process in real time from their phones if they can't access their bag to push the button on the front pocket. High-tech and low maintenance, just like we like our laundry on-the-go.
The Kickstarter campaign launched today and you can sign up for alerts to track, in real time, how much closer this self-laundering bag is inching toward reality. With a future price of around $350, one Paqsule isn't cheap, though early pledgers can get it for $229 on Kickstarter—still nearly $100 more expensive than Traveler-obsession Away carry-on and the baby pink Raden carry-on, which has a 7,000-person wait list.
The bag has a 72-hour battery life, which means plenty of cleans on the go. Plus, the company says their technology is TSA-approved and overhead-bin friendly. Airport gyms, we're coming for you.
This story originally appeared on Conde Nast Traveler.
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