We sat down with the Knomo designers Eva, Tim and Nikole to get the juicy details on the new Park Lane Carry-On.
FB: What makes this move into four-wheeled luggage so exciting for Knomo?
E, T & N: The versatility of a four-wheeled luggage is something we feel is essential for modern day travellers. The carry-on size and the four wheel design goes hand in hand with our existing collection of products. We’ve worked hard to maintain best-in-class organisation, to maximise packing capacity, and with beautiful considered details; from the custom built, leather-trimmed aluminium handle to the smooth and silent ball bearing rollers.
It is really important for our luggage to be ‘carry on board’ size, to comply with UK and US airline restrictions and to fit easily in the overhead lockers – which is why we have made the Park Lane as light as possible, and with multiple grab handles to easily manoeuvre the bag in-and-out of storage spaces.
What was the brief for creating the Park Lane trolley?
To create a soft structure, unisex piece of luggage; a four wheeled carry-on suitcase that could be used for one night to five nights away.
We have been fine-tuning our travel bag category over the years and seen a lot of appetite for wheeled bags like Sedley and Burlington business cases. The next step was to take this into a fully-opening suitcase to accompany customers on their longer journeys.
Explain some of the challenges faced in creating luggage like this?
To find the right balance of structure and softness to this case was one of the major hurdles. Most luggage brands are choosing ‘hard shell’ constructions that don’t allow any flexibility in how much you pack inside, and they’re often very heavy, too.
We wanted the Park Lane to feel perfectly balanced whether you only have a few items inside, or absolutely packed out. The great thing about the soft structure is that you can always keep on packing items in as there is give in the fabric.
We have prototyped a few different versions over the years before coming up with the final product. Most of our colleagues have road tested the Park Lane along the way, which helped us perfect the unique features of the bag.
Was the Knomo Park Lane put through any tests in development?
As with all Knomo products, the Park Lane was loaded up with weights and the different elements of the bag tested for strength and endurance.
With 18kg placed inside, the carry-on was given a x3500 jerk test with the leather handles – as well as 8 hours on a treadmill to test the wheels.
The telescopic handle was brought up and down 1500 times, and the bag was dragged down four flights of stairs just for good measure (though we really wouldn’t recommend this).
Describe the construction of the telescopic handle?
The trolley handle is such an integral part of the Park Lane. We designed the telescopic, double-handled system in-house; it feels reassuringly firm and secure while the bag glides along next to you.
It’s made from aluminium that’s sprayed matte black, with a debossed logo in the operating button as well as a padded, full-grain leather handle. We’re really proud of this technical feature of the Park Lane that adds a real luxe finish to the product.
Describe the construction of the easy-roll wheels?
We worked tirelessly to find the perfect wheels for the Park Lane. We knew we wanted a four wheel set up so that the bag would glide along next to the person using it.
Each spinner is set on a 360-degree axis, and actually includes two rubberised wheels on each ‘wheel’. The result is the smoothest roll we’ve ever come across as travel goods designers. It’s silent and feels therapeutic just to move around – making a whole journey simply a pleasure to travel with the Park Lane.
Talk us through the interior of the suitcase
We’ve all had the awkward and annoying experience of digging through your luggage at the airport. Our solution is to keep all your possessions safely tied into place inside the main compartment and have an external section on the front to store your electronic items and liquids, so you whip them out quickly as you go through security.
The main compartment is for all your normal belongings and has more than enough room for shoes, a towel and larger items. The technical space measures at 34 litres, but because of the soft structure of the bag there is extra give for packing far more in.
Finally, what makes the Park Lane better than any other carry-on luggage out there?
We want to help customers go on their journey with confidence: looked after in an organised, stylish way. We’re really proud of the Park Lane and believe the product delivers across the board!