Functional, Practical and Versatile: What our Swiss Army Knives share with our Backpacks and Luggage
A Swiss Army Knife is a byword for functionality, versatility and in-your-pocket practicality. But in fact, we take these same principles and apply them in the development of all our products. Didn’t think that a backpack or a carry on could have anything in common with a pocket knife? Think again! We talk to our Director of Product Management for Travel Gear, Bags and accessories, Rob van Ravens, who will show you exactly how we take the famous qualities of our little red knife and bring them to life across our globetrotting travel gear range.
Is it a knife? Is it a screwdriver? Is it a bottle opener? No! It’s a Swiss Army Knife, which means that it is all of these things and more. Rob explains that the same principle of versatility inspired our Vx Touring Wheeled 2-in-1 carry-on: “Rather than expecting people to buy both a backpack and a wheeled carry-on, we decided to create a bag that could do both”. With its concealed backstraps, the 2-in-1 can quickly convert from softside carry on wheeled bag into a comfortable backpack when you are crossing rough terrain, or when it is simply easier to bear your load on your back than to pull it behind you. “Versatility is also about choice” says Rob, “and we’ve created a bag that lets you choose what works best for you in any given situation”.
“For us, embracing the spirit of the Swiss Army Knife is about offering practical solutions in a compact way” states Rob. Today’s connected and mobile workforce may often find themselves working remotely, be it in an airport, a shared working space or a coffee shop. Rob says “If you need to step away from your computer to take a call or to order another coffee, the safety of your laptop is always your concern. When we developed the Altmont Professional range, we decided to tackle this issue by incorporating a built-in padlock on some of our styles. Small and discreet, the padlock is attached to a cord, making it simple to wrap around a table or chair leg and acting as an effective deterrent for would-be thieves. The lock can also be used to close the “kissing-zippers” on the electronics compartment.”
We all know that the Swiss Army Knife is lauded around the world for its design and is even displayed in the permanent design collection of the Museum of Modern Art, thanks to the perfection of its form. The same commitment to design excellence can also be found in our travel gear and we have received the coveted Red Dot Design Award for several of our products. One of our most successful designs is our Spectra 2.0 Expandable suitcase and Rob confirms that this case continues to be one of our bestsellers, 3 years on from its original launch: “It’s a simple but incredibly effective design. Open the second zip to give yourself up to 47% extra capacity, meaning you can choose between two different sizes and customize the volume of your bag according to your packing needs”. If you are the globetrotting type who loves to bring home souvenirs of all shapes and sizes from your travels, this is surely the ideal suitcase for you.
Part of the beauty of our little red knife is how effectively functions are maximized in limited space. Take our iconic multi-tool, which incorporates a bottle opener, a wire-stripper and a screwdriver all in just one tool. We’re so proud of this multi-tool that we even added it onto some of the backpacks in our Altmont Classic and Professional ranges. “It doesn’t stop there” adds Rob. “We have integrated a multi-tool panel inspired by the Swiss Army Knife into our Lexicon Hardside, Connex and Werks Traveler 6.0 ranges. The panel includes an ID-tag, a pen to fill in landing forms etc. and a sim card replacement tool in one”. It is small yet ingenious solutions like this that sum up the Victorinox ethos in a nutshell.
More Bag for your Buck
Just as our knives have evolved to include some more unexpected functions like USB memory sticks or wine bottle foil cutters, so have our suitcases. And what could be more practical than a USB port integrated into your suitcase? You can attach a battery pack (not included) to the USB port built into our Carry On sizes of Lexicon Hardside, Connex Hardside and Softside or Werks Traveler 6.0 collections for on-the-go charging. No more running out of battery on long layovers or whilst waiting to check in at a hotel or airport.
Having a Swiss Army Knife in your pocket means that you don’t need to carry a screwdriver, bottle opener, knife or corkscrew, because you’ve got them all on one little knife. Our Werks Traveler 6.0 also functions as a space saver thanks to its Pack More system. Rob explains more: “These cases were directly inspired by the Swiss Army Knife, that’s why we developed a built-in system which allows users to maximize their packing space and organize their possessions as effectively as possible. The Pack More system is at once a padded laptop cover, an organizer and a divider, which can also expand or collapse for more space. It’s invaluable for getting the most out of your packing space”.
Our pocket knives are appreciated above all for their quality and longevity. Likewise, our philosophy is to work with the best suppliers in the industry to apply premium parts to certain models, from our extremely smooth Hinomoto wheels, or our highly reliable YKK zippers. As proof of how confidently we stand behind our components and design, we offer a highly competitive1+10 warranty on all new products except accessories and wallets.