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Traveling can be a difficult experience, and one of the biggest annoyances that travelers must deal with is suitcases that do not fit all their Luggage. Inventor-turned entrepreneur Jerome Tricault understands the stresses of travel and designed "Xtend" expandable luggage, which won the Travel Goods Association's Product Innovation and Design Award in 2017. Xtend bags can expand from carry-on to full-sized bags, and they have fingerprint locks and both USB-A and USB-C cable connectivity, which enables users to charge their phone, tablet and/or laptop. The inventors recently launched a Kickstarter to help fund their innovative invention.

Luggage

Designers and entrepreneurs by Jerome Tricault and Louis Develay have been designing and manufacturing bags that have been sold in major chains such as Costco, Toys R Us and Walmart for more than fifteen years.

Best known for inventing he “Magicbed” baby travel cot, the pair got the idea for Xtend bags due to the long hours they spent traveling between the United States and China over the past two decades. "When we designed the bags, we knew we wanted a distinctive luxurious look with a sleek design that was actually inspired by Apple,” Jerome Tricault declared in a recent exclusive interview. “We tried to simplify the outlines and the big but quiet wheels are good for travelers who walk a lot.”

Jerome Tricault readily noted that it was difficult to design the expansion system, but all the efforts were worth it after the bags started to receive praise and prizes. They were lauded for their work at the International Luggage Exhibition, which is also known as the “TGA Show,” and were allowed to display the Xtend series in the New Products Pavillon.

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“When we saw the Xtend among all the other novelties, we realized, in all modesty, that we had achieved something good because it stood out,” Louis Develay declared, “And that’s what we want to do--bring innovation to the luggage category.”

Kickstarter

After being awarded the prize, the Jerome and Louis launched a Kickstarter campaign that is currently underway through June 5 and is seeking to raise $50,000 in funds.

“We see the Kickstarter as first consumer poll and it should be successful so it will help us to launch the first production run and pay for the tooling cost,” Jerome explained. “We expect lots of questions from backers that will help us to improve the Xtend, and working to solve problems is very rewarding.”

Louis noted that positive consumer feedback is a huge motivator for the duo to keep inventing. “We have a couple of other pieces of luggage that we want to develop should the Xtend be a success,” he said. “We ultimately want to be able to supply a customized suitcase within 24-hours.

Ideally, customers would choose their fabric, tubes colors and trims from approximately sixty-four different combinations. It’s ambitious but it is what we are striving towards.”

To learn more about Xtend suitcases, search for the product’s campaign on the official Kickstarter website.