Firehoses, eh? Not something you really sit down and consider that often, right? I’d never considered that expired firehoses might be an environmental problem, or even that they are a quite superb basis for upcycling. Apparently tonne upon metric tonne of hoses are discarded every year as they can no longer pass the safety demands. Given how well made these hoses are though, it seems utterly inspired to reuse them.
And this is where Feuerwear come into it. Upcycling firehoses into backpacks,messenger bags, laptop bags, wallets and pretty much any other variant that could benefit by being made from stout, rubberised canvas. And in a world hell bent on conformity, quality control and making x thousand identical units to keep cost down, the fact that the source material is almost randomly marked makes each Feuerwear product visually unique. I like this.
And I like that upcycling what would otherwise be nasty landfill now becomes a product that will last a long time. Good, sustainable thinking!
So, apart from being made from discarded firehoses, is there anything else about it worth mention? Well, yes. We’re talking a daypack size backpack, adjustable in size through the height of the pack being somewhat adjustable. I say somewhat, as the straps are clearly placed for maximum volume, but you can take it down to minimum volume with no adverse experiences. The interior has two compartments, one smaller to house a laptop up to 15″ and one large that takes the rest of the space. On the outside are two zipped pockets, one small and one larger. The larger one has a strap to fasten your keys to, which is a handy feature.
The straps are solidly made and fastened, and feel well padded, even when carrying weight. Both the straps and the backpiece of the pack have a breathable surface, handy for those days when you back gets clammy. The hardware is all black plastics, which may in the long run prove to be the weak point. It would have been nice to see this upgraded to some stainless steel pieces.
A small niggle on my part is the logo on the lid. I’ve been thinking of unpicking the stitches on mine for the cleaner look. I may be a bit OCD in this respect though.
How is it to use? Well, mine has been in daily use for both commute and travel for a couple of months now and I have grown to like it a lot. It sits well on the back when cycling and being made of firehoses it does a great job of keeping rain out. The seams aren’t fused, to I wouldn’t want to submerge the pack, but as far as I’ve experienced so far it is rainproof. You do need to be careful to align the sides when strapping the lid if going out in the rain though. I notice I’ve been careless here and the sides have not folded nicely.
The carrying capacity is superb, even when I’ve been travelling with two laptops. My work laptop is a huge Zbook 17″ and my secondary laptop is a Mac, and both are contained safely in the main compartments. The boxy shape of it means it stoves well and if carefully packed will in fact stand upright.
The outside pockets are useful, but I would have liked a zippable compartment on the inside as well, for valuables and such. When travelling in places like India security becomes a major point.
Apart from being a very competent and decent backpack though, what really sets it apart is that it’s made from firehoses. And no two packs are the same. The fact that they all look different is obvious when you look at the website to order one, every available pack is shown and you select the exact one that takes your fancy, be it gray, red or black. In fact, I see one there now with the words “SYNTHE” printed on it and I really want that one as well!
You know how the best laid plans can turn to dust? I thought that Bergen, the rain capital of Europe, would be the perfect place to field test a backpack made of expired fire hoses. A sound idea, firehoses must be water tight both ways, right? Except when there is zero rain. So much for Bergen 🌞😃 Back to the drawing board. #bergen #feuerwear #welldresseddad #dadstyle
- Sturdy and well-designed backpack
- Great sustainable and eco-friendly upcyling!
- Every one is unique
- Fairly priced and made in Europe
- Would like to see stainless steel hardware, for looks and longevity
Available from Feuerwear at 169 Euros.