Handmade from recycled inner tubes, the hardcore-looking Pangolin Backpack by Cyclus derives its unconventional appearance from an insect-munching mammal with protective scales on its back,. The pangolin—the animal, not the backpack—is native to the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. When threatened, it curls up into a ball to expose its razor-sharp spines. Maybe that’s what the Colombian bag maker was going for when it designed the backpack: Something that was strong, sturdy, and capable of warding off would-be predators.
Not unlike its namesake, the backpack comprises pieces that retract onto one another. When fully closed (with the help of three magnetic snaps), it forms a round, hard shell on the wearer’s back; when open, the pieces fold into one another to reveal tons of storage space, including smaller pockets for holding your music player, pens, cell phone, and other miscellaneous gear.
Cyclus is a fair-trade company that employs disadvantaged locals, including single mothers, refugees, and Indians of the Camentsa tribe.