How RiutBag is trying to put an end to backpack thieving

By putting the zip on the other side of the backpack, Sarah Giblin believes she can take the stress away from travelling with a bag in busy places. She spoke to Andy Martin

Sunday 26 September 2021 11:56
<p>Strapping lass: Sarah Giblin fulfils orders for classic RiutBags </p>

Strapping lass: Sarah Giblin fulfils orders for classic RiutBags

One evening in 2010, Sarah Giblin was getting off a plane in Berlin. Or trying to. She was trapped in a line of people heading towards the exit but temporarily jammed. The guy in front of her was wearing a backpack. He must have felt she was too close to all his precious belongings, because he turned and glared at her then took off his bag and removed his phone and passport and put them in his pockets instead. He didn’t trust her. She was annoyed with him but then she started to feel that the person behind her was getting too close to her, so she took off her rucksack and held it in front of her where she could keep an eye on it.

“I had this vision of a whole queue of people all worried about precious belongings stashed in their backpacks.” And, in a moment of epiphany, she realised how the problem could be fixed – if only they were wearing rucksacks with zips facing inwards towards the person wearing it, not out towards the person behind. Then, unless you could actually run off with the whole bag, there was no risk, no anxiety, no questions as to whether or not you could trust the people behind you. “I thought it would be make for a better world,” she says. “If only we had this kind of bag, none of us would have to be stressed. Cities would be calmer places.” So she went looking for just such a bag but it didn’t exist. So she decided to make one for herself – and RiutBag was born.

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