Aster commuter backpack

03 May 2016
  • posted by Veerle Pieters

I personally don’t have to commute to the office, but if I did I would consider a practical and safe solution to pack all my items. This is where Aster comes in. It’s a commuter backpack that comes with safety elements like integrated bike lights, turn signals and automatic brake indicators.

Aster backpack

Turn Signals and Automatic Brake Indication

The backpack tries to address the causes for accidents while riding at night. When looked at up front, the Aster has LED’s in each shoulder strap, which can be adjusted up and down to suit your pedalling position and are intended to help reduce those ‘door-me-not’ incidents. On the sides, two narrow fabric panels light up to provide profile lighting, and on the rear there’s a multi-function panel with a diamond-shaped arrangement of 16 LED’s that either blink or stay on, and chevrons on either side to act as turn signals and a brake indicator. It’s all USB-rechargeable and has a 4,000 mAh in-built battery that should last 10–15 hours in a default setting.

Mobile app and Sidekick

It wouldn’t be a modern backpack if there wasn’t a smartphone app that is Android and iOS compatible. The application can be used to adjust the brightness of the lights, check battery life and enable the anti-theft protection features. It’s an additional layer of security over and above your existing bike lock. By using the Lumos app and the Sidekick handlebar-unit, you can lock your bike in its place with one tap. When your bicycle is moved for more than 5 seconds while it is locked you’ll get an alarm on your phone. This functionality is offered through the accelerometer built into the handlebar unit. The lights can also be switched on from Sidekick itself so you don’t need to access the application.

Rider Safety & commuter-specific compartments

Another safety feature is a information slot with an ‘In Case of Emergency’ that provides helpful info like blood type, allergens and emergency contact numbers in case of a crash. Aster also has a minimalist helmet holder, a whistle buckle, tuck-away U-lock holder loops, zippered bottle pockets, and a rain-cover. The bag comes in 18 or 24 liter options. The main zipper opens corner to corner allowing easy packing and selective access. The top to bottom side pockets on both sides provide room for a 15.6 inch laptop, 1L water bottle, pump etc. There’s a quick access pocket too. A smart addition is the detachable internal shoe compartment that can be used to store dirty shoes or wet cloths or used beach gear separately from the rest of your belongings. Anyone who rides outside in the rain knows how dirty stuff can get. Luckily this backpack is easy cleanable. A must for a daily commute companion.

The Aster will come in Avatar Blue or Dark Knight (black), both backpacks have reflective patterns to further aid visibility. The Indiegogo campaign is currently 83% funded and you can pre-order Aster with the Sidekick remote control for $99 USD.