FLUXBAG - The Smarter Air Pump
Ever faced the challenge of inflating anything? How did it go? It's usually a pain, one way or the other, isn’t it? Here's how we can change things for the better:
The FLUXBAG is a revolutionary new kind of air pump that inflates items like pool toys, air mattresses or sleeping pads effortlessly and in an instant. It is practically a "self-inflating air pump": You simply connect it to your inflatable, breath into it JUST ONCE, and then push 100/140L of air effortlessly into your inflatable item.
The FLUXBAG, in a nutshell, is an air pump without the effort, much faster, smaller and more lightweight than other air pumps, and doubles as a huge XXL dry bag or a comfy beach pillow.
We successfully launched the FLUXBAG here on Kickstarter back in 2016. Now we are returning with an extensively tried and tested, much more sophisticated and matured product. All connector, adapter, and nozzle parts have been redesigned to make the FLUXBAG compatible with virtually all valves that you'll find with inflatables in the leisure segment. You will also be able to 3D-print your own custom nozzle.
(1) EFFORTLESS: Inflate items with just ONE breath
For many inflatables just ONE breath and the force of gravity is all that it takes to fully inflate them. How on earth can this work? How would you inflate a 100/140L bag with only the 3 liters of air that your lungs can hold? It's smartly applied physics called the Bernoulli Principle:
The "breathing jet" you create by exhaling into the FLUXBAG somewhat counterintuitively creates a lower air pressure in the bag. The surrounding air is then sucked into the FLUXBAG - you close it quickly and have 100/140 liters available to push into most any inflatable of your liking. It's the same physical effect that makes aircrafts fly.
Thus the FLUXBAG does not need any wind, nor do you need to run around with it or hopelessly wave it through the air, unlike those – often highly dysfunctional – inflatable beach sofa loungers.
(2) FASTER: Continuous airflow through optimized nozzles
Unlike conventional manual air pumps, the FLUXBAG creates a powerful continuous airflow that you achieve just by using gravity and your body's weight instead of your muscles or lungs. What's more, our nozzle geometries are optimised for maximum airflow
Compared to a run-of-the-mill battery-powered electric air pump, the FLUXBAG not only performs faster but is also much more portable and uses far fewer resources to manufacture. Someone made a quick one-minute YouTube video running both devices side by side. (Text inserts are in German, but you'll surely get the idea..)
Another advantage of the FLUXBAG – compared to standard 15-to 20-dollar electric pumps: You can exert a higher air pressure with it and thus FULLY inflate your e.g. pool toy or air bed which then won’t be as "floppy" as if they have been inflated with an electric pump.
(3) SMALLER & LIGHTER: More bang for the gram
The FLUXBAG is literally pocket-sized and weighs less than 150 grams. We achieve this by using very lightweight but highly durable fabrics that you find with other professional outdoor gear. That 150g is only 1/5 the weight of other air pumps.
(4) MULTIPLE USES: Doubles as an XXL dry bag or a beach pillow
It's 3-in-1: Many love the FLUXBAG's double use as a huge dry bag. When backpacking with only a small tent, the FLUXBAG is perfect to store stuff outside. Or use it as a backpack liner for extra water protection, or perhaps as a sturdy, reusable laundry bag. Since it comes with an air-tight lid, just form a triple knot with the roll-up closure's ends to turn it into a pillow, and you can quite comfortably rest your head or back against the FLUXBAG when you want to relax on the beach or on a trekking tour.
A few quick demo videos..
FLUXBAG 3rd Generation: All new features and fittings
This is the product we always wanted to make. We completely redesigned all the nozzles and connector parts and even added new ones. We optimised geometries, surface coarseness, and the material's elasticity. The silicone coating on the conical nozzles is a world's first. All this allows for significantly higher air pressures. It is like the "Porsche of air pump nozzle sets".
You will also be able to 3D-print your own custom nozzle if you like. Scroll down for details.
The new FLUXBAG 3.0 now perfectly connects with ALL outdoor sleeping pads, regardless of the manufacturer. With a direct flat-valve connection (2 sizes) and our trusted silicone tube adapters (4 flexible tubes) for screw-top valves in all sizes, like e.g. Therm-a-rest, we now have the most versatile and practical solution.
We also added a built-in non-return valve into the new FLUXBAGs that prevents the air from flowing back when you apply multiple "fluxes" to inflate larger items such as older air beds or even the largest pool floats. The FLUXBAG is the world's first and only pump sack with that feature.
We made an extension trunk as a new add-on that improves the FLUXBAG's functionality with hard-to-reach valves that are typically found on large aquatic toys or inflatable boats. While this accessory will sell separately for 10 USD/EUR later, we are tossing it in for FREE with every FLUXBAG pre-ordered here on Kickstarter.
Finally, there will be a new extensively-illustrated manual that will help you to make the most of your new FLUXBAG. Although the product is very easy to use, it takes a bit of practice to get a hang of it. The new manual will help you to achieve that within minutes.
Please note that the FLUXBAG is only suitable for low to medium air pressure items. The physics unfortunately do not allow for use with high-pressure items such as bicycle tires, SUPs, surf kites or heavy-duty rafts - unless you weigh a metric ton. As a rule of thumb: If you could inflate it with your mouth and lungs or a standard electric pump, you can also do it with a FLUXBAG.
Project timeline and use of funds
We will use the funds we raise from you guys here on Kickstarter to make the rather expensive steel molds for the new plastic parts and weld the new extension trunks.
All the textile FLUXBAG bodies (the actual "bag" part) have been manufactured already – and they're just great!
Pick your FLUXBAG! What's in the pack?
FLUXBAG 3.0 comes in two sizes, and both variations are fitted with the same sets of accessories. When it comes to choosing your FLUXBAG, the major differences are capacity and – to a certain extent – handling:
The FLUXBAG PRO's 140-liters capacity allows you to quickly inflate even the largest items. Its 60cm-wide opening makes filling it slightly more challenging than with the only 50cm-wide FUN version since the Bernoulli principle will not play quite as easily with the wider opening. That being said, the difference in usability may be no more than 15 minutes of practice. It's made of high quality rip-stop Nylon (PA).
Our FLUXBAG FUN provides you with 100 liters of air in one go (approx. 30% less than the PRO). You may have to re-flux more to fill the same inflatable. On the other hand, the FUN is easier to handle compared with the PRO since it is only 50cm wide and faster to fill with just one breath. It's made of high quality polyester fabric in the same specifications as the PRO's nylon.
Since the new generation FLUXBAGs come with built-in blow-back-protection, you can use them to inflate balloons of any size now. With our friends at Balloons United – perhaps the world's best and biggest online store for anything balloons – we made a special edition for all the looners among us.
Need any custom parts?
We have covered all common kinds and sizes of valves in the leisure and outdoor segment. Yet there surely is that special-sized valve where none of the nozzles will fit (well). Also, you may come up with your own idea of what to do and connect with your FLUXBAG –something no one has ever thought of before..
To make the FLUXBAG useful even for these special cases, we will provide a 3D file download of the nozzle base as well as the connector thread from our website after the Kickstarter campaign is finished, so you can design and print yourself whatever nozzle, connector – or anything else – you may need.
A thankful note to the backers of our first Kickstarter campaign in 2016
Without you, there would be no FLUXBAG! We so much appreciate your support and trust at a time when we were admittedly quite clueless about what we were getting ourselves into. We had sent you a final backer update a few days ago where we shared some of our experiences from the last two years.
In this new campaign we created special rewards that we thought would fit your needs without having to rob the bank: You can just pledge for the new kit. Also, there are attractive limited packages of a new FLUXBAG with an additional kit that will upgrade your old 2016 Kickstarter Edition as well. If you got a multi-pack back then, you will be able to add more new kits for only a little more money when you check out your new reward in Backerkit. We hope that works for everybody!
Looking back: A round trip via German "Shark Tank" – and even Amazon
This all started in early summer 2016 when we came up with the idea and made the first prototypes from polyethylene (PE) tube foil.
Only a few weeks later, we successfully introduced the FLUXBAG on Kickstarter. We went to China, had the first batch made, and properly shipped these pre-orders in Winter 2017.
Shortly after that, we found ourselves on the official German version of "Shark Tank" ("Die Höhle der Löwen", literally "The Lions' Den" on German VOX) where we cut a deal with Ralf Dümmel. In the end we decided not to give away any company shares and just licensed the product to our "shark's" company in order to pocket some money from the TV show. Ralf's company made and sold tens of thousands of their licensed FLUXBAGs that used a cheaper and much heavier fabric than we did. To our knowledge, it is therefore already the world's best-selling pump sack.
Last summer our own original FLUXBAGs that we had manufactured a year earlier became a bestseller on German Amazon. The product consistently ranked among the top 5 manual air pumps in Amazon.de's "Sports & Outdoor" department.
But frankly, 3.7 stars from reviews on Amazon is below what we set out to achieve. All design and manufacturing happened extremely fast and within a period of just a few months - our 1st and 2nd generation products were very similar and definitely had a few kinks. This revolutionary idea deserves better - and we will deliver!
We listened very carefully to the customer feedback we got, and went back to the drawing board. Now we have completely redesigned and greatly improved everything molded & plastic that came with the Generation 1.0 and 2.0 products and added new nozzles, adapters and an accessory. It may not sound like much, but it makes the FLUXBAG something that is REALLY helpful, practical, and honest.
We are HILFE Industries
We founded HILFE Industries in 2016 as a product generator startup in Leipzig, Germany and Hong Kong. For the new generation FLUXBAGs we are working with Henning Seide, a Leipzig-based product designer specialising in 3D for plastic moulding.
Fulfillment & Shipping
We are using Backerkit again to streamline the process for everyone. Backerkit helps keep track of your shipping address even if you are moving. It will also let you add more items to your Kickstarter pledge.
Your rewards will be shipped with a tracking ID directly from Hong Kong at very favourable international rates.
The FLUXBAG is "customs friendly" - we have not heard from anyone in our first Kickstarter whose shipment was held by customs in order to charge additional fees or taxes. We will pull some strings again to make sure you receive your reward as smoothly.
Photo Credits: Team FLUXBAG at the DHDL TV studio: VOX / Bernd-Michael Maurer /// Team FLUXBAG portrait at the beach: Anne Schwerin /// Some in-situ photo: Jessica Zaydan /// Product studio shots: Sophia Kesting, Franziska Krepp
Risks and challenges
You may consider this a low-risk Kickstarter project for various reasons:
(1) This is a 3rd generation product, we have been doing this for a good two years already. Thousands of customers have used earlier versions, we got a lot of feedback and have worked out kinks in earlier versions.
(2) The textile "bag parts" have been already manufactured and are of outstanding quality. Our QA rejection rate there is significantly below 0.5%.
(3) For the new components, we continue working with our established network of suppliers in China. We know them all, have visited the factories and built mutual trust. Still, we have contracts of course and will employ third-party quality assurance services as we did before. We will be in China when your rewards are assembled and packaged to ensure professional quality standards.
(4) We are a real company established in 2016, not just a couple of guys with a cool idea. To us, Kickstarter is an extremely important platform to introduce future products - so we won't ruin our standing here. Expect something literally bright later this year from HILFE Industries here on KS.
Even so, there are residual risks: If Jens as the project's leader dies in a plane crash, the project is in serious trouble. If our plastic molder's factory in Guangzhou or our fulfillment center in Hong Kong burns down, there will be delays. But frankly, we suggest you trust this. Thanks!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)