Expandable Fugu suitcases are a great solution to finding the perfect carry-on bag to fit your different needs. Expandable Fugu suitcases are a great solution to finding the perfect carry-on bag to fit your different needs. Expandable Fugu suitcases are a great solution to finding the perfect carry-on bag to fit your different needs. (Photo: Courtesy Fugu)

The suitcase that expands with your travel demands

Imagine a piece of luggage that transforms from carry-on, to full case, to closet – even a table!

You may travel lean, you may travel green, and you may travel very light.

But like most of us, that one suitcase to fit all trips is as elusive as the Lost City of Atlantis. So what’s a modern traveler to do when the contents of your weekend carry-on have expanded like a blimp?

Enter Fugu luggage. A new "Transformer"-like suitcase from Israel is about to rescue sweating travelers everywhere. Fugu expands and shrinks – on demand.

Fugu starts as a cabin-sized carry-on that will fit in the baggage compartments of domestic and international flights, but when you need something bigger, Fugu can “puff” out to become a regular-sized check-in suitcase. It gets its name from the puffer fish, which is "fugu" in Japanese.

And the suitcase gets more interesting: It can also transform from carry-on into table and closet – with the use of an air pump. Its inventors launched a Kickstarter campaign and raised more than enough to get going. Think the Coolest Cooler but for travelers.

This is good news for world travelers like Sam Gordon from San Francisco. He works at a startup and is always on the go, for business and pleasure. Suitcase size is a big deal to him.

“It’s about stuff,” he tells From The Grapevine. “I travel a bunch, and many times I just take a carry-on one way and come back with more stuff as I always do some shopping,” Gordon says. “So what I do is bring a duffel bag and compact it down in my carry-on, so when I do more shopping, I can come back with that extra suitcase.”

When Gordon flies with low-cost providers, he’s constantly conflicted about what size of bag he should bring because “they are charging an arm and a leg for every extra suitcase. So I see Fugu paying itself back tenfold in just the first year.”

Although he hasn’t bought one yet, he likes the additional features of the Fugu, like its sturdiness that beats a duffel bag solution. Plus he experiences a lot of layovers, and having a bag that opens like a closet to find what he needs fast is a plus for those unplanned overnights at the airport: “I really relate to that aspect of the Fugu,” he adds.

Do you want a Fugu?

Depending on the model, prices range between $225 and $399. Company spokesman Daniel Gindis told From The Grapevine that development of the Fugu suitcase is on track and expected to ship in December 2015.

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The suitcase that expands with your travel demands
Imagine a piece of luggage that transforms from carry-on, to full case, to closet – even a table!