Don Halpern, founder and CEO
Sourcing, testing, and marketing your materials better than your knock-offs
Theft-resistant bag designed to be secured anywhere
We think of the beach as a quintessential relaxation destination. But beneath its calm appearance, lies a unique problem: When you dive in for a swim, what do you do with all your stuff — your phone, your favourite sunglasses, your wallet — the items you towed along with you? The tactics of stuffing valuables in your shoes, a rolled-up towel, or empty bottle of sunscreen (yes, some do this) often make it easier for a thief to walk away with your things.
Don Halpern, Founder and CEO of the Loctote Industrial Bag Company, experienced this problem first-hand. On a family vacation, he employed a combined stuffed shoe and wrapped towel trick when he and his family went snorkelling, only to find all of his personal items gone on his return. “This was a real downer for the vacation, and I decided that I needed a solution to prevent something like this from happening again,” Halpern explains.
After his vacation, he began the project that became Loctote, a theft-resistant bag that is designed to be left and locked anywhere, securely. The bag itself is nondescript from a style perspective. It comes in two colours: steel grey and sunsplash orange. But behind its ordinary appearance is a unique combination of advanced material technologies. “The fabric was originally developed for use in high-performance body armour and personal-protection undergarments for law enforcement, corrections, and security workers … five times more cut-resistant than Kevlar,” explains Halpern. Its locking strap has been tested to a break resistance of over 1,000 pounds. Additionally, the fabric is scan-resistant to protect against electronic pickpocketing (where RFID technology is used to steal valuable information from mobile phones and credit cards). Halpern humbly describes the project as going “mini-viral” during the initial crowdfunding phase on Kickstarter. Their goal in April 2016 was $18,000, but in its final days of funding the following month, the campaign jumped to over US$400,000, breaking a Kickstarter record for Ohio-based campaigns. To date over US$1,364,000 has been raised.
But this surge in success didn’t come without unexpected hurdles. The sudden interest in the project sparked the creation of a German-based knock-off called TrustBag, whose social media accounts appear to indicate launching two months after Loctote reached their funding goal. TrustBag’s marketing efforts comically advertise identical features, going so far as to copy, frame for frame, Loctote’s videos demonstrating their material technologies. Frontier reached out to TrustBag for comment but received no reply.
The irony isn’t lost on Halpern. He’s not able to disclose how they’re addressing the supposed intellectual property theft, but he frankly seems unphased in favour of remaining positive. “Our tagline is Live More — Worry Less. For me, this product really does that.”
To find out more about Locktote, visit loctote.com