The iBackpack has it all: Kevlar, batteries, and a federal investigation

Lots of people want a word with Doug Monahan — government lawyers, crowdfunding backers, people from his past, and me. I’d been trying to find him for over a year. As a reporter interested in crowdfunding disasters, I thought Monahan’s failed iBackpack project was one of the ultimate gadget pipe dreams gone bad. The beats were familiar: an idea that raised more than half a million dollars, only to never ship and leave behind thousands of angry backers. The difference in this story, however, is that for only the second time, the Federal Trade Commission is coming for the creator. The agency claims Monahan took his backpack funds and spent them on “personal expenses,” including bitcoin purchases, ATM withdrawals, and credit card debt. The agency says he threatened backers who pursued him for their bags. The state of Texas is suing him, too. A lot of people want a piece of Monahan, but he’s not going down without a fight. He’s serving as his own lawyer to dispute the claims in court, and he invited me down to Texas to clear his name and reputation. We meet at a Tex-Mex restaurant chain called Pappasito’s in Houston. It opened at 11AM, when we planned to meet, and by the time Monaha...

7 Brands Making Making Ethical and Sustainable Travel Backpacks

You’re here because you’re looking for a sturdy, stylish and sustainable backpack to take with you on your travel adventures. You’ve landed on the right page. We’ve curated this comprehensive list of ethically-made and eco-friendly travel backpacks just for you! We hope it makes shopping for one that much easier. For the sophisticated traveler, we recommend WAYKS Travel Backpack. Thoughtfully-designed, these sustainable backpacks are made from fabric that features recycled PET bottles and is responsibly produced by a factory in Vietnam that adheres to fair labor standards. These stylish backpacks are also weatherproof, have lots of compartments to hold your laptop, travel documents, chargers, bottle water and much more. It also has removal padding if you prefer a more streamlined look. You can even purchase additional accessories such as travel storage blocks that fit in to the backpack if you want to be super organised. United By Blue is an outdoor apparel company that holds a B-Corp certification identifying that the for-profit enterprise meets high standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.  Their backpacks feature eco-friendly fabric...