Nendo's cabin baggage has a hard shell and a soft front like a tortoise

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Nendo's cabin baggage has a hard shell and a soft front like a tortoise

Japanese studio Nendo has designed a cabin-size suitcase with a fabric lid that unzips from the top and rolls back to the side for easier access.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

Named Kame – the Japanese word for "tortoise" – Nendo's case has a hard, lightweight polycarbonate shell and a soft textile front.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

Most suitcases only unzip around one side, often forcing the user to lay the bag flat before delving inside.

Nendo's Kame design features a horizontal groove two thirds of the way down the padding, which allows the soft cover to be tilted away from the case so the user can access the contents from above.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

A series of vertical indentations also enable the lid to be rolled back so the bag can be opened in tight spaces like a car boot.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

"The lids of most hard suitcases are heavy to open and close, because they're also used for storage, but this suitcase is easy to open and close by rolling the lid to the side," said Nendo.



"The rolled-up lid can be fastened with an elasticised band, which doubles as a fastener for the suitcase itself when not in use," the studio added.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

The hard curved shell is designed to protect the contents, while the cushioned front can flex if the bag is slightly overfilled.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

A combination-activated lock on one side of the case includes a cable that is pulled out to loop through the case's ring-shaped zip pulls.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

"We didn't forget to have fun with the design, either, and turned the 'o' on the lock's number dial into a smiley face," Nendo said.

Smaller travel essentials can be stored in two zipped mesh compartments integrated into the bag's fabric lining.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

For transportation, a handle extends on metal rods from the top of the shell for pulling the case on its two wheels. Further plastic handles on the top and side can be used when the luggage is light enough to lift.

The case measures 550 millimetres in length, making it a suitable size for use as cabin baggage on most major airlines.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

Nendo created the suitcase for Italian brand luggage Fabbrica Pelletterie Milano, which produces the designs in orange, blue, green and white.

Kame suitcase by Nendo

The Tokyo-based studio, led by designer Oki Sato, has also recently unveiled a collection of furniture that incorporates bamboo baskets and a line of Hello Kitty T-shirts for men.

Photography is by Ayao Yamazaki.