LayBakPak and soak up the sun: Alumnus invents new convertible backpack

The logo of Laybakpak featuring a laying down bear on a white background.

After qualifying as a teacher, alumnus Jonathan Davies (PGCE 1979) began to produce designs for several new products, leading him to invent a revolutionary new backpack for travellers.

Working with British designers, they helped Jonathan develop his initial designs into the LayBakPak, a unique backpack with a frame that converts to a recliner camp bed. The bag doesn’t have to be emptied to set up the bed and once the frame is out, you still have full use of the backpack and all its features. The LayBakPak has now launched after 7 years in development.

Some of the key benefits that differentiate the LayBakPak from other backpacks on the market include:

  • You can use it with or without the frame installed. So, if you just need a traditional rucksack for a particular activity, you have one. With the frame installed you don’t need to take any of your gear out of the bag to extract the frame and create your bed
  • The frame comprises three sections: head, middle and leg. You have the option of adding 1,2 or all 3 sections to the bag- 1, if you just want to provide more support and structure to your load; 2, if you want a seat and back rest; and 3 if you want a full camp bed or recliner.
  • The bag can carry up to 65 litres of kit, but the numerous compression straps enable smaller loads to be carried.
  • The unique pocket configuration allows easy access to your gear

We spoke to Jonathan about what influenced him to invent the LayBakPak:

“I had the initial idea for Laybakpak probably about 5 years before I decided to do anything about it. It came about because I had been going to the beach with my young family for many years. We would have to carry loads of gear from the car to the beach, which left me without any free hands to carry a comfortable bed to lie on (not very practical anyway). So, I always had to sit or lie on my towel. I started to think about how I could create a bag that would take all my kit, and somehow also be able to provide something comfortable to lie on.

“In the 7 years since, I set about designing the solution; there have been many prototypes and many professional designers involved. It has taken me on a long and fascinating journey during which I have met many interesting, kind, and helpful people, some of whom have become business collaborators, and I have had to learn many new skills, and worked with people across the world. At times it has been arduous and frustrating, with many setbacks.

“We have sought the opinions of many potential purchasers over time, and generally they have been very enthusiastic about it (the words ‘brilliant idea’ and ‘great product’ are frequently used); this enthusiasm has kept us going!”

Learn more about LayBakPak.