About the challenge

Backpack Bed for Homeless

Tonight, in cities across the world, homeless people are sleeping and needlessly dying on our streets. As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, sleeping on the street affects one’s Human Right to:

  • health
  • non-discrimination
  • personal safety, and
  • freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment

Homeless need portable emergency bedding to keep them alive until local agencies can access housing assistance for them. When turned away from full shelters, homeless are often provided nothing. If blankets are distributed, they are of poor quality, difficult to wash and dry and cumbersome to carry. Wet blankets and sleeping bags do not protect from frostbite and can lead to lethal hypothermia. Storing personal belongings, ID and valuables becomes difficult. Lastly, but just as importantly, the stigma of ‘looking homeless’ while carrying their belongings and bedding sacrifices their dignity.

About the solution

With a net weight of 3 kg (6.4lbs), the Backpack Bed is a portable, lightweight street sleeping solution that provides six functions in one:

  1. Ergonomic backpack with lockable key pocket and storage
  2. Bed with built-in mattress
  3. Sun & wind shelter
  4. 3 window tents
  5. Insect protection with loose full body mosquito mesh for hot humid nights
  6. Life-saving hypothermia blanket for cold nights

Intended for four seasons and simple to use without instructions, the ‘backpack’ is expandable which means bedding and belongings can be kept clean, dry and carried easily inside – with multiple storage zones for storage and access. The ergonomic backpack styling and shape ensures dignity for homeless so as not to appear like they are carrying their bedding on their back.

Making it easy to clean and dry was also of the utmost importance. It unzips ‘flat’ to allow dirt to be shaken out and can be wiped down clear. The new TrexSmart material was invented for this purpose and international standards for fire, safety & environmentally safe chemicals.
It is also waterproof, anti-mildew and water repellent.