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The HENK Traveler

Customize one of the most functional pieces of luggage available.

When you are traveling around the world, be it for business or pleasure, the last aggravation you need on your trip is a bulky and difficult-to-maneuver bag. Unfortunately, finding the perfect traveling case is often an unattainable dream, leading to the frustration of travelers the world over. At least, it was.

In the pursuit of perfection, Dutch entrepreneur Henk van de Meene created the travel case that bears his name. Frustrated by the experience of having to haul a heavy and awkward bag around on various business trips, van de Meene sought a remedy for his stress. A flawless piece of luggage was required, a piece both unique and lightweight, easy to pull, elegant to behold and perfectly balanced. In short, it should embody perfect workmanship and perfect design. After 10 years of effort, ultimately the HENK Travelfriend was born.

Handmade at Henk van de Meene’s Dutch West Coast atelier and consisting of 500 parts, the HENK, which stands just over 21 inches high by 15.75 inches wide and 7.87 inches deep, is an object of wonder. A carry-on size that complies with International Air Transport Association (IATA) specifications, its design makes it particularly useful for short business or weekend trips. Its shock-absorbing, retractable titanium wheels slip silently from the bottom of the case and sit at an angle to the floor that makes the suitcase seem to float when pulled. Two fingers placed on its telescopic handle are sufficient to guide the HENK through any airport’s meandering corridors, and side wheels come into play when the case is turned sideways, allowing easy passage up and down a plane’s narrow aisles. In addition to being so efficiently designed, the HENK is also customizable. Both its exterior and interior can be coordinated to match your traveling outfit, your car or your favorite holiday setting. Imagine the beauty of a Travelfriend made of pure white calf leather against the stark background of an Alpine slope or an azure blue case set against the Aegean Sea.

Available materials for the case’s exterior include high-tech glossy carbon fiber and the finest calfskins, which is available in such colors as green, red, brown and blue, and can also be embossed in a crocodile or ostrich print. The interior lining is available in high-tech fibre, Prussian horsehair, dyeable calfskin and zebra-print cowhide. The interior frame and bottom of the top locker can be lined in the finest Italian wood veneer, glossy carbon or calfskin. The button located on the handle of all HENK cases, to which you may add your company logo or personal monogram, is available in Madagascar ebony or sterling silver. The dress boy atop the 40.47-inch telescopic handle is perfect for hanging one’s jacket. The case has an easily removable wall to keep business and personal items separate. As of 2010, the company is offering a model made from the delicate skin of the Australian-bred, non-endangered, saltwater crocodile. The company’s intricate handling and dyeing process ensures that each case is a unique color.

Every HENK case has a central locking system customized with its owner’s personal code and serial number. An anti-theft cable will keep the Travelfriend securely tethered to any solid object or can be used to attach it to a matching HENK briefcase. Available for ordering separately from the Travelfriend, the HENK briefcase comes with a shoulder strap and is designed in three styles: one for men with two sections, a slightly smaller version for women that narrows slightly toward the top, and a bigger four-section suitcase for men. Concertina-shaped compartments expand and contract within the case, adapting to the bulk of the contents.

Sturdy, yet with a central gravity system that makes it feel weightless, the HENK Travelfriend could be a key component of any world-class traveler’s arsenal. Prices for the Travelfriend start at $20,000.

HENK, +31.252.344.621, www.henk.com

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