For quite a while now, there’s been a site where I’ve gotten quite a lot of cool things and gadgets that you’ll probably not find on Lazada, Amazon or Shopee for awhile.
You probably know what website I mean judging by the title now 😅. I’m not sure when and how it started, but somehow I started to spend quite a bit of money on this website over the last 5 - 6 years.
So some of you may be wondering, What in the world is a ‘Kickstarter’?
Basics Of Kickstarter
Kickstarter has been around for quite awhile now, having launched way back in April 2009. The main objective of Kickstarter is to help individuals, startups, and businesses to find willing people to fund their ideas.
This means that these people are willing to put down cold hard cash up front and let the individuals, startups and businesses develop their idea. This could range anywhere from weeks to even months in order for the product or idea to be finalised and shipped. In return, the people who ‘back’ the idea usually get a hefty discount off retail price or additional benefits that the retail buyers in the future will not get.
It may sound sorta risky as you’re paying money for an unfinished product or idea, but the good thing about Kickstarter is that the project has to be fully funded for the ‘deal’ to go through.
Every deal has a goal that needs to be reached in order for the project to be successful. Once it is successful, then you will be charged on your pledged payment method.
If the deal doesn’t reach the target goal, then the project is deemed unsuccessful and there will be no charge to your pledged payment method. Even if there is, it will be refunded and the project is scrapped.
Typically, most successful products that are on Kickstarter from what I see are usually 50-80% done with the prototype ready as well. Usually, these people will need funds to finalise production and then shipping the product over to you (if it’s physical).
Now with that out of the way, here are some of the coolest thing that I backed so far.
1. Clickpack Pro by Korin Design
The Clickpack Pro is a backpack that combines convenience, safety and storage altogether into a great portable solution. It was designed with the highest safety in mind, especially when you’re travelling and prone to things like pickpocketing, bag slashing and more.
One cool thing about the bag is that there’s two pouches, one for electronics wires, and another for toiletries. There’s also multiple compartments in the bag where you can put various things such as a laptop slot, tablet slot, key slot, power bank slot, and even more as you can see in the picture below.
It’s designed specifically for travellers and digital nomads, which is highly relevant to my needs as well as I travel around with a laptop most of the time even when I’m overseas.
This project was funded on May 2017, and I received it around July 2017 and I have been using this backpack ever since.
During the Kickstarter, I paid about US$129 ($99 + $30 Shipping) total. The current retail price you can find online costs close to S$250 - S$300 if you were to buy it in Singapore from the stores that I checked from (like We The People).
Do note that there’s also a Clickpack basic which is cheaper but comes with less features.
The savings I received was definitely worth it, as this bag has been very durable so far. The only thing is the power bank slot with the wire doesn’t work for me anymore due to wear and tear but I’m fine with that 😂.
2. The Power Packer by Side By Side
In today’s world, we carry a lot of wires around with us at times. Personally, I have my laptop charger, lightning cable, USB C cable, Micro USB cable, earphones, and the list goes on. The power packer then solves a very simple problem: untidy and jumbled up cables in your bag.
I remember buying this because I had no way to store cables properly, even with my Clickpack pro which had limited slots only as the pouch is small. This pouch comes in various colours, but I chose the black and blueish one. The material feels a bit like denim jeans as well.
It is actually pretty long, which is good because it can store lots of wires. What the picture doesn’t show you is that I can store a thumbdrive, memory card, extra batteries, HDMI cable, and my laptop charger as well.
When I backed their Kickstarter, it cost US$10 less than the usual retail price. After shipping, I saved probably like US$5 which isn’t that much difference from the retail price now.
3. Passport by Zendure
Passport is really a modern take on travel adapters, having included 4 USB ports included as well so you can charge up to 5 devices.
One of the special features that I bought into was the auto resetting fuse, so you can use it even if it trips. So there’s never a need to buy another travel adapter again with this.
Since the initial release of the Passport, there has been future variations that improved on this initial one.
They've include further improvements including:
- The Passport Pro which included a USB-C port,
- The Passport Go that has an output of 30W instead of 25W that the original has
- The Passport Pro 2 is 20% smaller than the original, with 60W output.
While the upgrades are great, the original plug has been serving me well even when I’m not travelling as it has a lot of USB slots. Here’s a quick look at how it really looks like, with all the wires attached.
When it first launched it on Kickstarter, I got this just for US$35 back in September 2017 and it included free shipping. Definitely a really good purchase considering I still use it till today!
If you’re considering on getting these plugs, the normal Passport will cost you US$49.99 while the Passport Pro 2 costs US$69.99.
4. Funxim Fast Wireless Charging Pad Funxim
Travel back in time with me to when the iPhone X was first released and wireless charging was still the hype of the tech world. The general excitement about the technology was one of the biggest things why I bought this product because I wanted something that could help with wireless charging.
It’s basically a wireless charging pad that helps you charge your phone, and your apple watch at the same time as well if you have it. So when I bought my Apple watch back in 2019, I basically just ‘upgraded’ the wireless charging pad to include the watch charging attachment.
But to be honest, I haven’t really used the charging pad much to charge my iPhone considering wired charging is still way faster.
Walk into any retail store today and you'll see that wireless charging has become so common now with most models in the market supporting it. The novelty of this product has pretty much dwindled since 2017 to be honest.
In any case, I bought this for US$29 and it included free shipping. Apparently, the model is called S8 from what I’m seeing on the main website. It’s also not sold officially, so if you want it you can probably find it on other websites like Shopee or Lazada.
5. Moft Laptop Stand by MOFT
A good laptop stand is easy to find, but a portable one at an affordable cost is a big issue. That's why MOFT was such a great buy for me since I use my laptop on the go all the time; bringing around a laptop stand around all the time is just impractical
MOFT thankfully is almost invisible and serves the purpose as a laptop stand on the go.
Attaching it is very simple too, as it sticks onto almost any laptop easily. It's also quite easy to remove too apparently, but I haven’t done so before. Additionally, there’s 2 elevations you can adjust, one being lower and the other being higher, allowing you to easily swap between the two as and when you need.
This was one of the first few things that MOFT came out with, and slowly expanded to include designs for phones and tablets as well, including an improved version of the MOFT.
Circles.Life was actually promoting the improved version awhile back in the app as well as I remember seeing the banner to purchase it. But in any case, this is a great buy for me as it cost me only US$38 with free shipping for 2. I passed on one to another friend who needed it as well.
If you’re looking for a laptop stand, this one is definitely a great choice. Their shop has more fancy designs if you want something more than just ‘gray’ colour.
6. LastTissue™ by LastObject
If you noticed a trend of the things I’ve gotten, it’s mostly tech and tech-related. So this purchase was definitely a special one. This was a pretty interesting buy too because I use tissues a lot like A LOT.
Seeing how this product tries to help solve the issue of wastage by changing our habits to be more environmentally friendly, I decided to hop on and support this campaign. The company, LastObject, itself was created to reduce and eliminate single-use products thus reducing the accompanying waste.
This is not the company’s first foray into changing single-use objects to reusable items either, with their previous campaign LastSwab being a huge success.
Since buying it, my consumption rate of tissues has dramatically reduced as I forced myself to use these instead of reusable ones that we’re all used to. It’s a really small product that can fit in most pockets and bags, and you have about 6 tissues per packaging before you need to wash and repackage it.
Want a tissue? Take it from the bottom where there’s a slit for you to grab it. Finish using a tissue? Open the flap and slot it on top. Rinse and repeat until the last indicated issue then go all over again.
Here’s how big one ‘tissue’ is:
Anyway, this feels a lot more like a handkerchief than a tissue due to the materials. But either way, it feels really good and doesn’t break easily as well. I bought a bundle deal that came with 6 packets for just US$69, which is really at a good price as shipping is free.
The current retail price is at S$34 for just 1 packet, and that doesn’t include shipping.
The Good And The Bad
My experience with Kickstarter is pretty much very positive. If you believe in an idea, backing it usually gives you significant discounts on a product compared to buying it at retail price as you can see above.
That's why I love shopping on Kickstarter, as it gives me a chance to support the smaller guys and get a great product at a good price in return. But there are also times when I get refunded my entire money when the project and company realises they are unable to hit their goals. Sometimes a deal might still fall through even after being approved resulting in me losing my money. Thankfully, this has only happened to me once.
It was for this item called Amabrush, where you just need 10 seconds to brush your teeth.
The concept is really great and I loved it, but the company faced a lot of production issues and constantly changed suppliers. In the end, the product was pretty low quality for those backers who received it. Many complained about how it didn’t even work properly at all too. I did not even receive mine after paying about €108.00 which was close to S$175 at that point of time.
Just remember, it is not a risk free experience for sure. I’ve seen a lot of other very big projects falling through and backers did not receive what they get. However, if you’re willing to take the risk, the reward you get from the platform is really good!
Now that you’ve seen a preview of what you can get, why not head over to Kickstarter and back some products? Or if you already have backed someone’s project before, what was it and did you manage to receive it in proper conditions?
Do let me know in the Facebook comments, I would love to hear your experiences!