We Rode a Backpack With an Electric Skateboard Inside
A few months ago
we told you about Movpak
MovPak looks to solve the "last mile" problem; how do you cover the final stretch between your bus or subway stop and your destination? Ivo Machado, Movpak's cofounder, doesn't think there's a suitable solution that's compact enough to bring with you on a crowded train. So he and his team found a way to cram (most of) an electric longboard into a backpack no bigger than the one you carried to high school.
With the board retracted into its little hiding space, the backpack looks pretty standard, save for a rigid metal handle up top and four skateboard wheels tucked at the bottom. Extend the handle, and you can roll the Movpak around like wheeled luggage. That's handy because the board, backpack, battery, and related hardware all add up t0 a hefty 17 lbs, and that's before you load in any cargo.
The backpack has a padded pouch that'll fit a 15 inch laptop, and its various other pockets and zippers give it plenty of room for a day's worth of work necessities and a change of clothes.
With the skateboard folded up inside, Movpak's wheels let you roll it along like wheeled luggage.
Then again, nobody buys a motorized skateboard/backpack hybrid out of pure, cold pragmatism. This is a freak machine, a grownup's toy only slightly obscured by a faint patina of usefulness. And with a top speed of 15 MPH, it's pretty zippy too.
It definitely takes a few minutes to acclimate to the Movpak, especially if-like me-you haven't ridden a skateboard of any type in about a decade, much less a motorized one. It's got the flexible, forgiving deck, big wheels, and deep lean of a longboard, but with the rear wheels mounted to the backpack and the bag taking up about a third of the overall length of the board, you don't have much real estate to move your footing around.
other electric boards we've tested
It can be a tricky ride; a single electric motor drives the right-front wheel of the board, which spins wildly if you don't weight it enough to get traction. Ivo told me to brace my back leg against the rigid back of the backpack, which helped me maintain some semblance of control while I recklessly grabbed a fistful of throttle.
Acceleration is brisk, same as the
Will the Movpak revolutionize
But at 17 pounds dead empty, you'd probably end up ignoring the backpack straps on the Movpak, and using it as rolling luggage instead. And the planned $2,000 price puts this thing
neck-and-neck with the Boosted Board
Pedestrians were understandably awestruck.
Still, if you're convinced that the future of commuting will shred on a gnarly motorboard that won't hit people in the shins while you're on the bus, you can help Movpak raise the $100,000 they want to get the finalized backpackboard shipping by April. That's plenty of time to save up two grand for the world's first skateboard with a laptop pouch.