Some friends of mine in NYC have a high-school-aged daughter whose backpack keeps ripping. They’ve purchased a high-quality Patagonia backpack, but even that could not survive her daily regimen–carrying 40 pounds of books from their home in one borough to her school in another borough. I asked them why she doesn’t use a rolling carry-on bag, and they explained that those are impractical for going up and down subway station stairs.
That got me thinking about how people carry heavy things over long distances. While this item below wouldn’t work for my urban-dwelling friends’ daughter, I did find it a novel solution for hauling things over uneven terrain. The Monowalker Fatmate gets the weight off of your back using physics and a wheel.
Here’s how it’s used in the field, in both forward and aft positions, carrying about 90 pounds of gear :
The fact that it’s connected to a harness means I wouldn’t use it on a steep trail, or anyplace where I might fall and have the rig pull me or tangle me up; I could see that ending badly. Perhaps that could be remedied with some kind of breakaway connection points, though there is still the issue of the handles binding you up.
That being said, I could see this being useful for hauling things around the farm, when you require the free hands that a wheelbarrow wouldn’t allow. One thing that prevents me from picking one up to experiment is the price: The German-designed Fatmate runs €836, about USD $953.