Coming Soon: An Ultra-Lightweight Backpack That "Floats" While You Carry It

iStock / iStock

Sometimes the most strenuous part of hiking is not the distance or altitude covered, but the heavy load you’re hauling around all day. Now, one company wants to take the backache out of hiking—and commuting, too.

As spotted by New Atlas, the forthcoming HoverGlide backpack by Lightning Packs is being billed as the “world’s first floating backpack.” The bag part is attached to a sliding rail and pulley suspension system, which allows it to bounce up and down on your back while you move around. It purportedly reduces the impact and strain on your back by up to 90 percent, letting you walk or run with relative ease.

The design is based on a 2006 study from the University of Pennsylvania, which found that bouncing backpacks can make a 59.5-pound load feel 11 pounds lighter. That's because they move out of step with your gait, canceling out the movement and eliminating the need to constantly lift the load as you move. And less energy equals more endurance, according to the backpack’s creators.

A fundraising campaign for the HoverGlide will be launched on Kickstarter in September. Four varieties of the backpack will be available: a 55-pound “Trekker” backpack for hiking and camping, a smaller “Hiker” for shorter outdoor excursions, a 25-lb “Commuter” backpack for regular daily use, and a “Tactical” backpack with a tough shell and webbing “for the military types out there,” according to New Atlas.

[h/t New Atlas]