Personal Transportation

MovPak hybrid backpack/skateboard takes on the daily grind

Despite its novel premise that combined a bookbag with a skateboard, the original MovPak Kickstarter campaign failed to secure enough funding for production, halting the dream of a more mobile commute for its team. Two years, a few tweaks, improvements, and a move to Indiegogo later, the improved MovPak is back for a second round.

In terms of the basic idea, the MovPak hasn’t changed drastically. The sizable, 17-pound book bag still hides a retractable electric skateboard within that uses a brushless motor powered by a lithium-ion battery for movement. Together, users can remotely control MovPak to achieve speeds of up to 20mph for a 10-mile range per charge.

Personal Transportation

The Nimble Urban Scooter carries you and your burden

Every day, people put way too much weight on their shoulders and backs without realizing it, leading to discomfort and possible pain later on in life. Outside of some sort of clunky trolley, there isn’t much that can be done about it. At least, that was the case until the Nimble Urban Scooter came along.

The follow-up to the Nimble Scooter Classic, the Nimble Urban Scooter is a slimmed down version of its predecessor that focuses on a more agile ride while retaining the versatility of carrying a wide array of stuff. Its front loading cargo rack features custom made bungee straps to secure all sorts of boxes — even fitting bike accessories — while its linked steering system lets riders perform sharp turns safely.

Personal Transportation

Movpak goes from backpack to powered skateboard to conquer your commute

The Premise. Commuting to and from work in a car is bad for the environment. Those who can opt to use public transportation. However, this isn’t always the most convenient way, and some are stuck walking quite a bit to get to where they need to go. For those who are a bit lazier, driving becomes the more attractive option even if public transportation is available.

The Product. Movpak is a combination backpack and electric skateboard. What? Yes. It functions as a normal backpack, but when some help is needed to get somewhere, a foldable skateboard is released. Running on a battery, the skateboard goes up to 15mph with a range of about 9 miles. It’s rechargeable and takes two hours to juice up. With its battery, the backpack can also charge your devices on the go. The power for the board is controlled through a wireless remote. In terms of appearance, the backpack looks like any normal backpack, as does the skateboard.

The Pitch. Movpak’s campaign video shows commuters using the product in different settings. Some hop on after getting off the subway, while others putter around campus. Different riders in the video show how easily the skateboard attachment pops in and out of the backpack. This Kickstarter Staff Pick hopes to raise $100,000 in a 38-day campaign.

The Perks. Early birdies can get the Movpak for either $999 or $1,190. At a regular price of, $1,340 backers get the Movpak along with an extra backpack with choice of color. Movpak’s are expected to be delivered by May 2015.

The Potential. Personal transportation devices have become all the rage, especially electric ones. Many are rethinking the bicycle model for something a bit smaller and more portable. Scooters like the Halfbike and Me-Mover think that stand-up trikes are the solution, while others like Marbel prefer the electric skateboard model. Other products, like the Commute-Case combination scooter and briefcase, have kept the commuter in mind and combined cargo with transportation as the Movpak has done. One of the great things about Movpak is its sleek look and portability. The campaign fails to mention how heavy the Movpak is exactly, but carrying it on one’s back makes a heavier weight easier to tote around. Some may feel unsteady on a skateboard with no handle for balance, however, for college students and young professionals, Movpak is a great way to get around with lots of stuff.

Automotive Travel

Arctrike puts some power into lying down on the road

The Premise. With rising gas prices and a suffering environment, people are looking to new ways of transportation. Many choose bicycles or public transport, but for those who need a little power and privacy behind their ride, electric is the way to go.

The Product. The Arctrike is a recumbent three-wheel vehicle. The rider sits back and relaxes while he cruises down the road. It’s electric for extra power with pedals as well. A handle makes steering a breeze and front suspension ensures a smooth ride. Behind the back of the rider, the motor stays out of the way and is concealed. The trike itself looks sleek and rugged at the same time.

The Pitch. In the campaign video, the creators explain the advantages of a trike over a moped or car. It shows a man cruising around in the trike and his ride really does look quite smooth. The rest of the campaign goes into the trike’s specs along with the prototyping process. Arctrike’s creators really pushed their product to the limit in testing to ensure a great ride for all. This recumbent bike hopes to raise $65,000 CAD on Kickstarter.

The Perks. For $1,800 CAD, backers will receive the frame kit which includes most of the materials to assemble the trike by oneself, leaving out the battery, motor and other items. For $2,950 CAD, backers get the kit again, but including more materials, though still leaving out any kind of power. For $5,000 CAD, backers get the Arctrike and for $5,400 the better quality version of the trike.

The Potential. This recumbent bike seems like a blast to ride. It’s great for those looking for a fun and unique way to get around, at least in the warmer months. The creators claim that it’s safe, but stress that a helmet is needed to ride. One would also think that, being so low to the ground, being run over by a Mack truck might not be out of the realm of possibility. We’ve seen other trikes like this, such as the Horizon, which is designed to be a bit more accessible to people of all levels of ability than Arctrike. Still, Arctrike is a cool, fun, energy-efficient way to zip around town.


Morella makes umbrellas into multitasking wonders

MorellaIf rainy days and Mondays get you down because it complicates bringing your java on the road, Morella has a solution that will likely make you chuckle with delight: cup holders for your umbrella. Each cup holder has a custom designed clamp that fits any umbrella, high-griped material for increased stability, and a specialized pivot system to keep drinks upright. By the way, when it stops raining, your folded umbrella can still multitask, functioning as a drink stand. Morella appears to be a one-of-a-kind creation for drinkin’ in the rain. For £10 backers can get their very own Morella umbrella transforming cup holder, with an estimated delivery of June 2014.