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Homemade ergonomic backpack


My condition improved with my daily walk with my homemade neck collar and from 2019 I could go swimming in open water. To be able to swim in the spring and fall as well, I use a wetsuit.
In 2021 my neck problems increased, and because of that the weight of my backpack became a problem for my shoulders. The weight of my backpack was 6 kg (13 lbs), because of the wet wetsuit, my neck collar, a thermos flask, wet towel, and so on. I had doubts if I could still go swimming in the spring of 2022 with a wetsuit.

Possible solutions:
• A hiking trailer rolling behind me.
• A backpack with a part at the back and a part in the front.
• A backpack with a wide hip belt that carries the weight, with a frame on the front and a frame on the back.

Perhaps I was able to carry the weight of 6 kg (13 lbs) on my shoulders, because it is only a walk of 1 km from the open water to my house.
An ergonomic backpack that equally distributes the weight over both shoulders and does not pull my shoulders forward or backwards appears to not exist. So I had to think of something myself.

I had high requirements for my backpack:
• It is very important for me to be able to walk upright because of my neck problems, so it was necessary to be able to divide the weight equaly over the front and back.
• No hurting band over my shoulders, but just the fabric from the backpack that continues over my shoulders.
• Enough space. To move my arms freely, the backpack can be as wide as my torso.
• The weight of the things that I put in the backpack preferrably as low as possible but not getting in the way while walking.
• Easily to put on and off. I don't want to lift the backpack over my head, that would be too burdensome for my neck.

It turns out that there is not a nice solution for that.
The simplest solution seemed a pouch on the back and a pouch on the front. The front zipper divides the whole pouch into two parts, so I can put the backpack on like a jacket. The disadvantage is that if I take the backpack off, the contents of the front pouch falls out.
The zipper on the back is also vertical. Because of the shape of the pouch, a vertical zipper seemed to be the easiest way to put stuff in and take it out.

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The fabric is an outdoor fabric called "Venice PE", it is made of 90% Olefin and 10% Polyethylene (number RT1343 at
The zippers are both a plastic YKK block tooth zipper 10 mm with a plastic slider (purchased at
At the rear is a non-divisible zipper and the front has a divisible zipper with a slider with a handle on both sides.
On the back side is some reflective material, but I do not intent to walk in the dark with this backpak.

The backpack was finished in February 2022.
It took about half a year to think of a solution for a ergonomic backpack. I made the backpack in a few weeks.

It turned out to be bigger than needed.
It can be folded into a small package.
I added straps to the sides, to be able to pull it closer to my body.
It is not easy to start the zipper in the front at the top. I knew that beforehand. That is the disadvantage of this design.

Rights: The photos on this page are made by myself
and are Public Domain, unless otherwise noted.
Last change to this page: February 2022