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John Fabel, Ecotrek Backpack Inventor
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Drawing of a suspension bridge

Drawing of a suspension bridge

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Drawing shows weight-bearing similarities of a suspension bridge and a backpack
Drawing shows weight-bearing similarities of a suspension bridge and a backpack

Could a Hip Belt Help?

“When I used a hip belt to transfer the backpack’s weight to my hips, I still got sore shoulders. So the problem wasn’t the shoulder straps. The problem was how the weight wants to fall back away from your body. So I started thinking, ‘What if I could design a backpack that would get the weight to pull toward your back rather than away from it?’”

“After I saw the Brooklyn Bridge, I started thinking about how to build a hip pack that would distribute the weight evenly, like a suspension bridge.”

How is Fabel’s backpack like a suspension bridge?

Huge main cables extending from one end of a suspension bridge to the other hold up the roadway. The cables rest on top of high towers and are secured at each end by anchorages.

Instead of relying on shoulder straps to carry the load, Fabel’s backpack transfers much of the weight to the hips. When wearing it, your hips act like a tower on a suspension bridge. The backpack is similar to the roadway. And the triangular flap between the backpack and the hip belt--like the cables on the bridge--distributes the weight evenly.

Next: What Helped Fabel Become An Inventor? ›

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