For those with a long commute to work, the hardest part can be the last mile between getting off of the subway or train and walking to the office. The Movpak is an electric skateboard built into a full-size backpack, designed to make that final stretch a bit less of a hassle without making you pay for a ride through a car-sharing service.
Launching today on Kickstarter, the Movpak doesn’t come cheap: the early-bird special gets you a board from the first production run for $999. After that tier, the price goes up to $1,190 for the first batch, and $1,299 gets you a board from the second run. When the Movpak is available through more traditional retail channels early next year, its creators say the price will go up to $1,999, about the same as previous electric skateboards originally funded through Kickstarter.
We tested it near our offices in San Francisco, and for the most part it made getting around a lot more fun. It has a top speed of 15 miles per hour with a range of 9 miles, more than enough for most walks to work; in fact, it could probably replace a bicycle for commutes of a couple of miles, as long as you’re sure you can find somewhere to plug it in for two hours to top off the battery.
While the backpack kind of looks weird sitting at the back of the skateboard, I found that it’s actually really useful as a stabilizer for novice riders. You don’t have to kick to get the Movpack going, as there’s a wireless controller included, so all you have to do is lean slightly into the bag with your rear leg for a smooth ride.
While the Movpak is fun when you’re on it, the backpack (which contains the battery) and the skateboard together weigh 17 pounds. In a pinch, it’s convenient to only have to carry one thing (as opposed to having a separate backpack and skateboard), but you wouldn’t want to go hiking with this thing — except for the fact that the giant battery can be used to charge other devices, like your phone. The backpack has a handle that extends to let you roll the bag around using the skateboard’s wheels, but it kind of detracts from the “cool” factor.