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Reduce impact forces of walking or running by up to 86% with one of the biggest backpack innovations in decades!
Reduce impact forces of walking or running by up to 86% with one of the biggest backpack innovations in decades! Now on Indiegogo In Demand
Reduce impact forces of walking or running by up to 86% with one of the biggest backpack innovations in decades! Now on Indiegogo In Demand
511 backers pledged $246,065 to help bring this project to life.

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HoverGlide: World’s First Floating Backpack

$246,065

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As a biology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and expert in muscle function and biomechanics, Dr. Lawrence Rome, the inventor of HoverGlide was asked by the Office of Naval Research to try to reduce the large loads Special Operation Forces have to carry. The solution was his patented Suspended Load Technology (SLT), which allows the carried load to seamlessly move up and down with respect to the person walking or running. This keeps the load at a constant height with respect to the ground. It looks like magic or computer generated imagery, but it’s science.

How does it work?

While standing still, a 50 lb load in your backpack exerts 50 lbs of force (static weight). This changes when you walk or run, where the peak force exerted on you can be up to 3x the weight you are carrying.  Suddenly a 50lb pack can put as much force on the body and joints as if it weighed 150 lbs. With the movement of SLT, this additional force over and above the static weight can be reduced by as much as 86%! For more details, watch the video above. 

 For those who need more space so they can carry more. This pack is on a larger 24” frame. 

The “Trekker” is our largest model and holds a capacity of up to a whopping 55 liters. Rugged, tough, and ready for the challenge of carrying your gear, this pack is primed and ready for backcountry adventures and  securely holds enough equipment and food for two to three-day trips. Featuring a sleeve that works as a hydration reservoir, as well as thoughtfully designed pockets and zippers, your gear and travel essentials will not only be secure, they will be easy to access no matter where you may roam.

  • Permits you to suspend up to 50 lbs (more weight can be carried but the pack must be locked)
  • Hipbelt pockets keep digital devices, snacks, and maps secure and easy to locate
  • Pockets in the lid keep an insulation layer and other light item organized and accessible
  • Internal sleeve holds a two-liter reservoir for hydration on the move
  • Dedicated bottom compartment holds and protects sleeping bag
  • Harness and hip belt are constructed of closed cell foam covered in  a 3D breathable "air mesh" to wick water away  
  • Nylon ripstop pack material combines durability and lightweight
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish protects contents from light rain and moisture
  • Empty pack weighs only about 9 lbs  

The HoverGlide “Commuter,” “Hiker,” and “Tactical” Backpacks all fit onto the same size frame and can be switched out depending on your needs.

              **Please note that The Trekker is only offered on a 24” frame and will not fit onto the 20” frame. There are plans for future bags that will fit on the 24” frame.**  

The “Tactical” means business! Ideal for first responders, military personnel and anyone tackling long training runs, the primary purpose of this pack is to lesson the impact on your body even when the stakes are high.  The “Tactical” pack makes heavy supplies easier to carry, especially under more stressful situations that require running, climbing stairs, or other activities that cause heightened physical exertion.

  • 30L capacity sized 
  • Permits you to suspend up to 25 lbs (more weight can be carried but the pack must be locked)
  • Main compartment carries clothing layers, bivy gear, first aid, and off-trail work materials
  • Easy-access secondary pocket stores lunch and layers
  • Internal organization holds smartphones, GPS units, pens, documents, and maps secure and easy to locate
  • External stash pocket keeps emergency clothing layers instantly accessible
  • Harness and detachable padded hip belt are constructed of closed cell foam covered in  a 3D breathable "air mesh" to wick water away 
  • Internal sleeve holds a two-liter reservoir for hydration on the move
  • Webbing grid on back panel accepts MOLLE units to expand capacity and organize essential gear
  • Exceptionally durable 1000D Cordura pack material resists tears and abrasion and holds weights.
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish protects contents from light rain and moisture   

Ready for a day on the trails? The “Hiker” was made just for you. With enough room to hold your gear, hydration, and other essentials, this pack is your go-to for shorter trips. Featuring an external stash pocket, you’ll have easy access to an extra change of clothes, snacks, or whatever else you need to get to in a hurry. But, don’t worry, your wallet and keys will be safe and sound in the security pocket built for your more sensitive items.

  • 30L capacity holds gear, food, and clothing for a day on the trail 
  • Permits you to suspend up to 25 lbs (more weight can be carried but the pack must be locked)
  • Internal sleeve holds a two-liter reservoir for hydration on the move
  • Easy-access secondary pocket stores and organizes digital devices, maps, guidebooks, and trail necessities
  • Internal zippered security pocket holds your keys and wallet 
  • Low-profile zippered external pocket is great for sunscreen, camera, or sunglasses
  • External stash pocket keeps emergency clothing layers instantly accessible
  • Harness and detachable padded hip belt are constructed of closed cell foam covered in  a 3D breathable "air mesh" to wick water away 
  • Compression straps secure your gear and minimize pack sway
  • Haul loop at top makes grab-and-go a breeze 
  • 200D pack material is lightweight, resists tears and abrasion
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish protects contents from light rain and moisture 

The “Commuter” features a patented 20” modular frame design that allows users to easily switch out other of our smaller bag types, including the “Hiker” and the “Tactical” packs. With an eye towards comfort and holding up to 30 liters, this pack is your go-to for  daily commuting, day hikes, cross-training, and as the perfect pack for a first responder. 

  • 28L capacity
  • Permits you to suspend up to 25 lbs (more weight can be carried but the pack must be locked)
  • Perfect for work and commuting
  • Easy-access secondary pocket stores and organizes digital devices, documents, and work tools
  • Low-profile top pocket is great for keys, wallet, and transit passes
  • Two side pockets hold water bottles, a travel umbrella, or a light shell jacket
  • Harnesses are constructed of closed cell foam covered in a 3D breathable "air mesh" to wick water away. 
  • Compression straps secure your gear and minimize pack sway
  • External webbing loops accept bicycle safety lights
  • Haul loop at top makes grab-and-go a breeze 
  • Canvas-look 300D pack material resists tears and abrasion
  • DWR (durable water repellent) finish protects contents from light rain and moisture   

The HoverGlide has gone through scientific and durability testing to ensure it's incredibly effective while also tough enough to withstand the needs of the United States military, 

DURABILITY TESTING   

 Smash Test

Throw Test

ROAD TESTED

Our operational consultant, former Force Recon Marine Sgt. Shawn Carmody decided to put HoverGlide to the test by running in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC while wearing a prototype of the tactical pack filled with 20lbs.  He likes to say he ran his fastest marathon while wearing the HoverGlide, and he did, although, to be fair it was his first and only Marathon. 

In 2002 Dr Larry Rome, received a call from the Office of Naval Research-explaining that Special Forces were in Afghanistan carrying over 20 lbs of  batteries in addition to the 80 lbs already in their backpack. They asked if there was a way to capture the troops’ locomotory movements and convert those movements into electricity which would recharge a small rechargeable battery and reduce carried weight.  

Rome, a professor of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania and an expert in muscle function and biomechanics, invented the Suspended Load Technology (SLT) in which the load can move up and down with respect to the person walking. Adding a generator, the SLT pack generated considerable electricity with normal movement – a 1000-fold increase over previous attempts (20 Watts vs 20 milliwatts).  

Rome filed patents and founded Lightning Packs in 2004. Rome’s team announced this discovery in the journal Science which received international acclaim. Rome noticed that all the subjects in the study preferred walking and running with the SLT pack rather than with normal packs. So he took out the generator and developed a non-electrical version of  the SLT pack - which eventually became HoverGlide. The pack reduced accelerative forces during walking and running 82-86% and reduced joint pain and metabolic rate. The study was published in the journal Nature in 2006.From athletes getting more out of their training to those with mobility issues have an easier time carrying a backpack while walking, HoverGlide’s focus is to reduce force on joints.
 

 Lightning Packs received funding from the Office of Naval Research,  US ARMY, National Institutes of Health and US Small Business Innovation Research Grant in 2006. This extended through 2016 to focus on the Electricity-Generating SLT pack with the team delivering over 130 packs to the USMC and US ARMY. In 2016, the team decided to focus again on what has become the ergonomic, non-electrical “HoverGlide.” Along the way, Lightning Packs has been awarded 5 US, 3 Canadian, 2 European and one Australian Patent.    

Risks and challenges

Realistically, here are the 2 most likely challenges to this project being successfully completed after funding:

1. Manufacturing problems – The largest potential issue is the molding of the frames. We have successfully completed the design, tool making and molding of frames for four different projects for the US Military and it worked flawlessly. We will use the same designer, toolmaker and molder (and plastic) as we have used previously and hence we are very confident we repeat our success previous successes. The other potential issue is the packbody and harness. Our collaborator on this project has been designing and manufacturing backpacks for close to 30 years, he is one of the leading experts in the field.He has already discussed the project with the factory he works with

2. Design flaws – While we have gone to every effort to predict how device will work in the real world, the reality is, we're Kickstarting this because it's never been seen before. The electricity-generating packs that we have delivered to the US military has held up well which gives us confidence in this product—however this product does have some differences. We have been able to solve every problem we’ve run into for the past 15 years that Rome has shepherding this project. Shawn Carmody is an expert at exposing problems and Sean McIntosh is superb at fixing them. We've minimized this risk to the level that any company can. We've worked through many issues before and don't plan on stopping if we hit a road bump. We will always keep you updated of new developments.

Including McIntosh and Carmody, we have over 30 years of experience working on the project and we all share the strong desire to get these packs to the public. If you have any questions about potential issues we haven’t address yet, please email us at team-hoverglide@lightningpacks.com so we can address it.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Pain for Gain

    After the campaign ends, Shawn will do a jumping jack wearing the backpack on the Philadelphia Art Museum steps (AKA Rocky Steps) for every dollar contributed. It will be videotaped.

    P.S. - Sorry, Shawn! :)

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    Super Early Bird - Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    Early Bird - Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    WEEKEND ONLY: Early Bird - Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    ***LAST CHANCE FLASH SALE *** Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    October Special - Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    Super Early Bird - Large Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with SLT technology! Perfect for the multi-day hiker, The Trekker will hold everything you need while also giving your back, knees and ankles a smoother "adventure",

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    ***LAST CHANCE FLASH SALE**** Large Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with SLT technology! Perfect for the multi-day hiker, The Trekker will hold everything you need while also giving your back, knees and ankles a smoother "adventure",

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    Kickstarter Special - Small Pack

    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with Suspended Load Technology!

    The small pack comes on a 20" frame. Choose from three different pack bag styles The "Tactical", The "Hiker" and The "Commuter"

    **Add $100 to your pledge to get an additional pack bag (Tactical, Hiker, Commuter) that can be switched on the small pack frame.

    We will send you a survey once the campaign ends to choose the optimal bag type and harness fit.

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    Be one of the first to get a HoverGlide with SLT technology! Perfect for the multi-day hiker, The Trekker will hold everything you need while also giving your back, knees and ankles a smoother "adventure",

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Funding period

- (40 days)