Once when I was a kid, I unwisely agreed to deliver newspapers for a friend of mine while he was away. The first time I tried to lift the gargantuan sack-o-papers, it was so heavy that I ended up pinned on the ground underneath it. Much to my humiliation, I ended up having to load the newspapers into our wheelbarrow, and deliver them that way. Well, it now turns out that I was simply ahead of my time – German outdoors company MONOWALKER recently unveiled its novel pack system, which includes one configuration that is not unlike a towed one-wheeled wheelbarrow.
In Hikingtrailer mode, the MONOWALKER is pulled behind you, via two ash bent-wood handles. The load is distributed through a hip belt and padded shoulder belt, which also allows you to take your hands off the handles without dropping everything. According to MONOWALKER, this configuration results in your hips only taking half as much weight as they would with a regular backpack – your neck and shoulders, needless to say, take none.
The wheel has an Avid BB7 disc brake, which can be engaged to keep the apparatus from running up against you when going downhill. Should the trail get too rough, too mucky, or you just don’t want to be made fun of, the trailer reportedly converts into the conventional-style Lastenkraxe backpack in just a few seconds. With the purchase of an upgrade kit, it can also be converted into a two-wheeled bicycle trailer.
The MONOWALKER Hikingtrailer frame weighs 5 kg (11 lbs) and has a carrying capacity of 50 kg (110 lbs). It’s available through the company website, for 899 euro (US$1,226), which includes the Lastenkraxe backpack.