DIY OW Backpack Hack

  • Here's a fun project for anyone who wants to carry their OW on their back. You can make this for under $10 and attach it to any suitably strong backpack.


    There are 3 basic challenges to consider here...
    Challenge 1 - comfort - for your shoulders & back
    Challenge 2 - vertical - holding the OW weight
    Challenge 3 - horizontal - keeping the OW from falling over, falling back, etc.

    #1 - The easy solution for shoulder comfort is to simply use a backpack with comfortably padded straps. Turns out the wheel is naturally pretty comfortable in the mid back.

    #2 - This strap supports the OW weight from the bottom of your backpack straps rather than the top. It's weird to think about, but feels very stable (no swinging action).

    #3 - The board is held in place horizontally with a loop around the top footpad & a strap to the backpack top handle.


    Making the OW backpack hack

    • Start with a little more than 2m of webbing (or a 240cm loop like I used).
    • Tie a loop in each end big enough to fit over the OW but not over the tire. The bottom loop should be a bit bigger and tied though the backpack straps.
    • Look at the pictures, and play with the other knots & biner until it fits your pack and body.

    As you're making it, think "I'm strapping a backpack onto my OW" instead of "I'm hanging my OW on a backpack", and you'll get it pretty easily.


    Using the OW backpack hack

    When you need it...

    • lie the pack on the ground (straps down)
    • roll the OW into the bottom loop from the top
    • slip the 2nd loop around the top of the OW
    • thread the finer under the top loop and attach it to the carry handle of the backpack.

    When finished, slide the hack strap to the top of the pack, and put everything in the pack.


    What backpack to use?
    It'll work with any backpack that you think is strong enough to carry the weight of a OW. To demonstrate how versatile this is, I'm using a small sturdy day bag from REI. But, obviously, you can attach it to a larger pack just as easily.

    What parts do you need?
    I have lots of climbing gear lying around, so I made this from a 240cm Mammut sling and a locking carabiner. But for less than $10, you can 2m of tubular webbing and an inexpensive climbing carabiner.

    If you're using tubular webbing, you would have a single strap everywhere I have a double strap. The double straps aren't needed - it was just convenient for me since I was using a sling (pre-sewn loop).

    Disclaimer - Don't drop your OW. I'm not suggesting this is completely safe or reliable!

    I designed this for use without the fender, but I happened to have the fender on when I took the pictures. Beware of putting too much strain on the fender!! Wouldn't want to crack that expensive puppy!

  • This is awesome. I was messing around last night with my old ski patrol pack and there are a couple of configurations that worked, but the one I liked best set the wheel at the small of the back, like yours. With the heavy backpack straps and a bit of structure, as found in higher end backpacks, it was actually super comfortable. The pack is a beast and not really what I want to use as everyday carry, though, so I'm going to talk to my friend who works for the company that made my pack to see about having one of their smaller models modified to carry the OW.

    I gotta take off for work now, but I'll try to post pics tomorrow.

  • Great idiea, that's skaterspirit!

  • now just gotta add some wheels!

  • @bmtka Yeah - a custom pack would be cool. I'd like one where the board stuck out the bottom - but I haven't found or altered one yet.

    I used a large pack this summer, with my OW inside when needed. But I got tired of carrying a huge pack while I rode. Thus the "any bag is ok" strap idea. I can use a small backpack with charger & other stuff inside while riding.

  • @jeff8v7 I doubt I can get them to modify one to put a dropseat in the bottom since their zipper design is pretty unique as it is. I don't really want a bag to stick the OW inside, though. Its kind of dirty, pointy, and squishingy. The guys in Poland got it right in making their dedicated carry bag highly stowable, but like you, I want something practical for everyday use that can comfortability carry the OW should I need to. I think you have the right idea with your hack, but I'd like something similar built into a sturdy, comfortable, and versitle little pack.

    I'm thinking if they could add some beefy compression straps to this bad boy to get the job done:

    You can see what I mean about their zipper design. The harnesses on MR packs are amazing. I would always be surprised by how heavy my ski patrol pack felt in my arm after taking it off since it carried so well on my back.

    I'm going to see my friend today and play around with this pack and discuss possible mods. I'll take some pics if you're interested and it looks promising.

  • @jeff8v7 Your post and pics gave me an idea for a super lightweight custom OW carrier that will actually fit into a backpack. I just ordered all of the parts and pieces and will attempt to make it once I get them ($45 total cost).

    If it works out, it could be great and I'll post pics and instructions on how I made it. If it doesn't, then please forget you ever read this.

  • @bmtka looks like a great pack! I agree putting the OW one the outside is more practical. I shopped around for a pack with serious straps on the outside, but didn't find one. Skateboard packs don't allow for a huge tire.

    Would love to see what you come up with.

  • @thegreck that's cool. I'm glad I could help stir your imagination. I look forward to seeing your experiment.

  • @jeff8v7 I didn't end up getting up with my friend yet, but when we come up with something that works I might see about offering them to the community.

  • @jeff8v7 Okay, I think I finally got this thing figured out. I built off of your idea, but came up with something that you can just slip the OW into and attach it to your backpack.

    I ran into a few stumbling blocks along the way, but my wife is also a problem-solver and she helped me work through them and we ultimately came up with a much more simplified final product than I had originally planned.

    The only problem is it's not really a quick-and-easy hack to make, but once it's made, it's really easy to put on and it works with any backpack.

    To make it, I stitched together standard 1-inch nylon webbing straps using a Speedy Stitcher Sewing Awl (this thing is amazing), and used S-Biners to attach the hammock piece (which holds the weight of the OW) to the backpack, then a plastic buckle for the single strap that wraps around the top portion of the OW and keeps it from falling over.


  • Nice Greg! Looks amazing...

  • @thegreck Nice! Clever how it fits over the end of the board & the s-biners are handy so you can take the whole thing off. Good system.

    I'll have to refine mine a bit based on your ideas :-) Being a climber, I'm partial to knots & hitches, but sewing might be more practical.

    Next project - a giant quadcopter to haul my OW around when the battery dies :)

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