Urban commuters have a lot of electric-vehicle options -- an electric bike, a Segway, or an electric scooter. The problem with all of those is that they're a bit bulky. Even electric skateboards can be a bit of chunk to haul around. The Movpak on Kickstarter embraces the electric-skateboard concept, but then adds a clever backpack component so the whole thing folds up and away for when you need to dash down some subway steps or go inside a building for work.
The Movpak features a nifty fold-up and fold-down function that can be performed with one hand. It lets the board get sucked up into a chamber in the backpack so it can be worn like a regular pack or pulled along like rolling luggage. The skateboard tops out at a respectable 15 mph. It has a range of 9 miles and takes two hours to fully charge up. That means you could ride it to school or work, top off the battery, and ride home in style with no problem.
The whole kit weighs 17 pounds, which may start feeling a little heavy on your shoulders if you need to do a lot of walking, but that's when you could just use it as a rolling bag instead.
The backpack on the back of the board helps to provide a measure of stability for riders who may not be used to skateboarding. The gadget is controlled with a remote that lets you speed up or stop.
Though it looks like a skateboard, Movpak recommends you don't try to pull off an ollie, kickflip, or grind. It's not meant for tricks. Movpak also recommends staying out of heavy rain when there's water on the pavement. Light rains and humid areas are fine.
Movpak is aiming for a $100,000 goal and is up to nearly $37,000 in pledges with 36 days left to go. Some early-bird pledge slots are still available at $1,190. If you miss out on that price, the next level is $1,299. That makes the Movpak an extremely expensive backpack, but still keeps it in line with the prices of boutique electric skateboards like Boosted Boards.