Sweaty backs from backpacks are a hot topic, it seems. Google “sweaty back backpack” and you’ll find pages of intense discussion on the matter, with many desperate outdoor types pleading for a solution that means their T-shirt won’t get sopping wet every time they go for a hike in warm weather.
Current advice appears to fall into one of several categories, from “wear fewer clothes” to “low- and no-sweat walking techniques” to wearing some kind of frame that puts some space between your back and the pack, allowing for greater airflow.
It’s this last suggestion that forms the basis of the intriguing G2 Turbo backpack ventilation fan. Designed by Hong Kong-based Edwin Wang of Presti Technologies, the G2 Turbo consists of a “powerful blower” inside a “highly elastic rubber” case that connects quickly to medium-sized backpacks using the provided mounting clips.
The fan, which Wang claims is the first of its type in the world, fits toward the bottom of the backpack and rests close to your body when you put it on. Its flexible build means it should be pretty much undetectable by the wearer, allowing you to enjoy the flow of air blasting out from the top of the device and preventing any uncomfortable sweat patches from forming on your back.
Wang told Digital Trends that finalizing the shape of the casing proved to be the biggest challenge. “The most difficult part [was how to make the] G2 Turbo comfortable to wear. To fulfill the requirements, the thickness of the fan housing needs to be extra thin and the geometry needs to fit both the backpack and the back of a user. We spent a lot of time on this,” the designer said.
A wired controller lets you adjust the strength of the fan, while power is provided via four AA batteries, or a separate pack containing a lithium battery (not supplied). Depending on the power source and fan speed, you can expect to get up to 18 hours of use from the lithium battery, and up to 5.5 hours from AA rechargeables. Of course, if you opt for the heavier power pack, you’ll have to carry it around, adding to the weight of the 0.72-pound (330 gram) fan as well as the contents of your pack.
Its creator promises the fan is “sturdy [and] quiet,” important if you don’t want to walk around sounding like you have a massive bumblebee in your bag.
Admittedly, this isn’t the most stylish gadget we’ve ever set eyes on, but the G2 Turbo works largely unseen, quietly whirring away in a bid to keep you and your backpack damp-free. Without trying it for ourselves in a range of conditions, it’s hard to say how effective it is, but we’re just happy to see that someone’s having a crack at trying to solve this annoying problem.
If the Kickstarter campaign can raise just over $4,000, Wang aims to ship the first fans in July 2017. Early bird deals are offered for $19, about $6 off the expected retail price.