The struggle between packing all the essentials while minimizing total weight has always been a challenge; a challenge that has too often meant having to sacrifice important gear to cut down on weight. Even the best prepared travelers discover that a few hours of carrying a light pack begins to sap their strength, often forcing them to cut excursions and sightseeing trips short. Older travelers and individuals with musculoskeletal, back or spine problems fare even worse since even lightweight backpacks begin to put pressure on the shoulders and spine in about an hour.
The HipStar™ will be available in three versions: Light, Medium, and Heavy-duty. The heavy-duty model allows users to move up to 80 lbs. of gear with only 6 lbs. of force. A serious hiker's backpack can weigh up to 40 lbs or more. When used in cart mode, the user will only need to exert up to 3.5 lbs of force to move the backpack. Medium and light models make the HipStar an affordable solution for everyone.
Well, once the balancing problem has been solved, I faced another issue: even a small weight generates annoying “push-and-pulls” when rigidly attached to your body during movement. Walking is a series of accelerations and decelerations - or “stop-and-go”. I had to build a few prototypes before I figured out how to keep it from bumping into you when you walk or run. To solve this problem, I designed flexible harness and special two-way shock absorbers that replaced the rigid bars between handles and frame.
The answer is the HipStar™: the light, portable, collapsible cart provides an innovative new way to move all your gear easy and comfortable. Hands free. Back free. Whether you’re hiking, camping, traveling, or just have to get from one place to another with your gear, the HipStar™ makes it almost effortless.
- It looks heavy. How much does it weigh? You show a strong muscular man using the HipStar. How about a 120-150-pound woman? How about a senior citizen? Male or Female?
- How did you get this idea?
- The idea for HipStar came in 2014 as I was traveling across Europe on business and later with my family. Between the three of us, we had one backpack to carry all of our things. There was so much to see, but after half a day’s worth of walking around, all I could think about was how the straps of my heavy bag were digging into my shoulders. I only wish I had a companion who would carry all of our stuff for us and never get tired. No matter where and how you travel, even a light backpack begins to weigh as much as a few bricks. You get tired. You get impatient. You waste half your day dealing with back pain. All because there’s no other way to carry your stuff other than on your back. What about seniors or people with back problems? They are even more affected by carrying weight around. Doesn’t matter if it’s light or heavy. That’s when the idea for the HipStar was born: a back-free, hands-free light collapsible travel cart that makes it easy to move heavy items over any type of terrain with little effort, literally doing the heavy lifting for you, and can be used as a backpack (or even a bike trailer!) if needed!
The HipStar’s CART MODE allows for heavy gear to roll with ease over many types of uneven terrain. When used in cart mode, the load is supported mainly by the cart instead of the user who has to only apply lateral motion to move the cart. This clever design factor significantly decreases the stress on the user body and spine during transport. The cart-user attachment is very lightweight and simple to use, and allows for three full degrees of free movement with no resistance when changing directions.
In a professional or military setting, the HipStar™ can be used to transport vital equipment and supplies over almost any terrain by rolling it on the ground or carrying it on the user’s back.
People who saw the HipStar asked these questions as well:
Whether it’s hiking up a steep mountain, taking an excursion to a remote beach, or traveling to the far corners of the world, the HipStar™ is the perfect solution for those who need to bring ALL their necessities wherever their journey takes them.
1. How do you make fifty pounds feel like one pound?
A suitcase balances a lot of weight on one axle - the same design used in the HipStar.
2. How do you keep your hands free?
Even with a suitcase, you have to hold it and drag it behind you. The HipStar attaches to your hip and leaves enough room behind you so your heels don’t hit it when you are walking or running.
3. How do you keep it from bumping into you when you walk?
Walking is a series of many accelerations and decelerations - or stop-and-go. Even a small weight will generate annoying push-and-pulls when rigidly attached to your body. The HipStar’s shock absorbers and flexible harness even out those disturbing walking motions for a comfortable experience.
4. What do you do when you hit uneven terrain?
The HipStar folds down into a backpack in seconds, making it easy to climb some stairs or hike up a mountain. The heaviest model weighs only ten pounds. And when you reach flat ground, expand it, attach it to your hip, and you’re good to go.
5. How do you store it when it’s not in use?
The HipStar is able to completely collapse, allowing you to store it in your closet, your trunk, or even carry-on on a plane.
If you are on-the-go, you need a versatile and convenient way to lug all your gear when hiking, camping, or simply traveling from one place to another. That's how we invented HipStar™ - a light collapsible cart that makes it easy to move heavy items over any type of terrain hands-free with little effort and can be used as a backpack or bike trailer depending on the needs of its user.
Now, no matter the size, shape, type, or weight of your bag or suitcase, the HipStar will give you the same level of comfort so you can walk or run without even feeling the weight of your bag. And if you ever need to climb some steps or cross an obstacle, simply convert it into a backpack and you’re all set.
The HipStar is perfect for a wide range of travelers - from those who want to go on a short stroll, to professional mountaineers. When traveling, people have always needed to carry items with them, but often are forced to make tough decisions as to what items they can fit in their backpacks, suitcases, or bags.
- Have you done any market research on HipStar?
- In 2016, the retail sales value of the casual bag segment is about $12 Billion for the travel bag segment, and $6 Billion for the business bag segment. The total retail sales value of the global luggage market is about $31 billion in 2016.
In the case of HipStar, the weight is already balanced on top of a two-wheel axle, and fine adjustments are made just by “bending” the frame, taking the strain off the user and letting technology do all the work. The angle between handles and frame can be adjusted, so the HipStar accommodates a wide range of weights, and by keeping a bag’s CG not only above but slightly ahead of the wheel axle, the HipStar's overall stability is increased. It eliminates pushback force created while walking or running that would overturn the cart. As a result, a bag’s weight is supported almost entirely by the frame, and the user applies only the pulling force to generate movement.
How many people can say that they sprinted the entire length of a football field carrying 80 pounds, and barely broke a sweat? Our product will not only enable its wearer to sprint while carrying that much weight, it will also make those 80 pounds feel as light as the shoes on your feet.
What are your goals for your crowdfunding campaign?
While I’ve been developing the HipStar for quite some time now with the help of my family, friends, and colleagues, the most important contribution is support of our backers and potential customers!
We have the team to get the job done: product designers, business developers, manufacturing, branding, and marketing specialists.
The next step is product design, testing, and mass production. This is where we need help in reaching the finish line and launching the HipStar to make it available to millions of people who are looking for a versatile and effective companion while they are on the go.
By pre-ordering and supporting us you’ll get your HipStar at a much lower price, and we can lower manufacturing costs.
If you have any questions or suggestions about the HipStar please CONTACT US directly. Your voice means a lot to us, and we would love to hear from you.
According to the Mountain Tactical Institute’s research, there are five “thumb rules” discovered:
1) One pound on your feet equals five pounds on your back.
2) One pound on your feet equals five percent more energy expended.
3) Every one percent of your body weight makes you six seconds slower per mile.
4) Ten percent grade incline cuts your speed in half.
5) Going up slows you down twice as much as going down speeds you up. Every percent of incline adds 15 seconds to your mile pace. Every percent of decline takes 8 sec. off of your mile pace.
With the HipStar in a CART MODE a cargo weight is close to zero due to CG balancing. With the HipStar in BACKPACK MODE they will not notice a 7-8% weight difference in a short run, when travelling over more difficult obstacles (rivers, ravines, steps, etc.) or when moving on rough terrain that the cart cannot traverse.
Finally, they would need to make their choice – to carry their load on the spine all day long or a bit heavier load just for a few moments to go over some obstacles.
So what can the travelers do? Rolling backpacks are not a solution, since they lack the shock absorption, balance adjustment, and wheel design to make them appropriate for long walks through the cobblestone streets of old Europe or the rugged terrain of a national park. Leaving vital gear at home is not an option either.
Heavy backpacks create a forward trunk lean (rounding of upper back), which causes a forward head posture with extended neck, creating a neck and shoulder pain and make it difficult for muscles and ligaments to hold the body up. After a long day on the trail, even 5 kg (11 lbs.) will feel heavy no matter what you are carrying it in.
- In which other situations, besides during hiking, camping, traveling can HipStar be used?
- Thus far, the HipStar has received a ton of positive reviews and support! Every person who sees it always comes up with a new and personalized way to use it. The best ideas come from strangers who stop me on the street or the trail during my test runs.
Shock absorbers along with a flexible harness even out any disturbing walking motions, minimize the uneven inertia generated by the user when walking or running, allowing for smooth movement and comfortable experience, further reducing stress and minimizing user effort and exertion.
The upper design allows the user to adjust to fit based on height. The handle-strut angle is also adjustable depending on the load weight, harness height (waist height), and distance from feet to wheels, all of which assist in relieving the stress from the load, allowing the user to walk or run without interference from the cart.
It doesn’t matter how far you go or how much stuff you have. Luggage is an inconvenience we simply put up with. And for decades travel bags have given us just two options:
Drag it. Or carry it.
The various rolling bags and backpacks currently on the market were designed for use mainly in airports and railway stations – areas with smooth flooring. While wheels help move theses bags on short trips from the house to the car or the car to the hotel, they are practically useless for longer excursions and get stuck when trying to roll across uneven or rough surfaces. Additionally, tourists and hikers prefer to use conventional bags and backpacks because the internal frame and wheels of rolling bags take up valuable storage space and add excess weight.
Military personnel will find the HipStar™ useful as a both a tactical and practical tool: on duty, the HipStar™ is perfect for moving heavy gear over any type of terrain; on leave, the HipStar™ can help personnel move their heavy backpacks while traveling. Since they’re not using civilian suitcases, the HipStar™ can help our service members move heavy, military-issue backpacks through airports and rail stations effortlessly by easily transforming into a rolling suitcase by pulling the handle located on the top of the frame. The HipStar™ can also stand on its own using its built-in kickstand — a convenient option when forced to wait in a long line.
No matter the size, shape, or weight of your bag or suitcase,
the HipStar will give you the same level of comfort
so you can walk or run without even feeling the weight of your bag
- What material will be used? Have you consider making it of composite material? Composites are lighter than aluminium, stronger than steel.
- Yes. We conducted a comprehensive research on composite vs. special aluminium and its pricing. Composite would increase price; therefore the bill of materials has to be well balanced. Many components, such as tubing or joints, could be converted to structural plastic parts to make a less expensive, easy to use, more attractive and ergonomic system. All options to be considered during the product development stage by the professional product designers and engineers.
- What is your estimated retail price?
- In the first year of operation production cost will be higher until volumes are up. The retail price will be estimated as soon as the product designers will finalize the design, mechanical development, integration, and pricing of the components.
- What inspires you to this design with the harness and frame?
- If you have ever used a wheelbarrow to haul stuff, you probably have noticed that in addition to lifting it up, you have to exert extra force to push or pull it in order to move it from one place to another. It might make it easier on you if the weight's center of gravity (CG) was balanced close to the wheel axle, but a wheelbarrow is not designed to perform such a trick.
LIGHT BUT DURABLE
construction material (aluminum or carbon) and strong joints and connecting links increase durability.
makes it easy to collapse and assemble. LARGE WHEELS include bearings and shock absorbers that absorb uneven terrain (optional low-pressure tires available).
between the frame and the handles absorb the pushing force of the equipment while walking or running.
that adjust for distance from the back of the legs to the stabilizer and harness, which prevents disturbing the movement of walking and running (hitting the heels).
allows users to adjust the width and grip length.
attachment that mounts the cart to the body at the waist.
with various types/sizes of bags and backpacks.
that adjusts for height and angle between frame and handles, depending on the weight of the equipment (reducing the pressure on the body in the place of mounting).
Another important distinction is in the HARNESS DESIGN and the ability of the frame to amortize the inertial pushes and pulls related to walking or running, allowing the user to pull the cart smoothly with no body restraint. The upper design allows the user to adjust to fit based on height. The handle-strut angle is also adjustable depending on the load weight, harness height (waist height), and distance from feet to wheels, all of which assist in relieving the stress from the load, allowing the user to walk or run without interference from the cart. The harness (consisting of an adjustable belt and straps) and the two-way shock absorber rods minimize the uneven inertia generated by the user when walking or running, allowing for smooth movement, further reducing stress and minimizing user effort and exertion.
A gentleman at Santa Monica beach said that he would use HipStar by carrying his family stuff from parking lot to the beach, and another one would use it by carrying their company booth’s accessories from parking lots to the trade shows floors.
The list goes on and all of them have been thrilled with adapting HipStar to their daily life. Please visit our HipStar Testimonials page.
The HipStar can be transported like a BACKPACK using the shoulder straps attached to the back frame. This makes it easy to travel over more difficult obstacles (rivers, ravines, steps, etc.) or when moving on rough terrain that the cart cannot traverse. For short trips, the handles, pull rods, and wheels can be left in place without collapsing the device entirely. For longer trips, the handles and pull rods can be pulled back and conveniently stored to prevent any interference.
Julian OH8STN is ultra-portable, digital QRP fanatic and video-creator, retired broadcast engineer and expat living in Scandinavia for the past couple of decades. In this video testimonial, Julian tells about his own experiences on expedition with a his hiking trailers and explains how the HipStar would allow him to go further with more gear, staying in the field longer than possible, if he were only using a traditional backpack.
In designing the HipStar™, the goal was to create a unique product that is MULTIPURPOSE, COMFORTABLE and most importantly, DURABLE.
The HipStar™ is the culmination of an extensive research to develop a light, collapsible cart that makes it easy to move heavy items hands-free over any type of terrain. The HipStar’s versatility allows it to be used as a cart, backpack, or bike trailer depending on the needs of its user.
The HipStar™ is the solution for anyone seeking an effective means to transport heavy items without compromising on comfort. It will make life easier for people who are constantly on the go and is the perfect accessory for everyone.
Tourists, hikers, photographers, backpackers, fishermen, foragers, hunters, golfers, physically impaired people, festivals' fans will all find the HipStar’s unique design a convenient addition to their activities.
There’s nothing quite like outdoors. With your boots tied tight, a backpack, and wind in your hair, you’ve got nowhere to go but up.
ART MATRIX LLC is developing the HipStar™, a product that will change the way hikers, campers, backpackers move by literally taking the weight off their shoulders.
The HipStar™ is a project of our passion in striving to help people achieve full mobility with only the power of two legs and accomplish physical feats they never thought possible – no matter if they’re young or old. It will be an affordable way to make travels more enjoyable.
- What is the weight limits of 'HipStar'?
The HipStar™ will be available in three versions: Light, Medium, and Heavy-duty. The heavy-duty model can easily hold up to 80 lbs (or even more) of gear with only 6-8 lbs. of force in cart mode. It can be used by military or heavy hikers/tourists. This group is used to carry large heavy backpacks (50-60 lbs.)
If the user decides to convert the HipStar to backpack mode, the weight limit might very depending on how much the user is willing and capable to carry on their back. In real life average hikers’ backpacks weigh 10-12 kg (22-26 lbs), serious hikers’ 15-18 kg (35-40 lbs). In the cart mode it represents 1.0-1.5 and 3-3.5 lbs. of pull correspondingly.
Medium and light models are rated for a lighter load, and are respectively lighter themselves, which is ideal for light hikers and city tourists.
For serious mountain hikers and military use, the HipStar™ comes in a more durable option featuring additional hardware that reinforces the structure and allows for heavier gear to be carried with the same ease and comfort. For the military, a huge tactical issue is Rucking performance (Rucking is the military term for hiking under load). The issue is that soldiers must conduct dangerous missions wearing body armor, carrying weapons, ammo, water, and other heavy gear, putting them at further risk of injury. The HipStar™ can help military operations mitigate this injury risk by reducing the load these soldiers need to carry.
HOW HIPSTAR ADJUSTS THE BALANCE?
The angle between handles and frame can be adjusted, so the HipStar accommodates a wide range of weights, and by keeping a bag’s CG not only above but slightly ahead of the wheel axle, the HipStar's overall stability is increased. It eliminates pushback force created while walking or running that would overturn the cart. As a result, a bag’s weight is supported almost entirely by the frame with wheels, and the user applies only the pulling force to generate movement. Combined, both the unique placement of the center of gravity and the HipStar's harness make it nearly impossible for the cart to turn over.
Not to mention senior citizens or people with back problems - it will breathe new life into their adventures all while reducing unnecessary physical stress.
- It is not heavy at all! Even a “heavy-duty” prototype's frame weighs approx. 10 lbs. We cannot count the weight of the wheels because we used the regular 2.5 lbs. wheels to prove a concept. Furthermore, the product design stage will result in approx. 50% decrease in weight by utilizing new materials and wheels. Total weight of the heavy-duty model with wheels will weigh no more than 7-8 lbs.
A short while ago, I met a woman who was running and pushing a baby stroller in front of her. She spotted the HipStar, so she stopped and asked to try it out. After a few minutes, she fell in love with it, surprised at how stable and smooth it was while running. You can see it on video. She wanted to get one for herself and customize it with a baby seat to make her morning runs more comfortable!