Best Wheelchair Backpack for Everyday Use
We designed the Knack Pack expandable backpacks to fit easily into the lives of Knackpackers, enabling people to pack one bag for their day (or weekend), and get out the door!
In 2019, we started to receive questions from potential customers, all asking, “Does the Knack Pack work as a bag for people who use wheelchairs?”
In order to answer questions about the Knack Pack and whether it’s a good bag for wheelchair users, we sent Knack Packs to a few people on Instagram for their honest review. Below, we’ve shared their thoughts and advice for wheelchair users looking for a multi-purpose laptop backpack.
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What makes for a great wheelchair backpack?
Monica Angie Thomas: Review of Knack Pack for Wheelchair Use
Monica Angie Thomas is a blogger, whose goal is to “reclaim the disabled narrative.” We sent her a Medium Knack Pack in Sangria Red, and here’s what she had to say:
“Knack Bags gifted me one of their incredible bags, and I'm telling you, Mary Poppins WISHES she had one 😅.
I packed two big beach towels, two bottles of sunscreen, Murphy's water dish, 12 cans of Truly hard seltzer, and a few other odds and ends. And there were still compartments I didn't use. If you travel a lot (or plan to when it's safe again), this bag is perfect for a carry on. There's even a hidden suitcase compartment. If you're a wheelchair user like me, just be mindful not to pack it too heavy if your chair tends to tip with added weight. Otherwise, it's perfect for slipping over the handles like I have it here. 🎒 Highly recommend!”
Lucy Trieshmann: Review of Knack Pack Laptop Backpack for Wheelchairs
Lucy is currently a law student at NYU, and she is also a disability activist. Here’s what Lucy had to say about using her Medium Knack Pack:
Figuring out how to travel independently without being able to pull a suitcase has been a challenge. Right on cue, Knack Bags sent me their Medium Knack Pack for an honest review last month. They offer expandable backpacks intended to accommodate both work and travel.
I put it to the test over a weekend trip this month and was super impressed! In the final photo, you can see just a small part of everything I was able to pack into it: two days of medical supplies (including fluids), two days of (bulky) clothes + pajamas, laptop, iPad, and chargers. Because the bag has an expandable zipper, I was even able to make it slimmer for my return trip.
The straps slipped easily over the handles of my wheelchair and held up well despite being thrown in trunks, bounced on the subway, and stuffed to bursting. It has a bunch of little pockets, including a padded laptop slot.
Although too large to function as my everyday bag, this is a perfect weekend/overnight bag to accommodate my school, personal, and medical needs. The stitching held up well to rough use and hanging off the back of my chair.”
Katie Thompson: Knack's Wheelchair Friendly Expandable Backpack Review
Katie Thompson is a writer, actor, coach, advocate and woodworker – she’s a busy woman, to say the least! Here’s what Katie had to say about her Medium Knack Pack:
“Two words that come to mind after a few adventures with my Knack Pack are 1. Versatile and 2. Essential. The many storage options, adjustable straps, and a hidden trolley sleeve make this one of the most versatile bags I’ve ever used for everyday things like working remotely, photoshoots, and family outings.
It’s also essential because it’s super lightweight but still holds so. much. stuff! This makes it an awesome all-in-one travel bag too. As you can see there are many ways I can adjust the KnackBag to use as a wheelchair user, I’ve wrapped and clipped the straps around my legs for easy forward access. Loving the adaptability and ease of the #OneBagLife!”
What size backpack is recommended for wheelchair users?
The Medium Knack Pack is our most popular bag, and it’s also the bag that our reviewers opted to test! The Medium Knack Pack fits up to a 15” laptop, and is great for packing for the office or a weekend getaway.
The Knack Pack has a sternum strap that’s removable, making it easier to put on the back of a wheelchair. We’ve designed the front of the bag to be smooth – no pesky external water bottle pocket will get caught in the wheels or other parts of a wheelchair. (Additional resource on testing a backpack for wheelchair use, here.)
At Knack, we understand that it can be hard to know if a bag will work for your life, so we offer a hassle-free return policy, that includes a 30-day trial period. If you're not satisfied by day 30, you can return your Knack for free with no questions asked, even if you've traveled around the world with it. We even cover return shipping! Details here.
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