Friday, February 22, 2013
The Freeloader, capable of carrying up to 80 pounds, is the brainchild of Austinites Erick Jansen and Nathan Jones. Father to an 8-year-old daughter, Jansen is a longtime swimmer, mountain biker, road cyclist, and runner, currently focusing on ultra marathons. Jones is an avid soccer player and runner, with a 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. Both fathers enjoy travel and the outdoors. The two pooled their experience in active pursuits and parenthood to come up with a solution to the problems presented by other carriers on the market, which are often small and designed for short-term use or inconveniently large and bulky.
Perfect for both Moms and Dads, the Freeloader fits most body types and weighs in at only 6.8 pounds. “It feels less like a mobile home on your back and more like a traditional lightweight backpack or hydration pack,” Jansen says.
Folding away into a normal daypack when not in use, the Freeloader can be worn with or without its passenger, good “just in case” equipment to bring on a lengthy excursion where little legs might need a break. Padding on the back panel, shoulders, and waist straps keep it comfortable, and an aluminum stay allows for the ergonomic distribution of weight, decreasing back and shoulder strain. The back of the carrier also provides ventilation and minimal contact, allowing both child and parent to stay cool.
Jansen and Jones are currently raising capital needed for the product on crowd funding platform Indiegogo.com. You can contribute to the Freeloader funding campaign now through March 1 at http://www.indiegogo.com/myFreeloader. During the campaign, the Freeloader will be available to funders for pre-order at the discounted price of $159 per carrier, or two for $298. Following the campaign, the Freeloader will be available online beginning in late summer for $249 per carrier on www.myFreeloader.com.