Finding Front Backpack Wheelchair Bag: A Customer’s Quest and Our Advice

Finding the Right Wheelchair Bag: A Customer’s Quest and Our Advice

As a long-time seller of Trabasack wheelchair lap desks and bags, I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with many wheelchair users over the past 15 years. My wife and son are also wheelchair users, so I understand firsthand the challenges of finding the right carrying solution that is secure, practical, and doesn’t compromise stability or comfort.

Recently, a customer named K. (I want to protect his anonymity!) emailed with a dilemma. Like everyone(!), K. needs to carry various personal items like a phone, wallet, Kindle, clothing and keys etc. However, the standard backpack hung on the rear of the wheelchair posed several issues:

  • NHS strongly recommends against hanging bags on the back of their chairs
  • Short rear handles leave no space to properly hang the bag
  • The padded seatback can detach from the top fitting, possibly due to the bag’s weight
  • Added rear weight shifts the centre of gravity, increasing tipping risk on slopes

man in a grey hoodie standing with a black backpack attached at the frontK. had the clever idea of a front-facing rucksack-style bag, similar to how people carry babies or small dogs, and often seen with long term backpacking travellers who have accumulated a lot of stuff!

My Suggestions for K’s Front-Mounting Wheelchair Bag

While an exact match for Karoly’s idea may not exist off-the-shelf, there are some promising options and workarounds to consider:

  1. Look for a hiking or tactical chest rig with MOLLE webbing or attachment points. A compatible pouch or bag could then be securely attached to the front.
  2. Consider a photography or fly fishing vest with multiple pockets and attachment points for a modular carrying solution.
  3. Prioritise bags that keep weight close to the body and evenly distributed to maintain stability and minimize tipping risk. A harness-style setup can help achieve this.
  4. Ensure any clips, buckles, or zippers are easy to operate and positioned within comfortable reach. The bag should be easy to put on and take off independently.
  5. To reduce chafing, look for wide, padded straps and breathable materials. A sternum strap can help keep shoulder straps in place.

K had found the Wolffepack escape Everyday Front backpack which features a unique suspension system and can be worn on the front. However, more information is needed regarding its front-wearing security and ease of clipping in and out. I advised K to contact the seller for these details.

Other Wheelchair Bag Options to Consider as a Front Backpack for a Wheelchair User

In addition to the bespoke front-mounting solution, I suggested some other brands and products that offer adaptive and accessible bags for wheelchair users:

  • Trabasack: Our lap desks and bags are specifically designed for wheelchairs, allowing users to keep essentials like wallets, phones, and small items conveniently on their lap. There are no issues with moving the centre of gravity as the weight is on you lap. We also have 2 ringpull zips so they can be positioned to allow access anywhere around the bag’s circumference that is best for you.
  • Optivus Captivator Bag: A wheelchair rucksack with extra straps and features that, while not designed for front use, may potentially be adapted to work for K’s needs. This bag is also available in our Disability Health Shop (where are also selling preowned and secondhand disability products).

At Trabasack and Disability Horizons Shop, we’re committed to finding and developing innovative products that improve independence and quality of life for disabled people. We welcome input and ideas from our customers as we continue to expand and refine our offerings.

If you’re a wheelchair user struggling to find the right bag solution, feel free to reach out. We’ll do our best to assist you in your search or possibly even create a new product to meet your needs. Together, we can make everyday carry more accessible and convenient for the disabled community.

For more ideas about the best wheelchair bags and trays check these posts:

Best wheelchair bags

Wheelchair trays – what are your choices?


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