Remember the Venta Mainframe, a metal frame that created a gap between your backpack and your back, so you can get some much needed ventilation between them? Yeah, that was great. While we’re not sure what happened with that product (can’t find it anymore), Amazon is now teeming with similar solutions. The Ventapak does the same thing, but trades in the thick metal frame for a slimmer and lighter one (only 12 ounces), effectively giving you the same function without the added heft.
To the unfamiliar, this product is designed to solve a singular problem: the sweaty back you end up getting any time you wear a backpack for a substantial amount of time. Because it creates a gap between the pack and your back, air is able to flow through and cool you down, minimizing the likelihood the back of your shirt will end up covered in sweat.
The Ventapak Backpack Spacer is made up of a zinc alloy frame that’s covered in neoprene foam, so you’ve got adequate cushioning against the hard metal frame that will be pushing across your back, with the entire area inside the frame covered in a breathable mesh material. When worn, the sides of the frame and the mesh surface all come in contact with your back in a way that lends support to your lower back and lumbar region, all while lifting the backpack a couple inches away to create the gap that enables air to flow freely.
It has two adjustable straps that run across the height of the accessory, with buckles at the top and bottom that you can use to connect it to the shoulder straps of any existing backpack. To use, simply unclasp the top buckles and connect it to the top of the backpack’s shoulder strap, then do the same for the bottom buckles. From there, you just adjust the strap until you find your desired distance between the mesh and the back of the bag.
Once installed on a backpack, the Ventapak, essentially, does the work on its own. You simply throw on your backpack the way you normally do, slipping into each shoulder strap and the accessory automatically creates the separation. According to the outfit, it should work with any backpack that measures 14 to 18 inches in height and at least eight inches in width, so it should cover most common backpacks available in the market, whether it be for work, hiking, or even sneaking in a few drinks on the down low.
Aside from cooling your back to minimize sweating, the accessory can also help reduce back strain by distributing the weight more evenly across your back, all while improving posture by prompting you to square your shoulders back to better support the detached weight. Because your back never touches the bag at all, you also don’t get those digging sensations you occasionally get when you’re carrying items with hard corners and other awkwardly-shaped gear inside the main compartment.