• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

The Wheelchair Magic Strap

  • kitwan
  • News

A tiny tool which makes a subtle difference to wheelchair users’ lives

How often does this happen to you?

Source: https://adaptdefy.com/lapstacker

Previously we’ve reported about the Reagiro manual wheelchair, which adopts a backrest steering system so that the user can have one hand free throughout the wheelchair ride. Now in situations like the above, one free hand is probably not enough. There’s a new invention from New Zealand which could be the solution.

Being a paraplegic since 2012, Mike Brown founded a media and product development company, adaptdefy, on a mission to increase freedom for wheelchair users. He and his team have recently invented a tool called LapStacker: a strap attached to the user’s wheelchair. The user can easily pull the straps over their lap to keep things in place, similarly to buckling a seatbelt. This video shows how it works:

As seen in the video, users can choose between two different buckle options: magnetic buckles for users with reduced hand function or the more affordable manual buckles. Moreover, finger loops are sewn into the strap so that one can retract the straps rather effortlessly.

According to the product's webpage, the LapStacker can be mounted on most manual wheelchairs. With matching mounting kits, the same device can also be used between different wheelchairs.

Now you may wonder like me why any wheelchair user would invest CHF 200 in such a device. Aren’t there cheaper and handier solutions like a bungee cord? The LapStacker team has made a video to clear up our doubts. Here are the highlights:

  • The LapStacker can be easily tucked away and retrieved without mess and fuss whereas bungee cords cannot.
  • One can secure almost anything with just one LapStacker in contrast to the different size and length of bungee cords you need for different objects you plan to carry over your lap.
  • Bungee cords tend to lose elasticity and need to be replaced more often than the LapStacker.
  • Bungee cords are commonly used to secure a luggage carried on the outside of a vehicle. It is risky to be used over a person’s lap as it can accidentally release and cause accidents.

In early March 2019, Mike and his team completed a Kickstarter campaign for LapStacker to raise money for launching their product in the market. Kickstarter is a fund-raising platform for people to bring their creative projects and products to life. The LapStacker campaign has eventually raised 40,075 New Zealand dollars (around 27,500 Swiss francs) – more than double of their campaign target. Following the campaign’s success, the LapStacker is now available for pre-order at the price of US$ 199.

LapStacker: an innovation which seems to click with wheelchair users. Source: https://adaptdefy.com/lapstacker

We’ve consulted Swiss Paraplegic Foundation’s Innovation Center for Assistive Technology (IAT) about the LapStacker. The IAT promotes technologies which bring benefits to people with a spinal cord injury. It helps people in need build tools which are not available yet or modify existing tools to better meet the users’ needs.

In general, the IAT thinks the LapStacker is a good idea solving a real problem for wheelchair users, namely carrying objects securely on the lap. However, the IAT reminds users about the risk of overloading. Although the current prototype of LapStacker weighs about 900 grams only, every additional device mounted to the wheelchair would make the wheelchair heavier – which in the end can overburden the shoulders, especially when carrying heavy load using the LapStacker.

What do you think about the LapStacker? Which other wheelchair tools do you find practical? We’re curious about your ideas!

Comments (0)

There are no comments on this topic yet.
Be the first to comment!
Most Recent Answers
3995 odyssita
Explaining what life with a chronic disability is like
Hi cAro, all the best for your research! I am very curious to hear about the results once they are being published. Thank you for researching this...
6 odyssita 2018-05-02
3560 Wheelie
Good news for all who would like to try out the Scewo by themselves: according the Scewo constructors, the feedback on their invention was so...
5 Johannes 2018-03-12
Ask the Expert
Most Recent Answers
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-07-20
3 Dr._Hans_old 2015-05-07

Most Recent Blog Posts
“If you have a heartbeat, there is still time for your dreams!”
Sean Stephenson on how to create powerful connections with people, because together all is possible.
lisa.adey 2019-09-06 In Society
Entrepreneurship and Disability
How they link to each other – and some success stories
Cheerleading for Everyone
Discovering ParaCheer, a new division in cheerleading
Most Read
Anatomy and physiology of respiration
Breathing is the most normal thing in the world for us. We hardly think about it, even though we breathe in and out about 20,000 times per day. We breathe more when we are active and exerting ourselves, and we breathe less when we are...
What are contractures and how do they develop? Contractures are shortenings of muscles, tendons or ligaments that have a limiting effect on the movements of the joints. The normal ability to move a joint is lost. Contractures are frequently...
In some cases, support is needed for cleaning the nasopharyngeal space and keeping it free from secretion. For this purpose, suctioning is performed through the nose and, if necessary, the mouth. This is particularly necessary if the nose cannot be...

About the Community
Most Recent Topics
2019-09-19 In Latest
Interabled Couple in Poland
Remember Shane & Hannah: the interabled couple we reported earlier this year? They got engaged just months after in June! In August, the couple took off to their second overseas trip together...
2019-07-03 In Latest
UK’s “New” Disability Measures?
With 14 million people living with a disability in the country, the UK Prime Minister announced new measures last week to address the inequalities these people face. These measures include higher...
2019-03-27 In Latest
Our new Community
Glad to have you back! We have done a lot to make sure that you find your way around quickly and feel at home – including this new section, where we regularly post latest tips, information, links,...


Swiss Paraplegic Research
Guido A. Zäch Strasse 4
6207 Nottwil

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
T 0800 727 236 (from Switzerland, free of charge)
T +41 41 939 65 55 (from other countries, charges apply)

Be part of the Community – sign up now!