We’ve seen shelves that rely on tension for support before–they often use leather strips or belts, and almost always look sloppy and unstable. But that’s not the fault of the idea! Flexible material pulled taut as support is a good concept, just one that needs to be done in the right way. This new shelving system, called Backpack, appears to be on the mark.
Made by the German company Fifti-Fifti, Backpack uses nylon straps, laminate wood shelves, and loops (the same kind you’d see on a nylon belt, or would use to adjust the tightness of your bike helmet) to tie them all together. It’s meant to hang on the wall, and relies on the straps via an X-shaped pattern between the shelves to keep everything sturdy. The great thing about this sort of shelf is that it’s easily transportable; very little of it is actually attached to the wall, and the nylon supports make it easy to fold it up and hang it somewhere else.
We also love the design: minimalist, simple, monochromatic. The shelves are white, and the nylon straps are available in white, light grey, or dark grey. The straps can hold up to six of the shelves, though you can use fewer if you’d like. Fifti-Fifti doesn’t note how much weight the shelves can hold, though there’s no reason to expect them to be flimsy: They’re mounted on the wall in four places, and the toughness of nylon should allow for as much sturdiness as any other wall-mounted shelf unit.
Unfortunately, they’re not cheap, and start at 298 Euro (just over $400 USD) for the straps with three shelves (you can add the others for 45 Euro, about $61 USD, each). We still want them, though.
[H/T Design Milk]