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The world’s first adjustable external backpack frame

One299 was designed to meet the changing needs of the Australian Defence Force, by providing a high-load backpack frame that is adjustable to correctly fit the back of 1-percentile to 99-percentile female and male users. Through extensive strength testing, anthropometric analysis and iterative load simulation, Cobalt was able to meet and exceed military expectations and outperform existing fixed-size frames.

In addition to size adjustability, a key element of ONE299 is the patented lumbar area which conforms to the contour of the wearer’s back. This allows for a superior ergonomic fit as well as increased load.

The use of a correctly fitting frame reduces the potential for back injury, and the One299 frame offers this to all wearers regardless of size. Its high strength and adjustable nature also create new opportunities for load carriage configuration, allowing both the frame and the backpack to be adjusted and configured to suit alternative load carriage scenarios.

More than 27,000 frames have been deployed in the Australian Defence Force, with additional interest from international military groups and adventure sectors proving a great commercial outcome.

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2016 Land Defence Australia Innovation Award

Design Outcomes






The Team We believe good design happens by expert people working as a team.

Libby Christmas

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Graeme Marshall

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Andrew Fanning

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Marcus Krigsman

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James Hayes

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Rob Cuzner

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Chris Morrish

Chris Morrish
Defence force soldier wearing backpack with One299 frame, crouched on one knee looking into the distance.

Iterative FEA and testing for optimised performance

In-depth analysis of use scenarios and user anthropometry formed the basis for the design, while iterative testing and simulated analysis (FEA) provided a detailed understanding of performance under load. These functional targets were achieved within a compressed development program, with design and engineering teams working in partnership with local manufacturers to ensure the client’s performance and commercial targets were met.

Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was used extensively throughout this project, allowing the design and engineering team to compare the design to real-life testing.

We at Cobalt were also able to refine details to achieve maximum strength in excess of an 80kg working load, while also improving user comfort through specifically targeted flex areas. As part of an iterative process, this simulation led to an end result optimised for strength, weight, manufacturability and user comfort. It also achieved the previously unrealised universal anthropometric and ergonomic targets. Extensive in-house physical testing and Australian Defence Force field trials provided input and feedback during development and validated the strength, comfort and usability outcomes of the final product.

Other Work