The Ergotravel is a split column stagger keyboard with a 4x6 layout, thumb keys, and extra inner keys compared to other similar boards. The Ergotravel originally came about as a group buy on Reddit but has since been open sourced under the MIT license. The author has nicely provided ordering instructions including a bill of materials for ordering your own.
The Ergotravel is a very easy build made easier by its lack of RGB or OLED support. It does not support hotswap natively but the switch holes take Mil-Max sockets just fine. If you chose the 2U thumb switch, you will need two pairs of stabilizers.
I really want to like the Ergotravel. I adore the 2U thumbswitch. Ultimately, though, I decided it’s not for me. I suppose it’s more accurate to say that it didn’t rise above the Corne for me. There are a few factors in that decision.
First, it’s a big keyboard. The MCU is bottom mounted so the build is really tall compared to something like the Corne. The top and bottom plates are all pretty big as well. Turns out there are alternate “internal pcb” plates that I would probably like a lot better.
Second, the placement of the thumb rows keys is off for me. As you can maybe see below in the image from compare.splitkb.com, the second thumb row key is way further to the side compared to the Corne with third even further. I use those keys a lot and the extra distance was not good for my hands, introducing a larger pivot that angered my wrist.
Third, I realized I’d never use the extra inner macro keys, nor the thumb row keys. I wanted to put coding symbols on the inner keys but I could never get used to the extra reach.
All in all, this is a very nice board that is easy to build. Just, sadly, it’s not for me.