Friday, October 3, 2008

Travel Products for Baby

We just returned from a wonderful and relaxing trip to Kauai this week. This was our first full vacation with a toddler and without grandparents. Managing Charlie made for a very different kind of vacation than we have had in the past, but we were still glad he joined us. Lesson to new parents - it is much easier to travel with newborns than toddlers! Here are some products we brought along that made our trip much easier and enjoyable.

The Neat Sheet - we picked this up at Toys R' Us for $8.99 (minus a $5 coupon, of course!) and it was worth every penny. It has weighted corners, is machine-washable and we used it for the beach, picnics, the pool, and keeping the sun off of Charlie in the pack. It is so easy to pack up and folds into a small little roll. See the details on it here.

Our Sherpani Superlight Rumba - we love this pack! After trying out every Kelty Kids, Dutalier and this one, we went with the Sherpani. We loved how this pack fit both of us, the features you get for the mid-range price and the comfort for the kiddo. It also has great storage and the look is very clean and simple. Without this pack, we would have missed some gorgeous sights. We bought ours at REI with a 20% off coupon during one of the members sales. It is $159 original price. One time I did see it at Steep and Cheap for $85 - amazing. Do you know about Steep and Cheap?

We have a Graco Car Seat Bag that isn't the greatest bag but it does work. And honestly, if we didn't have it, I don't know how we would have made it through the airport with Charlie in the Sherpani, two carry on bags and the car seat. It is really stiff and doesn't fold down that nice, doesn't pull that easily and it already has a couple of holes in it from a handful of uses. Good things about it are the cost (I got it for about $10 at Marshall's), it does have wheels and it fits my Britax Roundabout with room to stuff extra stuff.
Now that I know what is out there I would have purchased one of the following items instead of the bag, however. Before our next flight I hope to find one of these on Craig's List for cheap or to find a friend who has one I can borrow. These would be a great item to split with other families as you need them so rarely:

This is the GoGo Babyz Travelmate, which basically turns your car seat into a stroller. It is so easy to use and fits the Britax as well as many other car seats. Check your stroller and this is all you need to get through the airport. It retails for $79.95 at Target but there is probably a better online deal out there to be found.

Another option is the Pac Back which is cheaper than the Travelmate. It seems super easy to store and I've heard good things about it. I found it on Baby Catalog as of this posting for $29.95.

A couple of items we didn't take but I like to recommend are the Pea Pod, that I reviewed in an earlier post. And also, the Kelty Kids Convertible pack which my friend Jessie took to Europe and loved. It isn't a very comfortable hiking pack but it is great for a road trip or overseas adventure where you would be on the move a lot.


Amber Rose said...

We also love our Sherpani Rumba Superlight. We have done long hikes in it and short trips to fairs and festivals. The storage is amazing. Another reason we love it is the way it adjusts so quickly. After my husband uses it, I just pull 2 cords and it is ready to go.

We also got our at REI. They are a wonderful company. We took the Sherpani with us when we went home last Christmas - and noticed that there was some strange wear at the seam on the back of the pack. We took it in (without a receipt or packaging) and they looked up our account and gave us a brand new one right then and there! You can sometimes find good deals on line - but you won't get the same customer service that you get at REI.

The Hunter Family said...

Great reccos. We're in the market for a pack and I wasn't sure what else is out there besides Kelty. If you have any specific product reccomendations on traveling to Hawaii with a nine month old, I'd love to hear them.

Caleb, Bree,Zane And soon to be Claire Gilmore said...

Great tips! Travelling with a toddler is never easy...

The Hansen Family said...

We used the neat sheet when we went camping a couple years ago (when we had to shower in the lake). It was so nice to get out of the water onto that, instead of getting all sandy and filthy again. Also glad for the pack recommendation, Mike really wants one!