As much as I love my husband there are just some things that men just don’t seem to understand. A woman’s need to have several bags is one such thing. Yes, the kids did already have perfectly adequate rucksacks, but having a new bag to try out is an exciting thing so when 1 Two Kids asked if Little Miss C and Master C would like to try out a Hugger bag each over the summer holidays the female half of the family certainly jumped with joy.
With the strap line “… feels like a hug” Hugger bags are slightly different to your normal children’s backpacks. Rather than being stiff in structure they are very soft and do seem to mould themselves in shape to the kids’ backs when they had them on.
We were sent two Hugger backs to try out this summer and both have been given a thorough testing.
LMC was sent a Totty Tripper Medium in the Floodle Doodle Green pattern and she fell in love with it as soon as it came in the post. Not only did it come on holiday with us to Cornwall, but it’s also been used in many many role play adventures around the house. In LMC’s imagination it has travelled on Safari in Africa and been all the way to Tasmania with her to visit DorkySon.
She’s packed it with toys, clothes, play food and numerous cuddly toys and thinks it’s “brilliant”. The softer, flexible feel of the bag has certainly worked well for squashing all her necessary travel companions in. I noticed that she was unable to fit all her picture books in it when we went on holiday as it’s a bit smaller than some other children’s backpacks, but that’s the only, very small, downside with it.
For Master C we were sent the Totty Tipper Small with rein in the Monster Skaters pattern. As well as having a main compartment and front packet, this bag also has space on the side for a water bottle (something that we use loads) and also a loop at the bottom on which to clip on the supplied reins, and a chest strap. Now, Master C is a child who runs pretty much everywhere and is yet to understand the word “no” properly. He loves to run towards cars, especially if they’re driving at speed on a nearby road, so having him on a rein is a must when he’s out of his pushchair.
The thing that I really liked about this Hugger bag is that it’s much larger than other reins rucksacks that we’ve tried, meaning that we could actually fit a water bottle and snack in it for Master C – and even a waterproof coat. At first I was also quite excited to see that the reins clipped on at the bottom of the bag. The one we normally use has then clipping on at the top and as Master C is a child who likes to run round in circles I was always worried about the risk of strangling him with the reins. I thought the different clip on position would help to minimise this risk. When we tried them out though if Master C ran off (as he does) then the reins clip on position actually resulted in the backpack being lifted up his back as I tried to run after him. That’s something that doesn’t happen with them clipped at the top. It also made it harder to stop him from falling fully if he tripped whilst walking. I’m not totally clear if this is all just features of the design, or maybe just the fact that we are so used to using reins that clip on at the top and this gives a different feel when using them. It’s hard to explain without actually trying them for yourself.
The reality of trying to work and do childcare at the same time. Seriously though – you can see what I mean about the backpack lifting up.
There are times when we are able to let Master C run free when we’re out and about and the way that we usually do this is to unclip the reins and leave the backpack on his back. We really struggled with the clip on the end of the reins though and found it very difficult to unclip quickly. I know you want it to be secure and not come undone on its own at all, but this seemed to have gone the opposite way. On several occasions we ended up having to take the whole backpack off instead.
Overall we thought LMC’s Hugger bag a huge success, but Master C’s just didn’t quite work for us. It’s a shame as I really liked the size of it, but the reins arrangement just let it down a bit. I’d definitely be interested to hear if others have had similar problems, especially if they haven’t used another style of reins backpack first.
In the meantime though LMC is busy packing her bag for her next imaginary adventure – apparently this one is an overnight train and aeroplane journey to Wales. We might have to fit in a geography less somewhere in this though as we’re apparently travelling via Hong Kong!
Disclaimer: We were sent two Hugger bags by 1 Two Kids for the purposes of this review. All views and opinions are my own.