Last Updated on April 6, 2011 by Jody Halsted
A video, short sweet & to the point, about a favorite travel gadget.
Here at Family Rambling we can't say enough good things about our Trunki kids luggage. It is our most commented on item when we travel and the day that the girls finally outgrow Trixi and Frieda will be sad, indeed. The last time I was on the Trunki website I saw a truly brilliant product called Boost-a-Pak, a backpack/ car seat combo which caused a “why didn't I think of that” moment. Knowing we had a trip coming up which included air travel and a rental car I set out to get two Boost-a-Pak. I ran into a problem as Boost-a-Pak is not yet available for purchase in the US. I contacted the company who very kindly (and quickly!) directed me to eBay.co.uk where I found a seller who would ship to the US. The £39 price tag isn't too scary until you figure in the exchange rate, which added almost $20 to each bag. Mentally figuring checked bag fees and less hassle at the airport I placed the order. What did give me pause, though, was the shipping cost. Because we were leaving in 2 weeks I needed to make sure the bags would arrive. Guaranteed 10 day shipping was £75. Ouch. I actually thought the price seemed high and questioned it. But when the boxes arrived at my door 6 days later, I understood the cost.
Built to Last
This is not a light-weight item; the sturdy plastic shell is made to boost a child up to 80 lbs and 12 years of age. When it is loaded with carry-on items it is almost too heavy for my 4-year-old to tote, but my 6-year-old handled hers with no problem. The interior of the pak isn't overly roomy; we used ours for carry-on necessities like coloring books (it has a handy netting to hold them), crayons and markers, handheld game systems, our CARES aviation harnesses, and snacks. The Boost-a-Pak fits easily under airplane seats and is relatively easy to access during flight.
So Handy- No Need to Check Carseats!
I hate checking bags but it is a necessary evil when traveling with kids. The Boost-a-Pak saved us from checking two booster-type car seats. As we would have had to check the seats it would have cost us at least $25 each way- if we could get the two seats into one bag. (Note: airlines vary on car seat policies. As my girls are both in booster-type seats and those are not easy to carry through an airport, gate-checking was not an option. Check with your carrier to learn their policies. I personally recommend using your car seat on the airplane for children under 2 years of age.)
The only flaw we found with the design of the Boost-a-Pak is the seat belt guide- though that may have been user error. Luckily the vehicle we rented had seat belt guides so we didn't have to rely on it.
Is Boost-a-Pak Worth the Cost?
In one word: yes. Baggage costs aren't going away, luggage gets lost or broken and if you can fly without checking a bag why wouldn't you? This is a brilliant, well made, multi-purpose item. I love it. Added bonus: we use them as extra car seats if my girls go with friends or we have their friends with us. I can also tell you, from experience, that Trunki has incredible customer service. When our new puppy chewed Frieda's strap hook and loops I sent an email requesting to purchase replacements. Within a week the parts were at my door- complimentary. Disclosure: I did not receive any compensation for this post. I paid for the Boost-a-Paks and shipping. I am not affiliated with Trunki in any way. We use- and love- their products.