The cool cats at Trunki sent J a Chuckles the Clown Fish PaddlePak to review – there’s a whole mariad of designs of PaddlePak from their Trunki online store. I’ve watch Trunki as a company for many years, I remember watching the founder, Rob Law on Dragon’s Den ages ago and loved the colourful, fun products they’ve produced over the years.
So, the PaddlePak – what is it? Well it’s essentially a diddy, lightweight backpack designed for ages 2+ (with some larger sizes designed for 5+ available). It’s a similar design to a ‘wet kit bag’, and has a roll top closure and made with water-resistant material that’s designed to stop wet stuff getting in, or leaking out!
Our first adventure with the Trunki PaddlePak was to Chessington World of Adventures for the opening of the Azteca Hotel. J is obsessed with toy cars, he’s usually got at least one with him, so when we went away he wanted to bring ALL of them with him. He stuffed a tonne of them into the PaddlePak, it has a capacity of 7.5 litres, so that’s a LOT of cars. Once he’d packed them all in, we stumbled across the first problem, he couldn’t really suss how to close the bag – you roll it shut and then clip it together. Fine for an adult to suss, not so much for a 2-year-old. Thankfully opening the back is a bit easier for him, but it’s a shame he couldn’t do both just yet.
He loved marching around the Hotel with his bag full of cars, ready to whip them out when he wanted.
I love the light reflective strips on the straps, it’s a great idea for the nights drawing in, and there is also a ‘Trunki Grip’ on one of the straps to thread sunglasses or goggles into – it’s a cool extra. I’m wondering if there should be a ‘chest clip’ that pull the two should straps together, J hadn’t quite mastered the art of keeping the PaddlePak on and occasionally the straps slipped down.
Our next outing was to the swimming pool – this is the kind of thing the PaddlePak is designed for, wet swimming things! There was more than enough room for J’s Towel, Trunks, Armbands, and Swim Nappies, plus it was super helpful having him carry his own things and not having them all jumbled up with mine.
The little zip pocket in the tail is fabulous for holding change for the lockers, or perhaps a dummy if J was still using one.
All in all the Trunki PaddlePak is a funky little bag, but I think personally if they are aiming it at 2 year olds the closing method needs to be revised slightly – it’s great for waterproofing, not so much for little hands. Plus the shoulder straps definitely need a chest strap too because as it is, it’s not the best design for tiny people. That said, the rest of the bag is well made, and could definitely stand years of use and abuse by your little one. Priced at £19.99 it’s a pretty expensive bag, but thankfully despite the oversights in the design department, the quality is there.
Personally I would say that J is possibly too young to fully appreciate / use the PaddlePak now – perhaps in a few months when he’s older and able to keep the straps in place then we’ll be able to use it for its full potential. I imagine it’ll be a smash hit success for J next summer!
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Well balanced review. Would you suggest that it is better for a 4 year old then or would Aaron find it too snug?
Yeah should be fine for Aaron! 🙂