Review: The LittleLife Doodle Daysack
We love love LOVE LittleLife. Waaaay back before we had No.1 son, we were big hikers – and a constant source of frustration for us after he was born was the lack of a really good child carrier. What we wanted was a proper rucksack – but with a seat for the boy thrown in. Imagine our thrilled delight when Boy came along a couple of years later and we came across a LittleLife backpack through the awesome power of our shiny new Internets (what? This was 10 years ago!).
That backpack carried Boys, and Jolly, and finally Bear, across moors, up mountains and over beaches. We loved it with a passion, and when we finally had to admit Bear had outgrown it (husband even briefly suggested having another child, just so we didn’t have to lose out LittleLife backpack yet…) we passed it on to another walking family, safe and happy in the knowledge they would get just as much pleasure from it as we did. Even ten years and three children later, it was still strong, sturdy and perfect in every way, and totally deserved a new home.
So when LittleLife offered 5yr old Bear her own LittleLife backpack to use, I said yes in a rather-too-fast fashion. And once again, they have outdone themselves.
Bear’s a consummate backpack user… and backpack destroyer. In her short life she has filled, lugged and broken more bags (and especially bag ZIPS) than I can count. But I’m pleased to report the LittleLife backpack is still going strong, and as good as new, despite three big travel trips so far.
I think it’s because they have kept to the same principles they employed so long ago with the child carrier backpacks (which are still the best you can buy, in case you’re interested). they keep it simple, design it brilliantly, and build it well.
The Doodle Daysack is small enough for a 5yr old to carry comfortably, with well-padded and perfect-width shoulder straps, and a chest connection strap too. Not necessary for a trip to nursery, but when you’re carrying your lunch on a 6 mile hike, those things seriously mater to small shoulders.
Next the all-important zip – tough, sturdy and not a snappy plastic one. It holds up well.
The colours are strong and unisex (hoorah for non-pink backpacks), and like all LittleLife packs there is reflective piping, a grab handle and really good access to all areas.
The Capacity is 6 litres, apparently. Which is a useless bit of information. What you actually need to know is that it will easily hold 5 picture books, two handfuls of Playmobil, a couple of Sylvanian Families (but no, not the car too), a large handful of pens, numerous stones and seashells, some ribbons, Ballernina Rabbit and Pluto. Oh and a drinks bottle in the side. And the pad which is tucked into the outer cover is a really good size – two Dover-Calais ferry crossings and a car journey and she’s only used half of it.
The only teeny-tiny concern I had was that normal big pads wouldn’t fit into the shaped pocket, and that any other pads would need to be much smaller. But then I spotted the replacement pads on the LittleLife site at only £1.99 (free shipping), and that’s good enough for me.
The LittleLife Doodle Daysack is under £20 in the LittleLife Online Store – and it’s the best daysack we’ve seen by a long way (though I’ve just had a quick nosy in the store, where there are a range of equally-fab-looking day sacks for younger children, and am now eyeing up the Alpine 4 Daysack with greedy looks…)