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Tuesday Travels: Baby Carrier for Sunny Adventures

traveWelcome to Tuesday Travels, a summertime series at Traveling with Baby.  This season, my son and I are excited about sharing some local day trips and field trip ideas for families with little ones.  This weekly series will also feature travel tips for families with kids-in-tow and related product reviews and giveaways.  I enjoy hearing about your traveling adventures, too.

We’ve had an unusually mild summer for central Virginia.  The weather’s been perfect for spontaneous hikes and camping trips around the Blue Ridge that we often refer to as our backyard.

Calvin in Kokopax (Espresso) at Mint Springs Park, Virginia. Photo by Elisa B. Photography.

Calvin in Kokopax (Espresso) at Mint Springs Park, Virginia. Photo by Elisa B. Photography.

Just this past weekend, we had a blast picnicking, splashing on a Logosandy beach, and hiking on trails with deer at Mint Springs Park.  In the photo above, Steve is comfortably wearing Calvin in the Kokopax Classic Carrier in a photo snapped by my very talented photographer friend, Elisa of Elisa B. Photography.  (Her wedding portfolio is AMAZING–check it out!)

Here’s one more photo of my favorite little guy.

Calvin Kai in Kokopax

Calvin Kai in Kokopax

In June, we first gave the Kokopax Classic Carrier a hearty go as we traversed the Rivanna Trail which winds through urban and forest areas in Charlottesville.  Read more about our family hiking and camping adventures in Shenandoah National Park earlier this summer.

kokopax_logo_colorThe Kokopax carrier may not be the type of carrier you want to use for rugged trails in Shenandoah, but the lightweight aluminum frame is easy to throw on your back for a brisk walk or short hike.  If you prefer to wear baby/toddler on your back, this carrier allows your child more room to move about (and keep cool) compared to many wrap or mei tai-style carriers.

Calvin likes the Kokopax because even though he’s secured with a safe 5-point harness, he’s got room to breathe, reach for blackberries, and stowe his sippy cup.  Heck, it’s even got a plastic ring where you can clip toys or a soother, if necessary.  The bottom of the frame provides a comfortable footrest for baby and prevents blood from pooling in baby’s feet.

The classy fabric is cotton canvas, and it’s available in 5 other styles.  I love the beautiful fabric and contrasting storage pocket in the back (great for a spare diaper and wipes) secured with a chic wooden button.

Calvin resting in Kokopax after a long hike
Calvin resting in Kokopax after a long hike

The kickstand allows easy loading and unloading of baby.  The frame size is adjustable for varying torso lengths.  The contoured and padded waist support doesn’t chafe or rub.

This lightweight baby carrier weighs in at 2.7 pounds and fits in overhead compartments in airlines.  Travel friendly!  If you need to stowe it long-term, it comes with a green polka-dot cotton storage bag that’s breathable, yet it protects the carrier.

The Kokopax Classic Carrier is available for purchase directly on the Kokopax website, or Amazon.com, and it retails for $179.99.

TWB Reader’s Exclisive: Mention code twb2009 and receive 10% off ANY purchase from kokopax.com

Note: The manufacturer recommends the carrier for babies/toddlers 6 months to 2 years or up to 35 pounds.  At 19 months and 26 pounds, my son was too heavy for me to wear him comfortably in this carrier, however, it’s perfectly comfortable for my husband.

This carrier is best for babies who are old enough to support their own heads (6 months is a good rule of thumb) and it’s most comfortable for babies that are smaller or less than 20 pounds.

The manufacturer plans to add a hip belt in future models which will reduce strain on the neck and shoulders and allow parents to distribute baby’s weight on the hips and low back which should be decidedly more comfortable for bigger babies.

Kokopax also created a very stylish Blakely Ring Tote.  So, you can look very chic 2009 on the beach or at the local farmer’s market.

BubblesToteThe fabric styles coordinate with the options available for the Classic Carrier.  This roomy bag with comfortable grip also features a very cute mini-tote with a zippered-closure which hides loose change or chewing gum.  It can easily double as an easy-to-find wallet within the blakely tote.

The key fob, extra roomy pockets, and beverage compartment make this bag a beachy fun diaper bag or all purpose kids bag.  Yet, it’s cute enough that you may want to use it as your re-usable shopping bag or airline carry-on.  The durable nylon liner keeps internal spills from creating a mega-disaster.

The blakely is a modern day tote that rivals the endless satchel of fun carried by Mary Poppins.  Create your own Supermom bag with the Blakely which measures 18” x 4 ½” x 18”.

The Blakely Ring Tote by Kokopax is available for purchase on the Kokopax site or Amazon.com for $79.99.

Mention code twb2009 and receive 10% off the Blakely Ring Tote or ANY purchase from kokopax.com

–By Dr. Dolly
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