As part of Tuesday Travels, once again, I ventured into the Blue Ridge mountains for babywearing on the trails. The air was full of rich oxygen, and each breath left me feeling invigorated.
Calvin’s first experience in the woods was a little strange and unnerving, but now, toward summer’s end he acts like a seasoned pro–throwing rocks in the creek, running on the trails, and gratefully accepting sweet, sun-ripened berries that we plucked along our way.
To make the baby carrying a little more pleasant when the sun is beating down on a non-shaded stretch of the trail, I asked Calvin to massage my neck. Lo and behold, I was absolutely astonished that he knew exactly what that meant. He proceeded to rub the sides of my neck with his little paws, although sometimes getting a tight squeeze on my carotid arteries. Hey, I’ll give him credit…he gets the concept. That must be due to the fact that he spends several hours a week in our chiropractic office.
Recently, we visited one of the more popular waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park–Dark Hollow Falls with a 70 foot drop.
Brrrr! The water was cold, but the view was staggering. Eventually, Calvin wandered to the water’s edge on his own to wade and splash.
Shenandoah has over 1300 species of plants, 50 mammals, including black bear, 27 species of reptiles including 2 types of poisonous snakes, 24 species of amphibians–the waters are teeming with salamanders, and over 200 species of birds.
It’s such a pleasure to venture into creation and to see the world through my son’s captivated eyes.
I’ve tried other carriers on day hikes and full-boar ascents in terrible weather, and I’ve finally found a carrier that’s comfortable for me to confidently navigate uneven paths while also stowing extra gear.
Sherpani recently sent me one of their most popular product for review: the Rumba, a unisex backcountry baby carrier in sea mist. Initially, our son, already quite familiar with baby carriers, tried to climb into it himself. He was already quite taken with it.
My husband was the first to give it a road test, for safety’s sake, before he handed the pack over to me. Although my husband isn’t quite 6 feet tall, his long-ish torso is just a smidge to tall for a perfect fit with the carrier’s suspension system–designed for torsos 16 – 22 inches long. The padded waist belt fits waists 29 – 42 inches in circumference.
Even though the Rumba didn’t quite hit low enough on my husband’s hips, we were still able to adjust the internal padded bucket seat height (with hook and loop closure adjustments) and 5-point safety harness on the chest plate so that our tall-ish 21-month-old could distribute the majority of his weight on the middle of the pack–making baby carrying extremely comfortable for my husband AND me.
Hills. Mountains. Logs. Streams. No matter–I felt I could safely and comfortably carry my son’s 30 pounds on top of the 7 lbs. 8 oz. Rumba by supporting the majority of weight on my hips. The padded shoulder straps, and back pad are just bonus, and luxurious bonuses they are!
For Calvin’s enjoyment, there are 4 elastic toy loops. You could slip in a sippy cup, attach teething toys, or stowe a favorite stuffed lovable creature. With a baby’s comfort in mind, Sherpani designed foot stirrups with elastic loops on the back to help with a child’s leg circulation. The length of the stirrups is adjustable.
There’s not one, but two storage bags. The main compartment is permanent and located in the lower part of the carrier. It could easily hold two small stuff sacks, a camping stove, and clothes for a couples days of travel.
The Rumba also has a removable Diaperbag that can dually function as a daybag with adjustable backpack straps. If your child is anything like mine, hats don’t remain on his crown very long before he flings them off. On bright and sunny days, it’s nice to have an alternative with the topper sunshade.
Sherpani’s Rumba is designed to carry up to 70 pounds–whether that’s a large toddler or a baby and loads of camping gear, you’ll be set to enjoy traveling with baby in the great outdoors. The Rumba is available in 3 colors: sea mist (shown above), rhubarb, and black. It retails for $199.
Sherpani is sharing an exclusive discount for Traveling with Baby readers. Order anything on Sherpani’s site from now until 9/30/09 and receive a 10% savings with coupon code: TravelingWithBaby. While you’re there, check out their great backpacks, perfect for urban errands and the school scene.
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Stay tuned for your chance to win your very own Sherpani Rumba in the near future!