SouthernTravelNews.com (TM) Review:
Briggs & Riley's Family-Friendly Backpack
By Lizz Dinnigan
I haven’t had the pleasure of carrying a trendy handbag in years. In their new movie, the Sex and the City gang is all glammed out with their "designer arm candy." I, in turn, regularly schlepp around an unsightly, sagging backpack -- stuffed with diapers and matchbox cars -- while leaving a trail of juice behind me as one of my kid's sippy cups overturns in transit.
When you have kids, you know a diaper bag doesn’t hold it all. So, I switched to a backpack when my oldest son, now 4, was three months old. There was just too much stuff.
Now that I have another son, now 16 months, there is even more junk to tote around.
Whether going to the beach for the day or the supermarket for an hour, a reliable, portable storage unit is a mom’s most essential companion.
And then I discovered the Family Backpack from Briggs & Riley’s signature Baseline collection.
My 4-year-old son Jack eagerly unpacked the backpack when it arrived (see photo at right*).
Within a week, it was to be taken on a family cruise onboard Carnival Miracle.
My initial impression, before even touching the merchandise, was that it appeared solid, durable, sturdy and water resistant. Turns out I was right. This high-quality backpack turns into our perfect accessory.
I love the feel of its thick, mesh-style ballistic nylon exterior. It's also lightweight, a big plus. And, it has tons of different shaped secret compartments and pockets for everything from a Blu-ray or DVD player to MP3 players.
No matter how organized you are -- being out and about with two kids dropping drinks, needing a quick diaper change, starving for a quick fix or needing an impromptu sunblock application -- items get thrown in the bag every which way during the course of the day.
As long as the items make their way home again, I’m usually happy.
But this high-quality Family Backpack is so roomy and sectioned, I can easily and effortlessly return the items to their correct spot.
And I can actually find them again in a pinch. Some pockets are closed with zippers. Others have Velcro or elastic bands.
Mommy’s belongings, including my keys, wallet, gum and lipstick, are packed in the top front zipper compartment.
My cell phone is easily accessible and audible from the side mesh pouch.
Diapers, wipes holder, a changing pad, camera and a neatly folded change of clothes for each son is kept in the main storage area.
Juice boxes, granola bars and snacks are stuffed into the netting within the main compartment.
Papers for errands, such as receipts, checks and dry cleaning tickets, are slipped into the flat bottom front zipper pocket.
The product comes with an insulated hot/cold bag. That's great for lunch on the run or baby bottles.
Double zipper pulls allow you to lock the main compartments. Clip a dangling toy or water bottle to the strap on the right-side mesh pocket.
Best of all, there is a hard flap that unsnaps, creating another level within the main compartment.
We took the backpack along throughout our cruise vacation -- from boarding to cabin use, from the pool deck to the beaches at ports of call (see Jack retrieving some beach gear in the photo at left.*)
It held up well and was a useful carry-along for corraling and organizaing all the things we needed to bring with us.
My black backpack has a cushioned, pale-pewter twill lining on the inside. It also boasts two adjustable back straps.
One interesting feature? It stands upright on its own with a handle on top, which you can easily grab when racing out the door. It was a great asset for us traveling with kids in tow on our cruise vacation.
The Briggs & Riley Baseline Family Backpack sells at a suggested retail price of $199. It has a lifetime guarantee. You may view product details at www.briggs-riley.com.