I’m a big fan of carriers and still regularly carry 21 month old Amy on my back using our fantastic Beco Soleil. She’s comfortable, feels safe and I know I can nip around busy places without the pushchair getting in the way. In fact we chose to use the Beco Soleil rather than the pushchair on the ferry to France last week and also around the busy French markets we visited.
However, whilst the Beco Soleil does carry up to around the age of three, in reality I know it’s days are numbered – whilst it does carry a substantial weight and I have even been known to carry Chloe in it out of desperation, there comes a point where your child outgrows their seated carrier. But what do you do? When your child no longer needs their pushchair but can’t cover the same distance as you before their little legs get tired? Step up to the plate the Hamahaki Hopp Child Carrier – I had never seen anything like this before and was really excited to try it.
Like most genius inventions the Hamahaki Hopp came about as a result of a need, a need for a stepping stone between taking the pushchair everywhere and having to give piggybacks to exhausted children. Anyone who has tried to carry a child for any length of time be it on their shoulders, hip or back will know how tiring and uncomfortable it can get and surprisingly quickly. One of the things I love most about my Beco Soleil is that it spreads the weight of the load evenly over my hips and guess what? So does the Hopp. The Hamahaki Hopp is revolutionary in that it is designed to be worn with your child standing – I know, when I first read that I thought really? I had so many questions; surely it wouldn’t be stable? How would they feel safe? I knew we had to give it a go!
We have used the Hamahaki Hopp carrier with both Ben (who is at the upper end of the age limit) and Chloe on holiday and it was a complete lifesaver. It has also been used by my goddaughter Erin who is almost three so I’m confident we’ve given it a good testing across the age range!
What we love about it:
* It packs neatly into it’s own little bag, weighing just 1kg, which can either be stored in another bag, worn by the child or hooked onto something else with the handy carabiner
* The tidy bag makes it really easy to have to hand at all times unlike other much more bulky carriers for older children
* The majority of your child’s weight is spread evenly across your hips – so much more comfortable than them strangling you, making your back ache or kicking one hip out for a side carry.
* There’s adequate padding to allow for comfortable wearing of the harness
* The standing position allows for your child to see over your shoulders and get a great view of what’s going on around them and you can have a proper chat as well
* It’s surprisingly easy to put on. When you first get it out of the bag it looks really complicated however once you’ve had a quick check of the instructions it’s surprisingly intuitive.
* Once you and your child have mastered the Hamahaki Hopp you should be able to put it on without support
* The carrier can be used from the age of 2 right through to 6 (assuming your child fits within the minimum and maximum weight restrictions) meaning you can get many years of use out of it – that £120 is sounding good value now right?
* This bit of kit is made to last and I’m confident that it would easily survive being handed down to the next child (or two in our case!)
* The clips on the child harness are both a genuine safety feature and a confidence boost – once Chloe had seen she was fastened on and couldn’t actually fall off she was more than happy to be standing so high up
* The colour co-ordinated markings on the carrier make it easy to alter it to fit different sizes of children (and adults – both my friend Michelle who is 5ft nothing and Dave who is a lofty 6ft 5 have both comfortably worn the carrier. Michelle did say she thought she might struggle with a taller child though)
* Whilst being carried in the Hopp your child can’t get lost in a crowd (or in fact overwhelmed in a sea of legs)
* The child harness features reflective strips for added visibility
* The stirrup step keeps muddy feet away from your clothes (far better than a piggy back with wellies on your jumper!)
What we’re not so keen on:
* You do have to be aware of the additional height so as not to bump your child’s head on anything! (This is especially important when you’re 6ft 5 like Dave!)
* If your child shuffles about on the step it can fold up a little which is difficult to fix on your own but with an extra adult just takes a quick pull
As a family we love a good adventure and the Hamahaki Hopp is a perfect addition to our exploring – from festivals to fireworks, long walks or market places the Hopp allows you to go further and for your child to see better. The guys at Hamahaki are so confident you’ll love it they’ll give you your money back if you don’t like it and return it within 10 days – what have you got to lose?
*Disclaimer – We were sent the Hamahaki Hopp free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*