As I was preparing for a five-week trip around the US from Mozambique, I was particularly concerned about how I was going to manage the 24-hour door-to-door trip from Maputo to New York by myself with my 2.5 year old. How was I going to get through the airport pushing a stroller, pulling a roll-aboard and keeping track of our important documents… and my son?
I have a hiking backpack I could take, but it is top-loading which means that items in the middle or bottom of the backpack (invariably the ones I would need) would be difficult to access. And I would have to carry a separate laptop case. That’s when I came across Slicks, a highly functional travel backpack, and I knew I had to get one.
It solved multiple problems at once:
- With smartly designed compartments and multiple easy access zippers, I knew I would be able to organize and access all my stuff when I needed it.
- The padded laptop sleeve meant that I wouldn’t need to bring a separate case for my computer.
- It was sleek and versatile enough that I would be able to use it in a variety of circumstances during my 5-week trip: as a carry-on for myself and my son, as a laptop bag cum briefcase for business meetings, as an overnight bag when my husband and I left the baby with the grandparents and went wine-tasting, and as a diaper bag when I was out with my son in New York, San Francisco and Chicago.
Here’s how I packed my Slicks for the trip back from New York to Maputo:
Note that I did end up packing a separate food and liquids bag. I did that for several reasons:
- I didn’t want the milk bottle to leak inside my pack potentially damaging my electronics and/or my travel documents.
- I didn’t have a good way to pack the bottles in the back pack that was both leak-proof and temperature controlled.
- It’s just so much easier at airport security to have all your liquids (including milk and water bottles, squeeze packs and other toddler snacks, baby pain reliever and toiletries) in a single separate bag all grouped together.
There was one downside for me with the Slicks pack. I found that the back panel was just too long for my torso (I’m on the short side at 5’3″ / 160 cm). When it was very full and heavy, the weight wasn’t well distributed. Even messing around with the hip straps and the shoulder clip, I wasn’t able to get it as comfortable as a well-sized and well-adjusted hiking backpack (in which I’ve easily carried 55 lbs / 25 kg). That being said, I am very picky about weight distribution, and most other people wouldn’t be bothered about this. So I would definitely recommend this backpack for traveling with your baby or toddler.
ENTER TO WIN YOUR VERY OWN SLICKS BACKPACK!
If you want to have your very own Slicks backpack, this is your lucky day because we are giving one away for FREE! Enter here to win.