The LittleLife Adventure carrier is a lightweight, ergonomic carrier for active parents to take their offspring on cliff walks, hill climbs, cross-country jogs (if your baby weighs less than mine) or simply to the shops.
It recently won bronze in the Mother & Baby Awards for Best Child Carrier (2015) – and I can well believe it.
The story behind LittleLife?
Founded by keen traveller Mark Cobham in the 1980s following an accident while trekking in Zanzibar, Cobham realised there was a gap in the market for specialised travel first aid kits – and LifeSystems was born.
This gave rise to LifeVenture, which specialised in travel comforts such as towels, thermal mugs and sleeping gear.
The story goes that Cobham and his staff then moved into their thirties, started families and subsequently began designing high-performance equipment that would enable them to continue hill walking and trekking. LittleLife was then born.
There are a surprising number of carriers in the LittleLife collection. The Ultralite S3, is made to meet cabin luggage proportions; the All Terrain S2 for serious explorers, includes foot stirrups and a zip-on rucksack. And the pared-down Ranger, has minimal added features and is the lightest British-standard child carrier in the UK.
The Adventurer is one up from the Ranger, with a few added pockets and storage facilities, plus a collapsible kick-stand. And it recently featured in the viral video of McBusted’s Tom Fletcher and his adorable son Buzz laughing happily at dandelions.
Although the brand story smacks of public relations, you do get a sense that the LittleLife Adventurer is actually designed by parents.
Clever little touches include a foot-hole above the kick stand to help my little one steady while I put him in or take him out, and the friendly animal picture on the cushioned head rest, gives him something to look at and grow familiar with when he can’t see my face.
It’s marketed as a ‘pick up and go’ carrier, is that the case?
Yes, it is. The ‘pick up and go’ aspect simply means it’s intended to make a quick job of strapping the child in and slinging him on your back without much preparation, and I do appreciate this.
Being accustomed to an Ergo Baby carrier, which I really love, I’m used to carriers requiring slightly more thought when you’re going out. But with the Adventurer you just open out the kick stand with your foot, stand it on the floor, add child and swing it on.
Is it comfortable for your little one?
Yes, Arthur seems very comfortable in the harness and loves being able to move around a little and look everywhere he wants to.
We walked up cliffs, through woodlands and did beach walks and even when leaning right over and climbing uphill, I could feel that Arthur was securely in place.
He also loves being up by my shoulders, looking around at everything but also being able to rest his head when he feels tired.
Saying that, my only (incredibly minor) niggle with the product is that the main clip that holds my son in is located in front of his belly.
My baby has a rather fat belly, and it gets a bit squeezed when you stick your hand in to do him up.
What’s the storage like?
There are handy pockets in the sides to store wallet, phone etc. and a surprisingly large amount of storage under his bottom in the space behind the kick stand, in which we just leave two spares nappies and a pack of wipes for an even swifter exit. As you can see from the pic, there’s loads more space in there.
Is it comfortable for you?
Yes, it is! The other carriers I’ve used include a Kari-Me Sling, a Baby Björn, a Suppori Sling and the Ergo Baby – none of which can really compete.
The Ergo comes closest in terms of comfort, but the extra-wide shoulder straps and pockets of the Adventurer just make it that bit more body-friendly.
It’s also a hell of a lot more comfortable than the ancient Army-issue backpack I bought 15 years ago and still use on camping trips
As LittleLife’s carriers are all based upon backpacks they have a pivoting hip belt, which means it moves with you slightly as you walk. A suspended baby-holder allows the air to get to you back so there shouldn’t be any overheating.
And the Adventure carrier adjusts perfectly to my proportions, but my husband, who is a lean 6’4, finds it really comfy too – even though the spec says it’s suitable for people up to 6’2 in height.
What are the seating options like?
You can choose how high you want your child to sit – we found it easier to have our son level with our heads because my husband’s quite tall and it minimises the risk of bumping Arthur’s head on door frames and trees!
How durable is it?
It seems pretty durable to me. Although the tech material is very lightweight and we’ve already made a couple of minor scuffs just pulling it out from under the stairs across the wooden floor – so you probably have to respect it a bit. Obviously it’s very strong, or it wouldn’t be holding our child!
Is it value for money?
At £99, I would say it’s very reasonable – you’re going to spend that on a decent carrier anyway, and I’d recommend this one. It’s designed for six-month to three-year-olds, and I can imagine a toddler in there, no problem. There’s the option to buy a sun screen and rain cover, but we just invested in some lightweight waterproofs for Arthur instead so we didn’t have to worry about it.
Made for Mums verdict:
A well designed, durable and lightweight carrier that will be useful in any situation where you need to take your baby out of the house. Good value for money. Highly recommended.