Product Type: Trunki safety products
Newest Review: ... whales, frogs and octopuses! My daughter (who recently turned 6) has been using her Trunki Paddlepak weekly, for a few months. It's ju... more
Swim Little Fish, Swim!
Member Name: azana
Advantages: looks cute
Disadvantages: weird top opening
The Paddlepak, which is also available in blue makes for a very cute and aptly fish-shaped swimming bag, and would I think be ideal too for use as a preschool bag. It's only 7.5 litres in capacity but you can, we have found, easily fit a kids' towel, costume and a snack in the bag which is made of a quite thick waterproof material (80% polyester and 20% neoprene according to the label). My daughter, aged 6, is probably at the upper age limit of the bag - there is a slightly larger 10 litre version available for age 6+ in a fun shark design, this particular bag is definitely designed with the smaller child in mind. My little swimmer likes the fish design and finds it easy to put the adjustable straps over her shoulder and to carry her things herself, we've tried it on a 3 year old on whom it was also a very good fit.
When in use you start to find out the other good points about the bag, apart from it being the right size for small children to carry and appealing to them. The bag has a wide opening that is a very good idea as it makes all the contents visible and accessible easily. The straps as well as being very adjustable are nicely padded, (there's a little bit of padding that you can't see on the photo on the fish's back that also makes for a comfortable fit). I also like the reflective details, always a good feature on a child's bag on dark evenings and nicely incorporated into the design. The little hidden pocket, complete with zipper, in the fish's tail is of great appeal to my child too. She also likes the trunki grip (tm) on the strap - a little circular grip (a bit like those you find on kitchen cupboards for hanging up t-towels) which you can hang googles or sun glasses from for easy access. There's a small hoop between the straps that is actually quite useful for hanging the bag from a peg - all the details have, in my opinion, been thought through by someone who understands the needs of children. The bag is well made and, even after having been used quite a lot, seems to not attract dirt - in any case it's fully washable should the need arise.
My one criticism is that the fastening at the top, albeit clever; it folds down three times so any wet items are well contained, is a bit of a faff to open and close and is not intuitive to use, and can't easily be opened by a child. It's just a bit clumsy to close in a way that you don't need when trying to get children and their things organised. I'm really not sure why the closing is as complex as it is, though it does make for a bag that looks nice in use, as you can see above the top of the bag looks like the fish's mouth when it's folded down and the opener is discretely hidden.
Overall, I do like this bag though I am not sure if I would have paid the full rrp for it, well made and cute as it is, but I can't deny that it's a nice bag to own for swimming and that it makes the getting ready for swimming and organising of things to take to the pool or beach ever so slightly easier. My daughter loves her paddlepak, even if I do think she will grow out of it pretty quickly. Recommended - a "nice to have" rather than a "must have" but recommended all the same.
Summary: cute bag, some nice features
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