09. 21. 2007
3rdHand, compact carrying device
3rdHand is a new product out of Sweden that claims to be the world's most compact carrying device for children ages 1-5 (it almost fits in the palm of your hand). It comes packed in a small pouch that's easy to throw in a bag or, if you so choose, wear looped on your belt for easy access. I had the opportunity to test the product out and it's as sturdy and lightweight as it claims; the construction of the carrier was done with consultants from a company specializing in technology for parachutes and military use.
If you visit their site you'll notice that the images in the gallery show only men carrying the kids, but the founder tells me that in his experience, 3rdHand is bought and used mostly by women. I don't know if it's because I have a petite frame, but I found that the straps which loop around my shoulders were a bit to big for my body, and thus cut into my neck, but Chefdad thought it was pretty comfortable and it did seem like a much better fit on his broader shoulders (plus he doesn't have breastfeeding boobs that might get in the way!). We tried it on our 10 month old who is definitely on the youngest side of the spectrum for the product. The key is to adjust the straps so that the child is up high and more secure. Since she is still a baby and doesn't know to hold on, we found that we still had to keep a hand on her for security, but the 3 year old can cling like nobody's business so it wasn't really an issue. I don't think that 3rdHand will be our everyday carrying device, at least maybe not until the baby's older, but I can see it being really useful when traveling or on certain outings like museums. The images on the site certainly support this - it packs small so it'd be great to whip it out when shuttling tired kids, especially when you have bags to carry. Oh, and if you're wondering what the 1 photo of the worker man without the kid has to do with all this, we were baffled too - until we read that 3rdHand is also useful for carrying long and heavy objects like skis and ladders, ha!