My recent review of the LittleLife backpack garnered some really positive feedback, and having continued to use it on a daily basis since, I can update with even more positive feeling – the pack has become and essential part of our toddler kit, and has been on trips away, hiking, shopping and more – we wouldn’t part with it!
In light of this, we thought we’d giver you some info on a related new product from LittleLife, the Freedom S2 carrier, designed to help you carry your toddler while exploring in a safe and comfortable fashion.
Just the thing for adventurous parents this spring, LittleLife has introduced the new Freedom S2 into its extensive range of child carriers. Great for taking your little explorers where the pushchair can’t go, the Freedom S2 has a fully adjustable, Air Flow back system for ultimate carrying comfort.
Great for family walks, the Freedom S2’s advanced backsystem has been developed to offer maximum comfort combined with optimal ventilation. It allows cool air to circulate freely around your back, helping to reduce the chance of you become too hot or uncomfortable during hot weather. Comfortable padded shoulder straps and a pivoting hip belt add even more support and comfort while wearing the carrier.
All LittleLife carriers are designed with your child’s safety and comfort as the top priority and the Freedom S2 is no exception. An anatomically shaped child seat and a soft printed face pad ensure your child sits comfortably and securely inside the carrier. Should the sun make a rare appearance, the carrier even comes with a handy sun shade to protect your little one from its harmful rays. Loading your child into the carrier is quick and simple thanks to LittleLife’s patented Anchor Point – keep the carrier secure with your foot and use both hands to quickly and easily strap them in.
The Freedom S2 has plenty of storage for all the bits and pieces you might need on a day out and about. Two large compartments are perfect for snacks, toys, extra layers or any other essentials and the stretch pocket at the front is great for keeping waterproofs close to hand. An easily accessible bottle pocket makes it easy to keep hydrated while walking.
Packed full of handy features, the carrier also comes with a useful viewing mirror – allowing you to keep an eye on your passenger while wearing the carrier. The Freedom S2 also has integrated Iluminite reflective fabric panels and reflective piping, helping to increased visibility in dark or foggy weather.
The PowerMonkey Extreme
Before Christmas we were lucky enough to get our hands n a couple of items from Powertraveller – the SolarMonkey and the PowerMonkey Extreme. Our reviews on the smaller model, the SolarMonkey, have been very positive, and several months down the line, the charger is still going strong and getting plenty of use, when travelling and at home.
The packaging on the Extreme model is attractive and functional, and when you open the box, there is plenty inside. Encased in a chunky case is the solar unit, which in encased in a rubberised, sturdy protective layer, plus a plethora of adapters for a variety of different gadgets, and a main adapter for superfast charging when at home.
The panels come in various colours – ours is the blue one, and it has an excellent sized solar area for super fast charging which can covert even dim light into electricity. The pack has a strong webbed Velcro strap so it can be attached to a rucksack or outdoor garment, meaning you can soak up the rays out and about with a minimum of effort. The ports are protected by waterproof covers, and the literature says the unit is waterproof to one meter (for 30 minutes) although we haven’t tested this out! It is switched on with a small touch / swipe pad, which seems very sturdy.
The panel is separate from the battery pack, which is where this differs from the smaller model, which means its capacity is much greater. Attached via USB it begins charging immediately, and you can also charge the battery pack via the mains for a back up charge when travelling. The 2 USB ports means you can, in effect, charge two devices simultaneously.
The battery has a 9000mAh capacity – which means technically it could charge the average smart phone 6 times before it is empty. It takes around 16 hours to fully charge the battery pack in sunny conditions, which to put into perspective is about 2 to 3 hours to get enough charge for an iPhone. The charge itself is fairly rapid – perhaps not as quick as charging direct from the mains, but no slower than plugging your device into a PC. Once your device has been charged, the pack will shut down so as to conserve the remaining power in the battery pack which is a very useful feature.
This is a more serious bit of kit than the SolarMonkey, and slightly more expensive – RRP around £120, but for serious outdoor types, it is an essential.
Camping cooking tips
Just because you are cooking in the great outdoors, you don’t have to settle for sausages and jacket potatoes every day. Here are our top tips for something a little more exotic to keep you warm:
Planning – vegetables, such as onion, carrot and garlic bases can be chopped at home and chucked in zip locked bags to be pulled out and used as a base for one pot dishes, fried up hash or similar, and kept ina cool box won’t spoil
Non perishables – tinned veg, fruit and some meats are great camping staples for an easy meal. Dried meats including chorizo add pizzaz to a stew, omelette, or soup, and keep well.
Risotto is a fine idea, not least because it can be hearty and warming, made with a good quality stock cube, and cooked up in a single pan.
Local seafood, if you can get it, makes for a campsite feast, steamed simply in a drop of seawater or white wine and served with crusty bread.
Cous cous or quinoa make an excellent starchy filler, requiring only boiling water and steaming time to cook quickly and with a minimum of fuss.
For one night trips, or the first evening, freeze portions of casserole or pasta sauce in small containers, which will defrost on your journey and be ready to reheat on arrival.
Take a good supply of in foil. You can make parcels of a variety of fish, chicken and vegetables to create light, nutritious meals and delicious grilled sandwiches.
Are you considering a Valentines camping trip? Provided we have seen the back of the snow, it’s not actually a bad idea. Fresh air, cosy evenings under canvas, roaring campfires and warming meals in country pubs – all quite appealing!
Tent manufacturer Vango have a good selection of cosy, 2 man tents which are perfect if you are considering a romantic break this Valentines. Their AirBeam(TM) range are super simple to setup, with plenty of space and light.
they also offer a range of relaxing accessories, from a cosy flocked double airbed with built in sides to a luxury double sleeping bag (the Aurora, RRP £95) which is comfortably designed with a cotton flannel lining to feel much like a duvet.
The 12LED Rechargeable Lantern comes with a remote control and has a sealed battery capable of lasting 20 hours to create a romantic ambience which can be controlled from the comfort of your bed.
Last but not least, the range also include an Acrylic Wine Glass set at £8 for 4, making your shared bottles of wine rather more romantic than a tin cup, but still strong and durable.