Saturday, March 6, 2010

Traveling with Children: Luggage {High Sierra Sport Company Review & Giveway}

{This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to those who entered!}

This product is featured as part of a week of Traveling With Children necessities.

During my recent trip with Big Sister E, I discovered one of the major keys to traveling with kids: multi-tasking. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I didn't know this was important before, it just became much more apparent to me when it was just my daughter and I hitting the skies.

Being a typical 3-year-old, Big Sister E was able to help me with packing and carrying our luggage by... well, holding her jacket. Or wearing it. Other than that, her main job was to stay close to Mommy and, as she is quite the perfectionist, she did that very well.

I, on the other hand, needed to figure out the right balance between bringing enough with us onto the plane while not carrying so much that I wouldn't be able to do it all myself. I had to be able to get it all on and off the airplanes and through multiple airports with only my two hands, right? I was fairly concerned about that.

The solution? Why, it showed up on my doorstep from High Sierra Sport Company a mere 24 hours before our flight took off.

I can truly say that the AT505 Carry-On Wheeled Backpack with Removable Day Pack surpassed any and all expectations I had about what a great piece of luggage could be and was completely perfect for this trip. Whether rolling or carrying the complete bag or using just the day pack, this bag eliminated a large portion of the hassles and stresses of traveling with a child.

One bag, three possibilities. As a wheeled bag, the AT505 has a telescoping aluminum handle and inline skate-style wheels that make rolling through the airport or down the street a breeze. Pulling this was smooth and easy and even over bumps or rougher terrain, it glided effortlessly.

However, had I needed to carry this bag instead of rolling it, simply tucking the handle down and unzipping the padded back panel reveals plush backpack straps stowed safely inside. I even noticed the added Velcro feature so that the panel would stay in place and to help ensure your comfort while carrying it.

To use the AT505 as a carry-on, I loved being able to unzip the front day pack and place it under the seat in front of us so that it was easily accessible. The larger bag then stowed perfectly in the overhead compartment until it was time to leave.

When we did go to get off the plane, I conveniently attached the day pack with the QUICK-CLIP buckle that neatly attached it back to the main bag. No need to spend the time zipping it back on, as the clip held it right in place until we boarded our next flight.

During our trip, having the use of the day pack was priceless. Big Sister E is old enough that when we go somewhere, all I really need to bring for her is a cup of water and a snack or two. Each day, whether we were going for a walk, to the park or to the zoo, I grabbed this pack and was ready to go.

Tucking our necessities into the zippered accessory pocket (almost like a pouch on the top), sliding my laptop into the main compartment (if I needed it) and tucking a water bottle on the side - I loved the versatility of the day pack of the AT505, not to mention the comfort. Even after carrying it for hours, my shoulders didn't ache at all.

If I didn't mention it enough, I love this bag and I can't foresee ever traveling without it again! Whether you are headed out for a nature expedition, a short hike, a snowboarding trip or traveling for business or with children, High Sierra Sport Company has the luggage, pack or duffel just for you. Not only that, this family-owned company gives back to their community, has stellar customer service and cares about its customers. I couldn't ask for more.

What adventure are you going on next? Thanks to the generosity of High Sierra Sport Company, one person will be outfitted with one of these innovative, high quality bags to go with them, because...

One lucky person will win a stylish, high quality bag from High Sierra Sport Company! The particular bag will be determined by High Sierra at the completion of this giveaway, but it could be from any of their great collections!

What bag might it be... Suspenseful, isn't it?

To enter to win a bag from High Sierra Sport Company you must do at least 1 of the following options. You can receive 1 entry per method with up to 3 initial entries total:
  • Become a fan of High Sierra on Facebook (They hold a random drawing for a free bag once a week for their fans - don't miss it!)
  • Follow High Sierra on Twitter
  • Visit High Sierra and tell me which of their great items are your favorite
Extra Entries (available after at least 1 of the mandatory entries above are completed; please leave a separate comment for each entry in order for them to be counted).

1 Extra Entry (per giveaway entered) - Enter any (or all) of the giveaways running on Thanks, Mail Carrier for the duration of this giveaway.
1 Extra Entry if you follow me on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway by copying and pasting the tweet below and leaving me the link. Tweet daily for an extra entry every day!

WIN a High Sierra bag for function, high quality & great travels! @thxmailcarrier & @HighSierraSport! #win #giveaway

2 Extra Entries (per follow method) if you follow me with Google Friend Connect (see sidebar), subscribe to my RSS feed or subscribe to Thanks, Mail Carrier by email.
3 Extra Entries if you put my cute button up on your blog. Please leave an address where it can be found.
3 Extra Entries if you blog about this giveaway linking back to Thanks, Mail Carrier and High Sierra Sport Company. Please leave an address where it can be found.

Giveaway will end on March 25th at 11:59pm CST. Do me the favor of leaving an email address or making absolutely sure it is visible in your profile, I have to have a way to contact the winner. The winner will be chosen by and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to contact me or respond to notification or a new winner will be chosen. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only.

A huge thank you to High Sierra for providing an AT505 bag for me to review as well as one bag for one lucky giveaway winner. 3 bags in 1 = perfection for traveling with kids! The opinions shared are my own and if you really need to see more, click here to see how I roll.