The Trunki kids luggage range has been quite a phenomenon. A huge phenomenon. One so big in fact I can't think of a single parenting product that's been released in the last decade that's made quite as big an impact. Even celebrities are using them. Rod Stewart is pictured here (below right) carrying the Trunki Gruffalo (my personal favourite, and covered previously on PlayPennies here), which his four year old son was later seen scooting around on. Because of all this, the Trunki kids luggage range gets its own blog post here on PlayPennies.
The big question is really, are Trunkis a real wonder that you'll definitely get more than your money's worth from? Or are they yet another example of the incredible way that parents these days seem waste their money? There's only one way to tell really and that's to ask the PlayPennies parents that are using them and find out what exactly life is like when you've got a Trunki.
What's A Trunki?
It is possible you aren't aware of what a Trunki is - not everyone watches Dragon's Den, has a child under the age of six, or has been in a British airport in the last three or four years. This is a suitcase designed by the very inventive Rob Law. The original Trunki is a suitcase for children that's small enough to be taken on board an airplane as hand luggage. It has wheels, a strap that can be used to pull the suitcase along, and handles for carrying it when you can't pull.
Rob Law rather famously touted it on the BBC show Dragon's Den, where he was told that it was a waste of money and that there was no market for the Trunki. It's now sold in over 40 countries. Guess who's having the last laugh?
The suitcases also look fab, and the designs appeal as much to the adults as they do to the children. Or maybe that's just me!
Do They Work?
Well, the short answer is yes. I have asked around, and looked on the internet. It seems to be the consensus that yes, children do sit on it comfortably, and yes, they can ride on it. Some airlines have reduced the size they'll allow for carry on luggage, so the Trunki has to be checked in. We've heard of this with Thomas Cook chartered flights, but it might be applicable to others. It is always best to check in advance.
PlayPennies mum Buky found on a six hour flight to visit family with her four year old daughter that there's another drawback to using the Trunki as your child's carryon. "I do love the Trunki. The only problem is on the plane itself. It was too big to go under the seat in front so I had to put it in the overhead locker. And that's a problem if you want to get things out, and put them back. Which happens a lot with children - you won't get all the toys out at once for example."
Out in the airport itself though is where the Trunki's unique qualities are meant to be put to use. Mum of three, Nicki, has this advice for first time users. "Yep I have one! I love it, best to keep it hidden until travel time so that it's a new experience at the airport. Helps kill the time while you wait and handy when you have to hand in the stroller." Nicki has travelled with all three kids, the two and four year olds riding the suitcase while baby was in his carrier. "It is fairly easy to pull along actually. It's pretty sturdy and had no trouble with the weight of two children."
The Riding Experience
I asked parents, and looked on the internet, and it seems that there's no problem with pulling the Trunki along with or without a child. The strap and case seem to live up to the hype of being sturdy and well constructed.
There does seem to be a bit of a handling issue on corners though. And the child does need to work a bit to stay on the suitcase. As PlayPennies mum Heidi told us "It's relatively easy to pull if they concentrate and co-operate but my two boys have fallen off more than once!" And this from Nicki "Only difficult part is turning around corners - it takes a bit of practice not to tip the child over."
The other aspect of the suitcase is that the Trunki can be ridden by the child on their own, using their feet to scoot along. This keeps them entertained, and helps to burn off excess energy too. But there are other issues that parents, like myself, who haven't bought one might not think about. Like the competitive nature of children!
"My kids adore theirs and they're definitely useful. They ADORE packing them by themselves and using them is preferable to those kids' pull-along cases, which they get tired of pulling by themselves, but more than once I've confiscated them in crowded airports and end up carrying them, because they act like lunatics on them after a while. Maybe it's just boys but they start trying to race or crash into each other and frankly it's way more hassle than it's worth." says Heidi.
The range is expanding all the time. The latest Trunki gadget is a backpack that is made of a firm material and will turn into a booster seat for groups 2 and 3 (that's ages 4 to 12). This definitely intrigues me as I've been caught out on more than one occasion while overseas. There are times when you just need to take a taxi, and I've yet to be able to find one on a rank that's got a car seat to hand!
Keep an eye out in September too as we'll be reviewing their new, limited edition range!
Please share here. Trunki, do you love 'em or loathe 'em?
TOPICS: Family Holidays