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I have been nursing straight since August 2008. One child at first, then two and now back to one. I can nurse on a boat going down a river, while typing and while sautéing (a bit dangerous, but dinner has to be served). When hiking or fishing, it is hard to find a spot to sit and nursing standing for any period of time is hard on the arms (or good, as you don't have to go to the gym the next day). I know some hikers carry little stools and they even make travel nursing pillows, but the adventuring ladies will be excited about this product I found!
The Chair-Pak is basically a frame backpack that flaps down to form a chair. The backpack holds 2504cu/in (for comparison REI says, The sweet spot for most hiking and multisport daypacks is 30 liters (around 1,830 cubic inches). That's enough capacity to hold the Ten Essentials plus some extras.) As a mother with two kiddos, you can appreciate the extra space for snacks, a shark toy that had to come or a rain suit and boots. There are four compartments as well so I can keep my items in one and the kiddos can have the rest!
For all that space, the Chair-Pak is amazingly light. The website says it weighs 7 pounds and it really is easy to lift with one hand (there is a great handle at the top for this). It also is compact with one statement on their site saying that it will fit into an airplane's overhead bin. I don't think that I will take it on my next trip, but when packing up for a camping trip that size is appreciated! It is styled after a backpack so there are gear loops on the front, small carabiners on the side, mesh water bottle pouches and comfortable and beefy straps.
While many portable chairs seem flimsy and as if they will give way if you have another s'more, this seat is bomber. It is said to hold 230 pounds! This is good for a nursing mom as the chair needs to hold her and the nursling (even though the site cautions that it should only have one user at a time). The construction, zippers and seaming are sturdy. My children pulled repeatedly on the zippers to get their snacks without trouble.
During testing, we brought the chair fishing, to music in the park, used it in the house quite a bit (it was amazingly handy to have a fold away chair for nursing in the playroom!) and took it camping. This chair held up with these elements! It did get a bit muddy and have a bit of ketchup (roasted hot dogs!) spilled on it, but spot cleaning did the trick. The heavy duty fabric seems to repel a bit of water as well.
The pack comes in the following colors.
Dark Red & Black
Dark Green & Black
And comes in two frame colors, Black and Silver. (The price is between $59-$74)
I loved filling the huge backpack with items for our afternoon at the park and not having to pack a chair. It is hard enough hauling the two kiddos without carrying our pack and chair! It even has a cooler compartment for one less thing to carry. A small pouch in the front is perfect for a cell phone and keys (or hook them to one of the loops). I did have some trouble getting it to ride in a comfortable way at first, but with maneuvering the straps so it rode higher on my shoulders this was fixed.
While this is perfect for a nursing mother, it would be great for many other things as well. My father liked it for fishing as he didn't have to sit on the hard rock. A concert, picnic, day at the beach, short hike (with kiddos!) or skating party (sit in a chair to put on your skates!).
I give the Chair-Pak my Alaskan Mom Approval as it makes an outdoor adventure life with toddlers easier. I can bring rain suits for everyone, snacks, drinks, a blanket and toys in the pack and even have a chair so I can rest while the kiddos run wild in the woods!