Why I designed the Adventure Carrier? What problem/s does it actually solve?

Why I designed the Adventure Carrier? What problem/s does it actually solve?

Problem: I’m a smaller mum who wants to easily take my kid out on adventure with limited gear. All the carriers on the market are too big and heavy for a vertically challenged mum to carry. 


Solution: Design a carrier that is compact, lightweight with amped up storage.


I knew that there was a problem, how was a mum who was around 5ft tall was meant to carry their child on their back using a massive hiking carrier?

Additional to the problem was how could this mum possibly carry extra gear that was needed for her adventure and not feel like a turtle and about to topple over. 

I remember being so excited when I bought my first hiking carrier, I was actually in a bidding war on ebay as I knew that I didn't want to pay the retail of about $500 on something that I didn't know if I was even going to be able to carry. I’m so happy I didn't. It did still cost me close to $300 and yep you guessed it I used it a grand total of 1 time! 

By the time I had my baby my gear and tried to lift it on my own I soon saw that I had a problem. 

Look… I like to think of myself as a strong and fit person but the sheer weight of this hiking carrier was just too much for this 5 ft tall mum to carry. Yes, it would be totally fine for dads to carry but that was not why I purchased it. I wanted to be empowered to take my kids out on my own. 

I soon started some research on what was around that would be more appropriate for someone of my stature and realised that If I wanted decent storage purchasing a larger hiking carrier was really my only option. The smaller carriers on the market failed every time with the amount of storage that they allowed and I would still need to bring an additional bag. Which as a mum who already has enough to carry was not an option and was not going to solve any problems. 

It was the start of 2020 and I knew what my job was to design a small compact lightweight carrier that would be perfect for mums. This would mean that mums could take their little one out on an adventure on their own without needing to wait for the weekend when dad may be available to help. Not this Mum, I wanted to get my independence back and show the world that I could do it on my own!

The design process took almost 12 months and to find the international certification that was needed was a massive hurdle that I needed to overcome. I designed the carrier based on what I needed as a mum and the brief was simple: keep it compact, lightweight and amp up the storage.  I found all of the bits that I liked from other carriers on the market and designed my own carrier to suit my needs of this vertically challenged mum. 

Finding a manufacturer that would work with me for a custom design was also a challenge but once I did the process was off and running. I didn’t want to just buy a carrier of the shelf of wbat they had available in ther showroom. It was important for me to design something that solved my problems. 

adventure carrier design baby and toddler carrier

I  would call this product The Adventure Carrier and it was going to solve so many problems;  

  • Combining nappy bag with carrier, so you don’t need to take both
  • Assisting a child with special needs and/or has limited mobility
  • Easy to use in the snow or at the beach, where prams are impossible to push safely
  • Lightening the load by not having to take a pram in the car
  • Keeping your child safe from germs in public places 
  • Perfect as carry-on size making it great travel gear for airplanes, going to the zoo, aquarium, walking tracks, markets, expos, and shows. This means you don't need to be a massive adventure seeker to get the most out of it. And was perfect for everyday adventure. 

 

adventure carrier snow baby and toddler carrier

There is also a hidden benefit that might not be obvious and that is how much it helps mental health. The Adventure Carriers gives you more flexibility and freedom to experience the outdoors.

Spending time outdoors, especially in green spaces has been proven to reduce symptoms of anxiety, depression and improves mood and self-esteem. You can read more about it on my blog “The Benefits of Being Outside and Links to Positive Mental Health”


Back to my prototype…

When my first prototype arrived it was amazing. The time and intricate detail that I had put into the product was well worth it. I’m talking about the additional 3 months to source the aqua branded color buckle to ensure that it was easy for families to securely buckle their little one into the carrier was going to be an edge that set me apart from my competitors. 

It was time for my first adventure and to test out what The Adventure Carrier could really do. I packed it like I would pack a normal nappy backpack with all of my nappies, wipes, changes of clothes, hats, sunscreen as well baby.  This Adventure Carrier would stop the need to take a nappy backpack, pram and soft carrier. Wow 3 products in one! I was starting to see the power of what this design had and the windows of opportunity that it was going to give mums all over the country. 

After the first adventure just out to our local nature walk I soon realllied that I was missing out on more opportunities for easy access storage on the side waistband pockets. As I wanted to ensure that no other bag was needed, amping up the storage wherever there was room was a must. I added in zip pockets on each waist band instead of the elastic pockets. I was very impressed that there was not too much else to change because each change meant more money and to get each sample made was $150 USD almost $225 AUD at the time.

A few weeks had passed in the testing phase and I realied that I had a problem… I needed a better solution from protection for rain/ snow and warmer climates especially where insects were around. After an adventure with my son in the Adventure Carrier I realised that his arms were getting wet as the rain hood did not cover the whole Adventure Carrier. I then designed the rain cover to attach to the Adventure Carrier. 

adventure carrier in the rain rain cover

After doing a Facebook live with some of our followers to ask for feedback and possible solutions for warmer climates. I designed a warmer weather insect net that was made of lightweight material and had a fly net that could be used if needed. 

adventure carrier sun hood and insect net

I then needed to go back to the manufacturer and add on additional loops and fastening mechanisms to attach these accessories. Thankfully there was still time to make these changes and this is why you have a long testing phase.  

When it came time to complete the certification and testing I needed to get 5 Adventure Carriers made at $150 USD each. These carriers would go through each intricate test and then be destroyed! What a waste of money but just what I needed to do. That was the cost to test the product not to mention the thousands to complete the test. However if I wanted to bring the Adventure Carrier to the world this was the starting cost to do it. 

We had a failed Kickstarter which was very disappointing after sall the work adn effort that went into it.  However, this was not going to stop me. We funded the project.  Yep we had to tap into a parent loan (sorry parents, we will pay you back). Once all of the finances were sorted the production could start. This was a scary time for me as I knew that no other changes could be made to the product and I needed to trust my gut that I had thought of all possible design errors that could result and had weeded them out in the testing phase. 

I had faith and when the shipment arrived it was amazing. From start to finish it was over 12 months of work and I knew that The Adventure Carrier was going to solve the problem that I set out to achieve. 

It was time to release The Adventure Carrier to our adventurous parents and for mums everywhere to be empowered by what The Adventure Carrier could really do. So after 12 months of work I did it, I set out and did what I said I would do. So let the new adventure begin. 

Thank for reading my story, if you have any questions about the Adventure Carrier please email tiffany@jumply.com.au 


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