It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I apologize to y’all because I’ve been truly busy working with awesome client projects at Global VA Connect the last couple of months. I’ve got several blogs in draft mode, waiting to be scheduled. However, with spring in full swing and travel on the mind, I thought I’d start the week off with a product review. Since we just came back from a last minute trip to see family across the Pond (Atlantic), I thought I’d share a quick review of JAKO-O Children’s Cupboard Trolley, what I now consider the best children’s suitcase with wheels. I’ve highlighted 3 main reasons below: it’s age and height appropriate, its excellent design promotes efficient and organized packing (frazzled parents of independent children, this is a MUST), and it’s lightweight.
AGE AND HEIGHT APPROPRIATE:
There are 2 sizes available, based on the child’s height. I’ve met some really tall 6 year olds… in fact, just this past week, we met a friend at a playground and her 6 year old was a full 8 inches taller than our child! That little girl would be perfectly fine with either the small or large model. The smaller is appropriate for a child 1 meter tall; the larger is meant for children 1.5 meters tall. Our daughter is just over 1 meter tall and it was perfect, even with the small trolley bag attached (it slides nicely over the telescopic handle).
She used the trolley bag as her main carryon, although we ended up carrying it since the little books tucked inside actually made it heavier than it looked. (I wish it had backpack straps, she wishes it had wheels and a telescopic handle.)
EXCELLENT DESIGN PROMOTES EFFICIENCY & ORGANIZATION:
My favorite quality of this trolley is it’s truly a cupboard, with adjustable (velcro) shelves that have nice straps to contain clothes. The designer placed a lot of thought and consideration to the commuter child (visits grandparents or divorced parents) or the frequent child traveler.
Our 6 year old packed her bag herself with minimal help (a checklist to use and a final visual check from a parent), sorting clothes, toiletries & a few toys onto each shelf so she could easily find them later. She even managed to keep her clothes off the floor at her grandparents’ homes this past week when we were traveling. (Her old suitcase was one big space and even if she used small organizer bags to separate clothing like undergarments, socks and hair accessories, we’d still see a huge mess on the floor.)
There is no space for hanging items but her frilly little church dresses and tulle skirts easily rolled (no wrinkles!) and fit into one of the 4 shelves.
Outer pockets: The 4 side pockets were a nice size and could fit her toiletries, hair accessories and a couple pairs of shoes.
Laundry/sport/wet clothing bag: included in purchase is a nice size waterproof bag that matches the gray shelves. It’s perfect for dirty clothes or wet swimsuits.
Suggestion for Jako-o designer: Place a handle at the base, where the wheels are located so that it’s easier to grab out of the boot (trunk) or off the baggage claim. Also, add 2 wheels and make them all 360 degree spinner wheels, too. It would make for easier transport through busy airport terminals like Atlanta and Heathrow.
Since it’s a lightweight bag and smaller than typical luggage, we really don’t fear overpacking. In fact, if you look at the photo above, you’ll see a milk jug of marbles. That heavy antique glass jug wouldn’t fit in my luggage without tipping it over the maximum weight but was tucked in nicely on the bottom shelf of my child’s bag. (We did ask her first as it’s the polite thing to do.)
Nice to know information follows…
It’s a bit pricey for a one-time trip, but since we do travel quite a bit for long weekends as well as weeklong (or more) trips, it’s worth the 99+€ for the cupboard trolley. This will likely be our last luggage purchase for her for a couple of years if not more. It’s well-made and protected contents well. If you want to protect your investment, you can also buy a trolley protector, a waterproof bag cover for a few euro more. (We didn’t)
WHERE TO BUY:
Since we live in Europe, those are the links I’ve added above. Unfortunately, JAKO-O stores are located Germany and apparently, mail order is only available in continental Europe, Great Britain and Ireland. I’ve scoured English speaking sites but haven’t found a wheeled suitcase quite like this one. *If you know of one, please share!
Cost and exclusivity aside, this is the best single luggage purchase for children we’ve seen. No other bag has been able to address a child’s need for organization and independence as well as Jako-o’s cupboard trolley. And the colors are vibrant but not tacky, yet easily identifiable in baggage claim. I’ve hunted around for something comparable for myself, to no avail. I may just head back to the store to pick one up for myself.
Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation, product or discount for this review.