{D-Mom Tested} Baby Sherpa Alpha Backpack

by Leighann on August 13, 2012

Join me every day this week as I highlight diabetes-related products we’ve tried out this summer. Read more D-Mom Tested product reviews.

Knowing that this was going to be a summer of travel including several days spent at amusement parks, museums, and a zoo, I began a search for a backpack to replace the Lands’ End diaper bag backpack that got us through seven years of babies/toddlers/kids before finally coming apart at the seam…probably from being constantly used and often overstuffed!

I began doing internet searches for backpacks with an insulated compartment, thinking that might be helpful to keep diabetes supplies and snacks from boiling in the summer heat. I looked at lots of different hiking packs thinking maybe I wanted something smaller, more of a daypack.

I came across the Baby Sherpa brand and struck up a conversation with a representative of the company who told me that if I was spending a day at Disney, I really needed to try out their new Alpha Sherpa backpack.

We’ve used it on three trips this summer and it has done it’s job. I used it as a carry on when Q and I went to Florida for Friends For Life. And I may or may not have packed an entire brick of juice boxes in the cooler section and sent it through airport security…twice.

When we went to Disney for the day, I had a day’s worth of snacks including applesauce pouches and juice boxes, in the cooler compartment. I also put our insulin in a Frio Cooling Wallet and kept it in the cooler. The smaller pouch on the side was the perfect size for my point-and-shoot camera and provided easy access for photo opps. My contact at Baby Sherpa suggested using a frozen water bottle to keep contents cool, but we didn’t have access to a freezer at our hotel. I’m keeping that tip for future excursions, though.

While I love the idea of the cooler compartment, especially because us families dealing with diabetes need to keep our insulin at a good temperature, I think I would like it more if it was structured. When the backpack was very full and heavy, the weight of top half compressed the cooler compartment. I’ve learned from that and now I put our snacks in plastic containers so they don’t get squashed.

Pros

  • Lots of compartments.
  • Chest and waist clip for added support on long days with a heavy pack.
  • Difficult to find large cooler section.
  • The diaper pad section can hold a laptop or iPad instead.

Cons

  • I would personally prefer that there was a mesh water bottle holder on each side instead of the insulated bottle holder which I’m sure is meant for milk or formula.
  • The cooler section is not structured and if the top of the backpack is full it can squash the cooler compartment contents a little.

It retails for $109 from the Baby Sherpa website, but look around online as there are other retailers who sell it and you might find a better price. It is also available for shipping to Canada. $109 isn’t outrageous for a backpack. Our Lands’ End backpack lasted seven years and was worth the money that I plunked down for it. I’m hoping the Sherpa Alpha is as sturdy and functional.

Alpha Sherpa Backpack

 

Further Reading

More D-Mom Tested product reviews

Disclosure: Baby Sherpa provided me with a backpack for review consideration. Monetary compensation was not received and opinions are my own. Please read my disclosure statement.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jenni@talkinghairdryer August 13, 2012 at 8:34 am

We looked high and low in November for something to take to Disney and came up short. At the beginning of the summer we looked in to this one at your suggestion, and we love it! We took it to West Palm Beach, camp, and Branson this summer, (one flying trip, and two road trips) and it was perfect!

Also, usually when 5 of us travel we have a suite in a motel and have a fridge. But this time we just had a regular room, no fridge. I took our insulin and ice packs down to the front desk and they gladly put them in the fridge and freezer. Both times we did this it was just a one night stay and we picked it all up at breakfast then next morning.

In West Palm, where we stayed 3 nights at a nicer hotel, I called customer service and they brought up an extra mini-fridge, free of charge, and set it up in our room.

I know not everyone does this, but it never hurts to ask.

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2 Leighann August 14, 2012 at 7:50 am

Glad to hear the backpack is working out for you!

Great tips about the fridge. Recently at a hotel I was told it would cost $20 but they waived it since it was for medical supplies.

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