For families that enjoy hiking with kids, a toddler hiking backpack has long been the only choice for taking children under the age of three along with you. That same applies to all-terrain strollers. They are great for many paths, but they are not all-terrain and do not work hiking with kids. Likewise, any parent that has used a hiking backpack knows, they have their drawbacks and weaknesses that can leave you frustrated and tired.
A stroller that can handle rough terrain has been long in the development because of safety issues and the logistics of developing something maneuverable and practical. But Honey Badger has managed to develop a product that allows you to take not one but three children with you on rough trails and still be able to navigate rocks, steep slopes, or even snow.
The HBW was first developed as a hiking cart for backpackers and hunters that need to take a large amount of gear into the backcountry. Hiking with kids is an idea avid backpackers have long wanted to share with their young families. With the HBW, a whole new world has been opened up.
The HBW can be used with one of two accessories turning it from a pack carrier to an all-terrain stroller. The first is the YEPP Maxi Easyfit Child Seat which can be attached to the frame of the HBW and locked securely in place. The child seat holds one child and is ideal for the youngest rider who doesn't have the balance to ride without the support of a harness.
A second accessory that can be purchased separately is the Kiddo Hoop. By attaching it to the frame, the hoop allows you to carry up to three children at a time. For families with multiple young children, this will allow them to enjoy hikes that would normally be inaccessible. Children can come along on adventures that they would normally have to wait years to enjoy.
The HBW can go a variety of terrains like sand and snow that no other stroller can handle. When using the HBW, parents can see their children at all times. This allows them to make preemptive corrections and adjustments while on the trail. Because the HBW was developed for hunters and backcountry hiking, it can take families far off the beaten trail, opening new trails and options for the adventurous family.
Safety is always a concern with children's products especially new, innovative ones like the HBW. Whether using the YEPP Child Seat or the Kiddo Hoop, children will ride safe and secure. To assure the safety of all riders, a bicycle helmet must be worn at all times. When using the HBW, riders will be traveling at speeds far lower than when riding a bike and the risk of falling out is small, which makes wearing a helmet is a simple precautionary measure.
Based on the one wheel design, some might think that there is a danger of the HBW tipping forward or to the sides once the handles are released. However, when the handles are released the innovative design forces the cart to fall backward onto the handles. This keeps the riders safely within the Kiddo Hoop or child seat.
A comparable stroller is the Bumbleride Indie. It is a single rider that can be used on well-groomed trails. It is a durable piece of baby equipment but is limited in the kind of terrain upon which it can be used. Snow and sand are out of the question. There are double trail strollers available as well but width and maneuverability limit the scope of the places they can be used. Only the HBW has the maneuverability and capability to transport three children in the wildest of terrain.
Toddler hiking backpacks have long been the way to take your kids with you on an outdoor adventure. The trick is finding one that is comfortable enough for the wearer and the rider on a long hike. Backpacks have continued to improve over the years but the fact remains that carrying a wiggling 25-pound child on your back is tough.
With a child riding high on your back, it can be hard to determine when low hanging branches or rocks are going to hit the rider. Kids can also reach outside the bounds of the backpack and grab branches, causing the carrier to lose balance. Keeping a close eye on children that are on your back is difficult as well. While most children don't mind riding in a hiking backpack, some find it constricting enough to make using it not worth the resulting tantrum.
Families with more than one young child face a difficult challenge. They can opt for two toddler hiking backpacks, one for each parent, which will limit the number of supplies you take with you. The other option is to coax a young child along the trail. The fact is that young children get tired quickly. Only the shortest of hikes are going to be doable in this situation, which means you are limited in the type and length of hike you can take.
The benefit of a toddler backpack is that you still have the use of both hands even when you are carrying a rider.
The availability of a versatile stroller like the HBW is a breakthrough for an outdoor family who enjoys an outdoor lifestyle. Hiking with kids has become easier and more adventurous. Backpacks can be left behind while the children ride where they can see and enjoy nature along with their parents.