This is a review of the Brica By-My-Side Infant Safety Harness Backpack. For disclosure purposes, Munchkin Canada sent me this backpack for review. You may purchase this backpack via the following link. This link was provided by Munchkin Canada, and I do not receive any commission or compensation if you purchase this from them.
A few months ago, Munchkin sent me the Stainless Steel Miracle Cup for review and the Brica By-My-Side backpack.
We were quickly able to use the Miracle cup, but it took a while for us to really get used to using the By-My-Side backpack.
You see, before 18 months my daughter would take direction well enough, she’ll listen to us if we asked her to stop or go.
I remember even thinking, “Wow this backpack is cool and all, but my daughter is such an angel that she doesn’t give us a hard time running all over the place — unlike those other wild children. Ha Ha Ha, sitting on my high-horse sure feels great!”
Then, as the universe has it way of balancing things, the “on” switch flipped inside her head and told her that it’s okay to selectively listen to mom or dad–and run like heck.
It’s been two months since the green light went off and now I can finally give this backpack an honest review after seeing it put to the test.
Before I get into the details, as I do for all my reviews, here’s the TL:DR:
Get this backpack if you have a runner, but do consider the length of the tether if you are taller, or have short arms.
Now if you would like to stick around for a bit more detail, do feel free to read on, as I’ll give my full review of the Brica By-My-Side backpack below.
Before I go any further, I wanted to point out that that there’s a big debate (like all parenting topics) on whether or not kids should be on a “leash.” Personally, I do not care too much about getting dirty looks from other parents, and frankly, neither should you.
If you’ve stumbled upon this post, chances are you are looking to purchase this product for your toddler and you’ve gotten past the potential judgemental factor.
As parents we try to make decisions that serve our kids best interest, and that should be all that matters.
Now that I got that out of the way, here is my review of the Brica By-My-Side Safety Harness Backpack.
What I Liked:
Design and Build Quality
I’m a sucker for anything baby-sized. From baby Chuck Taylors, to baby sized utensils. It’s no surprise that I really like the size of the By-My-Side backpack. But looking beyond the cuteness of it all, I really think the size is perfect for a toddler.
The backpack fits my daughter perfectly, and it doesn’t seem to throw off her balance like her other backpack. When I’m not using the leash, I can neatly take it off or tuck it away.
The backpack itself is put together well, with zippers and stitching fastened and in place. I can see that even with the backpack being dragged and tossed all over the place, it will take a good beating. For a cost conscious parent, this is a nice bonus knowing that something like this is built to last in case you want to resell or hand-me-down it.
No Whiplash Here
I have to be completely honest, my whole attraction to this backpack is what the product detail describes as the “Shock-absorbing tether.”
Basically it’s a leash for your kid.
In speaking to other parents, I’ve learned that some parents are quite judgemental (surprise surprise) when it comes to parents who have a leash on their children.
You might get some looks from people, but let me tell you, when you have a toddler zig-zagging like a wide-receiver you’ll be happy to have the tether slowing them down. The good thing is, when you do slow them down, the elasticity of it won’t give them a sudden jolt breaking their collar bone. The shoulder pads are thick enough to limit any discomfort. These are not the thin Indian sunburn inducing straps of the backpacks that we grew up with, this is nice stuff.
Function and Use
As our diaper bag is already packed to the brim with all of her junk and mine, it’s kind of neat to get them to carry one of their own items.
While getting them to carry one item may not lighten the load on our diaper bags too much, I certainly see some value in starting to teach her how to do things for herself.
There’s something neat to see a totally dependent newborn, become this tiny human that can start to doing things for themselves. She’s not watering the lawn or feeding the family dog yet, but she can keep their own water bottle and carry around a snack or two. Teaching her these tiny responsibilities is only going to help in the long run.
What I Didn’t Like:
I’m not sure if this really qualifies as a legitimate downfall to the backpack, but rather, this is more of a what I would like to see improved. And really this is for me personally, as it may not apply to you.
I wouldn’t say I’m that tall, but I did noticed that I had to hunch a little at times to hold onto the tether. So a simple solution would be to make the tether a bit longer, so taller parents could use it a bit easier.
It could be that the length is perfect for you, but for someone who is slightly taller than average height (5 foot 11), it almost makes me feel like a T-Rex.
Hmmm…now that I mentioned it, it would be pretty hilarious to see a T-Rex chasing after my daughter while holding a leash. (Minus the desire to devour her of course….)
The more I think about it, I actually can’t get that imagery out of my head now.
**As I write-up this review, I ended up getting side tracked for an hour in order to satisfy my T-Rex imagery.**
We all know how hard it is for T-Rexes to do anything with their arms, so it can be a little difficult to maneuver. So if you have T-Rex arms like me, it might be an issue. But for the rest of the average height and wingspan parents it may not be an issue at all.
You know who wouldn’t have an issue with this backpack? Toronto Raptors benchwarmer Bruno Caboclo.
Okay enough digressions –if the tether length is an issue for you, what you can do is replace the tether with a longer one as it does easily clip on and off.
This is perhaps my only complain about this backpack.
I’d hate to sound like a cranky old man yelling at clouds, but frankly, we live in a time of too much and too easy. Do we really need a backpack to keep our kids in check? For most parents out there the answer is likely no. In fact, I can see why people would judge and frown upon parents who use a tether to keep their children in check. Their gut reaction is likely: “Teach your kids to better listen to you, then you won’t need a bag that’s a leash!”
While perhaps some parents could do a better job in disciplining their kids, there are some who try everything without success, or there are some who have multiple kids and need some sort of assistance. This backpack is made for those parents.
If you simply just want a bag that has a tether function in crowded public spaces, then why not get this? Besides, you can take off or tuck away the tether if you don’t need to use it. Getting your kid to carry a water bottle/toy/snack is still helpful.
Again, who cares what people think?
Truthfully, I’d much rather see a parent do what they can to keep their kid from running onto the street, than to be afraid of what some random stranger thinks.
As parents, we get judged left, right, and centre, so what’s a little more judgement if we can get our kids to walk in a straight line and carry their junk?
Besides, as long as there are parents like me who keep their kids fastened in this manner:
You’ll never have to worry about getting judged.