Parents’ days of struggling at the airport with luggage, a stroller and their kids may soon be over.
Josie Stockdill and Benjamin Newman from Melbourne, Australia, created a compact stroller that is also a carry-on suitcase. Stockdill told The Huffington Post she came up with the idea for the traveling system, called Born to Fly Baby, after traveling with their daughter Olive, who was 2 months old at the time.
“After trying to fly back to my hometown for a visit with a new baby I realized that something much better was needed for traveling,” she said. “There was nothing on the market that was suitable for Olive other than actual strollers, but then I needed to carry all of our things too and it became a total nightmare.”
Stockdill tried the baby-carrying approach and looked for bags to buy that kids could sit on, but couldn’t find anything that had brakes and that Olive could rest in, which was important to her. That’s how the idea for Born to Fly Baby came about, and Newman, a product designer, turned it into a reality.
Newman told HuffPost he thought the idea was “brilliant.” He’s made four prototypes of Born to Fly Baby so far, which he and Stockdill have used at airports. According to the Kickstarter campaign they started for the product, the stroller-suitcase hybrid adheres to “full American, European and Australian/[New Zealand] safety standard compliance and all fit within the international carry-on luggage sizing.” The campaign page also lists the estimated retail price ― if buyers don’t participate in the Kickstarter ― as $599 AUD (Australian dollars) or about $450 U.S. dollars.
Newman and Stockdill said the system works well at airports and testing it there has helped them make improvements to the prototypes.
“It got through security fine and the dimensions were appropriate for carry-on (when folded down),” Newman said. “An improvement that I had for this particular prototype was that it needed to be more easily folded down with one hand, as Josie could not pack it away quickly enough whilst holding the baby at the gate. So that has been improved upon.”
Through a Kickstarter campaign, Newman and Stockdill have raised $24,000 of their $37,797 goal in just eight days. They still have over a month to go. Stockdill said she “can’t live without the prototype” now and hopes to get the system out to customers in May 2017, though it depends on their fundraiser, pending international patents and other factors.
“As with any first time production run, there are a number of things that could possibly delay things by a few weeks,” she said. “So May 2017 is our best estimate, but not a guarantee.”