When we got asked to review Chibebe Bean Bags* as part of our new life on the road, I leapt at the chance like a Mexican jumping bean! (I promise that will be the first and last bean joke you will hear during this review)
One of the most challenging things about preparing for our family trip around Australia was deciding what to take. Moving from a large 3 bedroom house to a bus and trailer meant a massive downsizing – with only the essential items making the final cut. (you can read more about our declutter tips here)
Two of our main priorities were comfort and usability – and items that served more than one purpose got extra gold stars. This was the first reason that we loved our new bean bags – we have found so many uses for them already that go way beyond just a comfy seat for relaxing in!
The best thing about the Chibebe is how comfortable they are. Designed for use from newborn to teen – I’m going to have to contact them and let them know they can extend this age range to adult and beyond. When the kids are in bed we’ve used them to lay back on and look at the stars – and we often have to chase the dog off from trying to claim them as her own whenever we aren’t looking!
The first thing the boys did when we filled up their beanbags was to jump, roll, chase, throw and cuddle their new Chibebes around the bus. The perfect size for little arms and legs – they spent ages experimenting with different ways to sit and stand on them and how to get in the comfiest position. Our 3 year old demanded to have his dinner on his and told us in no uncertain terms that he was sleeping on it that night! In the 2 weeks that we have had the bags their popularity hasn’t decreased – although we have talked him back into his bed, we still get squeals of excitement when the beanbags come out of the bus with us on excursions!
Most of our meals are now served al fresco – our Chibebes always come with us when we are having lunch at the park or beach and make the best seats for sandwiches (has anyone else noticed how unpractical public picnic tables are for kids?) The base of the beanbag is made out of a durable material and the whole thing is fully washable meaning no worries for spills or dirt.
The beanbags have detachable covers which zip off and can go straight into the washing machine. I wept a little inside when I opened our Chibebe package to see that we had been gifted the cream coloured seats – our boys can irreversibly stain even a black t-shirt. Add to that the dog who thinks she owns everything we ever buy and I had the beanbags pegged to last about 45 minutes before needing a professional clean.
As suspected they were soon stained with Promite, jam, mud, grass, pasta sauce, felt tip pens and slime of unimaginable origin, but a quick unzip and a cold cycle through the washing machine and I was amazed to see them come out as good as new! You can even buy spare seats so you have backups – such a fabulous idea! They also come in a range of different colours so you can personalise for your child or nursery (or bus).
As well as using our Chibebes for picnics, playing and relaxing, we’ve found that they are also the perfect size to sit on the bed and use as an ipad or laptop seat. The beans work perfectly to support our devices and stop any arguments over who gets to hold Paw Patrol!
Built to Last
As well as being durable and cleanable, one of the greatest things the Chibebe has to offer is how much use you can get out of it. Our boys are both too old to have used the secure baby seat or baby rocker additions to the bags, but they will be able to enjoy the beanbags for years. We recently went through the process of selling all our baby stuff and I was blown away by how much we paid for the items new and how, just 12 months later, we could only sell them for a fraction of the price – despite them being in excellent condition. When you buy a Chibebe beanbag you know that you will get at least 10 years use out of it making the cost an absolute bargain.
The only thing that I didn’t like about this whole experience was choosing to try and fill our beanbags while our toddler was awake. Instead of simply following the instructions on the bag – our youngest decided to wrestle with the bag of beans and ride it like a horse until it popped beans throughout the camp spot we were staying at. I tried to overcome the problem by tipping the leaking bag of beans into a big bin bag – but the static created meant we had balls sticking to the side of the bag, my hands, our clothes, and the air. Similar to trying to dress a wriggling baby when you’re in a hurry to get out of the house, there was absolutely no convincing the beans to go into the bag without a fight. Luckily the Chibebe only requires about two thirds of a big bag of beans to be optimally filled so we managed it in the end – and when it came to filling our second bag we were well prepared with a sleeping toddler and a helpful 3 year old (and it was ridiculously easy!)
All of the above is our personal experience of the Chibebe – if you want some cold hard facts on the comfortability of their baby beanbags, the health benefits for reflux, flathead or Laryngomalacia or to order your own beautiful design or custom made pod then head to their website now!
Chibebe – where have you bean all my life! (sorry about that – I almost made it!)
*we were gifted our Chibebe Beanbags for the purpose of this review – but all opinions and photos are our own.