Travelling can take its toll on our back health in terms of the awkward postures adopted and prolonged sitting in various modes of transport and whilst we wait to travel, lifting and moving luggage, limited exercise and movement as we make our journeys, disruption to restful sleep, challenges with adequate hydration and changes to health eating habits as we cross time zones.
As a physiotherapist, I was delighted to receive the well-respected Gate8 Spine Mate,
to assess and review.
Features I loved:
First impressions of the box as it arrived, brilliantly branded and created excitement to open it!
The bag was surprising lightweight when empty, not always the case with such bags – great to be able to pack more into it within weight restrictions and easier to move, lift and store when empty.
The zip-off laptop bag, with comfortable hand-held handles was fabulous – a number of pockets for organisation and slimline design so it’s not overpacked – you can see and know exactly what you have inside, so carry only what you need, no extra weight being hauled unnecessarily around. I was thinking it could really benefit from a long carry strap to wear the bag across the body and then I found one! Not only that, the over-shoulder strap had metal clips for longevity and extra security when carrying, rather plastic clips which can snap over time – Gate8 has thought of everything :)
The case material was hard but flexible to enable plenty of room for stress-free packing as well as safety of contents.
The long, curved zip fasteners were a very beneficial design – comfortable and easy to grasp for a range of fingers to enable opening and closing of the bag without a struggle
The 360° quality, easy turning wheels were wonderful to see – allowing the SpinMate to be moved without straining in all directions whilst standing upright and walking.
The long, 4 stage telescopic handle locks securely in place at 145cm (floor to top of handle) making it especially beneficial for taller travellers as the SpinMate can be moved easily without stooping.
Supporting information included
I very much liked the yellow and black branding and welcome to #avoidbaggagecheckin and wishing me safe and happy travels ??.
Suggestions to Improve:
Maybe a handle on the side to aid lifting as the single handle is not central (because of the zip and lock) so the bag tips outwards slightly when picked up and is initially a little unstable. This effect can be lessened by packing heaviest items first, so they are closest to the handle side when the bag is carried and its better balanced.
The telescopic handle doesn’t to lock firmly into place at its other stages. Maybe it could at its stages at 92cm (floor to top of handle) and 77cm to fully assist the comfort of a complete range of height users.
Personally, the print on leaflet explaining the other products was so small for 40+ year old eyes, I couldn’t read it. It also seemed only feature pictures of men travelling an which I did find somewhat frustrating.
The “Lock instructions” were inside the locked bag when it arrived, and I had no idea how to open it initially which was a little deflating after the excitement of opening the box.
I Googled how to open the SpinMate, then read the instructions once found rather than looked at the YouTube clip but a good to offer that.
Lorna Taylor, Chartered Physiotherapist
You can find out more about Lorna's practice at http://www.jollyback.com/