Monday, September 6, 2010
Trabasack Curve Connect: Lap Tray Bag Review
Trabasack makes lap tray bags for use by people with and without disabilities. The product was designed by a person with a disability, which is obvious after a few minutes of use. It's lightweight, has D rings, numerous strap options to carry and grab it, and is oh-so-comfortable on my lap for long periods of time sitting. (That's because it has a removable bean bag on one side and a firm flat surface on top). Most importantly, it's versatile, serving many purposes so I don't have to keep switching items around or carry too much with me.
There are different models, including a smaller mini type commonly used for netbooks and iPads and a larger Curve model, shown above right. These lap tray bags not only provide a surface to work on or have a meal, they also open to store items inside.
I asked for the Trabasack Curve Connect to review. The "connect" feature is all about velcro. I wanted the velcro surface (it also comes in leather) so that I can attach items like my cell phone and iPod touch . All I had to do was put a small piece of velcro on these items and they safely adhere to the Trabasack. I can easily and independently remove them from the surface if I want to use the lap tray to eat or hold my laptop. My dexterity issues make it difficult to find easy ways to keep items at hand without worrying about breaking them when I move around. The Trabasack solves that problem.
I also like the D rings so I can open the Trabasack without asking for help. Inside, there's quite a bit of room to hold papers, notebooks, snacks, books, assistive devices, electronic items or whatever else you need to carry.
I took a photo (at left) of the Trabasack sitting open on a wheelchair to show how far it opens up. As you can see, the large opening makes it simple to get items in and out. Because I have quadriplegia, the bigger the target the better.
Carrying the Trabasack around is easy because it comes with several sets of straps, both long and short. The long ones can be used to carry it like a messenger bag, as a backpack, on the back of a wheelhair or to hold it on your lap. The shorter side straps can be attached to the arms of a wheelchair. I'm using the long straps to put it on the back of my wheelchairs. You can see it on the back of a manual wheelchair in the photo.
I've used the Trabasack for several days now. The first day I decided to try out my 14 inch laptop on it, although I initially intended to just use the tray to hold smaller electronic items. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my laptop fit. The bean bag bottom of the tray and the curve shape conformed to my lap and it was a comfortable setup . Because it's so light and had no slippery surfaces, I can independently get it on and off my lap, unlike other laptop holders I've tried to use which require assistance.
I'm also using the Trabasack as a lap tray for meals. It's washable (it comes with instructions). I eat off of a plastic tray so I just place that on top of the Trabasack. It's a far more comfortable way to eat since the beanbag acts as a cushion and levels the tray.
Another feature I like is that there are so many ways to grab the Trabasack when I need it. I sometimes struggle to set things up due to their weight and slippery surfaces when no one is around to help. With the Trabasack, it's so light that I've experienced no discomfort lifting it. I can use a reacher on the smaller handles or slip my forearm through the larger straps to grab it, drop it on my lap and get right to work again. There's no danger of injuring myself since it's soft and light.
So many times I've bought products that don't travel well. The great thing with the Trabasack is that it holds items while you travel instead of becoming another piece of equipment you have to lug along.
I recommend The Trabasack for anyone - disabled or not- looking for a work or leisure surface at home or on the go. For me it's a practical solution but I really like that it's fashionable too.
The Trabasack is available for sale at this site.
[Full disclosure under FTC guidelines: I received a free Trabasack Curve Connect to review.]