The Freeloader is a child carrier created by two firefighter dads, Erick Jansen and Nathan Jones. The idea came to Jensen while he was on a family trip in Paris, where his then 4-year-old daughter got tired of all the walking halfway through their day. Jensen wanted an easy-to-use child carrier that would help families, both adults and children, have adventures and fun throughout the day.
He wanted a child carrier that was light in weight, easily carryable and transportable, portable, comfortable, and, of course, safe. Something that would allow children along with their parents to love and enjoy the outdoors. The existing child carriers he would find were always lacking in some way – sometimes too heavy, uncomfortable for the parents or the children, unsafe, or just not transportable or portable. This was the inspiration for the Freeloader!
What is The Freeloader?
The Freeloader is a child carrier that is lightweight, portable, and comfortable for both the parents and the children; all in all, perfect for family outings, hikes, and adventures! The Freeloader has a lot of features that parents will love – a 5-point harness for safety and to spread out the weight, padding to make the children comfortable, stirrups, so parents don’t get constantly kicked as they walk, incredibly portable, and high-quality. Designed for parents who love living an active lifestyle!
Co-founders Erick Jansen and Nathan Jones appeared on Shark Tank looking for a $200,000 investment, offering a 15% stake in the business. They explained the problems faced by parents trying to travel/walk/adventure with their kids and how their child carrier can help. They also provide details on how much weight the carrier can carry.
Robert is interested and goes up to try on the carrier. He finds it comfortable and states that he is interested and questions their sales. Lori is next but is concerned about the weight of the carrier. Erick explains that the Freeloader is actually 2 pounds lighter than your average child carrier.
Mark is the first to walk away from the deal, stating they should invest more into testing instead of bringing the carrier into the market. Barbara follows right behind Mark, saying the product won’t be a success without a demonstration and that the product is useful to parents only for a short time in their lives. Lori is next to let go of the deal as she worries about the safety of the product and is concerned about liability issues. Mr. Wonderful also backs out, agreeing with Mark Cuban and stating it is too early to release.
Robert remains interested but wants more of a partnership than equity, saying that this product requires a whole journey together. Robert offers the pair a $200,000 investment for a 33% equity. Jansen and Jones agree to Robert Herjavec’s deal.
After the episode aired, the deal between the pair and Robert never closed. The pair weren’t willing to give up double of what they were offering initially. However, the Freeloader continued on, received investments from other sources, and has since seen a lot of success. They improved on their product, even expanded into carriers for special-needs children, and are continuing to find success.
Our Review of the Freeloader
The Freeloader child carrier is different from the usual child carriers you find. They aren’t made for small babies but are more directed towards toddlers – Kids who are at the stage of being too big or heavy to carry normally but still too small to hold their own on long walks and adventures.
The Freeloader is very compact in size and light in weight, making it very portable and easy to carry with you on any adventure you want. It easily folds up when not in use and can be placed in most luggage cases without taking up too much space.
It is also well-designed and of high quality. It is designed in a way to be open – allowing children to experience the outdoors and feel the wind on their adventures. It is also designed to be safe with its five-point harness. The five-point harness doesn’t just help the child fit snuggly and safely, but it also helps make carrying easier for the parents as it helps spread the weight of the child evenly.
Prof of Freeloader
- Lightweight: The Freeloader weighs in at just 2.6 kg
- Compact Size: The small size is great. The foldable seat also makes walking easy when the child isn’t in the carrier
- Straps and Handles: The shoulder straps feature handles for the children to hold on to. This adds to the comfort of the children. Stirrups for the children’s feet also add comfort for the child and also for the parent as they don’t get kicked while walking
- High Weight Limit: The weight limit of the Freeloader is 80lbs
- Durable: The carrier is well-designed, well-made, and of high quality. It can withstand a lot of wear and tear
Cons of Freeloader
- Getting children into the Freeloader requires two people when the carrier is already strapped.
- The Freeloader comes in 3 sizes, small, medium, and large. This is on our ‘cons’ list as it is incompatible if both parents are of different heights or sizes.
- The Freeloader lacks storage. Only provides a single storage pouch enough for keys, a wallet, and a phone.
Who is Freeloader for?
The Freeloader is for parents who like to live an outdoor and adventurous life and want to take their children with them. Anyone looking to provide their toddlers with outdoor experiences will love the Freeloader.
Are There Any Alternatives?
Yes, there are hundreds of alternatives available in the market today. LittleLife, Deuter, Osprey, and Kelty are just some brands offering various child carriers for outdoor activities.
Our Final Thoughts
Overall, the Freeloader is a must-have for parents who prefer the outdoors and would like their children to come on their adventures with them. If you have a toddler who loves the outdoors but usually gets tired halfway through your walks or hikes, the Freeloader is perfect for you. Comfortable for both parents and children, easy to carry and transport, and will help you and your children explore the vast outdoors together!