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iSAFE Backpack Review by Heidi Strawser

Inventive Concepts International, LLC
1200 Kirk Street
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

As the mother of a very shy 10-year-old girl, I often worry for her safety when she's not within my direct range of vision. As she gets older, I know I'll need to allow her a bit more freedom. So, I was excited to see the iSafe backpacks and bags. These products look like ordinary backpacks and bags, but they're not--they contain an alarm system that can be activated by simply pulling a hidden cord!

The product that we received to review is the iSafe School Backpack in pink. It's got gray and black accents and is made of a very durable nylon material. The shoulder straps contain reflectors for additional security at night; they are also padded and shaped in such a way to make them more comfortable. There is also a foam pad in the back section of the backpack to make it more comfortable and easy on the back. There is a large compartment on the front and two mesh pockets on the side.

This particular backpack is designed for ages 8 and up. It is somewhat heavy, so I can see why it would not be suitable to younger and smaller children. (The exact weight of the backpack, including the batteries, is 2.3 pounds.) The dimensions are 17" by 11.5" by 9". It sells for $69.99 and is also available in blue (a light sky blue color, with gray and black accents) and solid black.

Other products available through iSafe include messenger bags, laptop backpacks, and sling backpacks. iSafe offers a very generous exchange policy; if you purchase an iSafe product and it becomes old or boring to you, you can replace it with a new one (any style and color of your choice) at a savings of up to 50%. The reason for this is because you will not need to replace the alarm system, which is designed to last for years. You can just fit it into your new product.

The iSafe flier that came with the backpack says that these products are designed to "STOP bullies in their tracks, provide PROTECTION for latch key kids, and provide SECURITY from strangers." It also says that "in a split second you can activate two high powered siren signals and a high intensity strobe light simultaneously, to attract immediate help to a harmful or crisis situation." I was not aware that the batteries were included in the product when we received it. I wanted to demonstrate to my daughter exactly how to activate the alarm system in the event of an emergency. Boy, were we in for a huge surprise! The alarm is extremely loud and could actually cause damage to the ears if listened to for very long. With that being said, I want to make it very clear that this is not a toy, nor is the alarm system to be taken lightly. Children should be taught to use the alarm only during a threatening situation.

iSafe products are not just for children. I would recommend them for anyone in your life who has to be out and about on his own. Teens, college students, working professionals, single moms, and seniors would benefit from these bags.

Product review by Heidi Strawser, Special Projects Manager, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2011