One of my many dilemmas has been how to manage the work/life balance to try and ensure some sense of perspective and promote my own health and #wellbeing.
I have tried to ensure that I run from school to various stations on my commute home, depending on how far I wanted to run. A short but quick 2.5km across Clapham Common to Clapham Junction, or a slightly longer 4km or 5km to Earlsfield or a longer 7km to Wimbledon. This was equally an issue when cycling in and out of school!
The problem, up until now has always been the logistical planning to make this happen, transferring suits and multiple shirts & tie combinations (pre picked by my wife to avoid horrendous clashes - as I struggle with colour blindness!) in and out of school, whilst remembering which items of clothing I have left where. The net effect hasn't been one of wellbeing but rather increased stress trying to work it all out.
That is, until I discovered the Henty Wingman Backpack, which has been a complete game changer. I naturally did some extensive research and following some great advice from Melissa the UK distributor, I made a purchase; it isn't cheap at £155 but then what is? but then running back packs aren't and I wanted to carry a suit etc (Melissa kindly offered a discount on the basis that I would review honestly and share on the Relentless Optimism blog - Melissa has extended the 15% discount for anyone using the code RO15 at the checkout until the 31st October).
The concept is simple. The Wingman is essentially a reinforced, light weight suit carrier that rolls around a waterproof inner tube insert, to keep suits, shirts & dresses crease free in transit. The origins of the design come from a cycling heritage but the back pack works with my runs now into and home from school.
This has been a revelation for me! I am now able to transport, daily, suit, shirt and tie in the carrier bit, my shoes, towel, wash stuff etc in the inner tube bag, as well as my reading book, keys etc in the backpack laptop pocket and know that when I take it out at school everything is completely crease free!
When running, the bag is comfortable (certainly as comfortable as any running backpack is) and I personally didn't find it too heavy. The shoulder straps and waist strap are completely adjustable and offer a secure anchoring. There isn't a great deal of bounce when running and everything stayed where is was supposed to. The velcro outer taps and clips keep the bag secure and it is weather proof - I used it on its first outing in a horrendous downpour and everything remained dry! In other reviews, reviewers noted that it was warm running with the Wingman but I didn't find it any warmer than other back packs.
You do need to pack the inner tube carefully, I tended to follow the advice in the video below and ensure that the tube was tightly secured by the wrap around bag and 2 securing clips - on my second outing with the Wingman the inner tube slipped down, I had to readjust and then off I went again. I do agree with the Road CC review that the more you put in the Wingman inner tube the better - not only from a comfort point of view but also in the crease reduction! My only 'Even Better If' comment is that it would be nice to have some kind of pocket on the waist belt for mobile phone and travel card - otherwise it's perfect!