Review: Little Life Frog Swimpak and Ultralight Dinosaur poncho towel

I wrote a few weeks ago about LittleLife’s Tiny Test team, asking for parents to join them as reviewers of some of the new products. And as an honorary member of the panel, I also got sent a couple of products to try out ourselves.

And arriving just in time for our holiday on the Isles of Scilly and many planned trips to the beach, the Frog SwimPak and the Ultralight Poncho Towel turned up on cue.


With Butterfly, Ladybird, Dinosaur, Clownfish and Bee options available, we went for the dinosaur as that’s a current mini obsession. Unpacking the brown towel, Minnie delighted exclaimed it was a Gruffalo – although after pointing out its prickles were red rather than purple, we settled on a stegosaurus. Either way, into the suitcase it went.

Minnie has tried various kids daypacks or mini rucksacks in the past, although now she’s three, there’s actually a chance she’ll wear them for more than about 30 seconds before getting bored and giving it back to me.

And this time she was thrilled about the idea of having her ‘own’ bag to take with us (and I was quite pleased to be able to stick her stickers, travel activity cards, some small animals, neck pillow, headphones and probably a few other things inside.

The frog has an impressive amount of room inside – up to 10 litres, so we could fit plenty on trips to the beach as well without it actually being too heavy. The rucksack straps adjust to even a petite three-year-old, and there’s a separate zip pocket, which came in handy.

girl-littlelife-frog-swimpak-bagThe top rolls shut, and then two separate buckles clip shut down the side. Unlike other similar designs, where there’s one buckle which clips on the top, and which has a tendency to unfurl if you hold it wrong, this kept everything very secure. It’s water resistant as well, which was useful for swimming kit.

About the only downside was the froggy feet which tended to stick out beyond her little frame so it’s not as streamlined as other similar daypacks. We got more than a few envious glances from other kids in Scilly (mostly carrying their own animal, but evidently coveting the frog).

At £19.99, the price is the same as other similar products and it’s the usual good LittleLife quality.


But if we liked the frog, we loved the dinosaur. Minnie treated it like fancy dress while we were at home, and I practically had to sneak it into the suitcase when she wasn’t looking – where it rolled up nice and small.

We were given a great poncho towel when she was a baby, which was fluffily perfect for snuggling her up after swimming. It’s still snuggly but not quite so practical to dry her any more, and is as bulky as any normal towel.

This, on the other hand, dries up to eight times faster than standard towels thanks to a special softfibre fabric, and can absorb up to nine times its own weight in water – although we didn’t test that bit. It is nice and soft, almost felty, and is rated SPF50+ which is ideal on the beach.

Another nice touch is having poppers under the arms which make it a little outfit if you want. With two sizes (small for one to three and medium for three plus), the larger one still didn’t swamp Minnie but was great for keeping her covered and dry.

girl-littlelife-dinosaur-poncho-beachAfter putting it on after a paddle, it did a great job of drying her wet swimming clothes and kept her warm sitting in the buggy. I’ve had travel towels before which are about as much use as a banana but this one worked.

And if the frog got envious glances, the dinosaur was the talk of St Martin’s – I lost count of the number of people who commented on how cute she/it looked, or on the fact I was pushing a miniature dinosaur along. It’s cheaper too, at £14.99-£16.99 depending which size you get.

Minnie even insisted I call her steggie at one point, in the towel’s honour. Honestly? It is incredibly cute – the fact it works brilliantly is a bonus. This one is definitely coming with us next time we’re near a beach or pool.

Disclosure: Both items were sent to me for the purposes of review. All opinions and miniature stegosauruses are my own.

Images copyright MummyTravels/Cathy Winston