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Review for Hugglepod Hangout AND stand (purchase separately)
on March 27, 2013
I gave this to little boy who is 2 1/2 years old for christmas and it was his favorite! He was afraid to go into it for a few days but now, we can't get him out of it. Now for some details:
Overall structure of the hugglepod: I had to tweak it a little bit. The bottom inside of the circle has a metal, ring-shaped frame. It is screwed together in four places. The frame is covered with foam for safety EXCEPT where the 4 screws are placed. I wrapped a small piece of fleece over each screw to prevent injuries. Otherwise the structure of the hugglepod is very sturdy and definitely supports a toddler, but actually supported my 120 pound frame for a brief time as well. Fairly easy to assemble.
Inside base: Soft with a pillow insert (not the inflatable inserts that I have seen on other brands)... BUT the fabric is really scratchy, probably to make it weather resistant. Since we use it indoors, I bought some helicopter fleece and made a small cover for the bottom and tied it to the ring frame. Probably just putting some kind of blanket in there would work, but I didn't want it to move around.
Fabric: It is a strong canvas fabric like you might see on outdoor furniture. I got the green, which is a little bit more of a bright lime that the picture shows. It is a pretty color, but if you are buying for a boy...the blue might look nicer.
Hanging: The huggle pod has a metal ring at the top. It's very strong and can easily accommodate your preferred hanging hardware (not included). We went to the hardware store and bought a metal piece that has two rings that can rotate on top of each other. That way the entire hugglepod can turn without getting twisted on itself. Then we added a spring for some "bounce" and a couple of chain clips and we were ready to go.
The Stand: The stand can be purchased separately or the pod can be hung from a ceiling BEAM or outdoors from a tree, etc. I do not have exposed ceiling beams and elected to get the stand. I am happy with it but I was shocked at the size of it. Make sure you really measure an indoor space before you order this thing. It looks much bigger when you actually get it. The stand allows for the pod to be hung about a foot off of the floor, depending on the hanging hardware used. At this height, the pod can swing a fair amount and can spin as well. With all of the jumping and rough-housing we have seen there has been NO indication that the stand will fall or even wobble at all. It is rock solid. Another note though...being rock solid means weighing about a million pounds. Really, I don't know the weight, but it was hard to assemble and move around because of the weight. Also, the stand only has about 4 pieces for assembly, but you will pull your hair out trying to figure it out. Look at the picture online very carefully to determine how the pieces connect. The hardware is already screwed into the frame but they don't tell you that so you will go crazy looking through the box to find screws. I used a little WD40 on the ends where the metal pipes fit together..definitely helped. Also.. assemble where you will use it. It won't fit through doorways and stairways.
Usage and safety: An older child might hide in there and use an ipad or something but I thing most kids will do what comes naturally-swing, spin, freefall stunts, etc. It says on the package that this was not meant to be a swing and so forth, but let's be realistic. I am an adult and I want to swing on this thing. For this reason, be aware of the exposed screw heads on the inside; be wary of hanging this too high; make sure that the hanging situation is very secure; watch out for the window and door openings-little ones can flip right out.
Overall: Great purchase for kids in a wide age range. Looks like it will last a long time. Sturdy. Must have.