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Lifehandle review

What is the Lifehandle?

The Lifehandle is a versatile sling that allows you to carry gear, equipment, and even kids with a little more ease. It also has a dog leash attachment for hands-free dog walking.

I was really excited for the chance to review the Lifehandle because I’ve been dealing with some numbness and tingling in my hands from carpal and cubital tunnel syndromes. Life happens, and we all go throw periods where we struggle. But when you’re an outdoorsy mom and can’t pick up kids or gear – it’s a real problem!

Mom and toddler standing in front of a geyser in Yellowstone. Lifehandle strap is on mom, who is using it to hold toddler.

How the Lifehandle works

The Lifehandle is basically a strap, similar to backpack strap, with a handle, carabiner, and loop at the end of it. The main has reflective strips on it which provide some added visibility.

The carabiner on the Lifehandle

The carabiner lets you hook gear to it. I occasionally hooked my water bottle to it for walks, but it can also carry much heavier things like kayaks!

The strap and handle on the Lifehandle

The strap basically acts like an add on shoulder strap to things that are awkward to carry. For example, if you are carrying a heavy duffle bag or reusable grocery bag, instead of slinging it on one shoulder and carrying the weight unevenly, you can put your arm through the bags’ straps and clutch the handle at the bottom of the strap to redistribute the weight to your back. See this picture from their website for an example:

Man is using the Life handle to help hold a blue duffle bag as he walks to the car. His arm is looped through the straps on the duffle bag, and he is holding the handle on the Lifehandle, which is cinched close to his chest.
Photo courtesy of the LifeHandle website

The loop on the Lifehandle

The loop great for kids to hold on to, or also helps redistribute weight. You can use the handle to loop your hand through while picking up heavy gear to help redistribute weight to your back. It’s also nice for kids to hold on to if your hands are full.

What I loved about the Lifehandle:


The Lifehandle sling was super comfortable. It never pinched and distributed weight evenly. When I wasn’t using it to carry anything, I hardly noticed it was there.

Effective way to carry gear

The Lifehandle really did help lugging gear around! I tested it out on both our adult kayak and the kids’ kayaks. It made carrying the kids’ kayak super easy – I just attached it to the carabiner and could carry it hands-free.

Mom is holding a children's green kayak in front of a trail going to a lake. The Lifehandle is hooked to al oop on the kayak, and she is carrying it with one hand.

For my adult size kayak, I definitely felt the weight much more. But while it was still heavy, at least I could transport it myself instead of needing a second person to do it.

Mom is holding an adult, tan kayak. The lifehandle is looped through the handle on the kayak. She is standing in front of a lake.

Whenever we were unloading the car to camp, I threw it on. While you definitely can’t carry everything with it, the Lifehandle did make unloading easier. For things that I couldn’t hook easily onto the carabiner, like my cooler bag for example, I put my arm through the cooler handles and held on to the Lifehandle.

This method mostly distributes the weight to your back. For someone like me who needs help with her wrists, this is great.

Helps with kids who are too old for a carrier, but still want to be carried.

We took a family vacation to Yellowstone, and I forgot my carrier. Miles of walking with a three-year-old and no carrier in site could’ve spelled a ruined vacation. But luckily I had the Lifehandle! Which was actually great for a kid her age who wanted up and down.

Mom and toddler are standing in a pine forest wearing rain gear. Mom has the Lifehandle over one shoulder and is holding the toddler on her waist, with the handle below her bottom. They are looking at each other.

It definitely doesn’t replace a carrier, and she probably was a bit on the larger side for it to be most helpful. But it definitely helped balance the weight so all the strain wasn’t on my wrists for hours at a time.

What I didn’t love about the Lifehandle:

It has taken a little trial and error to figure out what the Lifehandle works for and what it doesn’t. I would be excited if the website provided some more tutorials and examples of how to use it.

I also think maybe a curved handle would be more ergonomical. I found my wrist to be at an awkward angle sometimes still, but still better overall.

Mom and two boys are standing in front of a hot pot in Yellowstone. The Lifehandle is across her chest, but she is not using it to hold anything.

Who Lifehandle best for:

  • Kids who want up and down and don’t want to be constrained by a carrier
  • Toting kayaks and other large gear
  • Parents who have to carry lots of gear (especially by themselves)
  • People with wrist problems or want to carry gear more ergonomically
  • Hands-free dog walking
Mom and toddler are standing in a pine forest wearing rain gear. Mom has the Lifehandle over one shoulder and is holding the toddler on her waist, with the handle below her bottom. They are looking up in the trees.

Do I need a Lifehandle?

I definitely ended up using the Lifehandle plenty this summer when I was lugging gear to and from our campsites, carrying kayaks, and carrying my toddler around. It lived in the back of my trunk, and more than once I used it even just to carry my water bottle when I wanted to hike hands-free.

It was the most helpful for carrying kayaks. If you have dogs, and will get a lot of use out of the leash, and carry a lot of heavy gear camping or doing sports, it’s definitely worth it. I wouldn’t recommend getting it solely to carry kids, but I ended up using it for that plenty.

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