Friday, June 29, 2012

L's First Backpack for EnteraLite Infinity feeding pump

feeding pump backpack, EnteraLite Infinity pump, preschool backpack, feeding tube, special feeding backpack,EnteraLite Infinity Super-Mini Backpack for EnteraLite Feeding Pumps, EnteraLite Infinity Feeding Bag with Attached Pump Set, Zevex Super Mini Backpack For Entralite Inf Pump, Black , Zevex TI-Supermini Backpack, Zevex Super Mini Backpack

L got his feeding tube when he was almost 17 months old and changed to a GJ tube when he was almost 2. Because the GJ tube feeds the intestines (bypasses the stomach) you have to do continuous feeds. We needed a backpack that he could wear for 10 hours during the day. The backpack that came with his feeding tube was huge for him. It was almost as tall as he was so we searched for a backpack that would fit him. We found a super-mini backpack on Amazon that was made for the EnteraLite Infinity pump that L was using. The problem was that it was 80 dollars. We live on one income so that was a lot for one little backpack but L needed it so we scraped some money together and bought this one. We thought the blue and grey was cute and better than just the plain black. At that time there was also a red Hawaiian backpack that hubby thought was too girly. We got the backpack and it fit him perfectly. It took him some time to get his balance adjusted but after a couple days his backpack was a part of him. His little backpack didn't even slow him down. He put it on about 8 am and wore it until around 4 pm when he got to run around without it on for a couple hours before bed. At bedtime we would hang the backpack on the knob of the dresser right next to his crib and his pump would run all night.
L wearing his super mini backpack

L's first day of school wearing his super mini backpack

Fast forward 6 months....His backpack started coming apart at the zipper seam and pulling apart. We were a little disappointed that it had only been 6 months and we were already having to buy another backpack but considering he wore it every day all day long we were okay with getting him another one. We bought a solid black one this time from the same company on Amazon even though the solid black was $100 now. Not even 2 week into wearing the new backpack it started falling apart. We were mad! How could something so expensive that is made by a medical company that knew that kids were wearing this backpack just fall apart after 2 weeks? Well we returned it to that company and after some angry emails we got our money back. Luckily we had a friend whose child had a feeding tube but didn't need the super-mini backpack anymore so she gave it to us. It was amazing at the quality difference between that older one and the one we just returned. It was heavier duty with thicker fabric and the seams were strongly reinforced. It was like the company making the backpacks decreased the quality of the backpack over time while increasing the price. Ridiculous! We also found someone giving away their backpack on Facebook so we had 2 good backpacks and those lasted us until last month. When we looked to see how much the backpacks were currently running we found prices between 75-130 dollars. We decided to try a couple different backpacks and I will tell you about those another day! Here are some pictures of the old backpacks and the good and bad of the super-mini backpack:

The back pack has a front zipper so you can access the pump easily and elastic to hold in place.

You can see that the bag (500ml bag) sits a little above and behind the pump. The location of the pump and bag disperses the weight evenly.

Behind the feeding bag is a little mesh pocket that we use to have our emergency items in case we need them. We keep a 5ml syringe, roll of tape, NG tube, armband (from a hospital admission) with his information on it, extra GT button, drain sponge, and extension tube. Sounds like a lot but it is pretty compact.

The backpack has a "chest" strap that is really helpful for when your stubborn 2 year old gets mad and thinks the way to defy you is to take off his backpack! Even if he gets his arms out of the shoulder straps the chest strap keeps it from falling and possibly pulling out his tube. The problem with this strap is that it is very low and sit right on his GJ tube which can sometime cause irritation. One of the backpacks we got from Facebook had the straps cut off so we had to tie the extra length on the shoulder straps together. He can't get the bag off when we do that so now he will drop his pants. Another story for another time!

The Good:  Velcro strap that fits around the bag and there is a hook for extra support to keep the bag lifted up and prevents lines from getting kinked.

The Bad:  The velcro wears out very fast and most of the time comes undone but the hook keeps it from falling down. The newer bags are a little harder to hook as the holes to hang the bag with are more compact than they used to be and there isn't a really easy spot to clip the hook anymore.
The next two pictures are of the bag that the zipper has fallen apart on. You can see that the thread that holds the zipper to the backpack seam has come undone and the zipper actually separates from the bag. Once the zipper starts separating from the seam it makes it really hard to zip up and usually starts damaging the zipper. At that point there isn't much you can do with the bag. J likes to play with them and put his matchbox cars in them. Both worn out bags are in the toy box! The bag that we returned had issues with the seams. They were poorly sewn and came apart but the zipper was still intact. The only good thing about that was that we were able to use safety pins on the seams until we quickly found a replacement bag.


*Something to remember--always have a back up bag! You never know when you will need it. It always seemed we were on a trip when the bags fell apart.

*Also remember that you can click any of the pictures to see it larger and in more detail!


  1. Take your bags to cobbler to have him sew up the zipper all around when it starts coming apart. It costs me around $4. All is not lost when stitching come loose.

  2. Our zipper just came "unravelled" like that too. He has only had the bag since May. Is that a recurrent problem or has it gotten better?

    1. Yes - the two that we had both did that after just a few months. We posted about our current backpack - it has worked much better for us and cost much less.

  3. If you don't have access to a sewing machine email us at We love his current backpack...even better than the super mini!

  4. Tube Feeding Friends makes high quality backpacks. We love ours and it has lasted us 2 years on continuous GJ feeds.