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Pak O' Bird Carrier (my in depth review)


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I recently purchased the Pak O'Bird carrier, by Celltei, for my congo african grey parrot 'Alexander' because I wanted a backpack style carrier to take him around in for car trips and all day walks &, and hikes. I needed something portable, lightweight, and above all, safe, comfortable, and adequately roomy to take him just about anywhere and everywhere I travel. I was impressed with the pics I saw of it on the Celltei Website, but wasn't sure which size best suited for Alexander, as the website suggests either "medium'($169 US) or the considerably more expensive custom designed one for a larger 'congo' grey size ($239 US). I called Celltei and spoke with the Pak O'Bird designer herself, Angie Yeung, and she was very friendly and helpful, asking me about my bird including his weight and length (tip of tail to top of head) measurement. After giving her these details (410 gm/12.2" length), she recommended the $169 Standard Medium with Stainless Steel Mesh for Alexander. That came as a nice relief as the larger 'congo grey' version costs $70 more. She also told me that the exterior & interior dimensions of both carriers are identical and that the only difference made to accomodate 'larger congo greys' was the perch positioned back further to allow more headroom in front. The Pak O' Bird carrier is available in "olive green" or "yellow" but having seen the yellow one in person, I chose olive green because it seemed a more eco friendly looking color.

 

Because of Celltei's limited production runs to ensure good quality control, I had to wait 2 weeks for my PakO'Bird to arrive. What surprised & impressed me during my 2 week wait was receiving a pic (from Angie) showing my Pak O'Bird carrier at the current point of its production cycle. OK! Fast forward to the day of it's arrival.

 

The Pak O' Bird arrived folded almost totally flat in a box. I was anxious to get it put together so forgot to read the enclosed setup instructions. That said, I was able to set it up in 4 minutes because everything was so self explanatary. The first thing I noticed was the EXCELLENT quality materials & stitching, and attention to detail paid in every aspect. The carrier has fine stainless steel mesh on all FOUR sides which allows the bird to easily see out without feeling confined. It also includes metal rings attached to the interior top four corners of the pack to hang toys from, and 2 stainless cups/holders. The bottom of the carrier has a removable thick plastic vinyl sheet that secures with velcro. You can then place a couple of sheets of papertowel on top to catch droppings/debris. The bottom of the carrier easily unzips allowing the bottom to drop down for convenient cleanup, which only takes a couple of minutes. For added privacy, the Pak O'Bird also includes roll up side windows and and an additional drop down panel to cover the front steel mesh area as well. Other features I appreciated right off is the included natural dragonwood perch, aluminum stabilization bar at bottom and along top to provide added carrier stability and shape. In addition, the carrier includes straps to carry it either: on your back, or in front, as well as a shoulder strap for carrying it on one shoulder. There are also belt loops on the back for securing it with your automobile's seatbelts to the seat of your car.

 

Ok, it's time to get to the most important thing, whether Alexander will like or at least accept the Pak O'Bird. When he first saw it he definitely wasn't willing to sit even near it, forget about going inside. I decided I would need to acclimate it to him slowly so first placed the carrier about 5 feet away from his perch stand for a an hour, and then slowly moved it closer as he became more comfortable. A few hours later, I hung his favorite toy inside. I then had Alexander step up on my hand and placed him closer to the carrier and rewarding him for his calm demeanor at each step. If he became nervous, I'd move him a feel inches further away until he became relaxed again. By the next day, he was timidly stepping up on his own onto the carrier's perch, and by the end of the day, happyily plaing with his favorite toy inside. By the 3rd day, he was stepping in and out of the carrier whenever I asked him to and eager to take his first Pak O'Bird outdoor adventure.

 

As I mentioned earlier, the Pak O'Bird has 3 carrying options: shoulder, in front, and on your back. I quickly discovered that attempting to carry Alexander around on my back not the best option because the kind of movement created when walking made it difficult for him to stay on the perch very easily. That said, Alexander has no problem at all riding comfortably on the perch when the Pak is secured by the shoulder straps in front of me at chest level or on my side using the shoulder strap. Because the pak is so LIGHTWEIGHT (I can hold it up by its carrying strap with only ONE finger!) there's barely a noticeable inconvenience to take him with me walking along the sidewalk or on trails. In addition Alexander's easily able to see clearly thru the mesh on all four sides. I confirmed this by sticking my head inside the pack, and similar to a home window screen, able to see out pretty well. In my car, I found a perfect spot in the back seat to position and secure the Pak O'Bird with the shoulder straps attached to the back of the arm rests, offering him a view of not only the direction traveled (windshield) but side and back window views as well. He really enjoys watching the passing scenery, playing with his toy, eating from his seed cups, and whistling and chattering along the way as well. When I arrive at our destination, I can quickly unzip the the front mesh allowing him come out and hang out with me.

 

One big inital concern I had with getting a nylon backpack style carrier was whether alexander would eventually chew it up. So far, he's shown little or no interest in chewing it or its stainless steel mesh. I believe the Pak's design and construction contributes to this, as plastic panels are used to hide and prevent access to zippers or other possible vulnerable chewable areas. That said, I suspect a heavy chewer parrot (like a cockatoo) might eventually chew up the Pak O'Bird, at least the nylon fabric portion, but Alexander remains content to play and chew on his playtoy instead (fingers crossed). He's never been a heavy chewer afterall, prefering puzzle toys instead.

 

At home, I take the Pak O'Bird carrier outside and suspend it from the arbor awning (via the carrying strap) above my back deck so Alexander can enjoy the fresh air, plants, trees and wild birds nearby. In conclusion, I think the Pak O'Bird has greatly enhanced Alexander's exposure to & enjoyment of the world around him. I highly recommend the Pak O'Bird carrier to African Grey owners. Here are some pics of Alexander enjoying his Pak O' Bird Carrier: :)

 

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08082009-040.jpg<br><br>Post edited by: ScottY, at: 2009/08/16 09:17

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Scott, thanks for a very comprehensive review of Alexanders carrier.<br><br>Post edited by: she, at: 2009/08/16 20:07

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Thank you Scott for taking the time to give us this great review. I love your pictures of Alexander in his new pack. He looks very relaxed. Karma to you for taking the time to review and post your findings! I am interested in knowing how things go the second time out.

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That is a wonderful review Scotty! It makes me want to go out and buy one for Ecko lol. Alexander looks great in the Pak O'Bird Carrier and I bet he had a great time on his adventure. I hope to hear an update on his next outing. Great pics by the way! ;)

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Wow I really like this....I've emailed FlyingSouth who is handling my delayed order of the Adventure Pack. If it hasn't shipped yet I'm going to ask them to cancel my order and refund my money so that I can buy this instead!!

 

GreYt info!!!

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GreYt review scotty.

 

In my experience with the pak-o-bird over the last year, your are spot on. :-)

 

The only thing I might add to the chewing part, is Dayo loves zippers and the handles. So when he is out and we have the carrier out as well. He will chew on them. So we have to really pay attention and place the pack somewhere out of his sight.

 

It took him about the same time, 3 days to comfortably get into it. We left it out in his favorite play area when we first received it for him to get used to it as just becoming a "Normal" item.

 

Thanks and Karma to you for this!! :-)

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  • 2 years later...

Just seeing this now, but thank you so much for posting such a thorough review, and pictures! Neo is very finicky, and he hates the travel cage we have now. :):):)

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in your pics the front looks open. is it? or is there some type of barrier that looks invisible in the photos?

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The front flap is open and folded back across the top in all of those pictures. It comes down and zips closed.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is the best review I've seen for this carrier yet. I've been thinking about purchasing it, but hesitating due to the cost.... and wondering if it will be worth it. Reading your review has confirmed that it will be suitable for exactly what I need.

 

I did see another review that mentioned replacing the dragon wood perch with a rope perch, and that has helped birds to hang on better..... might help it to work better as a backpack.

 

Thank you for sharing!!!

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My Grey has had no issues holding on to the dragonwood perch. Going with a rope perch, you will have to be careful what kind you order so that it will bolt on rather than be the typical rope perch that has the plastic knobs that screw on to attach to a cage. The Pak O Bird has grommeted holes on each side for the perch to be bolted on.

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