2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW

Ultralight by child carrier standards, the Sherpani Rumba Superlight child carrier offers advanced features and a comfortable ride.

Overall Rating: Above Average

The Sherpani Rumba Superlight is among the lightest child carriers on the market. It has a stable and secure child harness system, an integrated sun/rain cover, and enough storage space to handle overnight trips with ultralight gear. This carrier could be moved into the "Recommended" category if the manufacturer replaced the perforated foam in the shoulder straps with something more comfortable and dropped enough weight from the product to meet their claimed spec.

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by Doug Johnson |

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW

Introduction

At 5 pounds 14 ounces with the sun/rain cover, the Sherpani Rumba Superlight is among the lightest framed child carriers with additional storage capacity on the market. In addition, it has many features that make it good for both day hikes and multi-day trips.

What’s Good

  • 5-point child harness is comfortable and secure
  • Framed pack carries up to 45 pounds with reasonable comfort
  • Baby stirrups increase leg circulation and help get out the “wiggles”
  • Self supporting for easy loading and unloading
  • 1500 cubic inch pack bag, large outside mesh pocket, and lash points provide sufficient storage for ultralight backpacking
  • Topper installs easily, provides good sun protection, and includes an attached rain cover for downpours

What’s Not So Good

  • Perforated shoulder straps fold and pinch after extended usage, causing discomfort
  • Raincover doesn’t protect child’s arms and legs
  • A full ¾ pound heavier than the manufacturer’s claim weight
  • At 5 pounds 14.1 ounces with the topper, it’s still not an ultralight pack (but it’s still among the lightest on the market)

Specifications

Year/Model

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight

  Style

External frame child carrier

  Volume (pack bag)

1500 ci (24.6 L)

  Weight

Measured weight: carrier only: 5 lbs 4.0 oz (2.38 kg); manufacturer’s specification 4 lbs 8 oz (2.04 kg); Topper with attached rain cover: 10.1oz (.29 kg); Total weight: 5 lbs 14.1 oz (2.67 kg)

  Fabrics

“Ultra-light fabric (rip stop nylon) with Ballistics fabric reinforcement,” aluminum frame

  Features

Lower zippered storage compartment, upper mesh outer pocket, padded 5 point child harness, Topper sunshade attached rain cover, padded shoulder straps and waist belt with perforated foam, baby stirrups for increased leg circulation, self-standing for easy child loading

  Comfortable Load Carrying Capacity

45 pounds (20.4 kg) estimated maximum comfortable load an average person can carry all day in this pack

  Carry Load to Pack Weight Ratio

7.6 (based on a 45 lb load and measured weight of 5.89 lb)

  MSRP

$165.95

  Options

Protective storage cover for Topper (included): 1.5 oz (43 g)

Performance

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 1
The Rumba Superlight provides a safe, comfortable ride for an infant and also provides 1500 ci of storage. My son Henry loves this pack!

The Sherpani Rumba Superlight has sufficient storage for day hikes and ultralight family backpacking trips. While at 5 pounds 14 ounces it might be heavy by ultralight backpacking standards, it’s among the lightest framed child carriers on the market.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 2
The 5 point chest plate harness is very secure, and is adjustable for a wide range of sizes and weights.

The heart of the Rumba Superlight is its child harness system. This consists of a foam chest plate and 5-point retention system. It adjusts up and down in the carrier with Velcro in the back and a strap in the front to accommodate children of different sizes and ages. To secure a child you drop him/her into the seat, attach three quick release buckles (two on the shoulders and one on the right side - the left is adjustable without a quick release buckle), and tighten the harness. You then tighten the outer compressions straps to pull the child closer to your back.

The harness is easy to use and is very secure. No matter the angle I held the pack at, my son had no chance of falling out. We used the pack starting at 4 months old (about 14 pounds) and will continue to use it far beyond his current age of 15 months (about 21 pounds). There is still a large amount of growing room in the pack due to the adjustable sizing.

With its comfortable padding, our son Henry has always enjoyed riding in the Sherpani pack. He talks and giggles while riding in the pack and often gets upset when we take him out after short hikes. Obviously, the Rumba Superlight delivers a comfortable ride.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 3
The unique stirrups allow a toddler to partially support his/her own weight, increasing circulation and making the ride more active.

A unique feature of the Sherpani child carrier is its set of Baby Stirrups. These are small nylon pouches at the lower sides of the pack that have vertical sliding adjustments for kids of different heights. The foot goes inside the stirrup and is held in place with an elastic cord and toggle. The stirrups allow the child to support part of his/her weight in the pack rather than simply leaving the legs hanging. According to Sherpani this increases circulation and I certainly noticed that Henry enjoyed using them; while I walked, Henry would often push up on the stirrups to get the wiggles out.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 4
The Topper has an attached rain cover that kept Henry’s core dry but allowed his arms and legs to get wet.

For sunny days, the Topper attaches quickly to the pack by sliding long rods into vertical pockets on the pack and attaching quick releases in the front. This provides good shade for sunny days, although we often used a sunhat and sunblock as well. A zippered pocket at the back of the Topper conceals a rain cover; the rain cover gives waterproof coverage over the Topper, additional rain coverage in front, and clear plastic windows on the sides that secure to the pack with Velcro.

While the Topper with rain cover kept our son’s head and core dry in heavy rains, it doesn’t protect the child’s arms or legs. While full coverage rain covers are available for carriers from Macpac and Vaude, a cover of this sort is not available from Sherpani. Instead, we supplemented with an umbrella and put on his rain pants.

When not in use, the Topper easily stores in a zippered lower pocket.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 5
The carrier’s aluminum frame provides support and is self-standing while folding flat for transport.

The frame of the Sherpani Rumba Superlight is made of aluminum plate. This frame, along with the plastic backpanel, is reasonably comfortable for loads up to 45 pounds (Sherpani claims a 55 pound rating). The frame folds flat for easy transport and also provides a stable base for loading and unloading the child.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 6
The self-standing feature is a real benefit, making breaks and loading easier and even providing Henry’s favorite backcountry spot for napping.

We found the self-standing frame to be indispensable when using the carrier. While non-framed carriers are difficult to load with one person, the Sherpani is easy to manage by yourself. During breaks, we often prop the carrier against a tree instead of removing our son and when he falls asleep while hiking (a common occurrence) we can let him continue sleeping upright in the carrier. However, you want to be careful when leaving the carrier upright - it is not perfectly stable and can fall over.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 7
The carrier’s molded closed cell foam backpanel is further reinforced with plastic reinforcement sheet.

The backpanel is molded foam and is reinforced with a removable plastic sheet. The waist belt is 4 inches wide and has stabilizer straps. It is sized well for larger hikers but at its smallest adjustment was a bit loose for my wife. The shoulder straps are 2 ° inches wide, have load lifters, and are contoured for a comfortable fit for both men and women.

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW - 8
The perforated foam shoulder straps (left - exterior) result in folds and creases in the foam after extended use (right - interior).

While the width and adjustability of the shoulder straps and waist belt are fine, Sherpani chose to use perforated high density foam in these items. The perforations may increase breathability somewhat, but they caused the foam to fold and pinch the shoulders to an uncomfortably extent. This foam is the weak point in an otherwise excellent suspension system; it lowered the maximum weight capacity significantly and made long days with a fully-loaded pack uncomfortable.

At $165.95, the Sherpani Rumba Superlight is a good value for a child carrier with this weight and feature set. It is secure, comfortable (especially for the child), and is quite durable. We used it over many months for day hikes, multi-day backpacks, and numerous trips around the neighborhood and it’s shown virtually no wear. I’m sure it will easily last through another child as well.

What’s Unique

The Sherpani Rumba Superlight is not exactly “superlight” but is definitely lightweight by child carrier standards. It is secure, adjusts for a wide array of child sizes and weights, offers stirrups to increase comfort and circulation, and has adequate storage space for adventures of many sizes.

Recommendations for Improvement

The Rumba Superlight is an excellent child carrier overall. However, I can offer the following recommendations for improving the pack:

1. Get rid of the perforated foam and use standard non-perforated foam, especially for the shoulder straps. This will increase the load capacity and make the pack much more comfortable during long days on the trail.

2. Offer a full-coverage rain fly. While we usually hike in fair weather with our son, rain is sometimes inevitable. Having a lightweight full-coverage rain cover would be a great option.

3. Carefully select lighter materials to get the pack closer to the claimed manufacturer weight of 4 pounds 8 ounces (that would be a 12 ounce diet).


Citation

"2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW," by Doug Johnson . BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/2007_sherpani_rumba_superlight_child_carrier_review.html, 2007-08-08 03:00:00-06.

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2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW
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Kenneth Knight
(kenknight) - MLife

Locale: SE Michigan
2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW on 08/07/2007 23:40:13 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

2007 Sherpani Rumba Superlight Child Carrier REVIEW

Roman Vazhnov
(joarr) - MLife

Locale: Russia
maximum weight on 03/31/2011 09:11:04 MDT Print View

What is acceptable maximum child's weight\height\age for this carrier?