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Child carrier options?
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David Poston
(dgposton) - F

Locale: Texas / Colorado
Child carrier options? on 07/21/2011 10:10:00 MDT Print View

My wife and I are wanting to do some dayhiking and an overnight trip in Colorado sometime in early to mid August. Our daughter (one and only) will be 1 year old in about a week. She weighs somewhere around 20 lbs. Any suggestions on what to look for in child carriers? My wife is a pretty small person, around 5'2" and 110 lbs.

We used to be avid backpackers but have been out of the scene for the last couple years due to my wife's pregnancy and are trying to figure out ways to get back in. Unfortunately, she's not to the age where we feel comfortable leaving her with someone else overnight.

Edited by dgposton on 07/21/2011 10:10:32 MDT.

Andrew Jorgensen
(PastPrimitive) - F
Child Carriers on 07/21/2011 10:49:09 MDT Print View

I found this very helpful.
For non-hiking use I got a frameless carrier that I could wear on my front or back, but the weight ended up on my shoulders rather than my hips. Not fun. Definitely make sure she tries on any one you're looking at buying to see how she carries the weight and if she can get it on and off easily.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Child carrier options? on 07/21/2011 11:28:55 MDT Print View

While the Deuter line is heavy - no way around that - it also is the best on the market. The weight buys a lot of suspension.

I use a Deuter KidComfort III for Walker, who will be 16 months this week and is a very tall, very robust boy.

While you can use carriers like the Ergo for smaller 1 year olders they are not so easy after a certain point - and the child tends to get sweatier against a parent - not great in summer.

Whatever you do get - and do try on as many as you can - make sure that the baby is well supported in the crotch area. Again, this is one reason I got the DKCIII as it has a seat for the baby, not a butt sling.

Also, certain brands are not so great for shorter women - so again, try and try on.

This is one blog post I did about my experiences with Walker this past year: There is also quite a bit more I have written there on my experiences. (It is my personal blog)

With my older son I had an awful late 90's Kelty pack. Owwwww....that thing was painful!

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
new carriers from osprey on 07/21/2011 14:37:38 MDT Print View

I was leaning towards the sherpani rumba superlight (the definition of "superlight" for baby carriers take on a whole new meaning...), but recently learned that osprey has a brand new carrier coming along , but now sure exactly when the product will be available. i really like osprey packs and hoping to get their carrier, so i'll wait and will just use our frameless carriers for now (the son is 6.5 months old). i definitely agree it's not an optimal solution, the baby does get very hot inside it and there is a question on how to carry the rest of the gear for the person who's carrying the baby.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
Poco by Osprey on 07/21/2011 15:18:56 MDT Print View

Ok, just talked to Osprey, and the new packs are expected to hit retail stores in mid January. The Poco series will feature three packs, with the lightest of them at 5 pounds 7 ounces. I don't have any information on other features, such as storage, but here is the basic description of these packs from the OutDoor fair in Germany where they were first introduced:

Poco - Osprey’s new, highly innovative Child Carrier

Light on the back, comfortable to wear, and containing clever safety features: Osprey’s new child carrier is launched after three years of innovative development. With a height-adjustable saddle, ventilated and fast-adjustable backsystem, harness and hipbelt, the Poco demonstrates high comfort. Thanks to the rounded Aluminium Frames with a lockable base containing injection moulded hinges, the free stand is stable and safe.

In comparison, Sherpani states the weight is 4 pounds 12 ounces, which i think can be reduced further by removing the useless straps for legs and the roof.

Deuter Comfort II is 6 pnds 1 oz.

Interestingly, I also found another baby carrier on the OutDoor's product list, called VAUDE Child Carrier Wallaby:
Ultralight and Earth-friendly VAUDE Child Carrier Wallaby - bluesign approved
The world’s first child carrier according the bluesign® standard is a masterpiece in
design and technology. The new VAUDE Wallaby combines stability at a very low
weight (1.8 kg), with secure performance and ecological materials. All components
have been tested for maximal safety according to the bluesign® standard – safe for
both carrier and child. The support base locks securely into place and can be folded in.

i would go with this last one if only they were available in the US!

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Re: Child carrier options? on 07/21/2011 15:39:05 MDT Print View

One thing to add....the sun shade on the Deuter III actually works unlike most of the kid carrier covers.

And Deuter is the only one out there to make a fully functioning rain cover that fits the III and the II if you have the add on sun roof.

Vaude is a good company as well. Sherpani is comfy but they lost my business and here is why:
When Walker was old enough to move up I bought one of the new Sherpani Rumba 2011 packs for him. I was totally excited - I got it, it fit me great, rode well and Walker was happy. Until I started looking over the pack and realized that the new pack had defects! The back backpack that is touted as carrying "x" amount of gear is pretty much useless - it hangs on with two tiny toggles/elastic and 2 worthless pieces of Velcro. You cannot put anything heavy in the bag! Anyhow, one toggle wasn't even sewn onto the pack! I contacted Sherpani to ask if they would warranty it and all I got was "return it to the store". Jeez! That wasn't cool. That meant there was no real warranty on it. So I sent it back and that was when I got the Deuter.

So no matter what pack anyone buys look at the storage. Does the pack sag? Often the main area for storage is under the baby - it shouldn't hang weird when full - some packs do. If the other storage is on the back of the pack make sure it won't sway or pull away. Some packs have zip on ones so supposedly the baby can wear it when they are a preschooler (no way, they suck!) or hang by toggles. Again, this is where Deuter rules - the storage is all part of the pack.

It gets hard carrying baby and gear as well. When we go hiking I carry Walker and his stuff, Ford (my oldest son) carries his stuff and then my items in his daypack. Backpacking adds a lot more on and the other half has to be willing to carry more gear. I won't lie....I carry about 40 - 45 lbs currently with Walker, pack and gear.

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
My Trials on 06/10/2013 04:15:12 MDT Print View

It's a balance between your comfort and the baby's comfort. Initially battling between Deuter KC2 and Osprey P+. At first glance, I thought the Osprey would win due to overall comfort, but I'm really leaning towards the Deuter, especially because of some of Sarah's recommendations.

After trying them out on a few local walks, the Deuter is more comfortable for me and my daughter - especially because it is a seat for her, and not a crotch sling. She seems to be able to get more leverage to adjust herself a bit more in it when out and about. What is missing is the better bottle holders, integrated sun shade, and back venting from the Osprey. However, I like how the cargo area is independent of the kickstand (unlike the Osprey).

Now, I've decided to try Vaude JC1 as a final comparison.

Gregory Stein
(tauneutrino) - F

Locale: Upper Galilee
child carrier on 06/10/2013 04:50:11 MDT Print View

After about 5 years of using several carriers (for both kids), here are my insights:
0) Be sure it is EXTREMELY comfortable for baby to SLEEP in it! Are there pillows from both sides, so that the head is well supported.
1) Chair is a great +! IMHO
2) Water bladder compartment is useful!
3) carrying volume (except baby) - gear gear gear... Babies need lots of it.
4) FULL COVER SUN PROTECTION IS MUST (however I live in Israel where it's really important, not sure about your location)

Of course if it's not comfortable, you will suffer. THere is no way to know if it's comfortable for baby...

Edited by tauneutrino on 06/10/2013 10:25:56 MDT.

Steve P
(swillhiker) - F
My thoughts... on 06/10/2013 14:06:39 MDT Print View

I have the Deuter KC III and I love it. Now, I haven't tried any of the others, so I can't say that I have anything to compare it to. Is it heavy? Heck yeah, when compared to everything that we all are used to carrying. But, it seems like all of the features are well thought out. Some examples...

- There is a built in rain/sun cover that is stow-able in the back of the headrest. Really east to deploy.

- The front pillow (or drool sponge) is easy to remove for cleaning.

- The water bladder compartment has outlets on both the right and the left.

- The "kickstand" feature is great when it's not on your back.

- VERY comfortable carry, and easily adjustable from my back to my wife's

- Pretty good volume for cargo - nothing crazy, but then again the main cargo is the kid.

- Nice finishing details like a mirror in the left hip pocket to check on your little one and even a little stuffed bear included.

Our guy is about 11 months old and he hasn't fussed once when in this. I'm a big fan, too!