April 02, 2009,
C.S. asks from Orlando, FL on March 11, 2009
Need Advice on Child Carrier Backpack for Toddler
I was hoping to get some advice/recommendations on a child carrier backpack for our 19 mo old son. We're going to be doing a lot of traveling this summer and want to be able to carry him in a backpack during short hiking trips. He's long and lean (only about 24 lbs). I've been looking @ REI's website and reading the reviews on different products. Unfortunately, most of the reviews don't say the ages of the children. If anyone would like to recommend a particular brand (or NOT recommend), I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
H.A. answers from Miami on March 12, 2009
i love my ergo carrier! they say they're for 5-60 pounds...you can use them on your front or back, plus you can get a little insert to use it sling-style with a newborn. i use it with my 19 month old almost daily. it has real backpack straps, so i find it more comfortable and secure feeling than slings (and there's no frame so you can mash it easily into a suitcase)! i also like that it has a zip pocket in the back that can fit a couple bottles of water for your hike.
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B.K. answers from Tallahassee on March 12, 2009
It's not quite a backpack, but what I use is better. It's a padapum. there are similar carriers--meitai and ergo are some of the other brands. go on-line and look. It's a lot easier because the baby is against your body. the lower center of gravity helps me carry my child since I am small and skinny. Having the baby way up high in a backpack would be awkward for me. also, having baby in a padapum or similar carrier allows access to baby. If I wear her on my front, it's like we're hugging. Or wear her on the back like a piggy-back ride. cozy, comforting. Easy, light weight. Takes up very little room in your car or bag. Dad can carry baby too. Straps adjustable. Padapum has an extra belt extension for larger folks. Weight is distributed on your shoulders and around your waist which is great too. I got mine at sobebabies.com. My child is over 3.5 and I still occasionally use it. It is great!
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C.J. answers from Fort Walton Beach on March 12, 2009
If you want something comfortable and not as bulky as the heavy duty backpack - I would recommend a Babyhawk. I had a lightweight toddler and carried him on my back and side with this and loved it. Easy to use and pretty reasonable.
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L.H. answers from Miami on March 11, 2009
Ergo- click on
'back carry instructions'
I HAVE A KOZY AND A BABYHAWK AND A YAMO (same style as erog & patapum)and I still wear my 2.5 yr old- they hold up to at least 33lbs!!
D.R. answers from Jacksonville on March 12, 2009
We've tried a few backpacks for our two kids, and have had super good results with the Kid Comfort line by Deuter. They aren't cheap, but if you use them as much as we do, they are totally worth it--it is so much more comfortable for the child and the parent. I'd recommend at least the Kid Comfort II, though we've recently gotten a Kid Comfort III, and our 2-year old really, really loves it. It makes the trips so much nicer!
M.F. answers from Boca Raton on March 12, 2009
Hi - we LOVE our Kelty and have taken our daughter all over (NYC, Colorado, Rome) in it. the last trip she was 16 mos, 34 in and 28 lbs. However this time she definitely had a time limit on her patience when we are standing still but otherwise loves the motion, the view, and the attention she got in it. She still likes to be carried and was used to a baby sling since a newborn so she may have been more adaptable to this method of transport than most.
It was pricy but you may be able to find better deals (maybe Craigs list?). They hold up to a 50 lbs child which is pretty funny becuase I know I won't be carrying her around at that size. I can see her in it for several more months - we have another trip at 22 mos so we hope she still is into it. I would recommend using it as often as you can prior to the trip to get them used to it.
Also we are somewhat tall (5'9" and 6'1") so it was comfortable for us on uneven terrain. I think if I was shorter it would not have been as comfortable.
Have a great time!
L.P. answers from Jacksonville on March 12, 2009
I ditto the Ergo, Patapum, Beco route....Mei Tais and Baby Hawks are great but the ties are such a pain!
The others are more expensive but you will get great use out of it and for a while! Plus, you'll love the buckles so much!!!!
Also--it has the same resale value!
I traveled through 3 airports last summer with my 8 yr old and 8 month old and LOVE LOVE LOVED it!
J.K. answers from Gainesville on March 13, 2009
You are getting advice on two different things: a baby carrier for babywearing and a baby backpack. I used a baby carrier, a new Snugli with the waist belt, until my daughter was about 6-8 months, and then switched to the backpack. I am short, 5'2", and have big boobs, like 36G, so having more weight on my back was a HUGE difference for me. Carrying her in front was really hard on my back. Your younger one will grow out of the baby carrier before the backpack, and at 24 pounds I would say the backpack is a better choice. Some of the baby carriers can carry on the back, like the Ergo, but I think at 19 months and 24 pounds the backpack will be easier on your body. My daughter is now over 2 and still loves to ride in the backpack. We have a Deuter Kid Comfort II, and I would thoroughly second the recommendation. Both my husband and I can wear it comfortably, it carries lunch and a few diapers easily in the under seat pocket, and it is very easily adjustable for kid size. She's been in it since she was about 6 months old and she's always loved it. And my back has loved it too. She likes being up high and looking around, and it's good up to 50 pounds, which the baby carriers aren't. I don't think she'll be on our backs anymore when she weighs that much though. I love our Deuter, and I would recommend buying the sun shade for it if you get that one. In Florida, it's essential. I would also recommend going to REI and trying some on so you can find the one that fits you and your son best too.