Rated 5 out of
Awesome Toddler/Big Kid CarrierWe tried this out first by renting the backpack from a local baby rental place and loved it. My son is 2.5 yrs and 33 lbs so probably 35 lbs with hiking shoes etc. This backpack is way better than the others for bigger kids (tried a Kelty and Ospery). He sits lower in this pack an it has adjustable hight to make it taller as your child grows. Love the foot stirrups for additional leg support and the kick stand is not as heavy and cumbersome as the others. My husband carries our son on our hikes and said this one causes less neck/shoulder pain than the others. The pack feels lighter than others and it's nice that I can wear the mini backpack if we go on shorter hikes. Overall, we love it and can now hike more frequently with our son.
Date published: 2016-04-08
Rated 4 out of
Bee Squared from
Almost perfect: very good with a couple of consI want to begin with saying that the backpack is great, with only a few drawbacks.
Comfort for the wearer, comfort for the baby, customizability, durability - all is top notch, and I won't go into everything in detail. I want to mention that buying a rain cover is a must, because it not only protects your baby from rain, but also from side and back wind (not from head wind, but about that later). Also, storage options are huge, and I want to especially praise the little backpack. It's actually not that little, well made, and is well worth the extra $$. Both stretch pockets on the little backpack and on the main backpack are very roomy and can hold a lot of stuff, as they stretch very far, yet retain their shape. Just keep in mind that you can't clip the little backpack on the main backpack if the stretch pocket is filled with stuff.
Now to the cons:
1) The stirrups only go so high. At the shortest settings, they still don't reach my 1 y.o. daughter's feet. For comparison, Deuter Kid Comfort III's stirrups start at the very top of the frame, so a child of any size will be able to rest their feet in the stirrups.
We ended up attaching the stirrups to the buckles normally reserved for the leg straps. These buckles are not intended for such use, but that'll do.
2) The rain cover is useless when there is headwind: it can't protect the child's body nor legs from the wind or rain. The wind blows into the openings between the rucksack and the rain cover, and can easily make your baby cold and/or wet. This could be also the fault of the rain cover, but the backpack doesn't have any additional ways to secure the sides of the rain cover, so it's partially to blame.
3) The sunshade is a bit cumbersome to deploy and especially to put away. It takes a good amount of time, even if you practiced it before. I wish something like Deuter Kid Comfort III's built-in sunshade was available.
4) The headrest to the baby's front is not that thick, especially when compared to that of Deuter KCIII. It's about half an inch thick, and if you press on it with your thumb, you can relatively easily feel the frame underneath.
Other than that, the quality of the backpack and all of its other features are very convenient, very well thought out, and just plainly a pleasure to use.