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backpack kid carriers

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
With my wife working again (retail hours), I'm looking to do a fair amount of hiking this summer with the kids. We were out a bit over the weekend, but carrying my son shortened the hike.

I'd like to get one of those backpack kid carrier things so I can strap him on my back and go. They aren't cheap, so I want to make sure I know what I am looking for. Anyone have one? How do you like it? Any general advice as I look at these things?

From what I can get locally, this Kelty seems to be a decent buy... though a sun shade thing would be nice.

Kelty Wanderer - $140



The Kelty Tour is much closer to my price range and doesn't seem all that different from the wanderer. I just can't tell why it's $60 cheaper.

 

BikeGeek

BrewMonkey
Jul 2, 2001
4,415
62
Hershey, PA
Check out the REI Tagalong:



We looked at it and the REI Piggyback yesterday. I was impressed with the overall quality of the pack and comparisons to much more expensive packs. It's a pretty nice pack for $99. We spent my dividend on the Piggyback ($160) for reasons only my wife understands. :rolleyes:

Price differences in similar packs are usually attributable to things like straps/pads quality and ability to easily accomodate add-on features like the rainfly/sun shade, and a daypack.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
BikeGeek said:
Check out the REI Tagalong:



We looked at it and the REI Piggyback yesterday. I was impressed with the overall quality of the pack and comparisons to much more expensive packs. It's a pretty nice pack for $99. We spent my dividend on the Piggyback ($160) for reasons only my wife understands. :rolleyes:
I saw it on-line. We don't have an REI around here, and I'm hesitant to get one without seeing it because of how big Sean is (the kid who will be going in it).
 

Lex

Monkey
Dec 6, 2001
595
0
Massachusetts
My wife and I got the Kelty Wanderer and our son loves it. It really puts the weight were it should be and I my out of shape butt can last a lot longer now while walking with him. I would highly recommend it. We'll probably buy the attachable sun shade as well at some point.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
Lex said:
My wife and I got the Kelty Wanderer and our son loves it. It really puts the weight were it should be and I my out of shape butt can last a lot longer now while walking with him. I would highly recommend it. We'll probably buy the attachable sun shade as well at some point.
Does it have any room to carry stuff? I don't need a ton of room, but a pocket for a first aid kit and some munchies would be nice. I don't really see anything from the pics, but the site says it has 500ci of cargo space. Where???
 

Lex

Monkey
Dec 6, 2001
595
0
Massachusetts
jacksonpt said:
Does it have any room to carry stuff? I don't need a ton of room, but a pocket for a first aid kit and some munchies would be nice. I don't really see anything from the pics, but the site says it has 500ci of cargo space. Where???
On the back of the carrier there is a small backpack that zips on and off the main pack. It can carry a decent amout of stuff. Certainly the amout that you're talking about. If I remember correctly there is a small hip pouch on the waist belt as well.
 

jacksonpt

Turbo Monkey
Jul 22, 2002
6,763
0
Vestal, NY
Lex said:
If I remember correctly there is a small hip pouch on the waist belt as well.
That's probably more what I'd want... something I could get at without having to take the carrier off.

Thanks for the info.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
I used to do pack fitting, and have hauled my kids ( now grown) a lot in packs. Let me offer this about the two different packs pictured. The REI on has a lot more suspension adjustability options than the Kelty. If fitted correctly, will make for better comfort for the parent because you can make it fit your torso. The Kelty doesn't have an option to adjust the TOP of the shoulder straps which means it's more likely to just hang off your shoulders, (=pain) and you can't adjust the torso length if you are a tall guy. If you look carefully, the Keltys are just glorified day packs, and not really designed to transfer load to the hips. I'd go for one of the REI packs if you can swing it. It might not matter when they are little, but if you are packing a 2 or 3 year old around at times, how comfortable the pack is with a kid in it will really make a difference.

I think tough traveler pioneered the kid pack with suspension idea, they'd be worth a look too.

geargrrl
 

Lex

Monkey
Dec 6, 2001
595
0
Massachusetts
geargrrl said:
I used to do pack fitting, and have hauled my kids ( now grown) a lot in packs. Let me offer this about the two different packs pictured. The REI on has a lot more suspension adjustability options than the Kelty. If fitted correctly, will make for better comfort for the parent because you can make it fit your torso. The Kelty doesn't have an option to adjust the TOP of the shoulder straps which means it's more likely to just hang off your shoulders, (=pain) and you can't adjust the torso length if you are a tall guy. If you look carefully, the Keltys are just glorified day packs, and not really designed to transfer load to the hips. I'd go for one of the REI packs if you can swing it. It might not matter when they are little, but if you are packing a 2 or 3 year old around at times, how comfortable the pack is with a kid in it will really make a difference.

I think tough traveler pioneered the kid pack with suspension idea, they'd be worth a look too.

geargrrl
Maybe I just haven't used it enough yet, but I've found that our Kelty transfers the weight to my hips fine if all of the straps are adjusted properly.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,147
2,980
Portland, OR
We had a Kelty and it worked great. I forget what model it was, but it had a bag on the back that you could detach for shorter trips, or our daughter would carry it when she wanted to walk.

The nice thing about the Kelty is I sold it on ebay for nearly what I paid for it 3 years later. So even if you spend a little more now to get what you want, you will get nearly what you paid for it once the kids are grown.

Same thing goes for the Burley trailers. There is a larger cost up front, but the quality and resale are there down the road.
 

geargrrl

Turbo Monkey
May 2, 2002
2,379
1
pnw -dry side
Lex said:
Maybe I just haven't used it enough yet, but I've found that our Kelty transfers the weight to my hips fine if all of the straps are adjusted properly.
notice that the Kelty doesn't have any adjusters on the TOP of the shoulder straps. Those ( shoulder lifters) really make it so you can fine tune the fit of pack suspension and so transfer even more weight off the shoulders and onto the hips.

gg
 

rigidhack

Turbo Monkey
Aug 16, 2004
1,210
1
In a Van(couver) down by the river
I have an older Kelty that does have the shoulder adjustment straps. It is called the Explorer I think. It was not cheap, but it carried my oldes until he was 4 and is carrying my youngest now (he's 1). It is BY FAR the best bit of baby stuff we ever bought. It has had almost daily use for years now and aside formthe irreducible slobber stains, it is good as new. The only thing that has gone wrong with it was a broken hip belt buckle, which cost all of 50 cents to replace. The width of the waist belt really helps in transferring the weight. I'm 6'4" and the adjustments allow for both myself and my wife to wear the pack comfortably. If you hike a fair bit, spend the extra $ for the better model. It is well worth it.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
49,641
3,453
In a van.... down by the river
We have both a Kelty and a Madden child carrier and the Madden is head and *shoulders* above the Kelty in terms of suspension. Another nice bonus is that the madden is much lighter than the Kelty. I'm not sure what model the Madden is...............