Finding a balance between your outdoor side and the little one at home can be a daunting task. Being a father that enjoys being outside, I can tell you it isn’t easy. My wife and I hike and camp often and finding a way to transport our children along the trails wasn’t easy. Our solution? A backpack kid carrier. To be more specific, the Deuter Kid comfort 3. Before I bought the Kid Comfort III I had read several reviews which never listed things they did not like. I want to lay out the good and the bad.
First things First
Are you and you child a good fit for a kid carrier? Ideally your child should be able to hold its head up without assistance before using a child carrier. The adult carrying the child might have issues if they are short or have a smaller frame. An example: I am 5’4 and I don’t have issues carrying it. I do not have a small frame either. My wife is 5’3 and smaller frame and can still carry it but it is more difficult as it sits higher on her.
Only Child Carrier?
This isn’t the only backpack kid carrier from Deuter. Deuter isn’t the only brand either. The Kid comfort comes in the Kid comfort III, II, I, and air. Osprey has several child carriers. The Poco AG, Plus, and Premium. We had the Osprey Poco AG but opted for the Kid Comfort instead. This was more about my child liking the plush bear that came with the Deuter Kid comfort than a dislike for the osprey child carrier.
What’s great about the Kid Comfort
There are some great features on this kid carrier. It is adjustable like crazy. This is a huge plus. We had big babies so this was important. Also the frame size between my wife and I is considerable. The seat, where the child sits, is adjustable. You adjust the seat up for smaller children and down as they grow. The seat belt system is also adjustable. The side flaps allow you to adjust how the child sits on you back as well. Pull the flap tighter and the child is closer to your back looser gives them a bit more room. There are two straps that come over the shoulders that also pull the child closer to your back so they don’t throw your center of gravity off while hiking.
The straps for the adults are numerous as well. The pack is fully customizable fit due to these straps. The shoulder straps, waist straps, chest straps are all fully adjustable. to get the right fit for you.
The Kid Comfort III has 7 pockets total on it. Two are on the waist strap. You can carry compass, small snacks for the monsters, watch or other small items in there. We usually pack our compass and a few snacks in here. The other pockets are on the back of the pack. Two on either side of the head of the pack that can hold small water bottles or snacks or the plush teddy bear that came with it. The main pocket is big. It doesn’t say on their website how many liters it holds. It holds diapers, water bottles, first aid kit, extra clothes and more. The upper pockets on the back usually hold more stow away items or they stay empty.
This child carrier also has a kick stand for stability in putting the child in or putting the pack down. This has been great for us. It makes things easier, especially if you have two people to maneuver it on and off.
It has adjustable foot rests for the kids. This tends to keep the kids legs at a 90 degree angle if you want. My kids never kept their feet in them but I know many who do.
I really like the fact that it has a hydration bladder pocket. This has been great for a few reasons. First off, I like carrying water. When I was in the Army, we used Camelbaks and I loved them. Adding a bladder (which is not included 3L capacity) is great. I like being able to sip water while hiking. The second reason this is great is that my daughter loves playing with the hydration hose. It keeps her busy and not fussing.
It tends to put the kids to sleep. This is nice, especially if you are hiking around nap times. On top of that it comes with a pillow for them to lay their face on as well as a sunshade to keep them cool out on the trails.
The first bad for me was the price tag. They are not the cheapest one’s. With that being said, I wanted one I could trust with my child and that would be comfortable for them.
The sunshade, while good, has drawbacks as well. It doesn’t work if it is in the morning or late afternoon. It works during the most important times of day ( most of the time, I’ll get to that next) noon and the heat of the day. However, if the child is asleep against the pillow or laying against the side flap, part of their face is exposed. This isn’t a horrible thing but something to be aware of. They might wake up to some funky tan lines.
Kids are messy and this thing isn’t always the easiest to clean. The pillow is, it detaches, but the side flaps are not.
The bladder is great but it fits right between the child and your back. I couldn’t fit a full 3L in the bladder because I would squeeze the water out after I tightened the straps.
Would I recommend this backpack kid carrier? I would. It has been great! The Kid Comfort 3 is comfortable, looks good, has the features I was looking for. It has gotten me through 2 kids and 3 years. We have hiked through the Arkansas Ozarks, New Mexico mountains and forests and deserts, Sandia Peak, North Carolina Smoky mountains, and various trails near home. It has held up tremendously and is money well spent. My wife and I can enjoy one of our favorite past times and the kids can go with us as well.
You can check out our tips and tricks on hiking with children as well!
Have you ever used a backpack child carrier? what were the good and the bad about the one you used? We would love to hear from you. Check us out on twitter, Facebook page or Facebook group, or drop us a comment below!