July 4, 2008

NYT Reviews Backpack Carriers In Five Words Or Less

deuter_kid_comfort_ii_storm.jpg monster_in_the_woods_hauserman.jpg

The NY Times has tiny, Zagat-style reviews of five backpack carriers, four new, and one ratty old Chicco, which still does just fine. Whatever the results, the product list reads like some sort of shroom-fuelled branding poem:

Deuter Kid Comfort II
Tough Traveler Bluelux Stallion
Sherpani Rumba SS 08
Chicco Smart Support
Kelty Frame Carrier 3.0

And the reviews are: "best of the bunch"; "comfortable," but "high sides"; "easy to maneuver" but "narrow strap"; "easy setup" for "short hikes"; and "great," respectively. As if there actually is a hiker who doesn't research every single piece of gear to death before buying it.

Actually, the real useful find sounds like wilderness guide Tim Hauserman's book, Monsters In The Woods: Backpacking With Children. Anyone?

pithy article: When You Carry Precious Cargo on Your Back [nyt]
blurby slideshow: Physical Culture | Gear Test, Backpack Carriers
Impulse buy the Deuter Kid Comfort II, the "best of the bunch," at Amazon, $189 [amazon]
Buy Monsters In The Woods: Backpacking With Children at Amazon, too, $12 or so


The Deuter IS the best of the bunch, except that it's strap load limit is too low and the cockpit is too tight for a 1 year old, so I had to buy a Kelty 2.5 (an internal-frame pack with day bags).

They've upped the strap-load limit on the newer models, but not significantly enough for me.

[to the Times' credit, they did mention that load capacity was a key decision factor, so that the non-kid-carrying hiker doesn't get stuck with everything else. -ed.]

Ah, never mind. The new Deuter goes to 48 lbs. That's enough for anybody.

I was going to mention the same thing with the Deuter. We opted for a MEC Happytrails instead. 5 kids later, and it's still going strong.

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