Does anyone have any recomendationds for a good back carrier ? Have you had better experiances with a frame carrier or a soft carrier?
I have Lupus and scoliosis, so that makes wearing any type of carrier hard. DH will be the main one wearing it. We are both small people ( 5'4" and 5'3"). Would that cause problems with a frame pack ? Any input and recomendations would be greatly apreciated !
Mummy to DS1, 3, twins DD and DS2, and wife to DH
I tried on every frame pack around before I settled on the Tough Traveler. All the other packs seemed like they were made for really tall people, but not this one (I'm 5'4").
It is nice and compact, not like those huge hiker packs, and balanced very well, so that it was easy to wear for a long time. I took ds everywhere in that thing, and it was the only way I could cook, too! Best baby-gear $$ I spent.
The only thing is, you have to read the instructions and adjust the pack exactly the way they tell you. It's not hard, but unless you do it, the pack won't sit just right.
Are you planning on hicking/backpacking with the carrier, or more for around the house/shopping? If it's for around the house and shopping, I would not get a frame carrier. Frame carriers are bigger, bulkier, and heavier than soft carriers. I tried wearing a fram carrier (a nice one too!), but it threw off my center of gravity, because it felt top heavy. I have no trouble wearing my DS, but I need his weight to be supported by my hips, and not my shoulders. I think a woven wrap wyould be your best bet for getting a nice supportive carry. Check out the special needs forum on thebabywearer. For your DH, he could use a wrap as well, or he may be more comfortable with a buckle carrier (soft structured carrier, aka SSC). Popular brands are Ergo, Beco, Patapum, and BabyHawk Oh Snap.
I actually used our frame backpack carrier more than any of the other numerous carriers I have. DD LOVES it. She is too big for it now, or rather she wants to walk and I say she is too big for it now but we whip it out for hikes and stuff. I used it all the time in the house, outside when I needed her to fall asleep etc...
We have a Kelty Kids (spelling may be wrong) and I love it! I don't even know which model, it was hand me down because they are quite pricey but I have seem many at consignment shops for kids.
Anyway, I loved the weight distribution and it put a lot of the weight on my hips which was easy to handle. Hands down best baby item we have used, or at least the most used baby item we have.
I have a Kelty Convertible frame carrier (that converts to a stroller). I loved it, but we did primarily use it for canoe trips, camping, hiking & days at the zoo, when I didn't want to lug an empty stroller, but wanted to have both a carrier & a stroller.
It's not made any more as far as I can tell, but is available on Amazon still.
I've preferred my pouch slings & mei tai style carriers for around the house, shopping, etc, but when it's going to be hours & hours of carrying over possibly rough ground, with a 18mth+ child, I'd much rather have my Kelty pack! We often used it as 'just' a stroller for walks & such as well. It was definitely one of our most used baby items, and I'm so glad we didn't sell it last year when DS was totally too big for it, as now we still have it for the new baby!
I think one of the major benefits of some frame carriers is the ability to remove the carrier with the child still in it -- ours is free standing, and so you load the child first, then put the carrier on like a backpack, it's very simple. And, b/c it's made by the same company that makes our hiking packs, we know that the weight distribution works. I have no problem carrying the 11lbs of pack, an 18mth old, and some camping gear, for a total of over 55lbs, over trails on our canoe trips, and I am pretty small. I'm 5'4" and can adjust the pack small enough to fit me well.
I had the Kelty Convertible once upon a time as well. I really liked it for zipping around town where I might want to use a stroller at times- and it was great for restaurants. It was heavy and bulky, but the tradeoff was often worth it.
I began using SSCs with the younger kids, and haven't felt the need for a framed carrier with them at all. If I did, I would probably try to find one of the Keltys.
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