need a good backpack - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-21-2001, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Can anyone give me the brand name of a backpack that worked well for you? I have a 1 yo dd who weighs about 25 lbs. I think I could carry her more easily if her weight was on my middle back, instead of my upper back or in front with a sling.
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#2 of 8 Old 12-22-2001, 11:28 AM
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We were given a nice Kelty backpack as a gift, it has great support and distributes the weight well. The disadvantage is that it is really intended for hiking/camping with a little one, so I don't think it is practical for every day use. They may make a more portable version than ours, definately worth looking into.
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#3 of 8 Old 12-22-2001, 08:23 PM
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I don't know what is best. We have a Gerry that I think is nice because we bought it used and it was still expensive, but our daughter doesn't like it very much. We just had a fiasco today with her crying at the top of the butte, then me carrying her all the way down while it was snowing so hard. She rides sort of high on this one, and I think maybe that is why she doesn't like it. If anyone has any suggestions for making it more comfortable, I'd love to hear. Good luck!
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#4 of 8 Old 12-23-2001, 04:50 AM
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We use the Kelty Explorer -- got one on eBay for an excellent price. It puts the weight on my hips which is a welcome relief. I wear it around the house quite a bit, and use it for hiking.
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#5 of 8 Old 12-23-2001, 03:34 PM
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I am 5'1, 105 pounds and carry my 20+ pound 16 month old in a Tough Travler...not just around the house and yard, but orienteering...XC skiing, etc.

Tough Traveler has a web I have to warn you, their gear costs more than other brands, but they also offer a variety of styles to fit most body types, especially those like mine. You can look on their web site to see what type you should use, then either get one of their reconditioned ones (nice, they are less $$ but come with warranty) or try to find one on eBay. They do hold their value well and you can resell easily when you're finished with it.

When I use my backpack, I ALWAYS make sure I have on sturdy footwear, for me these are Vasque Gortex boots with good soles and custom inserts made for my feet. I am blessed to have good carrying feet - size 8-9 on my small frame, means fewer pounds per square inch and more stability and balance. I also wear comfortable clothing such as sports pants and a stretchy shirt. This helps me feel less bulky and lets the backpack conform to my body contours. I've had men tell me that I need to wear the band around my waist, higher up, but I find that adjusting it right over my hips suits me really well.

The Tough Traveler has all sorts of EASY adjustment straps you can use. Even in my ski gear, I can easily make adjustments for going up or down a slope. I use their accessories too...a sun and wind screen, extra carry bags that hang off the side, and another one in back too. It has a 5-point harness which is important if you should happen to tumble or if you have a climber.

My toddler loves going out in his backpack. For me, it's a lot more practical than a sling (but I have one of those too) and I think it's safer when you're cooking or hiking.

Well, Good Luck finding a back pack that fits you and your baby.

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#6 of 8 Old 12-23-2001, 11:04 PM
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we had a framed backpack that works well but is too bulky for kitchen work (at least our narrow one). i found a product i really like but is only good for an hour or so at a time. it's a snuggli brand, soft without a frame, that can be worn either toward the front or back. it's no longer an option to wear my 20 pound baby on the front, but she likes to be on my back and it's much more comfortable having her weight equally distributed (the sling only lasted her first 4 months before killing my shoulder). i think you can use the backpack till they're 26-30 pounds. it was used for $29.
good luck.
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#7 of 8 Old 12-24-2001, 02:37 PM
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Kelty works great for us. It's big; ie. better for using outside than around the house. Lightweight, though. We bought the deluxe version w/a wind/bug screen on top and attachable diaper bag. You could do many long hikes in Kelty packs. (I think!)
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#8 of 8 Old 12-24-2001, 05:54 PM
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We have a Kelty that works great for hiking trips and long explores. We have the "Trek" model, which includes a lot of side protection which is good on narrow hiking trails. It's very comfortable on steep grades or when going up stairs, unlike the sling. But the backpack adds a lot of weight and now that he's heavier I do start to feel it, especially if I've packed other supplies in the zip off diaper bag.

For shorter trips or bus rides, I bring the sling (I've got an OTSBH). You can use the sling on your back, although it takes a little practice. I position the ring just behind by shoulder and put Chace in the sling along my hip. Then I move him to my back until the ring is on the front of my shoulder in the normal position. I don't know if that makes sense, but it really works well and he's very secure back there like that. Even when he arches his head back so it's upside down (one of his favorite tricks) he doesn't fall out. But he does throw me off-balance so it's not appropiate for trail use.

BTW: Chace is 18 months, 24 pounds and 34 inches.
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