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Zac is 19 months , 23 lbs, 32 in, right now and we are looking for a comfortable backpack carrier to take him on a few hiking trips this summer, short ones, we are not really hikers, but strollers in the woods.<br>
looking for advice on comfort, safety features, where to go for a good deal,<br>
what have you used, what works well<br>
thanks for the advice
 

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Love the Kelty.<br>
We went overboard and bought the most expensive one, though. But, the bug/wind/sunscreen comes in handy.<br><br>
It's comfortable to wear and easy to adjust.<br><br>
You could do an extensive multi-day hike in it, BUT it's also easy just for a quick outing in the woods.
 

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We went the cheap route and got an Infantino backpack carrier from Wal-Mart for about $35. We don't hike that often, but I did use it at the zoo a few times, on walks, etc. A few months ago we took it to India and I hiked a very steep 10K mountain path with Abi on my back and was comfortable the whole time.<br><br>
It's a very basic pack, nothing fancy. One thing I liked about it though, was that it broke in half for storage or easy packing, and has an adjustable seat with secure padded straps for the baby. I had to re-sew the belt portion to fit my thin waist. I'm very petite and the belt was never tight enough to rest most of the weight on my hips like it should have. After that adjustment it worked just fine. It should fit average people with no problems.<br><br>
Darshani
 

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I love my Kelty Elite. It is adjustable to fit 5'6'' me and 6'2'' dh. My diaper bag zips on for long trips. I use it hiking, in the store, working at the co-op....anywhere I need dd to be on me so I can do my thing and still talk to her. It will hold up to 40 pounds of kid, the fancier ones hold up to 60 lbs. Whatever you get, get something that can be adjusted to fit you well or you will never use it because your back will hurt like crazy, not to mention the chiropractic and massage bills.......
 

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Our pack is from REI's kids only line, it's the "piggyback" version. We really like it, although I must say it's DH who uses the pack, and I'm the one who carries the pack of water and supplies.<br><br>
We got it on sale, and chose it over the Kelty packs because it seemed more sensible. It probably falls between the Kelty packs and the Walmart pack mentioned above.
 

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We have the Kelty Elite (or Trek) with the sun/rain hood. We use it hiking and around town. We got it when dd was 6 mos old. She's almost 3 now, about 33lbs, and very tall (38"? or taller). I've been able to lug her up very steep hills with relative ease. She still loves to ride in the backpack. It's very adjustable and comfortable. I'm 5' 10", dh is 6' 2". Some of our shorter friends have used it, too, and found it comfortable. We tried a few different ones, and the Kelty was the most comfortable and easily adjustable for tall folks.<br>
I'm going to be very sad when she's too big for it.<br>
It was a gift, so I don't know how much it cost.
 

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I have the Kelty Explorer (we're pretty serious hikers) and I love it. We got our Kelty on eBay for $170 (new in box).<br><br>
A friend of our has the "Stallion" carrier by Tough Traveler. She says it rocks! It's light and has a nice sun/rain hood. Check that out if you get a chance.<br><br>
But, the important thing is to try them on! The Kelty is almost too big for my torso and in reality I probably should be in a smaller pack. Make sure it's comfortable for you or else that 23lbs will feel like 50.
 

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kelty elite works for us!<br>
we got it online cheaper than in stores.<br>
one thing though, it puts a certain amount of strain on your back regardless of how tall or strong you are.
 

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We have the REI model, as well. Love it. We've had it since our dd was 4.5 mos. and used it to portage her in the Boundary Waters on our annual canoe trip then, and will do so again this summer (we skipped that trip last year, as she was "a car without a driver", and couldn't envision her around all that water --ack!) She's 2, and 27 lbs. now and we use it at least once a week. It has all kinds of straps to adjust it to about anyone's body. I think I remember it being suitable for up to a 45 lb. kid. We have the $100 model, without the extra storage pouch, though it still has a pocket that fits a decent amount of stuff, diapers, drinks and the like.
 

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We also love our Kelty Elite. The sun hood works great. The only thing is you really need to take the time to adjust it to fit your body. It was a bit complicated, but once its set up, it really takes the weight off your shoulders and upper back.
 

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Hi All-<br><br>
My DD is still about six months away from being a toddler---but she's already getting pretty big (somewhere around 20-22 lbs or more--we don't own a scale <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">). DH and I absolutely love carrying her in a sling. But it's getting kind of painful. We're learning the hip carry but wondering whether something else might be more comfortable.<br><br>
What slings or carriers do you use with your toddler? I've heard good things about the hip hammock...Anyone here tried it? Would apppreciate any recommendations you could give.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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We have a tough traveller (can't remember which one, maybe the montana) and I like it so far. It definitely transfers the weight to my legs; on a 2 hour walk in town i can feel it <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"><br><br>
I've heard it's more comfortable than kelty from friends but have never tried one.
 

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I recently bought a hip hammock. I really like it. I was using the Kangaroo Korner Adjustable Fleece Pouch... which i cannot say enough good things about! But we needed a carrier both dh and I can use.<br><br>
The KK fleece pouch is so cuddely, compact, and easily put on and off!!! I never had any problems w/ strain or feeling uncomfortable wearing it. <a href="http://www.kangarookorner.com" target="_blank">www.kangarookorner.com</a><br><br>
I also think the Hip hammock is awesome! It's nice because the size is very adjustable for babies and parents! I got mine from Mamamoon (in the Mothers Nature Market)
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by Snickerdoodle</i><br><b>But, the important thing is to try them on!</b></td>
</tr></table></div>
DITTO! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Some are better or worse for different size people, and some are better or worse for different purposes. Trying them on for you and your needs is best. I know there are other stores like this, but REI has actuall fake hills and rocks to walk around on AND bean bag weighted teddie bears to put in them too. RELLY makes a difference when you see if a 30 lb'er in a pack when you're 5' tall is really even a possibility, etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
We have the Kelty and like it because the straps adjust to fit my 5'2" frame and hubby's 6'1" frame. We use it for actual hiking mostly though since the sling is better for parties and such and the stroller really is easier in malls. We love the back pack for the park and airport tho! Free hands for dog leash or luggage is a real plus!<br><br>
~Sandie
 

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We loooooove our Tough Traveler Kid Carrier! I added some pipe insulation to the bars in the back and that made it even more comfortable. The bars used to hit me in the back when I was vacuuming.
 

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I must throw in my voice of dissent <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
I DO NOT like our Kelty carrier (we have the town version, which I think is the cheapest?)! DH really likes it, but I think it is soo uncomfortable to wear, and I am convinced that it was designed for a man's body. It's just too "big" and the straps seem to be in all the wrong places. And I don't think there even are enough straps for support, all the weight seems to be on the shoulders. Uggh...<br><br>
But...maybe that's just the model we have? Everyone seems to love the elite and the explorer? Maybe that's more what we need for the amount of time that we wear it (a lot of day hikes this time of year).<br><br>
I want to hear more! We're getting ready to do lots of day hikes this time of year, and after a full day of wearing the carrier yesterday (and the backache it caused last night!), I'm ready to throw down some cash for a good one!!
 

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I find that using two-three different carriers works well for us. He can be in different positions in each of them, and it kind of spreads the weight (or the pain, as the case may be <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> ) around a bit.<br><br>
We used our New Native exclusively until DS was 12 months, then bought a Maya Wrap, which is a *bit* more comfortable now that he's larger. We use a combination of both of those now, as well as our Kelty backpack.<br><br>
Good luck to you..very cool that you're thinking about it ahead of time! Good thinkin!
 

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we have been using the hip hammock since december.<br>
It is GREAT!<br>
He weighs 25 pounds and there is still lots of room.<br>
I am sure it'll fit up to 35 pounds.
 

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Thanks so much for the feedback. We're looking into the carriers/slings you recommended.<br><br>
Sahara: I did a web search and the Mother's Nature Market is at mothersnature.com.<br><br><br>
Happy Sling'in!<br><br>
StillForest
 
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