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A good kid carrier pack is one of the most valuable pieces of gear in any adventurous family’s arsenal. They make the transition from “me” to “we” possible allowing you to still hit the trail with your little one.
For years, we have used a pack that was “just fine” but something I never loved.
However, with our move to an incredibly hot place and big backpacking trip planned, we knew that it was time to upgrade. After lots of research we finally settled on the Deuter KidComfort Air.
Tested: On the trail for a multi-day backpacking trip, touring a major city, and day hikes to Middle Eastern ruins.
Overall: A great kid carrier pack that will give you everything you need without all the added weight of a lot of bells and whistles.
Deuter Kid Comfort Air
One of the biggest reasons that we chose this pack over all of the other ones on the market was because it uses Deuter’s AirComfort back system. This allows for some pretty serious air flow which helps to keep both parent and baby cooler. Since we knew that we would be using this pack a lot in the Middle East and for some bigger backpacking trips, this was a huge deal since it increased our comfort factor significantly.
Also, at only 6lbs 3oz it was by far the lightest full featured kid carrying pack we found. Although those extra two or three pounds might not make a big difference when you’re on a day hike, when you’re backpacking with kids (and carrying a lot of their stuff), weight adds up super fast so every ounce counts.
The Varifit systems allows it to easily be adjusted between wearers so it’s easy to switch the pack between mom and dad. Although we are both tall with me at 5’10” and Andrew at 6’2″we have different torso sizes, so a quick adjustment makes a massive difference. (Note: Deuter packs fit both of us extremely well. I have heard that this pack doesn’t fit very short people as well. Always make sure you try on any pack before you buy to make sure it works well for you.)
-Side entry panel makes it super easy to get kids in and out
-Fold out kickstand make the carrier stand on it’s own. We found this especially helpful during meal times as we just let the carrier double as a high chair for our crawling baby.
– Removable, washable drool/booger pad. Trust me, the second your kid has a cold, you’ll understand why this is AMAZING!
– 14L storage pouch. Enough for a light day hike, or if you’re backpacking, this is a great place to stash all your heavier food.
– Baby sits up high enough to see around your head.
Areas for Improvement:
– Although we love that the water bottle pockets are large enough to fit two bottles, they are akwardly high, making it very difficult to put your bottle pack in with the pack on. Also, I noticed that whenever I bent over, the bottles would fall out.
– When carrying a lot of weight (either with an older toddler or loaded down for backpacking) this pack started to dig into my lower back. Eventually I had to tie a sweater around my waist for padding, but it would be nice to see Deuter add more padding at the bottom to prevent this.
Overall: We really liked this pack. It was great because it could fit both our children (ages 1 and 3) as well as both myself and my husband as the wearers. For hot climates or very sweaty people this pack is fantastic. Although the comfort was sacrified a little while backpacking, it’s still a great pack for backpacking families especially since it is so light.