A while after our baby daughter was born, I noticed someone at work was selling a Deuter Kid Comfort baby carrier rucksack, virtually unused, for next to nothing. Probably being slighty delirious due to lack of sleep, I purchased it immediately, deciding I’d worry about whether we’d actually use it at some later date. It remained in the cupboard at the top of the cellar stairs for a few months, until we ventured off to Wales for a camping trip. By this time our daughter was about 7 months and one of the heavier babies for her age.
An initial experiment went well, and she seemed fine in the carrier, dropping off to sleep at the end of our initial 30 minute run and staying alseep even after I took the rucksack off and rested it on the built-in stand. A success, we decreed, and the next day off we went on a longer walk, with the same said baby in the carrier. She duly fell asleep but on waking proceeded to howl and howl and eventually we had to get her out and carry her back to the car in our arms, which proved a real test of strength and endurance! Our mistake, we realised, was having her sitting a little too low in the carrier, and as a result she had grazed her cheek on the fabric, which soon got sore and caused the endless sobbing. Had we adjusted it properly, it wouldn’t have happened, but it was a lesson learned, Needless, to say, that was the end of that, on that holiday at least, and back into the cupboard went the Deuter Kid Comfort baby carrier rucksack.
Until the other weekend that was. A free Sunday beckoned, the weather looked okay, so we set off for a pub walk from Combs Reservoir in Derbyshire, near Chapel en le Frith. A quick test before we got into the car revealed our 13-month old daughter was quite happy being strapped into the Deuter and hoisted onto my shoulders. So off we went.
The carrier uses a five-point harness system to strap your young ‘un safely into the Deuter Kid Comfort Carrier, so if you did slip and fall, baby would remain in situ. I was also reassured by the sturdy metal frame, which would protect baby if I fell backwards.
The carrier’s back panel features mesh, and it does not rest directly on your back. This system allows sweat vapor to escape and prevents heat buildup so your back won’t get damp while you cart the little pickle around.
The metal frame also incorporates a handy metal stand, which allows you to rest the pack with baby inside on the ground – very useful if baby falls asleep while you are out and need to stop for lunch or a rest.
The Deuter Kid Comfort Carrier has contoured and padded shoulder straps for comfort, and has both a hip belt and chest belt. I found that by loosening all straps to start with and then gradually tightening them, starting with the hip belt, I was able to get all the weight nicely distrubuted. My wife found it just as comfortable without the chest belt, which isn’t that comfortable for the ladies due to their anatomy!
Below the carrier seat is a storage compartment to hold essentials such as nappies, wipes, change of clothes, food and the rest. In total you have 8L of storage space.
The walk we did was about three miles with a fair bit of very muddy ground, which is hard going with extra weight, and also a bit of a climb (total ascent about 50m).
I carried my daughter – who is about12kg – for about two of these three miles and found the carrier comfortable and balanced. I reckon a couple of hours of continuous walking would be have okay, but I wouldn’t want to be out all day – that said, our baby is heavy for her age so she does add a fair bit of weight. The carrier itelf is a 2kg unladen, and our version came with a rain / sun hood which slots on the top of the carrier.
Having recently used a BushBaby carrier, which is much more expensive, I can certainly say that there wasn’t much difference in comfort. However, if you are planning long sustained hikes you may want to invest in a BushBaby, which seems a little more ergonomic an adjustable. But for short rambles and bimbles puncuated by pub lunches and picnics, the Deueter Kid Comfort is a great budget bet.