Review of Kelty Child Carrier Backpack

Up until recently, Bianca has sat nicely in her BabyBjorn carrier that fit snugly in front of my chest.  She loves sitting in it because she gets to look around while being close to her mommy.  Last month we went to Mammoth Lakes, CA for a long weekend with our friends Dr. Ghim and his girlfriend Jody.  While our significant others mountainbiked, Jody and I hiked up from the Canyon Lodge along the beautiful grassy terrain.  The first 30 minutes wasn’t too bad with the baby carrier.  After that however, I started to feel significant strain along my back and shoulders.  Jody and I ended up rotating carrying the baby and finished our hiked totally exhausted.  I decided then that we absolutely need a better child carrier for hiking and other outdoor activities.

After extensive research across the internet, I decided on ordering a Kelty child carrier.  Kelty is a big player in the outdoor gear market, manufacturing all kinds of products ranging from tents to sleeping bags.  Their FC line and TC line carry the same backpacks except the FC’s have an “auto-deploy” kickstand that allows the backpack and child to be placed on the ground without falling over.

I picked the TC 3.0 in light grey, which is the most comprehensive model in the TC line.  Without the kickstand, I can pack it into a luggage and take it with us wherever we fly to.  In the front it has an exterior mesh pocket that’s good for maps and sippy cup, as well as two separate zipper pockets so items can be compartmentized.  It also holds a bottle of water in each side pocket.  Even the belt portion comes with pockets that are big enough for camera and keys.  A matching diaper pad and sunhood is included.

My favorite feature of this backpack is the sunhood.  It’s very stable when it’s in place but can be removed easily and folds flat.  It offers good sun protection from all sides but the mesh allows the child to scope out her surroundings.

We used it almost everyday during our vacation in Maui last week and the baby looked very comfortable.  When she was awake she would looks around but most of the time she was asleep from being bounced and swayed around.  The sunshade also kept her cool even though Matt and I were sweating heavily while carryng her.  The backpack also adjusted easily so switching back and forth between the two of us mules was quick and simple.  Our shoulders and backs were not sore at all after our hikes (~ 2-4 hours each hike moderate terrain).

The only things that was a little annoying was that her head would fall to one side whenever she falls deep alseep.  Every five minutes we would have to tuck her head back.  I don’t know if that’s a common problem with all backpacks.  We ended up stuffing some cloth on the side of her head so she can rest on it.

Overall, I’m very happy with the bag and do recommend it highly.  I got the bag on sale on Ruelala but it’s also available in REI and on the Kelty website.

You can watch my new backpack in action below.


Head Falling to One Side.  Sometimes It Falls out Completely