While hiking with Kendra’s parents in South Carolina, I got the opportunity to try out her mom’s
Kelty Kids FC 1.0 Carrier with Addison. We went a on 3-mile hike on a easy trail with Addison riding in the carrier most of the way. She really seemed to enjoy the view from the pack – it rides much higher than our
Deuter Kid Comfort III, so she was able to see more scenery than usual. She seemed comfortable for most of the hike, though she did press against the bottom of the pack to stretch out her legs several times. It wasn’t quite roomy or supportive enough to let her legs dangle. When I pulled them to the sides of the pack, she seemed more comfortable, but only for a short period of time. The five-point harness held her well, but she was basically in a standing position with very little support under her bum.
I liked how light it was – the pack itself is just under 5lbs, and with Addison and her extra diapers and clothing, I was only carrying about 26lbs on my back. The 950 cu. inches of storage space seemed more than adequate for our needs for a short dayhike, and I really liked the little D-rings in the cockpit that allow toys to be clipped on for Addison to entertain herself.
However, as much as I enjoyed having less weight on my back, there were several things I did not like. Although the shoulder and waist straps are adjustable, I had a hard time finding a comfortable length for my back. After 20 minutes, my shoulders were burning. Furthermore, the frame comes straight down and rubbed against my back while I was walking. The pack also rides very high, and I felt off-balance over rocky and uneven terrain. Finally, there is no compartment for a bladder, nor are their pockets to hold water bottles. I had to keep asking Kendra for water during our hike, which was frustrating. (I should note, Kendra, who is 5’3″, likes this pack much more than our Deuter carrier in terms of comfort.)
At $149.95, the pack is reasonably priced, though it will set you back another $34.95 for a sun/rain hood.