Allison is the founder of trailtosummit.com which she began as a way to track and share her first round of the NH 4000 Footers. Now on round 5 (the first round for her dog Ruckus) she has been honored to have taken part of many people’s firsts. She is an experienced trail maintainer, speaker, and passionate member of the outdoor community. In New England, Allison enjoys trekking along the highest peaks, bushwhacking to less traveled areas, and has a fondness for sunrise and sunset trips. Outside of New England Allison has also thru hiked the John Muir Trail and explored mountains in the German and Austrian Alps, Israel, and the Azores. Her goal is to share her passion for hiking and backpacking with others, especially with women, to inspire them to experience the freedom of the trail!
Not long after my son was born I got back on the trail, spending early Spring on short hikes like Oak Hill in Concord NH when Oren was 2 weeks old. I began carrying him in a wrap for grocery trips, getting stuff done around the house, and hiking of course! I was able to wrap him very securely in a womb like environment and he’d sleep the whole hike. This lasted for the first few months and then I moved to using a soft carrier pack.
For hikes I began carrying Oren in front with a daypack to counterbalance the weight, especially as he got heavier. At first I used the Boba Air, but because it doesn’t have any padding, it would dig into my shoulders on longer hikes. I then started using the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons Carrier which worked very well, but he was just getting too heavy to carry him in front during longer hikes.
I’ll have a dedicated post of my go-to hiking gear when adventuring with babies, however I did just want to explain that I didn’t start out using this system and include some other options if your baby is smaller than 16 lbs (the recommended weight for most child carrying backpacks).
Last fall I was doing a ton of research of structured child carrying backpacks because I needed a better way to carry Oren and the gear I needed for a hike. I needed something that would remain comfortable for me on a long hike, be able to keep Oren comfortable, and allow me to carry the gear we’d need for the day.
Pre-baby I was used to an UL setup (my baseweight for thru hiking the John Muir Trail was 12 lbs). Now I have a 21 pound baby PLUS the weight of the pack and my gear. Most child carrying packs are 8-9 pounds empty which was an issue for me as I was already carrying almost double my UL baseweight for backpacking in just baby alone, nevermind the rest of what I need and things like diapers and snacks for him.
I contacted Deuter about their packs and was actually told they were coming out with a few new versions.
The pack I have is the women’s specific version (the SL). There are three other new versions from Deuter:
Kid Comfort Pro– Bells and whistles version with the biggest feature difference is having the actual pack section removable to be used separately
This is a first look review of the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL. I have used this pack on a handful of hikes, both short local hikes and longer day hikes. This is not an in-depth long term review so my thoughts may change over time and I cannot comment on the longevity/wear of this product. This pack was given to me from Deuter, however the review is my own opinion. Let’s start by looking at the stats:
I really wanted to get the Active pack…lightest weight, most comfortable one I tried….but the lack of a place for a hydration bladder was the deal breaker for me! I didn’t want to have to interrupt a sleeping baby in order to get water from my pack. Being a solo hiker with a baby meant I needed everything to be accessible. While it is quite a bit heavier, I did end up going with the Pro version. It’s nice to have the sunshade integrated (similar to the Osprey packs).
But if Deuter came out with an Active pack that had a hydration sleeve I would but it in a heartbeat!
Yes! That is exactly my problem with the lightweight one. Good to hear you found a good option for you though!