Kelty Kid Carriers

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  1. #1
    Greg's Avatar
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    Kelty Kid Carriers

    Hey guys. Well, my daughter will be soon 8 months old so I think it's time to invest in a kid carrier to take her on some mellow (to start) hikes. Does anyone have any recommendations for carriers? I'm looking at the Ridgeline model. Any suggestions?

    Mike P - I have to imagine you've considered something like this!

    I ski double black diamonds.

  2. #2

    Kelty Carriers

    Greg,
    Glad to see someone else out there hiking with an infant!
    My parents bought me a Kelty Base Camp model for x-mas last year, and I've used it a couple of dozen times since my boy was nine months old. (He's now 13.5 months). The suspension is quite decent, even on the base camp model, and I find that it gets more comfortable each time I use it. Since I sweat buckets when I hike, I like the mesh back panel on the base camp as it breathes a little.
    The longest hike I've done was Mount Monadnock via the White Dot and the pack gave me no problems. The hike took four hours total and my son didn't really fidget or squirm, he just sat back there and enjoyed the ride. He seems really comfortable in the harness which adjusts in a couple of places and allows a nice custom fit to hold him very secure. I had him pitched almost over my head on some of those scrambles up Monadnock (due to me leaning over) and he never budged. They even provide loops to clip some toys to, which is really helpful.
    I would recommend getting the diaper daypack accessory bag which zips in place of the small bag on the back of the carrier or can be used as a separate daypack. I can cram all kinds of stuff in there like a dozen diapers (duh), a wind suit and hat for the baby, baby bottles and food, snacks, first-aid kit, a windbreaker for me and mom, socks, sunscreen, and two Nalgene bottles in the side pockets. It even comes with a nifty changing pad. Kelty also offers a duffel that straps under the seat of the child, but I wonder how much room will be left for the little feet hanging in that area. I also ordered the sun/rain hood (which I highly recommend) and just ordered the stirrups today so my son has a place to rest his feet.
    MountainSports.com has some nice prices on Kelty carriers and accessories, some with free shipping. They were lower than Campmor, Moosejaw, and REI when I purchased the diaper bag and sun hood from them. (This morning the Ridgeline was $139 w/ free shipping.)
    Let me know how you make out Greg. If you take her to the store to check them out and she doesn't like it, don't get discouraged. My son didn't like sitting in it at 8 months when I put him in to fit the harness. At nine months after our second walk around the block he was loving it.
    Good luck!

    Smitty
    hotmix77@hotmail.com

  3. #3
    Greg's Avatar
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    Hey smitty77! Thanks for such a detailed reply. If you recommend the sun/rain hood, maybe I'd be better off with the Backcountry model which includes it. MountainSports.com has it for $164 and free shipping. Do you know if they whack you with sales tax on top of that (I'm in CT)?

    I wonder if the 250 cu in on the Ridgeline and Backcountry would be enough for dayhikes to carry diapers, wipes, bottles, etc...

    Final question: how big of a child can you fit in these things? Looking at them yesterday, it seemed like a baby upwards to 30 lbs may be too big for them. Anyway, I have time. My daughter's 16 lbs at best.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  4. #4
    Greg,

    Kelty's site lists the pack on the base camp as 100 cu. in. and it wasn't near big enough, but a 250 cu. in. bag may enough if you just want to carry diapes, wipes, and maybe a formula bottle or two. When I'm planning a hike of an hour or more, I find the small pack fills up quick when you add extra baby clothes, a windbreaker, etc. If you have a hiking partner that will carry the extras, you may get by with the bag that is included. The base camp didn't have the water bottle holders like the ridgeline and the back country, so the diaper pack provided this important feature for me.

    I've only used the sun/rain hood twice and it has worked well, but I usually just put a hat on the baby. I like having it in case we get caught in a quick shower or hit some windy conditions. It even has some side flaps that drop down to keep the wind from blowing through the hood.

    I checked the MountainSports site today and put a carrier in my "shopping cart". The order page only mentions 8% tax for Texas residents. I live in Mass and didn't get taxed on my order.

    The Kelty site also lists a maximum child weight of 45 lb for the two carriers you're considering, with a max load of 60 lb. My son is a peanut at 19 lbs (he was under 6 lbs at birth) , but it seems like there will be plenty of room for him as he grows. With him and all of the gear, the pack tops out at 35 lbs right now. (The pack itself weighs 5, according to Kelty.)

    Let me know how you make out.
    Smitty

  5. #5
    Greg's Avatar
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    Great! Thanks a lot for your insight. Oh, and welcome to the boards!

    Our daughter was 5 lbs. 10 oz. at birth so she's a peanut too. I'll update here when I get one and try it out with her.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  6. #6
    I have a Kelty, model unknown at the present. It was a gift from my co-workers when Kristina was born. I think they have changed the model names some but it looks a lot like the Ridgeline & has the removeable kid pack & attachments so I could had a top to it.

    It's pretty comfortable & I've started using already on the Airline Trail in Colchester with Nicholas while I push Kristina in the jogging stroller. He may be a little young for it but at 21 pounds & almost 6 months he is at a good size for it.

    While I agree with write up on EMS website about the child being able to keep their head upright before using a backpack carrier, it seems odd since at least with my kids & what I've heard from others, within a mile they fall asleep any way. Other issue & maybe worth getting higher model or attachemnt for netting is the bugs. Mosquitos do like to buzz around your highest point which is now shared with your child when on your back. DEET on a small child probably not a great idea.

    If I recall correctly we took Kristina out in November & early December in CT dressed in a one piece fleece suit after the mosquito's died & then out in March & early April. What I'm finding out now is that I can't keep a hat on a 5.5 month old so I need to put him in a windbreaker or a sweatshirt with a hood.

    Regarding trying to get kids hiking, keeping it pleasant. Since my time is so limited right now, while we keep going out I don't have Kristina walking as I would get to impatient with her for being pokey. Once things settle down at home, She & I can go back to just walking at Devil's Hopyard to go over the covered brideg & see the falls. She likes waterfalls. I carried the two of them to the lower falls on Race Brook a couple of weeks ago. With one on my back & one in my arms, the lower falls were farther than I thought & I gained more elevation than I wanted to gain. It was worth it though

  7. #7
    It seems to fit enough diapers, travel wipes & kid snacks. I haven't figured out yet how to get much of my gear attached. When going with another adult that is easy but waist belt is too cushy to wear my fanny back also. I think there are some attachment points though so I could attach a small stuff sack with my rain-coat & extra since I may need kid fleece for two. An Umbrella seems like a good idea too.

  8. #8
    Greg's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all the great Kelty pack (and parenting advice)! My and Abby's Kelty Back Country came today. I found a really great price from this Web site:

    http://www.comfort1st.com/noname26.html

    ~$160, free shipping, no sales tax. I hope to do a few laps around the neighborhood tomorrow to try it out. I'll let you know how things go.
    I ski double black diamonds.

  9. #9
    Sounds like we can come to the conclusion that Abby is feeling much better since Flags weekend then...that's the best news of all. Load her up and take the family out for some nice foliage walks Greg. Let's see...Smitty77 was 4 months old when we took him out for the first time. 26 years later, you still can't keep him in the house!

    Have fun with the new carrier...take Abby EVERYWHERE!

    Patti & Max
    "Never take no cut-offs, and hurry along as fast as you can." Virginia Reed, Donner party survivor

  10. #10
    Greg's Avatar
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    Thanks Max. Will Do. Yup - Abby is a new baby. It's amazing how much she's grown and developed in the few weeks since she was sick. Four big 'ole teeth and the desire to take on the world!
    I ski double black diamonds.

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