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Deuter Kid Comfort II: A very, very happy medium

04/14/2008 at 07:00 AM ET

Deuter_kid_comfort So it’s a presidential election year — in case you hadn’t noticed.  It’s been hard not to notice around here. At the time this review was written, my little neck of the woods (suburban Philadelphia) has pretty much become ground zero for the candidates.  They’re in the area so often I half expect to find Barack and Hillary doing the morning kid unload at our 4-year-old’s preschool.  And while that hasn’t happened (yet), they have given quite a few speeches locally that I really, really wanted to attend.  But with my husband at work and without anyone to watch the baby, I was kind of stuck. 

Until we received our Kid Comfort II from Deuter USA, that is.  It’s what Jennifer Garner reached for when she was ready to pound the pavement with Violet, 2, and no wonder:  Whether you’re headed to a political rally, or just rallying your troops to get off the couch and hit the open trails, the Kid Comfort II is a diverse backpack carrier in a manageable size and with the features you need to handle any situation.

Click continue reading for the entire review, and for information on how to enter to win a Kid Comfort II.

We tested the Kid Comfort II ($189) over a 3-week span with our 16-month-old baby Sam.  If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know that neither he — nor we — are strangers to backpack carriers.  We’ve used several, some with success and some without, and we know exactly what we’re looking for.  The Kid Comfort II for us fills the void between the really heavy-duty backpack carrier for hardcore hikers (though its not lightweight, by any stretch of the imagination) and the more pared-down styles currently available.  Because it straddles those two extremes so artfully, it makes an excellent choice. 

With a total kid/cargo weight capacity of 48.5 pounds, the Kid Comfort II can lug a lot of weight, and I’m happy to say it distributes that weight evenly across the span of your back.  It’s certainly not easy to hike with a 27-pound baby, but believe it or not, standing still is just as tough.  You’re relying on your back muscles and your core at that point much more than you are the power in your legs.  So being forced to stand still in a hot, crowded auditorium with Sam strapped to my back as we waited for candidate X or candidate Y (who are eternally late — just so you know) to arrive gave me plenty of time to gather my thoughts on the Kid Comfort II.   

As far as fabrics go, this is the top of the line for a frame backpack carrier.  From the 3D air-mesh surrounding the padding of Sam’s five-point harness to the mesh underside of my padded shoulder straps, it’s clear that Deuter kept the comfort of both parent and baby in mind when designing the Kid Comfort II.  And speaking of padding, its everywhere.  You don’t need to worry about straps cutting into your skin while using this carrier.  But while these features are nice, nothing keeps you as comfortable as the vari-quick harness system which allows the Kid Comfort II to accommodate different body sizes.  Simply open the velcro closure and move the harness strap to your desired position on the vari-quick device (which resembles a ladder).  You then lace the strap through a series of loops and secure the velcro closed again.  Whether your torso is long or short, you can wear the Kid Comfort II with ease — which is especially nice if you’ll be sharing backpacking duties with your spouse or a friend.  Babies of different sizes are also easy to accommodate, however.  The child seat height and harness are also adjustable. 

Another feature that sets the Kid Comfort II apart is its compatibility with Deuter’s hydration system, for it comes fully-equipped with a hydration sleeve.  This is great for those days where you’ll be on a long hike, or just when you just don’t feel like fiddling with a water bottle while out and about with baby.  There’s plenty of storage for those outings as well.  You can easily fit diapers/wipes, a change of clothes (or two!), snacks and even a small blanket and some toys in the Kid Comfort II between the large zippered pocket under the seat, a large rear pocket for valuables and side mesh pockets.  And plenty of 3M reflective tape will keep you (and baby) safe if you find yourself caught outdoors after the sun has begun to set. A sun roof/rain cover (MSRP $25) and neck cushion (MSRP $10) can be purchased separately.

We really liked the Kid Comfort II.  Weighing in at 6.1 pounds and measuring 26"Hx15W"x13"D, it’s certainly not the largest backpack carrier I’ve worn.  Because of its (relatively) compact frame, I think the Kid Comfort II makes a great choice for a mom, or for that matter anyone who is new to using a backpack carrier.  It offers just the right amount of features and extras to make it easy and worthwhile to carry, without the size that can be overwhelming and intimidating to a backpacking newbie. 

To view a list of retailers who sell the Kid Comfort II, click here

Enter to win a Kid Comfort II. Email the following info to celebritybabyblogATgmail.com (be sure to replace AT with @).

  • Your full name, mailing address, and email address.
  • Have you ever used a backpack carrier? If so, which one and what did you like and dislike about it?
  • What is your favorite feature of the Kid Comfort II?
  • Make sure you put "DEUTER" in the subject line in order for your entry to be counted.

Any entries that don’t include all of the info will not be counted. The contest closes April 15 at 7 am EST. (For terms & conditions, click here.)

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