HOW TO USE A CHILD CARRIER FOR HIKING
Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision.
Knowing when your baby is ready for a child backpack carrier is essential. Newborns need a frameless sling carrier that snuggles them in front of you. However, once they can sit upright without assistance and weigh at least 16 lbs with full head and neck control, they are ready for a child backpack carrier with a built-in frame.
When using a child backpack carrier, it’s essential to be aware of activities that should be avoided, such as hiking on loose rocks, trail running, climbing, skiing, ice skating, cycling, and any high-speed activity. A child backpack carrier suits hiking, backpacking, travel, and walking around town.
When shopping for a child backpack carrier, consider the key features such as suspension, stand, frame, and accessories. Suspension adjustability is essential for parental comfort and can be measured by the torso range specification. The air helps provide a stable base for your child to get in and out of the carrier, while the frame provides the structure needed to carry the weight of larger children. Accessories like gear storage, diaper changing pads, and removable rain/sunshades can be helpful but also increase the weight and price of the carrier.
Remember to be realistic about how many items you plan to carry and whether you need specific features. Lastly, always ensure that your child’s weight plus the gear in the carrier does not exceed 48 lbs.
To install the straps on your child backpack carrier, first adjust it to fit your body. When making adjustments at home, use heavy objects like books to weigh down the backpack instead of having your child in it.
Adjust the suspension system to fit your torso, with the hip belt resting on your hip bones and the shoulder straps resting on your shoulders. Tighten the waist so that 80% of your weight is on your hips, and tighten the shoulder straps so the child backpack carrier stays stable and the remaining 20% rests on your shoulders. Tighten the load-lifting straps from the top of the shoulder straps towards the top of the rear panel at about a 45-degree angle. If you notice a gap between the straps and the top of your shoulders, loosen the straps and try again. Adjust the chest strap so that it doesn’t interfere with your breathing.
Adjust the child’s seat height before placing your child in the carrier. Ensure the child’s straps are unfastened and the brace fully extended. Then, place your child in the carrier, ensuring their feet slide through the leg openings. Fasten and tighten all straps, including the waist belt, shoulder straps, leg strap adjusters, and chest straps. Tighten the side compression straps if they are present. Check that the seat height is correct so your child’s chin is roughly level with the top of the chin pad. Ensure the child’s shoulder straps fit smoothly over their shoulders and the leg straps fit snugly.
How to Pack and Lift a Backpack
Putting on and removing the backpack carrier is similar to lifting a heavy backpack. Hold the top handle and pull on the shoulder straps while lifting the child backpack carrier and buckling the waist belt. To remove the carrier, loosen the shoulder straps and unfasten the waist belt. Grab the handle behind your head and bring the harness to your front, then grab the second handle to help you place the child backpack carrier on the ground.