Hiking Backpacks — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Hiking Backpacks

I don't know who to look this up, so I thought you ladies may be the best way for me to get information about this.

I have a question about hiking backpacks. I purchased a Kelty backpack off of Craigslist in order to take LO out on hikes this summer. I tried it out this past week and my daughter (18 months, 20 pounds) loved it. However, I noticed that she was basically standing up in the seat. It was only supporting her crotch, and her legs were straight down. She was happy as a lark the whole time, but I am worried about using it with her.

I didn't realize how unsupported she was until we were into the hike and now I'm afraid to use it again.

Is this how the hiking backpacks are? Do you know of a way I can modify it to make it more supportive?

I am not opposed to re-selling the pack, but I don't think I can justify dropping $200 for a fancy backpack, since I really don't see myself using it enough to make the cost-per-use worth it.

Any information or suggestions you have for me are so appreciated! Thank you!

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Re: Hiking Backpacks

  • My understanding is that the new Deuter III is better, but yeah, it's $300 if you buy it new.

    I have never seen a good way to modify a crotch dangling frame-based kid-carrier to make it not a dangler.  Though, I'd say, by that age, you've gotten past the main worry of hip dysplasia.  If you can find a way to sling her feet, give her something to rest them on, that would help, but wouldn't entirely eliminate the problem of her back not being properly supported.

    Honestly, for most hiking I do, I use a SSC (like an Ergo, only I've used different brands) and carry a smaller backpack on my front (if no one is coming with me and there's no one to take my gear).  Still works with my four year old, but that 40lbs of child plus all the carrier/backpack/gear gets heavy!
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  • DH and I each wear a child while hiking. I love my osprey poco and he likes his kelty tour. Every frame carrier we looked at had the same "seat", crotch dangle effect. I did splurge on my osprey because it has one major feature the other didn't, stirrups!! DS1 is about 33" and reaches them great, he stands in them off and on during hikes. But as pp said, I think you are past the time to worry about hip dysphasia.
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