Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kelty Kids FC 3.0 Backpack

Rating: 4.5/5 stars
We like to be outdoors. A lot of the outdoor places we like to be are not conducive to strollers. We knew we had to get a backpack carrier. After baby outgrew the bjorn, what were we going to do?! We searched around a bit, but the Kelty really seems to have the market on structured backpack carriers. I would venture to say 80% of the people we see hiking have a Kelty. Possibly more. There are several models available. This review is for the FC 3.0, as deluxe as it gets in the world of Kelty. (Deluxe reads expensive). We do love this carrier. Baby seems comfortable, it comes with a sun shade (have I mentioned its sunny in Colorado?), will last for what seems like forever. Also, for the most part, I despise strollers in crowded places. Things like art fairs and farmers markets. Not only is everyone annoyed with someone trying to squeeze by them with the stroller, inadvertently rolling over/into their feet, it annoys me, the stroller pusher. I can't walk quickly, as I tend to do, I can't see what I want to see, get to where I want to get to. I thought a backpack carrier would be the solution to all of this. While it IS the perfect solution, for a self proclaimed stroller-hater like me in many situations, it does have a few drawbacks as well. Which may be the reason we might not be a 4 stroller family but, as of today, have become a 3-carrier (+1 sling) family. I broke down and ordered an Ergo. What I hope to be a rave review will follow in the weeks to come.
Overall, this is a great back pack. Its phenomenal for real hikes. It has a lot of storage for snacks, water, diapers, toys, etc. Its comfortable for baby and wear-er. The one thing I don't like about it is its size. Well, I like its size for hiking. I just think its a bit overkill for things like walking through an art fair. You look (and feel) a bit like a gear-head. Also, we travel a lot. I've found myself on vacation wishing I had the carrier. The size of this carrier isn't exactly friendly for travel. Unless, of course you were on a hiking trip.

-Self deploying kick stand, makes it extremely easy to get baby in/out and off/on your back, even by yourself.
-Sunshade comes with it. It is more than ample for even the sunniest places, yet not claustrophobic. Even shields a light rain (from the top)
-Extra storage below baby, and an extra zip-off mini-day pack make for plenty of storage for day hikes (and your partner can wear the mini day pack to alleviate extra weight). (The newest model seems to have done away with the zip-off pack. The storage is still there, its just not removeable. But the new, awesome colors make up for it in my world).
-Comes with a changing pad, so you don't have to pack yours. (Changing pad is a bit small, but it does its job)
-Comfortable for baby. Baby has been known fall asleep on numerous occasions in this pack.
-Adjustable for many sizes. Husband and I can both wear this pack. Me: 5'1" 115lbs (I can't believe I just posted that), Him: 6'2" 235lbs (Bet he won't be jazzed I posted that either).

-Its heavy. While the pack does its best to disperse weight to the hips, husband mostly wears this. And even he complains its quite heavy.
-Its big. It doesn't really pack down at all for easy storage/travelling, and its more than necessary for your average stroll through the park. Its great for real, adventurous hikes, but for everyday use, its large. And in charge. (couldn't resist)
-For its size, it doesn't have a TON of storage. Its a great day-pack, but you could never fit enough stuff for an overnight trip.

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