Gear Review: Deuter Kid Comfort II Child Carrier
Here at Terra Trekkers we put our kid gear through the wringer. Things get thrown in the back of the car, covered in applesauce, and endure rough handling at airports. Which is a good thing, in our opinion. Stuff marketed towards children and their parents needs to be tough, especially if they’re going to survive the rigors of family travel.
We bought our Deuter Kid Comfort II Child Carrier in 2011 for a trip to Yellowstone National Park. As of this writing (in February 2015) it has hundreds of miles of use and has seen Mexico, Peru, Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, and many other US States. Now on its second kid, the carrier remains in excellent condition and is a workhorse when it comes to family treks and vacations. It is, by far, my most-recommended piece of family adventure gear.
We found that the carrier is best suited to children ages 1-3, although our son is currently 4 and is loathe to give up his spot to his younger sister. Why walk when you can ride in comfort?
Flexible Fit for Adults
My husband and I have a ten inch height difference (5’7” vs. 6’5”) between the two of us so finding a carrier that properly fit both of us was a challenge. We spent a few hours in the store trying on different brands and models. Ultimetely, it was the adjustable height straps on the backpack’s main frame that sold us on the Deuter. I wasn’t stuck lugging around a pack that was designed for my tall husband, instead finding that the system allowed me to move up both the belt and back support, important features when properly fitting child carriers. The wide hip harness comfortably bears the majority of the load and the shoulder straps are well-padded, with an additional chest buckle.
Comfort is key when choosing a child carrier, as it’s not uncommon to be hefting in excess of 50 pounds, when accounting for the pack, kid, and coats/water bottles/lunches.
Excellent for Children
One of the features we liked best about the Deuter, and the II in particular, was the size and padding of the seat. Many of the carriers didn’t provide a comfortable chair for the kids. The Deuter’s seat is well-padded and Ben is able to tuck his legs up and perch his feet on the bottom of the frame, thus preventing uncomfortable ‘crotch hanging’ that is common among other popular brands.
The five point harness keeps kids securely retrained and is the main reason the carrier is good for a wide range of ages and sizes as the straps are fully adjustable. Our little Emma is a wiggly Houdini yet hasn’t managed to break free of the restraint system.
Ben liked to stuff the side pockets with his various snacks and a water bottle as he could easily access them throughout the hike. As you well know by now, happy kids = happy parents.
We typically stored lunches and coats in the main compartment; my only wish was that the space was a bit larger as we frequently filled it completely. Despite our best effort to pack lightly, traveling with children always requires an extensive amount of gear and finding places to store it all is a bit tricky. Chris often complains that he resembles a pack mule.
Here at Terra Trekkers we’ve found that investing in a few quality pieces of toddler gear (carrier, stroller, travel crib) has provided us with comfort and reliability; two essential features when traveling with children. The Deuter Kid Comfort definitely fits into this category and we’re looking forward to several more years of adventures with the kids on board. After that, they’re going have to walk!