ProsAmazingly comfortable for both parent and child; convenient side-loading option; integrated sunshade
ConsSunshade must be stowed with care; carrier is slightly larger and heavier than some of its competitors
As new parents, we figured it would take at least a few years for us to really get back to the outdoor leisure activities that we enjoyed pre-baby. Then we bought Deuter's Kid Comfort III, and from age 6 months and on, our daughter loved spending time outside as much as we did, whether tagging along during gardening, exploring a new town, or going on a longer hike. And when ready for a nap, the gentle bouncing from mom and dad's steps lulled baby to sleep even better than a stroller! The best part of this carrier is that it offers deluxe comfort not only for the child hitching a ride but also for the adult wearing the carrier, thanks to a thoughtfully engineered design. We used this carrier countless times for walking around cities on vacation and taking hikes in the mountains. Before buying this pack, we wondered whether a few hundred dollars for a carrier would really be worth it; now we realize spending a bit more to get the Kid Comfort III will give us a few extra years of comfortable hiking and exploring, making it a bargain!
Description & Features
The Kid Comfort III rang in at 7.8 pounds on our scale. As for dimensions (not including the adult's contoured shoulder straps, hip belt, and collapsible stand), we measured the carrier at 33 in./26 in. tall (base to top of back without roof/base to top of child's head pillow), 17 in. wide (at its widest part), and 12 in. deep (at max. depth). It has a highly adjustable torso length and hip belt (accommodating torsos ranging from 15 in. to 21 in. and hips/waist ranging from 24 in. to 54 in.). The carrier is constructed of ripstop nylon and polyester fabrics and has an aluminum frame and folding stand. It also has an integrated sun/rain roof and can hold up to 18 liters of gear. Finally, it has six exterior pockets in addition to the main compartment and the storage pocket for the sun/rain roof (which only fits the roof). And for those of you who pay attention to the testing of products by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA)), their testing shows the Deuter Kid Comfort III exceeds ASTM, federal, and state standards.
The Kid Comfort III features an impressive array of convenient features that we really appreciated. First, the pack offers side entry and exit for the child (which not all hiking carriers do); this makes it easier for an adult companion to quickly take a child out of the carrier without the person wearing the pack taking the pack off. In addition, haul loops and a sturdy kick stand allow you to put the pack on and take it off by yourself with baby onboard (just like you would with a backpacking pack).
Other thoughtful features include a hand-held rear-view mirror to peak at baby if you're by yourself with the little one. The mirror stows in one of two generously sized hip belt pockets, which can easily hold a smart phone, keys, a point-and-shoot camera, or snacks. A pocket on each side of the carrier can hold a water bottle that can be accessed by the parent wearing the pack while on the go. A large external pocket on the back of the pack offers a place to stuff items for easy access by a companion, like clothing layers. That pocket can also hold a hydration bladder (e.g. a CamelBak).
And not to be underestimated, a generously-sized, zippered main compartment that hangs under the child easily stores diaper essentials, food for you and child, and extra clothing. The aluminum stand opens wide to create a stable base to safely hold your child when the pack is on flat ground. And the stand opens and closes with the perfect amount of resistance so that it can be maneuvered without significant effort by an adult, without collapsing when the carrier is sitting on the ground and holding your child.