This AMAZING child carrier backpack is a must-have if you are a photographer/adventurer with a baby or toddler in tow while out in the field! When I first tried traveling and taking photos with Nate, he was about 8 months old. My husband, Chad, and I had hiked plenty of times with him in a front pack, and had recently been given a few low-mid quality backpacks. We figured, “ehe-it’s a back pack, what could there be to it?” Well, after just 20 minutes out walking and taking pictures with only an 18-pound baby on my back, I was sore, grumpy, and done. Apparently, not just any backpack would do! However, I was slow to learn. We limped around for months trying various, cheaper backpacks. While I enjoy a good back massage just as much as anyone, the nightly aches and pains were aging me quicker than a calendar could. We knew it was essential to invest in a child carrier that we could use for awhile and that made it easy and comfortable enough to be in the field with Nate on our backs for hours on end (or at least for as long as Nate could manage this!). After several trips to REI where we drooled over these Cadillac backpacks, we finally invested in one! We haven’t regretted it once. Here is what I love about the “pack pack” as Nate calls it:
- Ventilated, mesh back panel- keeps sweat as minimal as possible. At least I don’t have to peel the backpack off of myself!
- Wide range of frame adjustability for users (I am 5’8” and my husband is 6’2”). If my husband and I are out together taking pictures, it is a breeze to switch who carries Nate.
- Plush, padded hip belt. Yes please! And this also has a big range of adjustability, which is crucial since you bear most of the weight around the waist!
- Nate’s height-adjustable “cockpit” is surrounded by plenty of soft, ventilated padding so I know he is comfortable
- Removable, machine-washable drool pad (for the kiddo, not me)…Do I really have to say more?!! Love this!
- Pocket to hold a water reservoir for longer, warmer outings. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!
- Plenty of pockets and a spacious storage compartment make it a simple to pack and organize snacks, drinks, extra clothes, baby supplies and other essentials for our adventures
- Strong, aluminum frame makes it lightweight
- Plenty of loops, clips and holes for attaching additional camera gear, bags, first aid, or even a day pack. Ummm…yea!!
- The frame hinges to allow the pack to stand upright on the ground and fold easily for storage or travel. Basically, it has a kickstand. We LOVE this because we can take him off our backs and set him next to us anywhere…almost as though he is in a portable high chair.
- Built-in sunshade quickly folds flat to stow away in a zippered pocket when not in use. This sunshade also makes me feel good about being out in the sun for long periods of time, even if he is slathered in sunscreen! Nate isn’t a hat-wearer…so the sunshade takes care of that.
I really could go on, and I’m sure my husband would have more to add, but I think this is a pretty convincing list! I know that buying a child carrier backpack is a personal decision, and one that needs to be made after trying it on (preferably). So, get to your nearest store (we bought ours @REI), and try on an Osprey Poco Plus. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. Pack on!