In today’s digital age, getting kids hooked on the outdoors at an early age could help them develop a life-long love of adventure. To help facilitate that, Deuter has revamped their kid-carrier backpack line this year and our test team put the new pack series through rigorous field tests.
Deuter offers four packs in their update Kid Comfort series. The core of the line is the Kid Comfort pack. This pack features Deuter’s latest AirComfort Back System. This harness system incorporates cool mesh panels in the suspension to facilitate airflow around the adult and the kid, helping to keep both dry and comfortable during hot hikes. The suspension also boasts Deuter’s new VariSlide adjustment system. Our testers say this system was easy to use and incredibly effective in dialing-in the perfect fit on the person toting the pack, whether it’s a 6-foot father or a petite 5-foot, 4-inch mother. The Kid Comfort also makes it easy to make adjustments for different kids (or for the growth of a single kid) thanks to a height-adjustable seat and foot stirrups. Our team toted 8-month old babies and 2-year-old toddlers, and both were secure and comfortable. The Kid Comfort features an integrated sun/rain awning that quickly stows away when not needed. In addition to the versatile kid’s seat, the Kid Comfort sports 14-liters of pack space to hold the gear needed for your hike.
Deuter’s Kid Comfort Pro includes all the features of the Kid Comfort and adds on a removable daypack for added gear storage. The Pro also boasts a higher back and added padding on the child seat to better cradle dozing babies during outings.
With the Kid Comfort Active and Kid Comfort Active SL packs, Deuter targets the hardcore hiker parents. These packs – the Active SL is a women-specific design of the Active – are lighter and more streamlined versions of the Kid Comfort. The Active weighs just 5.9 pounds (the Kid Comfort runs 7.1 pounds, while the KC Pro is 7.8 pounds). The Active and Active SL features Deuter’s Lite Back suspension system to reduce weight while still allowing good ventilation and modest adjustability in fit.
The Test Results
The Deuter Kid Comfort proved to the ideal do-it-all kid-carrier backpack for our team of new parents. The added features of the Pro were nice, but the Kid Comfort pack had enough integrated pack space that the removable daypack wasn’t deemed necessary. But every parent who carried the Kid Comfort said they wouldn’t want to give up the fit, comfort, and support of its suspension system, even for the substantial savings in weight offered by the Active. Said one mom, “If I were planning to haul my son up a steep mountain trail every weekend, I’d think more about counting ounces. But for the average family trip, comfort for my baby – and me – trumps pack weight.”
The Deuter Kid Comfort sells for $290, while the KC Pro is $330, and the KC Active and Active SL are $240. Buy now.