Product Review: Deuter Kid Comfort II (2010 edition)
For the hikes with the little one I have been using the Deuter Kid Comfort II. For the most part I have been quite pleased with our choice. When my wife and I started shopping for a kid carrier we narrowed our choices down to the Kelty FC series and the Deuter Kid Comfort series. We eventually choose the Deuter Kid Comfort II due to the size and fit.
The Deuter Kid Comfort II has the standard load lifters, side stability strap adjustments on the hip belt, and sternum strap that can be expected to be on a quality backpack. Also included are sizing levels to increase or decrease the distance between the waist belt and the shoulder straps. These adjustments can be done easily which comes in handy when switching between people of different body sizes. The little one is held in place with shoulder straps that also secure the hips in place just like most carseats. These straps can be adjusted as the child grows to ensure a snug and safe fit. One thing that I like about the hip belt is the ease that you can tighten or loosen the belt on the fly.
When it comes to storage the Kid Comfort II has plenty. Not all of the pockets are easily accessible for the wearer. There is a large storage section directly under the section that the little sits. On the back there is a zip pocket with a key hook, and three open pockets, one mesh pocket on side of the pack and one on the back directly behind the zip pocket. There is also a pocket on the hip belt large enough to carry a gps or a couple of cliff bars. The hip belt pocket is really the only pocket that can be accessed when wearing the carrier. I would preferred some side pockets to be lower on the side of the pack but it might have interfered with the leg from of the passenger.
You can purchase a few accessories to add to your and little ones comfort. Deuter has a water bladder that is designed to fit in the area provided for hydration bladders. The traditional CamelBak bladder that you might be familiar with will work but can not be inserted completely filled. One accessory I believe is essential is the sun cover. It also comes with a rain shield that is placed over the sun cover to provide some protection in case it starts to rain. The shade provided is acceptable, I would have been happier if there was more material on the side or if there was a curtain on the front that would come down. On a couple of my hikes when I was walking with sun in front of me the little one was hit with the full force of the sun.
I have been very happy with this kid carrier. With the addition of the sunshield and mosquito netting we have been been able to hike in comfort. Often the sidekick will nap while I do all the hard work.
There are two items that I wish was different. One being the already mentioned pocket location. The second is the type of zippers they used for the zip pocket and the storage area. They are not very good, difficult to zip and unzip. They really can not be managed with just one hand. Often when accessing the pockets I am also juggling the sidekick and that usually ends with a high level of frustration. From what I have read on the Deuter website they have changed some of the designs for the 2011 edition. Hopefully they addressed this.
Update: I have found another blogger’s review of this pack. From his blog it seems that he is located in a part of USA where the terrain is much different then mine. So check out his opinions.