Eric and I were gun ho on getting back to hiking when Etta was still pretty young. We started researching packs when she was just several months old. We ended up ordering a Sherpani Rumba through REI early one. Turns out 30 minutes of walking would put Etta asleep and she would have the broken neck look. So, by the time she could stay awake long enough for us to go hiking I got pregnant again and therefore never ended up using it.
Now that Chloe is at the age where she is awake for several hour intervals we've been hiking and going for walks. She does fall asleep on occasion but doesn't have the broken neck look like her big sister. She just falls forward and to the side. It's actually kind of funny.
Anyway, we thought we should critique our pack along with a new (but used) one we picked up from craigslist. The Sherpani Rumba is an excellent kid carrier. It has the rain/sun shade, lots of storage compartments, foot rests (for the older kids), and padding galore. It is a little difficult to get the kids in there but they seem to be pretty comfortable. We had Etta in it a couple of times recently but she would want out and walk around shortly after starting our hikes. She just seemed to big for it even though the pack can carry 50 lbs. We did buy this for about $220 and now I find it on REI for $150.
Mommy and Chloe
We tried hiking a month or so ago and had Etta in the Sherpani and Chloe in the Baby Bjorn and my shoulders were killing me afterwards. We decided it was time to find another kid carrier. Instead of spending $200 (we didn't know they were on sale at the time) we decided to turn to craigslist.com and see if we could find a Kelty. If you aren't familiar, Kelty is a pretty good brand of carriers. Just so happen that day or the next day someone posted a Kelty Back Country for only $60. Turns out they retail for $160 new and this couple had used it only a few times. I called them and it turns out to be a military family going to the Navy Post Graduate School, living just across from the Defense Language Institute (where Eric is going), and the wife is from Misawa, Japan. Now what a small world this is. We got to talking and decided I would buy it the next day. Turns out the pack is in great shape and I even got to use some of my Japanese on her.
Etta was pretty excited to see her new pack and we went for a neighborhood walk with her in the Kelty and Chloe in the Sherpani. The Kelty just seems to fit bigger kids better than the Sherpani. It also comes with a sun shade but we were going for a walk at sun down when I took the picture. It's a lot more simple than the Sherpani (ie not much storage room) and Etta easily gets out of the straps. Eric keeps mentioning that he needs to read the instruction manual at some point to fix it.
We don't think it's as nice as the Sherpani but for the price we couldn't pass it up. So, if you are in the market for a pack I would check out craigslist and see what's available. Kelty is a reliable brand and they seem to be sold second hand fairly often. Sherpani seems to be a relatively unknown brand therefore harder to find in the used market. We like all the bells and whistles with the Sherpani but I'm not sure it's worth it for the difference in cost (if buying both at MSRP).
Going for a walkEric had commented that he wished he knew which pack Etta liked more. I told Eric to ask Etta and she would tell us which one she wanted. Eric put both side by side and asked Etta which one she wanted. She went for the Kelty. Then she went to the Sherpani and said baby. So, the Kelty is now her's and the Sherpani is now Chloe's.
Do you have a baby/kid carrier that you really like?