The Deuter Kid Comfort III is the luxury choice for the serious hiker/backpacker. Even smaller parents report its weight distributes evenly for an easy, comfortable carry. It's pricey, parents say, but there is nothing this carrier lacks.
Comfort for carried and carrier. The Deuter Kid Comfort III is highly adjustable, which makes it appropriate for parents of varying size. Even smaller/lighter parents say it feels very light to carry thanks to stabilizer straps, contoured shoulder straps and frame and molding that conforms to the anatomy. Kids love the soft pillow, and the breathable fabric keeps them at a comfortable temperature. The child's seat has a padded, five-point harness.
For serious hikers/backpackers. The Deuter Kid Comfort III is one of the most expensive on the market, but parents who are dedicated backpackers and hikers say it's worth every penny. It adjusts quickly and easily and, according to reviewers, looks more complex to put on than it is. The child's seat has a side entry to make it more convenient to place or remove a child. It has a lot of storage and accommodates a 2-liter hydration unit. Most of the storage is detachable, so you can decide how much you want to carry. It sports a number of other convenience features, including carry handles and reflective accents.
A number of parents say they were so pleased with their first carrier that they bought another for their second child. The only complaint we saw about this pack is that the kickstand should be put up before you put the carrier on your back because it can't be done by the carrier once it's on. However, if you are hiking with a companion, they can do it.
Will last forever. Owners say the durable, rip-stop fabric of the Deuter Kid Comfort III looks like new even after heavy use, lasts through several children, and is often passed on to friends or relatives. It's reported as easy to clean, and the pillow is detachable and machine washable. It has one seating position, facing forward behind the parent's back, but it's made for baby carrying, not baby wearing. The carrier weighs 7.6 pounds and holds up to 48.5 pounds, including gear and child. It's recommended for children with full head control, or about 6 months and up. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Review Credibility: Very Good The Deuter Kid Comfort III makes this roundup of top baby carriers as selected and reviewed by parent testers for iVillage.com's top product picks of 2012. It was tested by a dad and his 16-month-old twins. He says it's definitely for serious hikers and backpackers, not for a quick trip to Target. They rave about its comfort and ease of use, but say they wish it was less top-heavy.
Review: We Love, You Need: The Best Baby Slings, Carriers and Backpacks of 2012, Kate Bayless, March 20, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good This buying guide has a few recommendations but not in the usual format of their ranked, recommended, subscriber-only reports. Rather, it mentions some specific models within the discussion of types of carriers. The Deuter Kid Comfort III is one; and ConsumerReports.org editors note that it's for serious hikers.
Review: Backpack Carrier Buying Guide, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, November 2012
3. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Very Good "Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors review a number of popular baby carriers, including the Dueter Kid Comfort III, and make recommendations within each category. They list pros and cons and give each manufacturer an overall letter grade for their products.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers and More, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good The Deuter Kid Comfort III earns an overall rating of 4.8 stars out of 5 in a handful of owner reviews. Parents rave about its adjustability, comfort, and storage options that enable them to carry everything they need. Owners say it's heavy but comfortable enough that it doesn't bother them. One caveat: Virtually all reviewers say it's best to return the kickstand to its closed position before putting the pack on, unless you have help.
Review: Deuter Kid Comfort III Child Carrier, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Owners of the Deuter Kid Comfort III child carrier give it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 in more than 20 reviews. They say it's the best child carrier for hiking and is comfortable and easy to use. A number of owners say they bought a second one after having another child. Users also like the ample storage. The only con noted is the high price.
Review: Deuter Kid Comfort III Child Carrier, Contributors to REI.com, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Good The Deuter Kid Comfort III is named best backpack baby carrier for hiking in this roundup of top baby carriers. The brief review notes that this is a great choice for long-distance hikers looking for a deluxe carrier and that parents will be "beyond pleased" at its high-end features. The drawback is that it can be a pain to set up and is a pricey choice.
Review: Best Backpack Baby Carriers, Editors of MomFinds.com, Not dated