Kelty Transit 3.0 Review

Updated February 28, 2013
Kelty Transit 3.0

According to experts and parents, the Kelty Transit 3.0 is lightweight and compact enough for urban use, with the durability and structure required for serious outdoor adventures. An internal frame distributes weight evenly, and an adjustable seat with a five-point harness keeps babies from 16 to 30 pounds secure. Loaded with extras including a generous storage compartment and changing pad, the Transit stows baby and diaper bag on your back for easy mobility.

ComfortProsLots of storage space, Highly adjustable, Durable constructionConsLower weight rating than some backpack carriers, Foot stabilizer not as steady as a kickstand

Load-lifter straps further help parents support heavy loads by pulling the pack's weight in closer for greater load stability and reduced shoulder strain. According to parents, the internal frame is well ventilated for breathability on long hikes, even with the extra padding. Parents also say that the padded seat allows children to nap while being carried.


Easy to load and go. Most parents say that it is easy to load their baby into the Kelty Transit 3.0 and that it's easy to get it on and off with the baby in it. The Transit has a foot stabilizer at the base that keeps the pack steady during loading and helps prevent tip-overs. However, the stabilizer does not provide as much support as a kickstand, and you cannot leave your child propped in this backpack. Once the child is in, parents say that the Transit's waist and shoulder straps are intuitively placed and easy to adjust for size. This adjustability is particularly valued in families where adults of varying size carry the baby.

Parents describe the overall shape and style of the Transit pack as compact and portable, particularly given the amount of structure it provides. Parents love the convenience features, which include a removable secondary storage compartment with a changing pad that is large enough to hold extra clothing, food, and diapering supplies; an organizer pocket for small items; a water-bottle pocket on the waist strap; and toy loops for the baby. The Transit is also equipped with a fold-out hood that protects against sun and rain, but some say that the hood is difficult to put on compared to other carriers.


Durable build for the trail. One reviewer reports that he logged over 200 miles of hikes and climbs with his Kelty Transit without the pack showing visible wear or damage. Parents report that the fabric is strong and that the seams are well constructed.

The Kelty Transit can carry babies with full head control from a minimum weight of 16 pounds up to toddlers of 30 pounds. Overall, the pack can carry 40 pounds including the child and any gear packed in the storage compartments. While previous versions of the Kelty Transit were rated for 40-plus pounds, many parents report that the pack stops being comfortable at the 30-pound point.

Our Sources


Babble Best Picks: Baby Carriers, Editors of, Not dated

Review Credibility: Very Good The Kelty Transit 3.0 is's pick for serious outdoor adventures and hiking. editors tested dozens of carriers in all available styles to establish their best picks. They say that the Transit is the most comfortable and useful backpack carrier they tested thanks to its extras and storage capacity.


We Love, You Need: The Best Baby Slings, Carriers and Backpacks of 2012, Kate Bayless, March 20, 2012

Review Credibility: Very Good The Kelty Transit 3.0 makes this roundup of top baby carriers as selected and reviewed by parent testers for's top product picks of 2012. It was tested by a mom and her 4.5-month-old son. She says her son seems very comfortable but notes that it's not practical for everyday use because of its bulk.

3. Baby Bargains

Chapter 9: Strollers and More, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011

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 carrier brands, including the Kelty, specifically mentioning the Kelty Transit 3.0. They list pros and cons and give each manufacturer an overall letter grade for their products.


Baby Carrier Buying Guide, Editors of, November 2012

Review Credibility: Very Good offers a buying guide for baby carriers that includes types, features, brands, shopping tips and safety information. This article discusses backpack-style baby carriers, and the Kelty Transit is mentioned.


Kelty Transit 3.0 Child Carrier, Contributors to, As of March 2013

Review Credibility: Very Good The Kelty Transit 3.0 receives an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 in a handful of user reviews posted at Most users say that the Kelty Transit is very comfortable for the wearer and the baby. It gets high praise for storage and features as well as adjustability for adults of different sizes. However, there are a couple of complaints about the pack not distributing weight well and causing shoulder pain, particularly after extended use.


Child Carriers: Review of Frame Backpack Baby Carriers, LiLing Pang, May 1, 2012

Review Credibility: Fair This review explains the basic functions and features of internal frame backpack carriers for kids. Pang says the advantages of internal frame packs are lower weights (compared to external frame pack), extra storage capacity, safe five-point harnesses and better airflow between the child and parent. She says the disadvantages of internal frame packs are lack of kickstand, lots of straps and less storage than external frame packs. In her brief comparison of backpack carriers, she notes the Kelty TC pack lacks a kickstand.