Guest post by Nicole Antich

My three-and-a-half year and I have really enjoyed outings in our conventional carrier where he is sitting down. I did pay what I would consider a small fortune for it, but it has been relatively comfortable for both of us and served its purpose, allowing us to venture out on longer excursions where we couldn’t or didn’t want to take a stroller.

Now that he weighs about 33 pounds and has massive amounts of energy, I am finding that the constraints of our conventional sitting carrier have left us going out without it. This tends to restrict us to adventures that I know my son can handle on his own two feet.  Our trial of the Piggyback Rider gave me hope that with some adjustments, we can again take on longer outings with the option for my son to easily switch from walking and running around to riding on my back as much as he (or I) wants.

Piggyback Rider

We set out to go on a moderate hike with a small amount of snow. When we got to the trail, snowfall was heavier than I had expected. Snow is not a perfect condition for hiking with children…or at least my son. Even so, I was eager to try out the Piggyback Rider. I opened the hatch on my SUV to shield myself from the snow so I could open the Piggyback Rider packaging and read the instructions. Thankfully, the instructions were easy to read with step-by-step illustrations.

Piggyback Rider

Piggyback Rider

We walked easily for about a mile, until the snow got to be too much. Other than being cold, he was as happy as can be.  With the help of a friend, I was able to let him down when he wanted to run around and get him back up on my back a few times with ease. I could have done it myself if wasn’t snowing and/or I had something to sit on.

There was only one issue that we would need to resolve before going on a longer outing. I think a little more preliminary adjusting would make the foot bar more comfortable.  It adjusts to fit the height of the child, which means it can also tilt while you are walking and the child is standing on it. My son kept putting his weight on one side of the bar, which made the bar rub on my leg. It was fine for a short hike, but it started wearing on my leg and pants and actually wore an area of my jeans.  I think it would hurt on a longer hike.  Again, I think this could be resolved with more adjusting of the carrier. Also, I think my son would have learned eventually how to make it not tilt.

Features:

Carrying Case: Easy to find in a bright orange color, lightweight to take with you, adjustable to carry on your shoulder or on your back with the strap across your chest.

Adult Carrier: Simple to put on, lightweight, supportive, comfortable.

Child Harness: Very simple to put on your child and put on / take off your back so child can run around or be carried.

Foot Bar: Allows children who are outgrowing the conventional sitting child carrier to stand up and look all around.

Pros:

Lightweight.

Simple to put on adult carrier and child harness.

Easy to get child on / off adults back.

Child can keep harness on even when they aren’t riding on adults back.

Easy to pack up.

Compact size when in case.

Cons:

Bar that child stands on has to be re-adjusted often both for child’s comfort and adults comfort

No pockets for drinks, snacks, phone, etc.

Foot bar can be adjusted while child is riding, but it’s a little difficult. I could have done it myself if I had to, but was with another adult so asked them for help.

I’m hoping to do some more adjusting to the foot bar next week so we can use the Piggyback Rider regularly on walks around our neighborhood and down to the park, I can also see us taking it on outings with friends and family. We are going to Hawaii in April where my dad wants to take us across sharp lava beds to go snorkeling. I have been nervous about taking my son because I won’t be able to carry him in my arms along with all the gear we’ll need on the beach and to snorkel. The Piggyback Rider is light enough that I will be able to take it on the plane and use it on our vacation. At $79.99, I think it’s a fair price to be able to do many of the kinds of outings I’m used to doing with our conventional carrier that I paid at least 3 times as much for. In many cases I’ll be able to take in on a larger variety of outings because of it’s weight and ease of use. The question for me will be whether it will be comfortable on the longer range outings.  Crossing my fingers that it will.

The Piggyback Rider is designed for children 2-1/2 years old up to 60 pounds (about 6 years) and retails for $79.95.

Piggyback Rider

Nicole Antich – Nicole is a northwest native who has lived in Idaho, Chicago, Salt Lake City, Tokyo and Seattle and speaks Japanese. She enjoys stained glass, real estate investments and works in marketing. She loves adventures in the wilds, especially with her 3 year old son.

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