Archives for posts with tag: Baby transport

Deuter Kid Comfort II Backpack

I love to have Worm close to me.  He’s my right hand man!  Besides, I’m not a huge fan of strollers.  They’re cumbersome and bulky for most situations (not to mention inconvenient for everyone except for the child riding inside).  So when I can manage it, I carry my little guy.  When our family was looking for a baby carrier, we were hoping to find one that fit our lifestyle.  And our lifestyle includes solo parent hikes while managing three creatures (a baby and two dogs) over hills, through woods, and into the city.  The Deuter Kid Comfort II was a great choice for us.

Kid cargo backpacks are pretty incredible nowadays and this one is no exception.  The Deuter Kid Comfort II has a well designed aluminum subframe, cooling system, and pockets galore.

But first, let’s talk about the most important thing.  Comfort for me.  The KC2 is incredibly adjustable and breathable.  In a backpack, those two characteristics make this backpack very comfortable.  My wife and I have two different body types and yet we both agree on the superior comfort of this pack.  The hip support belt is thick and very supportive.  I don’t get any irritation from hours of it resting on my bony hips.  The breathability is also top-notch.  I never feel like the pack is sticking to my back or that I’m not getting any airflow underneath the straps or other contact surfaces.  Deuter calls it the Aircontact system and it works as described.  Deuter also has something called a Vari-flex system built into the pack.  It allows for the KC2 to cling to your body as you negotiate uneven terrain without making the backpack feel rigid.  To me, the Vari-flex system gives me more control over the pack on technical trails.

The KC2 looks to be pretty comfortable for our baby.  He gets a 5-point harness with padded straps.  He gets a soft, removable drool pad/sleep pad/chin pad.  The kid seat is adjustable to some extent and even has a side entry/exit buckle.  I haven’t used the side entry buckle yet, so I can’t speak on the convenience of it.  For now, it’s still fairly easy for me to top load my precious live cargo.  The only issue I have with this part of the backpack is that when my boy falls asleep, his head can rest directly on the side entry buckle.  (I’ve read this about other users of this backpack as well.)  Also, please note that we started using the KC2 with a 1-year old.  I cannot comment on how well it fits a younger, smaller passenger.

A huge selling point of this pack was the built-in hydration system.  Between the carrier and the carried one, there’s a side access compartment for putting up to a 2 liter hydration pack.  I didn’t see this on any of the other packs that I looked at.  For us living in a dry climate, hydration is important and being able to store fluids in a separate compartment is extremely convenient.  The only down side is that a hydration pack doesn’t come standard with the KC2.

One of the drawbacks of the pack are the zippers on the Kid Comfort II.  They are a little irritating.  First off, I’ve got large hands.  Small zippers are not good for large hands.  The worst offending zippers are on the large rear compartment.  I always need two hands to get the thing opened and closed.  I can’t imagine the level of irritation I would get to if I was in cold weather with gloves on and had to open that compartment.

Why we didn’t choose the Kid Comfort I:  We live in warm weather so it was important to have a cooling system for the back.  We also wanted the hydration pack.  The KC1 doesn’t have either.

Why we didn’t choose the Kid Comfort III:  The KC3 had a more restricted viewing area due to its integrated rain/sun cover.  It was also taller.  I didn’t think the larger KC3 backpack was going to be as versatile for city use as well as trail use.

Overall, the Deuter Kid Comfort II does everything we need it to.  It’s large enough to carry equipment for our baby, our dogs, and ourselves for a sizable day hike.  The KC2 has a 48.5lb total weight capacity.  It’s comfortable for the wearer on long walks over various terrains.  The excellent design of this pack really shines through.  I highly recommend giving the KC2 a look if you’re in the market for a kid carrier.

— Dimensions —

Weight: 6 lbs 8 oz (2950 g)

Volume:  1100 cubic inches (18 litre)
Size:  26 / 15 / 13 (H x W x D) Inch;  66 / 38 / 32 (H x W x D) cm
Capacity:  48.5lbs (includes weight of baby)


Overall Rating:  9 Worms

Ease of Use: 9 Worms

Performance:  10 Worms

Features:  8 Worms

Durability:  8 Worms  (It’s still early, so this rating will get modified as we use the KC2 more and more.)

Manliness:  10 Worms

Retail Price:  $239.99



Extremely comfortable.  Easy to adjust for different sized adults.  I love the large compartment at the base.  Plenty of pockets for compartmentalizing your hiking life.  It comes with a cute little teddy bear for the kiddo!


Rain/sun shield must be purchased separately.  No built-in storage for the rain/sun shield in the pack.  (You can store the rain/sun shield in the hydration pack compartment, but why not a dedicated place for it?)  Hydration pack must be purchased separately.  Pack sometimes squeaks when  walking.

Things I would modify:

Add a second hip belt pocket.  Add a dedicated rain/sun shield storage compartment.  Add rings or some system to clip sippy cups/snack cups to hip belt.  It would free up my hands a bit more.

Where to find:

Deuter Website – US Version

This morning was awkward comment day at the lake.  Thrice.

Duncan, my Weimaraner, needs lots of exercise.  So, there’s a lake near us that has no car traffic and is paved all the way around.  It’s a 5 mile loop, and  even if I run the entire 5 miles (which I hope to do again, soon), Dunkie barely breaks a sweat.  Since Mini-me arrived, and I’m responsible for him (meaning Steph would kill me if I left him home alone), he gets to be pushed around the lake in the three-wheeled comfort of BOB while Dunkie and I jog.

It was cold at the lake this morning.  So, I bundled up Gavin by putting a hoodie over his pajamas. (Steph hates it when I don’t coordinate him.  I say brown goes with everything. ;))  I stuff the Worm into the stroller and cover him with a blanket.  I get Duncan out of the truck and we’re all ready to roll.

Since I can’t run the entire 5 miles anymore (without sleeping the next 18 hrs straight), I run a couple of miles and then walk for a bit.

When I slow down to walk, everyone around wants to talk to me.  (I guess when people look at me they think “Hey, that guy looks sad & lonely.  Maybe I’ll tell him my life story so he doesn’t feel so bad about his.”)  I’m sad and lonely because I want to be, people!

So, within minutes of walking, conversationalist #1 tries to make eye contact with me.  I can feel the eyes piercing my neck and I try to look down at the baby stroller as if I’m checking on him.  (Avoidance tactic.  Steph tells me I’m great at this.)  Man, she’s still staring.  I look up.

“Wow, that’s a BEAUTIFUL dog!  (5 second pause.)  And BABY too!”

“Huh?  Oh, thank you.”  I smile.  “He’s a good dog.  The baby’s ok sometimes too.”  Man, she can’t even see the baby’s face under the hoodie and he’s almost 90% covered up by the blanket.  Does this lady think it’s rude to say my dog is cute without commenting on my baby too?  What?  Does she feel sorry for me that my dog is cuter than my baby?  Maybe I need an uglier dog.

I run another two miles.  Then stop to give Dunkie some water.

Conversationalist #2 walks by me, this time from the opposite direction.  But, not without saying almost the same exact thing #1 said!

“Good morning!  You’re dog is BEAUTIFUL.  Oh, and so is you baby, too!”

“Thank you.”  I smile awkwardly.  WTF?  She can’t even see my baby.  The stroller hood is pulled all the way over him to keep out the rising sun!

I make it around the rest of the lake without incident.  (Probably because I had my ‘thug life’ grimace on.)

Back at the Cruiser (affectionately known as Eleanor), I’m set up to feed Dunkie the rest of his water, change the baby diaper, and stretch a little.  (Not all at the same time, people…)

I look over my shoulder and #1 is in the parking lot, looking at her phone, which seems to be pointed towards me.  I don’t know if she was taking a picture of my toned glutes or what.  But, she walks towards my truck and speaks.

“Is that a Weimaraner?”


“He’s so BEAUTIFUL.  Is he good with the baby?”

(No, he’s actually going to eat the baby once I leave them both unattended in the truck.  Barring any more gruesome event, I should be on the news tonight.)

“Yes, he’s a good dog.” Didn’t you hear me the first time I said it?  “He’s really good around the baby.”  (Can’t you see that he’s literally 2″ away from the baby while I’m changing him?)

“You’re baby’s beautiful too.”

“Thanks.  Have a good day.”  I smile.

Look.  I don’t give a crap if you tell me that I’ve got a beautiful dog.  I know I do.  Both of my dogs are handsome as hell.  They were rescued from a shelter so they’ve got self-esteem issues, but they’re beautiful where it matters most…on the outside.

Dad, Why is My Head Growing So Fast? (Because It's Filling Up With My Wisdom, Son.)

I know my baby’s not as cute as my dogs.  It’s ok.  The Worm was really cute as a baby, but now his head’s sort of growing faster than his face.  He’s going through an ugly phase, kind of like when I was growing up and my adam’s apple stuck out further than my nose.  I get it.

Please don’t tell me my dog is beautiful, then as an afterthought tell me that my baby’s beautiful, too.  That’s just weird and uncomfortable.  It’s not like they came from the same mother.  And it’s not a contest.  Duncan would win, hands down.  (For my mom:  I know you’re reading this and there’s definitely no way Dunkie is cuter than the Worm…no way!)

I like long walks on the beach, romantic dinners, and licking toes!

Ready to go for a walk!

The Beco Gemini is one of a few different baby carriers available from Beco.  I bought this carrier because I knew I wanted to carry my son during his non-walking years.  I don’t like strollers for the people traffic jams most of them create and I like to travel light.  I figured I could keep Gavin strapped to me while I clean, vacuum, do chores, er, um, I mean while I work on my truck and build things in the garage.  Also, I would be able to strap Gavin to me and walk the dogs at the same time.  (Multitasking!)  It really allows me to have both hands free to do things around the house or elsewhere.

NOTE:  If you’ve got no interest in having a baby carrier and are one of those people that push an enormous stroller around while oblivious to everything and everyone around you, then this is probably not the product for you.  It takes a certain type of person to want to carry a baby and I’ve found these people to be more minimalist in nature.

Given the opportunity to try on and test different baby carriers, I found the Beco Gemini able to carry baby: facing out, facing in, on the hip, and backpack style.  These options were in my desired list.  The only style of carry I haven’t used up to this point is the hip carry.  (I’ve got no hips for now, but I’m working on the middle age spread!)

The instructions for the Gemini were pretty easy to follow and there is ample padding for the different methods of carry.  I started carrying Gavin when he was about 6 weeks old (facing in).  Beco claims that the carrier can hold 7-35lbs.  Gavin was 7lb 13oz when born, but I didn’t feel at all comfortable trying to carry Gavin at that time.  It was just my personal preference and I waited until he got a little bigger.

At this time, Gavin is 9 1/2 months old and about 20lb.  He’s easy to carry with the Gemini and there is still enough padding to keep him comfortable.  We’ll see if he’ll still wants to be carried like this at 35 lb.  Either way, there’s room for him to grow.

This baby carrier was one of the few that did all the styles of baby carrying that I wanted.  It didn’t look too girly, but couldn’t they print bullets or knives on at least one of their carriers?  I don’t want to discourage anyone from this carrier because it is great, but I’ve seen plenty of use with it and I’ve got a few small issues with it.  I can’t get the waist support around my waist.  I’ve got a 29″ waist (31″ after eating a steak) and the waist strap doesn’t cinch tight around me.  The problem comes when I put the baby into the carrier and he sinks down into that space between me and the strap.  When this happens, his chin ends up resting on the top lip of the carrier.  After walking for a while, it rubs his chin skin and gets red.  Either have the top part fold down further or make the thing for skinny dads.  We do exist and we do carry babies.  Another issue I have is that there’s no storage, not even a place to hold a nickel you may pick up on the side of the road.  Lastly, washing the material, even once, causes it to fade slightly and look worn.

On the bright side, the safety buckles are great and the stitching of the material seems to be holding up quite well.  I like having the top part to fold up for shading Gavin’s head from the sun or supporting his head when he’s tired.  The Beco Gemini has enough support to be functional without being a problem to fold up and travel with.

I guess the real question is:  Now that I know all the ins and outs of this product, would I buy this again?  Yes.


Overall Rating:  7 Worms   

Ease of Use:  7 Worms 

Performance:  7 Worms 

Features:  7 Worms 

Durability:  8 Worms 

Manliness:  6 Worms (No guy looks manly carrying a baby.  Though, he does look sensitive and caring!)

Retail Price:  $130



Safety clasps, 4-way baby carrier, lightweight, quality stitching, packs tightly into my suitcase for travel


No pockets.  Doesn’t cinch tight enough around my waist.  Could use more adjustability in padded portion for different size babies.

Things I would modify:

Add pockets or bags that you could velcro to the straps.  Just something small to carry a pacifier, diaper, and a couple wipes, so I don’t have to carry around a diaper bag everywhere I go.  I’d like to see the top fold down portion able to fold down further.  My baby isn’t small, but his entire head still doesn’t clear the top flap. (It may also have to do with the loose waist strap.)  I’d also like to see more adjustability in the padded section, like possibly more button fasteners so that I can fine tune the comfort for baby.  Maybe breathable fabric?

Where to find:

Steph and I try not to waste money on baby stuff that we only use a few times and/or don’t really believe is worth it.  That said, the BOB is worth every penny we’ve spent on it.  That says a lot, because it doesn’t come cheap.

We bought our BOB Revolution SE to fit our lifestyle.  We like to take long walks, run, and hike.  In San Diego, we see sidewalk, grass, sand, dirt, and sometimes a little water.  The BOB Revolution SE handles the varied terrains well.

NOTE:  This is the 2010 model that  I am reviewing.

The SUV of strollers. BOB Revolution SE

The SE (Sport Experience) differs from the CE (City Experience) because of the larger wheels.  The SE has 16″ rear wheels, while the CE has the smaller 12″ wheels in the back.  The larger wheels provide a longer wheelbase and more stable platform at the cost of maneuverability.  Don’t get me wrong, this stroller still turns easily, just not as easy as some others.  (There is also a fixed front wheel model for hardcore runners.)

We love our BOB Revolution SE.  It’s pricey, but we use it almost every day and the build quality is great.  We can fit up to a 70 lb baby in there, so it’s useful for at least a few more years.  The tires have plenty of grip.  It’s easy to roll over bumps in the road and on the dirt trails.  It doesn’t take much effort to get up and down curbs.  (We don’t jump off the curbs yet, but the solidly design of the BOB looks to be accepting of a lot of abuse.)  We’ve gone trail hiking with the BOB Revolution and it’s been great.  The large wheels roll nicely and the suspension does its job.  There are two settings for the suspension, so there is some adjustability in the design.

The front wheel has a tracking adjustment to fine tune the steering of the stroller.  When it’s dialed in, I can literally use one hand to control the stroller, while I sip my mocha-chino half-caf double espresso, skinny latte with nonfat whipped cream with the other.  This feature is a big plus for me because I usually walk two dogs with one hand and hold the stroller with the other.  (I try to get everyone exercise at once.  Multitasking!)

Two large pouches (one behind seat and one underneath) can carry some gear for you.  We shove blankets in the compartment behind the seat and put the diaper bag and/or purse in the underneath pouch.  We had to purchase the cup holder accessory separately, which should be included with the BOB at this premium price.  It provides a small zip pouch and two cup holders for water bottles, etc.

Steph and I are fairly tall people (above average) and the stroller still feels nice for us to push around.  We don’t have to walk like hunchbacks of Notre Dame in order to control the Revolution.  So, it’s very comfortable for us during our long walks, and that is a huge reason I give it a 9 worm rating overall.  But if we were any taller, the handlebar would need to be raised…and BOB doesn’t offer that feature.

The stroller is one of the most manly looking strollers on the market as well.  I don’t feel like a sissy pushing it around.  In fact, it’s less a stroller and more an engineered SUV (Strolling Utility Vehicle) for babies.

If you need the car seat adapter, it is sold separately and there is no universal one.   It’s something to think about as the baby grows since your car seats may change.  The car seat adapter also requires tools to install and remove.  (I think this is changed on the 2011 model.)


Overall Rating:  9 Worms   

Ease of Use:  8 Worms 

Performance:  9 Worms 

Features:  7 Worms 

Durability:  9 Worms 

Manliness:  10 Worms 

Retail Price:  $469.00



High quality build.  Stable over many types of terrain.  Easy to maneuver.  Durable.  5-year warranty.  Quick release wheels (for easy cleaning).  Large canopy. 5-point harness for securing baby.


Occasional squeaking.  It can be a pain to get to the valve for pumping up tires.  Design could be more aesthetically pleasing for the price.  The BOB could also use a cup holder within arms reach of Gavin  (I think this is remedied in the 2011 model).  When folded up for travel, it would be nice to be able to secure it closed.  (I believe this feature has been added to 2011.)

Things I would modify:

There’s a Low Boy cargo pouch underneath the stroller.  It would be nice to have some open/close fasteners that allow me to cram large items into this Low Boy compartment (like a full diaper bag and/or Steph’s purse).  A different location for the stroller  clips.  A telescopic handlebar…not much, but something like an inch or two.  A cleaner way of securing the top view window curtain, since it tends to flap in the wind.  I would add drop down side curtains to block some cross wind into baby sitting area.

The BOB Revolution SE can be found here:

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