Best Child Carrier Backpack for Toddlers 2018

Deuter Kid Comfort Air Review

If you’re looking for a well-ventilated, lightweight backpack carrier for shorter journeys with an older child, then look no further. The Deuter Kid Comfort Air is easy to adjust and its side-entry panel makes getting your older child in and out of the carrier stress-free.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Lots of storage
  • Height-adjustable seat
  • Kickstand with audible ‘click’ when it’s locked
  • Detachable chin pad
  • Easy to transport
  • Breathable mesh fabric
  • (Very) cute teddy bear included

Cons

  • Less padding than its predecessor, the Deuter Comfort
  • Only available in one colour

Key features of Deuter Kid Comfort Air

  • Height-adjustable seat
  • Detachable chin pad
  • Soft, padded five-point harness
  • Kickstand
  • Extras: sun protector/rain cover (£30)
  • RRP: £200

How big is the Deuter Kid Comfort Air?

  • 70 × 43 × 34 cm
  • 14 litre capacity
  • Weight: 2.82kg

Once you get onto the older kids, the Deuter packs really come into their own – they have more space and feel much more rugged for larger little ones. The Kid Comfort Air is almost the same as the original Comfort, except for the improved air circulation. Fabric behind the adult’s back and to the sides around your child is gauzy rather than solid, which is a big bonus on a warmer day or strenuous hikes.

The backpack carrier has everything you need (and more) for a shorter hike with an older child. It’s intuitively designed with a fold-out kickstand, side-panel entry and removable dribble pad. It’s lightweight but still has enough storage for a day’s supplies.

Is it easy to assemble?

It’s ready to use straight out of the box – with a little guidance. The instructions are clear, but this backpack is one of the harder pieces of kit to get up and running, we found. The fastenings are exactly the same as the Comfort with an adjustable footrest. The only real difference is the chin pad which is much thinner and slightly less comfortable for a sleeping child.

How is it day to day?

Ventilation is this carrier’s real selling point – the pull-forward adjustment on hip belt and the Air Comfort back system allow for maximum air flow. While the ventilation is great and makes for a less sweaty ride, it does mean you lose a bit of padding which you need for longer walks, to prevent the straps or carrier itself from digging in.

We loved the kickstand, which makes an audible ‘click’ when it locks. It comes in really handy when you need a breather or want to stop for a quick refreshment. The water-bottle holders are a bit of a nuisance to be honest – they sit unnaturally high, so accessing a quick drink requires a bit of contortionism. The water bottle also had a tendency to fall out, which is less than ideal.

Storage on the Deuter Kid Comfort Air is good for shorter journeys and there are multiple pockets to put your essentials in. A zipped pocket on the hip belt and mesh side pockets are very useful for smaller items like a phone and keys. For larger items, there’s a zipped compartment located under the seat, and a stretch compartment on the back. The sun canopy is designed to fit in the lower pocket, which was a good use of space, we thought.

Because your child sits quite high – which our little tester thoroughly enjoyed – there’s a lot of “duuuuck” and “shut your eyes”. If you decide to add the sun/rain canopy, remember it does give more height to an already tall contraption.

The grab handles are a great help when you want to get the pack on your back quickly and nobody else is around to help. The five-point harness is sufficiently padded and can be adjusted easily. The entire thing can be transported with ease and doesn’t take long to fold down or ping up again.

How does it look?

The Deuter Kid Comfort Air is simple, stylish and looks like a classic child backpack carrier. Its sturdy aluminium frame is encased in a bright green fabric* which is great for visibility.

*To get a bit geeky, the backpack carrier is made from two fabrics: 210 denier nylon with strong ripstop threads and PU coating, and 600 denier Polyester thread and with a thick PU coating. The former is a fine, lightweight fabric that is supposed to withstand a lot of wear and tear. The latter is slightly more robust and is designed for average weather conditions.

Is it easy to clean?

Like any good child backpack carrier, the Deuter Comfort Air is easy to wipe down. Having an exposed frame might not be the most aesthetically pleasing look but it sure keeps most of the mud off when you put it down to load up or unload.

Is it good value for money?

At an RRP of £200 (but going for cheaper if you look around – at about £170 at time of publication), the Deuter Comfort Air is a good investment. It’s cheaper (£20-£50) than the Comfort and boasts better ventilation, which is great for hotter weather and slightly longer journeys. It’s a well-designed child carrier backpack for older kids, from a well-respected outdoor brand.

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All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Read our How We Test page to find out more.

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Awards

  • Best Baby Carrier Backpack for Toddlers 2018

How we test

We've put hundreds of baby products through our exhaustive testing process, to produce reviews that are accurate, honest and trustworthy. Here's what we did to test baby backpack carriers and find the best of the best.

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