Best Budget Baby Carrier Backpack 2018
Littlelife Ranger S2 Review
If you’re after a lightweight back carrier for short-to-medium-length trips then this could be the one for you. The new-and-improved Littlelife Ranger S2 is a perfect purchase that won’t break the bank or your back.
- Very reasonable price
- Decent storage
- Sun and rain cover cost extra
- Six-litre storage pouch not included
How big is the Littlelife Ranger S2?
- Suitable for children aged 6 months to three years old (max load 20kg)
- 28 × 26 × 75cm (packed)
Key features of Littlelife Ranger S2
- Adjustable back system
- Zip pockets
- Newly designed face pad
- Lightest British Standard Approved back carrier
- Cross-buckle harness
- Fully adjustable back system
- Top-grab handle
- Three-year warranty
- RRP: £99.99
- Sunshade (£20.99)
- Rain cover (£29.99)
- Accessory pack (£10.99)
- Foot stirrups (£9.99)
This modernised version of the Ranger is the second Littlelife carrier to pick up a Mumsnet badge, and deservedly so. The Littlelife Ranger S2 is the perfect graduation from the front carrier.
From the first touch, you can tell this carrier is designed to be lightweight, durable and no-frills. It’s the lightest British Standard Approved back carrier on the market and a steal at £70.
If you are serious about walking and want a hardy carrier for inclement weather then you might be better off with Osprey Poco AG Premium. But, for a cheaper offering with decent storage, the Littlelife Range 2 will grow with your family.
How safe is the Littlelife Ranger S2?
The Ranger S2’s tubular aluminium frame is the lightest on the market at 1.7kg. Various straps and belts adjust the carrier so it fits adults from 5.1 to 6.1 feet (1.57m to 1.87m). Our tester – at the higher end of this spectrum – had no problem getting the carrier on and off his back. His wife – at the 5”7 mark – found it equally easy to use. We asked around and parents at the 5”1 mark found the same.
We think the trusty anchor point is to thank for this. It helps stabilise the carrier when you’re getting used to the weight on your back. The Littlelife Ranger S2 might be lightweight but it definitely feels sturdy, which is the most important thing. The five-point cross-harness (designed so parents can adjust and open the straps to the side to lift out a sleeping child) is a great feature. Don’t worry if it takes a little bit of trial and error to get the knack. Our tip: slacken the side straps first and all will become clear.
How good is the carrier day to day?
The Ranger S2 feels very secure for you and your child. It’s surprisingly sturdy for its low weight. There is ample room for your child to move around in the seat and his or her head is sufficiently supported – no complaints there. The Ranger S2 also ticks the longevity box. The adjustable headrest means it’ll fit your baby from six months old all the way through until three years. This is a great advantage if you’re a multiple-child household as it means you can swap the baby and toddler in and out of it.
The removable face pad is washable and really good at collecting dribble. There is a small accessory pocket on the Ranger S2 which stores just about enough for a short walk but you’ll need extra pockets for a longer journey.
Unfortunately, the Ranger S2 doesn’t have a kick-out stand like the Adventurer. This means you can’t leave your child sitting in the carrier while you take the load off for a second or two. The top grab handle is a really useful extra, however.
How easy is it to assemble?
Again, as you have come to expect from Littlelife, assembly takes mere moments. Online tutorials and instructions are handy if you want a bit of extra information and the in-box instructions can be followed with ease. Chances are you won’t need either but it’s nice to have the option.
Everything you need to use the basic Ranger S2 comes in the box. If you’re a hardier all-weather walker then you’ll probably need to spend another £50 for a sunshade/rain cover. By the time you’ve done this, the price will have crept up and it might be worth looking at a more expensive initial outlay. We think this basic carrier does everything you need though if you’re not planning to be up mountains most weekends.
Is there much storage?
You shouldn’t want for storage with the Littlelife Ranger. Again, if you’re planning a lengthy trek and need room for lots of provisions, then you might be better off with a more expensive model, such as our Best for Luxury winner the Osprey Poco AG Premium. However, if you want to go on a short-to-mid-length journey and need to add to a little extra storage to the Ranger S2, then you can compromise and get an accessory pack for £10.99.
How easy is it to clean?
The bright colour is a godsend when it comes to hiding everyday dirt. Should any muck get onto the Ranger S2, it’ll only take a quick brush-down to get it clean again.
How does it look?
Another benefit of the colour (available in red and blue) is that it's striking and the little cartoons (owl, butterfly etc) facing the child in the seat are a sweet touch.
Is it good value for money?
Our tester loved this carrier and struggled to take points from it in any testing category. For a basic, functional and no-extras piece of kit, this is a clear winner.
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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.Read more »
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