Arches, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, High Uintas, Oquirrhs, Rockies, Ouray CO, etc.
The review from "Clartikus" below is mine, and I just wanted to post a quick update. This carrier still looks like new even after frequent use and abuse - we use our KCIII weekly during the summer, and it provides a lot of room for baby to grow. The build quality is excellent, the colors and materials look sharp, and we couldn't be happier with our purchase.
A friend of mine purchased the Osprey Poco Premium, and I got to run it through a few test hikes to see how it compared to the KCIII. There are definitely a few features on the Osprey that I would love to see integrated into the KCIII (such as the padded frame to prevent your child from being squished if you fell on your back somehow; the detachable daypack; the diaper-changing pad; the nice soft material throughout the cockpit; and most importantly the extra packing space available by extending the kickstand). While these features are definite wins for the Osprey, I still prefer the KCIII for safety (they are equally comfortable to wear and both have high build qualities). The higher headrest on the KCIII is what sells me on the Deuter over the Osprey - it's just safer, does a better job of protecting my babies' heads from low hanging obstacles and any spills I might take.
I'm very impressed with both packs, but we've purchased two KCIIIs and loved being a double-Deuter family. If we bought a third, it too would be a KCIII.
I'm glad to see so much innovation in this field - things can only get better from here! :)
I posted this review previously, and thought it would be worth a re-post. The differences between the 2012 and the 2009 models are negligible - it looks like the newer version has a different kind of material on the hand holds, and the embroidery is slightly different. The 2012 model is well worth the cost.
I purchased this chassis in 2010, and have enjoyed it for a couple of years now. I purchased this along with the following kits: Jogging, Stroller, Hiking, Biking, Infant Sling, Baby supporter, and the hydration cage.
I am very impressed with the chassis itself - it has a solid feel and looks like it will last for ages. The material is strong and looks great - the wheels are smooth, and the adjustable shocks are great (especially now that I have a different-sized child on either side of the carrier requiring different settings).
The wheels are very smooth, and the drum brakes are awesome - this upgrade alone prompted me to spring for the extra cost involved. The UV protection is off the charts on this model, and I am able to protect my kids from the sun for hours at a time while they enjoy the scenery without getting sunburned. The rain cover has performed amazingly through many unexpected storms - there have been no leaks and water rolls off of the chassis. The padding is great - very comfortable for my girls.
I really like the versatility of this carrier - my newborn is able to hang out next to my 2 year old, and they are both very comfortable. When biking it has a low center of gravity, and we haven't been in any serious danger of flipping despite some risky maneuvers and unexpectedly sharp turns (as well as a collision or two :D). The chassis tracks very well and I am constantly surprised at how well it fits into tighter spaces along the trail.
It works well as a jogger, and the stroller kit is a must-have if you are going to use it for shopping or anywhere requiring tighter turns and maneuverability.
1) Beautiful Chassis - a real head-turner
2) Great as a bike trailer jogger and stroller- seamlessly modifies from one to the next
3) CTS system is great - very adaptable
4) Very well-padded and comfortable for the kids - fold-down padding allows for helmet use while biking
6) Quality construction - very durable
7) Love the handle/hand brake combination. Definitely the most comfortable out there.
1) While I like the 5 point harness system, the cheaper models have the ability to be clipped in and out - the 5 point harness system is a little more cumbersome when changing from one child (middle) to two children, as you have to thread the straps through. It would be nice if they included a clip system to remove/adjust the shoulder straps.
2) The tubes in the tires are too light-weight (good for weight, bad for punctures/staying inflated). I have to pump up the tires every week, so I will be looking to replace with thicker tubes.
3) Too darn expensive. You have to pay top-dollar for the chassis, and then turn around and pay even more for the accessories. Chariot should consider including at least ONE kit with the chassis (maybe the strolling kit).
4) The quick-release jogging wheel has to be perfectly placed or it will rub against the canvas - not a deal breaker, just annoying
5) Handlebars are "reversible" but they don't tell you how to reverse the ergonomically shaped rubber grips - we ended up twisting them around, but now they feel loose (our fault, but clearer instructions would be nice - we still don't know what the actual solution should be)
6) Cargo area is great, but annoying when you have the jogging wheel stored on the back - Jogging wheel drags unless you have the cargo area stowed in the upright position.
Overall, we love our CX2, and would purchase it again. The trick is to find a really good coupon before taking the plunge - it is infinitely superior to the other carriers out there for quality, weight, versatility, and comfort.
I love this backpack - the fact that it's a hydration pack just adds to the appeal.
I purchased this when I went to climb my first fourteener in Colorado - it was very comfortable, ultra-adjustable, and has a lot of cool technical features. I love the soft-lined sunglasses/electronics pocket - genius.
This pack holds an enormous amount of water, and I haven't run dry yet on day-hikes. The first two hikes were a little plastic-flavored, but after a few uses things are much better.
The pack holds all of my gear and then some - which is a blessing and a curse. I find myself carrying things that I really don't need, but I'm been learning to cut down on superfluous gear. :D
My only complaint -- it would be nice if they included a diagram explaining how they intend all of the technical features to be utilized. For example - it mentions that it has trekking pole attachments: this is fine and good unless you don't typically carry poles. That's not to say that you can't figure it out and strap things down - it would just be nice to know what they think the "best" way to utilize these features might be.
I picked this up on SAC, and am very happy with it. I also own the pre-Antidote version of the Alpine Explorer, and am torn between the two packs. The Highwire is just a tad lighter, but for the additional features and hookups on the Alpine Explorer I am willing to shoulder the extra weight. It's a great pack if you're dead set on shedding extra ounces however, so it depends on your personal preference. If I'm going above 13K feet, I'll typically go with the Highwire (those few ounces can make a difference at higher elevations when you're running short of breath). If I'm hiking at less than 13K feet, I'll stick with the Alpine Explorer.
The Antidote reservoir is a nice upgrade from the Omega - I have heard it has leaking problems, but I haven't experienced this yet despite multiple hikes with the bladder.
It's a proud moment when you realize that your baby has graduated from the infant sling - as soon as she can hold her head up and sit up, this kit comes into play. We used this kit from about 6 months old to a year old, but by the end it was a little tight and confining (she's on the small side for sure, so it still worked well).
It was easy to install once I watched the Chariot video on their website, and the headrest in particular was nice as it kept her head from flopping around while she napped. It was well padded, and also helped to protect her against her big sister (a year older than she is).
I like this kit a lot. It is made of the same high quality materials the Chariot chassis is, and matches our CX2 beautifully. It would be nice if they made it a little larger as your baby will seem to outgrow it quickly (especially if you used the infant sling before - you go through both within the space of a year), but then again: I guess time just flies when you're having fun!
The build quality of this kit is excellent, and I love the way it matches and accents our CX2. It looks great (we're suckers for the red metallic look), and it stores very nicely with the aluminum arms on the sides of the chassis and the quick-release style wheel strapped to the trunk/back pocket. As another reviewer noted, it hangs a little low when you have it stored on the back in the folded-down position, so we leave it at home if we are planning on using the stroller kit and want to use the back storage area.
At first we found that the stroller wheel rubbed against the canvas of the cockpit a bit when in use, but we found that you just have to adjust it perfectly to avoid this - sometimes it's not seated perfectly in the arms and you have to re-secure the wheel. This wheel goes over obstacles very well (much better than your average stroller, and even better than our BOB stroller) on account of its larger size.
The tubing included with this kit is the same thin tube material that comes with your chassis, so you may want to look into replacing it with something more robust. At the very least, slime is a must to keep pumping to a minimum. We found ourselves pumping the tire up every couple of weeks or so until we replaced the original tube.
We have also jogged with the stroller kit as we like the maneuverability - sometimes it can be annoying to have to course-correct with this jogging kit (as it is fixed-wheel). But it is definitely the better option between the two if you are running all-out for stability and control or if you expect to encounter obstacles along the way. Great job, Chariot. We are big fans.
We bought this to make it easier to switch our Chariot CX2 from bike to bike - it is exactly like the original hitch included in the bike kit, and works flawlessly. Highly recommended if you switch bikes frequently, or just want to make sure you're prepared for the occasion.
We purchased this kit when we originally purchased our CX2, and it has held up very well. It acts as sort of a hammock for your new baby. On the CX2, the crotch strap ends up being double-padded (with both the pad built in to the kit as well as the pad already existing on the 5 point harness), but it still works great.
I wouldn't recommend biking or full out running with your baby in this configuration as it is only a 3 point harness when properly installed (the sides of the sling have a sort of a lip to keep the baby in, so they're not really at risk of falling out - in the event of a roll-over at high speed, however, the baby would be at risk).
This kit works very well, but if you have big babies or they grow quickly, you'll be lucky to get the stated 10 months of use out of this product. As soon as they sit up and have better control of their head and neck, you can graduate to the infant support kit (which lasts for another six months or so).
We bought this kit along with our CX2 and we just love it. It is simple to hook up to your bicycle, and we purchased a second hitch attachment for another bicycle so that we can switch off easily.
I am able to take surprisingly sharp turns with this kit attached to my bike, and despite a couple of spills by an over-adventurous dad my babies don't flip with me thanks to the ball and socket style joint. There are plenty of backup safety features to ensure that this stays attached to your bicycle.
The flag that comes in this kit really helps with visibility, as do the reflectors. Overall, this kit along with our Chariot chassis has really made bike riding fun again for our family. I highly recommend it.