Clartikus

Clartikus

Clartikus

Clartikus wrote a review of on June 10, 2011

5 5

I purchased this chassis in 2010, and have enjoyed it for about a year 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.

The Good:
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
5) Light-weight
6) Quality construction - very durable
7) Love the handle/hand brake combination. Definitely the most comfortable out there.

The Bad:

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.

(1)

 

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Clartikus

Clartikus wrote a review of on June 10, 2011

Best Child Carrier for Hiking
5 5

I own a previous version of the Deuter Kid Comfort III (2009 model), and with the arrival of another baby girl we decided it was time to buy a second pack, so we researched the options.

I LOVE the 2009 KCIII - the manner in which the child sits leaves our daughter comfortable for hours. We took a few smaller hikes to dial ourselves in, and had a remarkable experience each time. The KCIII could be adjusted easily to fit both my wife (5'1", 110 lbs) and myself (5'11", 210 lbs) - I'm a big fan of the Vari-quick harness. The cockpit seemed to drown our child when she was ~6 months, but she has since grown into it - it took us a while to realize that the child's chest-strap could be adjusted to sit higher on the shoulder-straps: once we discovered this secret, our child fit much better. The yellow buckles make it easy to figure out where to make adjustments, and the waistbelt shifts most of the weight to your hips (I have heard others complain that the backpack is top-heavy when occupied - I haven't found this to be the case).

I love the hydration bladder option, and use a 2L Camelbak rather than Deuter's bladder - it works great, but there isn't a loop to hook onto inside of the h2o compartment (something I've come to expect in Camelbaks, but really isn't necessary).

Our daughter loves being able to see what's going on - after our initial short hikes, we put this pack through its paces over a solid week of hiking at Arches, Canyonlands, and Mesa Verde National Parks. Our daughter didn't complain once, sleeping peacefully and cooing/laughing excitedly as we hiked in the back-country for hours at a time (our longest uninterrupted hike went for 8 miles over primitive trails). We would get her out to stretch/change her diaper occasionally, but she was always happy to get back in.

The kickstand takes a little flexibility to pull in yourself, but can be managed - I prefer it to the automatically retracted sort, since you are able to fully control whether or not it is extended.

Carrying capacity is great - we were able to pack emergency items, diapers, extra water, food, and had plenty of room to spare.

Most importantly to me, my back felt amazing after hours and days and a full week on the trail - with other carriers, my neck and shoulders bore the brunt of my efforts. After using the KCIII, my feet were the only thing to feel the pain, which testifies to the pack's ability to shift weight to your hips/legs (I would recommend trekking poles or a staff to share the weight if your feet aren't used to carrying your child for protracted periods). The pack was very breathable on my back. Our daughter would sleep for hours in the pack - she would get a little bit of skin irritation from contact with the canvas material in the cockpit, but it wasn't a major concern.

We originally opted for the KCIII over the KCII for the sun/rain cover. The KCIII has a built-in rain cover, which adds length to the pack: this was annoying at first, but the more we thought about it the safer it seemed. If mom or dad take a spill while hiking, I feel much better knowing that my child has a built-in roll bar (the KCI and KCII don't offer this protection). This means that I wouldn't be as likely to travel with the KCIII, but I still prefer the additional protection - it's a no-brainer (and a brain-saver).

SO - we loved the 2009 KCIII, and ended up buying the 2011 model after comparing similar products. Deuter won again, and we now own both the 2009 and the 2011 model. In fact, Deuter has improved the KCIII for 2011, with the following differences:

The Good:
1) Color
2) texture of chin-pad is soft (like fleece rather than canvas texture in 2009 model)
3) Kick-stand locks in place, and requires a push-button to collapse
4) stitching is different - square patterns rather than round, and different designs. Same basic parts, just slightly different stitching and branding locations.
5) The waist-belt seems to pivot more allowing for freer range-of-motion - I was a huge fan of the 2009 model, and this looks to be even better.
6) Chin-pad improved - now fleece material, very soft (should cut down the skin irritation)
7) Zipper is easier to use (2009 model is very stiff due to a flap covering it - this probably means that the 2011 model is less rain-proof, but access is easier)

The bad
1) velcro loop for hydration on chest straps has been replaced with a sewn loop - I prefer the velcro
2) The push button makes it more difficult to pull in the kickstand (but I still like the additional security)
3) The waistband seems slightly less-padded, but that could just be the stitching
4) some of the straps are thinner than the previous model - they are just adjustment straps, and admittedly the previous straps were probably an over-build, but I still like the look of the thicker straps.

I love the new 2011 KCIII, and think it's the best child carrier pack out there - we compared to all of the major brands, but for safety comfort adjustability and built-in protection, Deuter KCIII wins hands-down. I am very impressed with the high-quality of their product, and with a twenty percent off coupon, the price isn't half bad. :)

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