There’s a lot to admire in the Kid Comfort Pro, particularly the luxury that has been afforded to the little one – perhaps she’d give it 100%? However, there are a few niggly issues and the storage options are a little odd. Nevertheless, it’s still a great carrier with top quality materials and some really thoughtful features.
Luxurious seat for baby
Plush drool pad
Lots of storage pockets
Integrated sunshade and daypack
Mountain-ready good looks
Folds in for easy transportation
Not great capacity unless daypack is used
Raincover sold separately
Awkward kick stand
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Deuter Kid Comfort Pro: first impressions
‘Just look at that throne-like seat!’ ‘Oooh! Feel softness of the drool pad!’ These were our first impressions of the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro, a carrier that at first glance seems to have considered baby’s coziness above all else. The padded seat rises higher above the shoulder straps than on other carriers, creating a gorgeous looking seating area.
As you’d expect from Deuter, it also has a mountain ready look. It’s as if the German’s brand’s testers spent the development stages up the Zugspitze with their little cherubs.
List price: $330 (US) / £325 (UK)
Weight: 3.7kg / 8.2lb
Age range: 9 months and up
Weight limit: 24kg / 52.9lbs (child plus items in storage)
Capacity: 12L + 10L in integrated daypack
Materials: PFC-free 420D and 210D Nylon, PU coating, 600D polyester thread
Accessories included: Sunshade, rear view mirror, 10L daypack
It’s got all the stylings of Deuter’s mainstream mountaineering and hiking backpacks, with the same high denier Nylon that’s used in their lauded Guide packs. The Aircomfort Sensic Vario mesh backsystem screams breathability and comfort before you’ve even shouldered the pack.
At first glance, there’s not a great deal of storage. You only get 12 liters in its two main compartments and its two elasticated mesh side pockets, which doesn’t seem like enough. However, hiding in plain sight in the lower compartment is a cute little 10-liter daypack, which can be worn separately or clipped onto the chest strap.
As mentioned, the child’s seat is impressive; it looks as though it’d be as comfortable as a car seat. There’s a large padded area that extends right across the side arms, one of which opens up to provide easy side access – ideal for older children.
The shoulder straps are lovingly padded too, while the suspended mesh backsystem keeps things ventilated. Adjusting the straps is easy thanks to a lever and pull tags behind the backsystem. As usual, an adjustable hipbelt and chest strap complete the picture.
Special mention has to go to the removable drool pad, which is the plushest I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen a lot of drool pads of late! It’s got loads of padding and a lovely velvety finish. When it comes to laundering, you unclip it form the pack, open it up via a zip and remove the inner padding.
The way the integrated sunshade is hidden within the top of the carrier is genius and it’s really easy to deploy when the rays are raining down. Once unzipped, it concertinas out like the hood of a convertible car. Two small clips tension it into place.
The rain cover is sold separately which, for me, is a shame – though I do live in England, so that might explain why.
On its own, the integrated daypack is quite simplistic, with a large main compartment with an internal zippered mesh pocket and a separate internal back compartment.
Most backpack carriers recommend baby should be at least 6 months old before use, whereas Deuter recommend 9 months old and upwards here. This may be them just erring on the side of caution. Brands tend to also say their carriers are suitable ‘once baby is able to sit up straight unaided’, which is also the case here.
On the trails
The Kid Comfort Pro is quite comfortable but I can’t help that feel it’s not as well-balanced as some of the competition. The aluminium frame hinges between the backpanel and the seat area, meaning it’s not as robust feeling as other premium carriers. On the plus side, this hinge makes it easy to fold the carrier down for easy transportation. Despite all of this, I was still able to walk for many miles without any major cause for complaint.
How did my daughter fare with the Deuter? Well, she seemed relatively content but perhaps not as much as in some of the Kid Comfort Pro's competition. However – as any parent will know – it's difficult to gauge exactly what might be making a 10-month-old baby happy or fussy. A range of factors can affect her mood and it's not as though she can tell me exactly what's up yet.
Access and egress are easy enough. The buckles on the 5-point harness system are sensibly placed, while the stirrups are also easy to adjust and distribute baby’s weight. Two modest grab handles at the front and the back make hoisting the pack up straightforward.
However, I found the kickstand was quite awkward to adjust into its locked position once I'd shouldered the pack and loaded it with baby. It required a lot more straining than other carriers and, when I’m already carrying a substantial load, the last thing I want to be doing is straining.
A disadvantage of the high, throne-like chair is that it would often catch me out when passing underneath low ceilings or walking up stairs with it, especially when it was not weighed down by my daughter.
While the integrated daypack is a nice touch, it’s not as if you can wear it on your back, so you’d end up having to carry it up front if hiking with baby on your own, which isn’t ideal.
Daypack aside, there’s only just enough storage to squeeze in the essentials for an afternoon out. Once you’ve packed all the snacks, toys, wipes, spare clothes and nappies, there’s no room for anything of your own. Yes, the daypack brings the total capacity to 22L, so it’s not a total deal-breaker. On the plus side, the number of pockets and compartments is great. It enabled me to have things I’d need to hand readily accessible.
The way the sunshade folds out is very impressive and it clips into place on the front of the pack in seconds. As with other carriers, the sunshade also provides a little shelter when it’s drizzling, though this is not a solution for heavier rain. Speaking of which, Deuter’s descision not to have zippered main compartments is bewildering to me, as water can easily run into them, soaking everything inside.
You can, of course, get the Kiwi-colored raincover to solve this issue. All in, the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro is still cheaper than some of the competition and is a great option, though it's not without its flaws.
Alex is a freelance adventure writer and mountain leader with an insatiable passion for the mountains. A Cumbrian born and bred, his native English Lake District has a special place in his heart, though he is at least equally happy in North Wales, the Scottish Highlands or the European Alps. Through his hiking, mountaineering, climbing and trail running adventures, Alex aims to inspire others to get outdoors. He is currently President of the London Mountaineering Club, training to become a winter mountain leader, looking to finally finish bagging all the Wainwright fells of the Lake District and hoping to scale more Alpine 4000ers when circumstances allow. Find out more at www.alexfoxfield.com