The Deuter Kid Comfort III looks like an intimidating child carrier at first. It stands so tall that it looks like hard work to even get it on your back. But the first time I lifted the frame I was surprised just how light it was!
The comfortable and intuitive design makes it very user-friendly and a pleasure to use.
It is expensive for a child carrier so it is important that you understand how the features improve your hiking experience before you buy. This article will thoroughly assess these design elements and provide a video review so you can make an informed decision.
A word of warning though, the biggest problem I encountered when testing the product was that my boy was so excited to be sitting up there in the cockpit that he was yelling right in my ear half the time!
Check out our video review of the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 below. Be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel for more baby gear reviews and kid’s activity ideas.
Deuter Kid Comfort Ergonomics
The attention to detail in the design will ensure maximum comfort throughout your hiking experience and reduce the chance of injury. If a carrier doesn’t feel right when you set out on your hike you can be sure that it will get worse the longer you go with that imbalance.
As fatigue sets in you are more susceptible to injury – which can be a serious risk when on the hiking trail with a young child.
In this section, we will summarise the design aspects that will benefit the wearer of the carrier:
Back Length Adjustment System
The VARI-slide system integrated into the design of the carrier allows you to alter the length of the carrier to suit the height of the wearer.
This allows you to position the waistband and height of shoulder straps to best support the weight with a range of different body types. The benefits of this become more apparent the deeper into a hike you get!
Waistband and Arm Straps
It is impressive just how soft and comfortable the padding is on the back, shoulders, and waist straps. The material is very responsive to movement and once strapped in hugs tight to your body at all times, yet it feels very breathable.
The straps are all fully adjustable and will accommodate a range of sizes. We have tested this with wearers from 5ft 1″ to 5ft 11″ and as long as the person can physically handle the weight then the size of the straps and frame should not cause a problem.
Mobility may become limited the smaller you are though.
The airy mesh on the back panel provides good ventilation, but isn’t unique to Deuter by any stretch. however, the clever element to this design is the ventilation space between the back panel and the pack itself. This allows heat to escape and minimizes the sweaty back effect!
Deuter claims a 25% reduction in perspiration from this design feature. I would love to try and measure this as I am generally a sweaty guy, but short of wringing my shirt into a cup of sweat, I might just take their word for it.
Child Safety – Cockpit Design Features
Now we move on to the most important part. The comfort and safety of your child when sitting in the carrier!
The Deuter Kid Comfort has a very sophisticated cockpit area that ensures your children have an enjoyable time on these longer hikes.
Your child can step into the cockpit area through the side entry fairly easily. A panel just unclips and a door opens right up for them to hop right in (if they are in a cooperative mood).
Pro tip: Leave the side panels open until you have the child clipped into the safety harness. This just gives you a bit more space to get them clipped in if you need it.
Once they are secure you can then tighten up those side panels again creating a secure and enclosed space.
Five Point Harness
In case you missed the above clue, the child harness can be a bit tricky once you put the shoulder straps in place and have limited room to move.
The middle buckle almost appears as two halves that clip together simultaneously and it can take a couple of tries to get the hang of this thing. So I would encourage you to practice connecting the five-point harness a couple of times before your child gets in!
It is easy enough to master but you don’t want curious little hands grabbing things in an enclosed space the first time you attempt this.
The cushioned chin rest was too hard to resist for my little fella. He chewed and rubbed his face on it nonstop. No rashes on his face, and no wear and tear on the cushion material itself.
When he was smaller, he would just fall asleep resting his cheek on it… It’s that comfortable on the skin!
I can see this getting a bit grubby over time if he doesn’t lose interest in it. But it is a great safety feature if he were to jerk his head forward while on the trail.
The quality of the material is consistent on the underside of the seat and is just as soft and comfortable for your toddler to sit on.
There are two sets of stirrups (footrests) that can support the legs of your child to improve comfort levels on longer hikes. This provides options depending on the height and position in the seat of your child.
You don’t need to use them but if they are just dangling out the side the circulation may be inhibited over time.
The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 has one large storage compartment at the base plus a series of smaller spaces that are designed to hold specific items. This gives you plenty of options for how you pack your gear so that the essentials are accessible without having to take off the carrier.
The larger storage space area is deceptively deep. I was able to fit my arm in all the way to the elbow! Plenty of room for lunch, a diaper bag, or some warmer clothing.
The waist pocket was just able to fit an iPhone in there, but it was a tight squeeze. My wallet also fit, but I couldn’t get them both in at the same time.
The pockets higher up are only shallow but ideal for those smaller bits and pieces that you need to access quickly. Like diapers and wet wipes.
Sun Roof and Additional Raincover
The canopy can be folded back entirely and secured inside a zipped-up pocket when not in use.
I was initially concerned the canopy would impede the view too much. But my boy did not seem concerned at all and continued to look around at the views without issue.
There is an additional cover (pictured) that you can place over the top of the canopy if the weather turns bad.
As you can see this does impede the view a bit more, but if you are trekking through high wind or rain then the additional protection for your baby is a must.
This is fully removable and sits in one of the pockets when not in use.
There is a center handle at the top of the back panel area that is very strong. This allows for a simple one-handed pickup. Even with a toddler inside the weight is manageable – in this case he was around 35lbs.
After lifting, place the opposite arm inside the first shoulder strap and maneuver the carrier behind you until you can reach your second arm through the second strap.
You need to be careful doing this to keep the carrier as upright as possible. While your baby is strapped in pretty tight, you don’t want to scare your little one while in motion or they may be screaming to get out pretty quickly.
Fortunately, my son was having a blast! But if you need to distract them for a few moments be sure to pack their favorite toy or teddy bear!
Once your shoulders are strapped in you can clip in the sternum strap. This prevents your shoulder straps from moving around and keeps the weight distribution stable with good support.
The last step is to clip on the waistband and tighten the adjustable strap until you have a snug fit around your waist.
Oh, and remember to pull in the kickstand back in when you are upright before you head out on your outdoor adventure. I could reach this well enough, but I just kept forgetting to do it.
Deuter Buying Decision
Why you should buy it?
The Deuter Kid Comfort III is the head of its class in child carriers for hiking. The keyword for this carrier is comfort for both you and your baby.
If you are not afraid of spending a few extra bucks to get the most comfortable carrier possible the Deuter Kid Carrier is a great option for families looking to take long day trips. If you have ever attempted longer hikes with an uncomfortable backpack then you will probably not flinch at the extra cost.
This child carrier feels like it is working for your body and not against it, and will greatly reduce fatigue and the risk of injury on a long day out. It follows the normal rhythm and movement of your body.
The storage space can fit all of the gear you need to pack for your day out – if you can handle all the weight yourself.
Once your baby has full neck control they will be able to sit in the cockpit and enjoy the ride for many years to come.
It also keeps your child in the correct seating position preventing any injury or unwanted effects of backpack carrying your child. The head is properly supported. The hips are in place and the back is properly aligned.
- Even though there’s a footrest, the child cannot propel itself in a standing position while you are carrying them on your back.
- The sunroof is integrated into the design.
- The pillow drool pad will allow your baby to fall asleep on a hike and still be well supported.
- It comes with a pocket rearview mirror so that you can monitor your passenger anytime you want.
- Lots of storage so you can pack all you need for yourself and your children.
- Built-in pockets for optional hydration system.
- High weight limit of 48 lbs.
Why you shouldn’t buy it?
Hard framed carriers are bulkier and heavier than most soft structured carriers. They are designed for a larger carrying capacity and will not suit all people. If you are not physically able to handle the weight for a longer period of time then you should stick to a smaller and lighter carrier.
The seat height is much higher than a regular baby carrier. Most kids love this, but some might get unsettled at first. So if your baby is particularly sensitive to height they may not enjoy the experience (but keep trying – the view up there is amazing!).
The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is also top of the range for price. You can opt for one of the simpler and cheaper models if you are on a budget. We will summarise the differences below.
- Expensive for a child carrier.
- The side-pocket located at the side of the hip belt is too small to fit some smartphone models.
- You need to take the pack off if you want to access the storage areas.
- The full rain cover is not included in the set. You need to buy it separately.
Deuter Kid Comfort 3 vs 2 and 1
The integrated sunshade is the key differentiator of the Kid Comfort 3. However, it is also the heaviest and most expensive.
You can opt for the Kid Comfort 2 and buy the sunshade separately. This gives you the option to remove that extra weight when it suits. If hiking with your partner they could easily pack this away in their hiking pack and lighten your load.
We don’t recommend the Deuter Kid Comfort 1 as it is not built with the vari-flex technology. Without this, you lose the ergonomic benefits and may be better off with a high-quality soft structured baby carrier instead.
Below is a full summary of the Kid Comfort range and the features that come with each model.
|Deuter Kid Comfort Features||Kid Comfort 1||Kid Comfort 2||Kid Comfort 3|
|Weight||5 lb 7 oz||7 lb 3 oz||7 lb 11 oz|
|Total Volume||14 Liters||16 Liters||18 Liters|
Note: If the husband isn’t that keen on hiking there is also the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL. This is specially designed for a woman with thicker padding around the hips and is a smaller/lighter overall child carrier.
Additional Deuter Accessories
Deuter also produces a range of additional products that are compatible with your child carrier that can be purchased separately.
Hydration bladder – The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 has a small pouch area to fit a hydration bladder if you wanted this upgrade. You don’t need it as there is a water bottle holder on the waistband. But some prefer an accessible hydration pack.
Raincover – A handy waterproof cover that is fitted around the sunshade all the way to the base of the back for full coverage.
Backpack Carrier Comparisons Featuring the Deuter Kid Comfort 3
This carrier is one of the highest quality child carriers on the market and has featured in a number of product comparisons on the blog.
See the below posts for more information on how this carrier compares to the market:
- Full list of baby hiking carriers – guess which one finished no. 1?
- Comparison of the Deuter Kid Comfort vs the Osprey Poco AG Plus
The Deuter Kid Comfort III is one of the more expensive products on the market, but if you’re an avid hiker then consider it an investment. Any outdoor adventure will be far more enjoyable with this carrier and your body will thank you in the long run.
The comfort that you and your child will get in this carrier is superb. It is a well-made carrier that is durable, functional, and safe for outdoor families.
We hope this review has been helpful! Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below.