Sturdy carrier for 6-month-old
February 25, 2013 9:50 AM   Subscribe

We're about to embark on a vacation to Telluride with our 6-month-old son. While we're not harboring any delusions about bringing him skiing, we'd like to take him hiking, possibly snowshoeing. What's a good, structured carrier that can accommodate him comfortably? He's fairly small for his age, just now able to fit in his "6" clothes.
posted by mkultra to Travel & Transportation around Telluride, CO (19 answers total)
We loved the Ergo. Carried our daughter everywhere in it at 5 months when we were in Germany for a few weeks. It was comfortable and held her securely -- we used it as a front carry.
posted by amanda at 9:52 AM on February 25, 2013 [2 favorites]

6 months is too young for my go to kid carrier - Deuter Kid comfort III, the Ergo is a great front carrier that we still use with our 30lb+ 2 year old.
posted by iamabot at 9:59 AM on February 25, 2013

Response by poster: We've got an Ergo, but are concerned about its lack of structure, especially if we go snowshoeing. Should we not be?
posted by mkultra at 10:01 AM on February 25, 2013

I always felt the front carrier felt right. My arms can protect him and keeping him close to me could keep him warm. I felt he was more exposed in our backpack-type structured one. If you fall they are up and exposed in that. In the front one I can protect him the best.
posted by beccaj at 10:10 AM on February 25, 2013

We went snowshoeing recently with 5 couples with 5-7 month old babes and there were 4 soft carriers - a few beco, and I think an ergo. All was well.
posted by tristeza at 10:16 AM on February 25, 2013

Cross-country skiing is the activity for you - baby-carriage ski trailers are available at some ski rental places, and resorts with groomed trails means a warm lodge and, if needed, help is nearby, while still letting everyone get outside and enjoy winter.

Snow-shoeing may be a little too rough-and-tumble for such a little guy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:17 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Front carrier is absolutely the way to go, and he doesn't have enough mass and strength to be in a back carrier, rigid frame or not. The kid comfort is great, but it's not for kids that size, maybe 9 months and a few more lbs. How much does he weigh? Most framed carriers have a pretty good weight floor on them because they can bounce around a whole lot, especially snow shoeing.
posted by iamabot at 10:25 AM on February 25, 2013

We had a kelty backpack carrier that we started using for hikes when our daughter was slightly older than 6 months, I think. I felt off balance trying to carry her on my front at that age unless she was facing me, and she did NOT want to be facing me. We used the backpack for nearly two solid years, so it was worth the price. Six months might be slightly young, depending on how your child is doing with the sitting up and whatnot?
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:26 AM on February 25, 2013

Tangential, but I just got back from Telluride and one of the bike shops - I can't remember the name, but it is a couple of doors down from the Steaming Bean Coffee Shop on the main drag - rents Chariot-brand trailers with the ski attachments. You harness it to yourself and you can rent xc skis or snowshoes. We have been using our Chariot with our son since he was six months old (the recommended age is one year, but the Chariot infant harness held him securely with no problems.) You might have to get the harness from another source, but it would be worth checking out. You'll have a blast.
posted by soulbarn at 10:27 AM on February 25, 2013

I adored my Moby Wrap. It's ideal for active pursuits because you can tie it as hard or soft as you like, and it can accommodate any variety of sizes of both the people and clothes involved. Unlike other carriers, you can tuck the baby's head in on the side (photo and video examples aplenty) so your baby doesn't get the bobble head treatment. Also, because it's so close to your body as to become a part of it, your balance is much better than with a standard carrier.
posted by rada at 10:28 AM on February 25, 2013

It all depends on what your kid will tolerate. Our regular around-town carrier is an Ergo, but we've used the Kelty backpack style carrier for actual hiking. We started using the Kelty at 6 months - the only problem we've had with it is that she gets tired of being in a carrier, but she also gets tired of being in the Ergo too long. For the adult hiking, the Kelty beats the Ergo for comfort. (Our kid hates the Moby.)
posted by stowaway at 10:37 AM on February 25, 2013

iamabot, a healthy 6 month old is quite likely to have perfectly adequate head/neck/trunk control to be worn in a back carry. OP, your Ergo will be fine, either in a front carry or a back carry. I myself wore both my daughters on my back in wraps and mei tai carriers from 4 months onward. I would not recommend the Moby for a back carry, however, because the stretchy knit fabric is not supportive enough. Keep the kid on the front, if you wear him in a Moby.
posted by fancyoats at 10:39 AM on February 25, 2013

I don't think snowshoeing is that "jostly" of an activity. Some of my friends (who are very good skiers) have cross-country skied with an ergo front carry when their babies were small). I think it depends on your stamina and your kid's tolerance for being carried in whatever carrier. We have a Kelty hiking backpack, too, and I'm seem to recall at that age that it still felt pretty cavernous for our baby. And my hesitation in suggesting a sled is that when the baby starts crying and wants to be held, you'll end up toting a sled and carrying the baby. But, you won't know till you get out there. At six months, our daughter would sometimes push up with her legs so she was standing in the Ergo and really looking around -- mostly when we were standing still. She really loved that thing. I think a soft carrier that can be worn back or front gives you the most options. I would totally snowshoe with an Ergo and an infant.
posted by amanda at 10:46 AM on February 25, 2013

I've been hiking and snowshoeing with my niece since she was about five months - her dad carried her in a Bjorn until she was probably seven or eight months, and now she's 18 months and rides in a Kelty frame backpack. She sleeps a lot on hikes/snowshoes, but almost never complains. I bet you'd be fine with the Ergo.
posted by mskyle at 11:13 AM on February 25, 2013

I used an Ergo (along with several other carriers) from 6mo -- 2.5yrs and I don't understand your worry here, for what that's worth. You might both enjoy having your coat done up around carrier/baby, with just his head peeking out.
posted by kmennie at 11:29 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

We took Caprietta snow shoeing in a Baby Bjorn and never had a problem. I liked having my arms around her, and she could face out or in depending on how interested or tired she was. Memail me for cute photos.
posted by Capri at 2:26 PM on February 25, 2013


Much easier than the traditional Kelty hiking carriers.

The transit carriers come with optional hoods for sun/rain.

They're also easily adjustable for whomever is carrying the baby, and a six month old is small enough to rest his head on the pack itself as he'll be down far enough to do so.
posted by zizzle at 2:49 PM on February 25, 2013

My daughter spent tons of time in her beco at that age, strapped to my front. Way better than a Bjorn for hiking / snowshoeing (5x more stable in my experience). Much easier to monitor and regulate temperature in the winter compared with a kelty (or other similar external frame) -- if he/she gets cold, just zip/unzip your jacket or add / remove a 2nd hat.

I found our trailer to be awesome for cross-country skiing (more soporific than any other conveyance, and you can stuff tons of insulation in there to keep them warm even on very cold days) but with snowshoes my experience was that it was far more hassle than benefit. A surprising thing about trailers is the length and the ensuing complications when turning -- think driving a school bus versus a regular car. Hard to maneuver on narrow trails, lots of getting stuck on tight turns. (Though admittedly this won't be much of an issue for the trails you'll be on -- presumably Bear Creek or the Valley Floor or the xc trails on the resort, all of which are pretty wide -- and if the kid isn't used to hiking a trailer would certainly be more like a stroller.)

TLDR: beco or ergo or similar front-carrier.
posted by genug at 3:27 PM on February 25, 2013

I love my mei tai carrier (we have the catbirdbaby brand). Combined with a peekaru vest we haven't used a stroller all winter. We can wear the mei tai for hours, whereas an hour with the Ergo caused me a week of neck and pack pain.
posted by avocado_of_merriment at 5:15 PM on February 25, 2013

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