Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

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Expand view Topic review: Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by alexa5 » Mon May 31, 2010 06:27 am

Thanks for the tips! I didn't get to them until today, but used the pack briefly yesterday. Yesterday I had focused on tightening the shoulder straps a lot more, and that helped. I still felt a pull on my neck a bit, but not in the center this time--more on the side, so I was thinking it had to do with the direction he was leaning. Otherwise it felt okay. I will try the above and see if I can get it even better. I am really looking forward to trying the Ergo when it comes.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by tree » Sat May 29, 2010 05:28 pm

Alexa - I haven't ever used that pack, so I don't know exactly how the height adjustment works. But, it is common that men and women who are the same height have very different torso lengths. You may need to adjust the pack to be a little shorter (most women have longer legs and shorter torsos) or longer than your husband needs it. You also may have to fiddle with that. The adjustment is probably fine if you can get the shoulder straps flush with your shoulders while the waist belt is secured around the top curve of your hips.
I think I see what might be bugging your neck and upper back. Where is the weight hitting you? Do you feel it in your shoulders or more on your hips? You should feel most of the weight on your hips NOT your back. My guess is that you are carrying a lot of weight on your shoulders, which hurts. The trick to adjusting the pack to distribute the weight is to 1) adjust it loaded (use a kid, or if too wiggly, use flour, water bottles, sand bags, etc. instead) and 2) adjust the straps in a particular order.

First, loosen all of the straps. You need to loosen the main waist belt, shoulder straps, the "load lifter" straps which are the ones on top of the shoulder straps, and the adjustment straps on both sides of the waist belt. Put the pack on with weight in it. Get someone to make sure the kid doesn't fall out in step 2. Bend over carefully or have someone hold up the pack from behind you. It will pull you over backwards with everything loose. Next, fasten the waist belt so it rides on the top curve of your hips or between there and your natural waist and tighten the main waist belt strap. The pack should be secure on your hips and totally falling over backwards if you stand up, so don't.. Then, tighten the shoulder straps under your arms. Pull them as tight as you can comfortably get them, not tighter. Pack should feel heavy, uncomfortable, and secure. Tighten the load-lifter straps on top of the shoulder straps. This should take the weight off your shoulders and make it relatively comfortable. Last, tighten the adjustment straps on the waist belt (two on each side) to snug the back into your back.
It sounds like a lot, but you shouldn't have to do it more than a few times. You won't get the pack to fit both of you if you only adjust the main shoulder straps and waist belt. It will always feel off. The whole process should take less than five minutes the first time and much less time (<<2 minutes) after that.
The ergo is almost certainly easier for daily/routine use, but the Kelty can be useful once you get the adjustment down. Hope this helps!

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by panguitch02 » Fri May 28, 2010 01:32 pm

I have both. We use the kelty for hiking trips and the ergo for everyday use.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by alexa5 » Fri May 28, 2010 10:10 am

I bought it at a different online store, but this is the one I bought:

We read through the book carefully, and we adjusted the lumbar/torso thing to what seems like the appropriate height (we are both 5'6", so luckily we don't have huge adjustment differences). We also read and understand about how to adjust some of the other straps, but I think the problem is that many of the adjustments "undo" between putting the child in/taking him off, so that each time you put him on you have to adjust the various straps tight again (such as the waistband and the shoulder straps tightness) with his weight in it some of them are hard to pull as tight as you need them, I think.

I think the other possible issue and I won't know this until I get the Ergo is that even with adjustments, because of the way the baby sits in their area, there is enough space between the weight of the baby and your back that it makes it seem hard to ensure good weight distribution and pressure on your back. My guess is that if you had a carrier that they were closer to you it might feel better.

The part that seemed to bother me was the base of my neck and center upper back...I felt a pull there although I think I had tightened everything as much as possible. My husband said that for him it seemed somewhat doable but he felt sore all over, so wasn't sure if it was something that would get better over time.

Thanks for your offer of help, and I have no idea if we should have done something different/better, so any advice you have is welcome! I think part of the problem with the Kelty is the amount of adjustments available...though helpful, sometimes it makes it hard to know if you are doing it right/doing all you can to make it work.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by tree » Thu May 27, 2010 03:16 pm

I went with the middle ground between the two and bought a used, frameless Kelty. I know many parents who love the Ergo, and many who like the big, external frame Keltys for bigger trips. We have an old one called the "Transit". It has a little more "stuff" capacity than your average diaper bag, and my daughter is very comfortable in it. I bought it from someone who hiked and skied daily in it, so I knew it would work for that stuff. It is becoming my "go-to" kiddo-transport method because it is less bulky than the stroller, relatively comfy for both of us, and I don't have to take a separate bag.
The Transit doesn't have as many adjustment options as the bigger packs with frames, but it is comfortable for people from 5'0" - 6'2" between its sets of owners. I think we have one with a frame in the garage, but I don't know if we will use it much. The main advantage of the frame pack is that I can put it down with the kid in it.
If your Kelty is uncomfortable, you may want to have it adjusted for you at the store. I have backpacked for years, and a well adjusted pack is an amazing improvement. If you bought it online, post a link to the model, and I will try to walk you through the adjustment on here.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by alexa5 » Thu May 27, 2010 08:18 am

Originally posted by glimmer

Hi. We have both and use the Ergo all the time, the Kelty-style rarely. But - I think they are intended for different uses: the Ergo is when you carry only the baby, the framed ones if one want to carry other things (e.g. groceries) in addition. My 2.5 year old is still in the Ergo, but definitely close to outgrowing it. Oh and for the small ones < 5 month, I personally prefer a wrap.

Thanks! That makes sense now that I have tried the Kelty. I originally thought the framed carriers would be an advantage for comfort (before trying them), but after getting it and realizing how cumbersome it is to use and adjust, and not finding it to be overly comfortable, I think an Ergo style makes sense! I am excited to get it so I can try it out. We don't really care if we had to carry a separate bag or get one of those extra ergo packs to attach to the carrier. We mainly just need something so we can do some hiking occasionally.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by glimmer » Wed May 26, 2010 03:03 pm

Hi. We have both and use the Ergo all the time, the Kelty-style rarely. But - I think they are intended for different uses: the Ergo is when you carry only the baby, the framed ones if one want to carry other things (e.g. groceries) in addition. My 2.5 year old is still in the Ergo, but definitely close to outgrowing it. Oh and for the small ones < 5 month, I personally prefer a wrap.

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by alexa5 » Wed May 26, 2010 12:28 am

We already bought the Kelty, but can return it if we choose not to keep it. I think we need to use it once or twice more to decide. As for the Ergo, I ordered one from someplace that I can do an easy return--it should come next week. I don't know anyone to ask that has one, plus I kind of like to take the time on my own to try without feeling like I am borrowing someone else's. I will probably return one of them. I am kind of hoping the Ergo works out better because it takes up less space, and is cheaper :-)

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by mom29 » Tue May 25, 2010 07:46 pm

I have an Ergo and I loved it for my son. I could wear it for hours comfortably. I tried my cousin's Kelty and I nearly fell over (I'm 5 ft. 1 inch) between the weight of my son and the frame.

Can you find someone (perhaps through a LLL group?) who has the carriers for you to try?

Re : Ergo versus Frame carriers (Kelty)

Post by trish » Tue May 25, 2010 10:07 am

I've never tried a Kelty but I've heard really good things about Ergos. Baby Hawk is another soft brand/style that many of my friends love. I used Moby wraps & pouches when my 3rd was little & then an Ella Roo Mei Hip when she was older (over 6 months). I carried her all over Disney for 7 days when she was 13 months in my Mei Hip - I loved it & so did she. It was super easy to get on & off and folded up very small.

But she's 2.5 & still not 25 lbs yet so I can't say how it would be for bigger babies. I haven't tried it in a long time but we're going back to Disney in Dec. (she'll be 3 later that month) and I'm thinking of taking it!!