I recently tested the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 on a hike with my seven month old daughter Rosemary. It was our first experience hiking together and we had a great time. The pack performed great and most importantly, I felt that she was perfectly secure and comfortable thanks to the pack’s many safety features and well thought out design.
The Pathfinder 3.0 is relatively lightweight (7lbs 10 oz.) and has adjustments that allow you to distribute the weight of the child between the shoulder straps and the hip belt. It took a little time to get it right, but once I adjusted the hip belt properly, which is easily done with the pull of a pin, and adjusted the shoulder and sternum straps, the pack felt comfortable and natural on my back.
There are multiple fit adjustments for both baby and adult, all of which are easily made. The padded adjustable child’s seat allowed me to easily position Rosemary so that she was able to see over my shoulder. She needed the highest of three adjustment points, so there is a lot of room left as she grows. The shoulder straps and leg straps are nicely padded as well and are easy to adjust. Once she was properly adjusted and strapped in, she began to coo, assuring me that she was comfortable and felt safe. It was her first time being carried in a backpack and there was no question that she was delighted.
There are a lot of great features including an under-seat storage pouch, which is great for diapers, a detachable day pack, which has plenty of room for all the food and supplies necessary for a nice picnic, and a hip belt storage pouch, perfect for the camera. The detachable sun hood, which stores nicely in the detachable daypack, is a feature that my wife especially liked. Rosemary liked it too, especially when we encountered a swarm of black flies, which the sun hood sheltered her from.
The Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is a nice pack that is comfortable and well made. For long day hikes or trips around town, it is a star.
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