Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 Kid Carrier Backpack

Kelty Pathfinder 3.0

The Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is the result of many years of hard work, testing, tinkering, and successes. Kelty introduced the first kid carrier backpack to the outdoor world, and since then, they have continued to make things more comfortable (both for child and parent), easier, safer, and fun.  Kelty’s extra effort makes getting younger kids outdoors much simpler by ensuring everyone is comfortable, no matter where their adventures take them.

Find the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 on Amazon

Kelty Pathfinder 3.0

In order to have a really good kid carrier backpack that is actually going to get used, comfort is very important. That’s why the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 starts out with some of the best features found in the top backpacks out there.  Torso height adjust easily (so mom and dad can switch off if needed), and there is a contoured and padded belt designed to fit snugly but comfortably at the same time, and equally well designed shoulder straps. A hydration-ready pouch, a sternum strap, and even a belt storage pocket are also included. So putting on the Pathfinder feels a lot like having your high-end pack on. Of course, Kelty doesn’t stop with just keeping mom and dad comfortable.  A 5-point harness system keeps your little one snugly and safely secure while adjusting to allow for years of use. The included Sun Hood keeps them cool and comfortable even on those warm hikes. Toy hooks keep all their favorite possessions close at hand. And there’s even an included changing pad when things start to get messy.  To make sure that there are no painful experiences during your adventure, Kelty also designed the Pathfinder 3.0 with pinch-free hinges and an auto-deploying kickstand. Plus, the large storage compartment on this kid carrier backpack is easily removed to become a day pack (or to reduce weight in the unlikely event that you don’t need to bring a bunch of stuff along).

Kelty Pathfinder 3.0

During my time testing this product, the Pathfinder 3.0 has become one of my most indispensable pieces of gear.  When you become a parent, there are a lot of things that become much more difficult to do, and getting outdoors is unfortunately the one that is pretty easy to give up hope on.  But having the right equipment makes it possible to enjoy a lot of what is out there.  The Pathfinder 3.0 is one of those things. Having worn several high-end backpacks, the feel of this one is right up there with the best of them.  The adjustments are easy to make and really allow you to dial in your perfect fit.  One of my biggest concerns was that it would be hard to get my son in and out of the pack, but those fears were thankfully very misguided.  The 5-point harness is not only super secure, but it’s also very simple to figure out.  I also really like that the day pack portion is removable.  With only one child, we were generally able to have my wife carry most of the supplies we needed (snacks, diapers, wipes, etc.) while I carried our boy, so having the extra bulk and tiny bit of weight wasn’t always necessary. Thanks to this kid carrier, we were able to go on hikes that were buried deep in our to-do list, yet seemed impossible before.

>Overall, the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is one of the best investments a family that wants to spend quality time together can make.  Having the ability to take a child hiking to the top of a mountain for the first time or to a favorite lake that few people know about is a cheap and fun way to spend time together.  At $280, the Pathfinder is great bang for your buck.  But if the price tag is a bit outside of your budget, Kelty does offer several less expensive styles that have some of the same features. Just make sure that reducing the price doesn’t downgrade your opportunities to get outside with your little ones.  Check out all of the kids gear from Kelty here.
– David

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 for free from Kelty, in consideration for review publication

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