Kelty Base Camp
The Base Camp has been discontinued. If you're looking for something new, check out the best child carriers for 2023.
My wife and I recently went on a short 2-mile winter hike in the N.H. White Mountains with our 9-month-old son. It was the first time I was able to try out the Kelty Base Camp child carrier (other than two brief cruises through the house when I adjusted the pack's seat and straps to my 26 lb son).
Having older sons (20 and 15 y/o) I've have used several older models of other generic child carriers frequently for them when they were young children. Those carriers worked, but were only barely comfortable for them as well as for myself.
I love this Kelty! I thought the child harness system was very adjustable and comfortable for my XXL son. He was not squished right up next to my back and had room to move his head, legs, and arms as he wished. I know the rule about placing backpack weight up and close to your back for comfort and balance, but I carried him well and did not feel I was off balance at any time. Even when I ducked to avoid occasional low hanging snow covered branches.
As for the cost of the Kelty, I got it for FREE. I'll admit I was extremely lucky to be the at the right place at the right time at my local dump's recycling hut. When I am finished with it in a few years I will pass it on by bringing it back to the recycling hut. My son and I look forward to many trips with it.
Height of Owner: 5' 9"
Price Paid: nothing
I bought this because I am frequently on the go and my 20-month son is intolerant of shopping carts and now pretty much anything that isn't his backpack.
We recently went on vacation and made our way around The River Walk in San Antonio much more easily that we could have without the carrier. It has been so much easier traveling with the carrier. Yes, strollers mean less carrying, but the carrier is much easier to navigate with than the stroller.
I am 5'5" and 130 lbs and am able to load my 20-month son, the ropes make it easy to lift and get it onto my back by myself. I will get a lot of use out of this carrier.
Max. Load Carried: 30 lbs.
Height of Owner: 5'5"
Price Paid: $70
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Historic Range: $134.95-$134.99
Reviewers Paid: $70.00