A Child-Carrier for Kids Up to 7 Years Old???

Readers, I saw this the other day — a back brace that allows you to carry your child on your back literally up to age 7 and 60 pounds — and had been too stunned to sum up my feelings…till now. But here they are:

This is embarrassing. I’m sure the carrier may be helpful to the parents of some special needs children. Perhaps it is helpful in some strange situations, like climbing out of a crevice with your sleepy second grader after you’ve cut off your arm. But the idea that it is HELPFUL to carry a child capable of going forth on his or her own two legs is staggering, in every sense of the word.

In the video below, the entrepreneur says the Piggyback Rider allows kids to be “co-pilots” and makes every “adventure” more enjoyable — including apple-picking.

Really? Apple-picking is unenjoyable for kids unless someone is carrying them around? And how much of an “adventure” is it if your parent is the backpacker and you are the backpack? And please let’s not talk about how this item helps in “bonding.” Unless we’re talking about bondage, comma, parental. — L.  

179 Responses

  1. That’s just wrong. It’s not like they don’t have working legs by that age.

  2. oh for goodness sake! What ever next?

  3. Of course, not every single six-year-old can walk. If you have a kid that size who ordinarily uses a wheelchair, there are a lot of places where a back carrier might be useful (the beach, for one example). That doesn’t seem to be who he’s marketing to, but it might make sense for him to do so.

  4. Well, my first thought was of the many special-needs kids who could benefit from that – assuming their parents didn’t break their backs!

    And also, there are some young kids who are huge! So maybe toddlers on a long hike or whatever. I always made my kids walk once they could (they walked miles up & down hills at age 1.5), but that was because my youngest was a chunk and needed the exercise. It used to take us a good hour to walk a mile to the nearest park. It would have been a lot more fun and healthy for “me” to put them in a stroller.

    But no, honestly I can’t think of anyone who would buy a carrier for a typical child over the age of 2 (or maybe 3 in an adoption situation). Many do drag kids around in strollers/wagons until they are much older, though, so I don’t see much difference. I do find that sad. If parents can walk while pulling a wagon, normal preschoolers can easily walk that distance and more.

  5. I can think of *maybe* one real instance where this might be appropriate… parades so that your child can see over the taller people around and your shoulders don’t wind up sore from your child sitting on them the whole time. But that’s it. Frankly, my kids would never let me strap this crazy thing on them in the first place. If anyone tried it, they’d DEMAND to be allowed to walk free. And as for picking apples, my kids would just (GASP) climb the tree or stand on our shoulders.

  6. Oh my! By 7 (that’s SECOND grade), my kids were walking/biking to school by themselves – what was I thinking? I should have carried them (and their backpacks) to school!

  7. Right, it’s marketed to parents of able-bodied (is that politically correct?) children because the child is standing on the brace. I mean I guess it could be useful on a long hike if the child gets too tired near the end. But if you’re taking your kindergartner with you, you probably aren’t planning miles-long treks through acres of wilderness. Probably.

  8. And what about the kid who is going to squirrel all around whipping back and forth? Talk about a back breaking experience! Nuts.

  9. I don’t see how this would work for “special needs” children who can’t walk on their own since the child has to stand in the straps. If the child needs crutches or a wheelchair, this wouldn’t work for them.

    And we had our older daughter in a stroller when she was 7-8, but only b/c she had a soft-tissue ankle injury that just wouldn’t heal. Some time in a stroller and some physical therapy and now she’s fine.

    BONUS (to raising her free-range): she was so frustrated at not being able to just walk where she wanted and so embarrassed that she had to be in the stroller that she was EXTRA cooperative with her physical therapy exercises!

  10. This is ridiculous. I did the baby-wearing thing when my kids were small, but after they could walk they didn’t want to be in a carrier except when sleepy. And by then, they were heavy enough that a stroller was preferable. Minus the special-needs situation – which this would be brilliant for – does anyone really want to carry a 60 lb child for any real distance?

  11. $80 to give my kid a piggy-back ride? How about I just toss him up on my shoulders for free?

  12. If your kid is normally in a wheelchair, or has some problem with their legs that would necessitate you carrying them, then this item wouldn’t work. It requires the kid to stand on a bar. They’re not strapped in like a backpack.

    From the website, it looks more like a way to give longer piggy back rides, or a way to give your kid a break if they’re too tired to walk but you need to keep going.

    I’d never buy one, but I could see why some people might like them.

  13. Oh for goodness sake!! I must be an awful parent, because, shock and horror, I won’t even let my 4 year old use a stroller, much less a carrier!! She walks everywhere. She weighs 42lb, and is tall for her age, at 7 years old, she would be far too heavy to carry. I’ve never seen anything so ridiculous!

  14. I just happen to have a 5yo, 6yo and a 7yo. NEVER in a million years would I consider purchasing this for my older two. It’s ridiculous on so many levels.

    And to address the special needs aspect – my 5yo (foster daughter) has a great deal of difficulty when walking. However, this device requires that the child be able to stand and balance up on the bar. I can’t see it being applicable for special needs children at all. If they need to be in a stroller or wheelchair because they can’t walk – they most likely don’t have the muscle control to stand in the PiggyBackRider.

    It’s sad that we must come up with more and more ways to take normal experiences (like walking?!!) away from childhood. It makes me think of what I was taught about butterflies. If you help the butterfly out of its cocoon, it will die. It must struggle and work hard as it’s freeing itself from the cocoon or it won’t send enough blood flow to the wings. We’re stunting out kids in the same way by “helping” them when they don’t need it!

  15. This isn’t any different than women or men who wear their 7 year old kids in wraps on their backs. It is just a different kind of carrier. Didn’t you know that people in other countries wear their kids all the time (at least that is what we see on National Geopgraphic channel), even when they are bigger (I think by 7 though they might actually be helping to look after the younger kids and working in the home or village)? Didn’t you know that if you keep your child confined to you all the time that they can never get into trouble?

    I understand that this would be a great thing for a child who has special needs.

  16. The attachment parenting crowd must be going nuts with joy — another four + years of “wearing” your baby!

  17. Give them a few years, and my kids will use it to carry ME!😀

  18. That’s beyond ridiculous! I’m with skl, when my kids could walk, that’s what they did. and I’m almost offended when I see giant toddlers in strollers. They’re usually whining and sucking on a bottle. Sorry but that giant toddler is probably 4 and should be walking, potty trained and drinking from a sippy cup.

  19. I’m wondering if this is not more a symptom of there being an increasing number of children that are overweight and that this offers new market potential to whoever produces these carriers. Personally, I couldn’t possible have “pulled it off” (the ground). I can only carry 25% of my body weight for more than a few minutes, so my kids had to walk themselves when they grew bigger than 30 pounds.

  20. On the other hand, it would be great at a rock concert!

  21. My 7 year old daughter literally walked every inch around Disneyland and California Adventure last Thanksgiving while her little sister and brother rode in a stroller, or were carried, when they got tired.

    3 solid days of 8-9 hours of walking each day.

    She never complained once, or asked to be picked up. Her siblings (4 and 2) needed the assistance, and she understood that. Also, she wanted that level of freedom, I think. It meant she didn’t have to wait when she went on rides with Mom or Dad alone while the stroller was parked, and all that jazz.

    She didn’t get lost, and it was a madhouse those days. Honestly, I had more trouble keeping track of my father in his wheelchair than my daughter.

  22. I had to stop babywearing when my son was barely 18 months old, because he wanted to walk.

    At 2 and a bit, he likes a buggy board for a rest, and because he chooses when to get on it or jump off, but he has to be really tired to sit in his buggy. We mostly use it for full day excursions, or when we need to get somewhere at a fast adult walking pace (we don’t drive). Even then, it’s easier to put him on my shoulders, and we are experimenting with actual piggyback riding.

    The only time I could see this as useful is in an airport, assuming you could take it on as hand luggage, because carrying your bags and a tired child to baggage claim in airports where you can’t get the buggy straight back is hard work. But it requires their active cooperation, so probably they would still demand a more cuddly carry.

    What a pointless contraption!

    H

  23. I think this product points to a larger issue of kids not walking. I have friends who drive their kids to the bus stop every morning, and they are not 4-5 houses away.

    We live about 1/2 mile away from school, and we started walking when my kids were 4 and 2 year s old. Thus my 2 year old could walk a mile since he had to come home with me. No stroller, just walking. We took it slow, picked flowers and observed the neighborhood. But the kid walked.

    We walked regularly with our kids, hiking, in the neighborhood, in cities. Since then, now 10 & 8 year old kids have traveled to New York City and Europe and done much of the requisite walking that comes with such trips without complaint, and they are amazed and frankly annoyed by how much some of their friends bitch about walking even short distances.

  24. I am so confused. First 7 year olds should be able to walk on their own. If they get really tired or need to see over other adults, can’t you just put them on your shoulders for a minute or two. That’s what our parents did. I guess we are so very lucky to live in a generation of parents who love to throw their money away on useless products that they believe make them a better parent.

  25. The only place I would EVER use that (unless I had a special needs child) would be at a parade. Unless I can find a good high point for my daughter to stand on, since I can never see parades. Jeesh.

  26. Just for a good physical reference point, I am a soldier, and my field back when fully loaded, weighs less than a 60 lb child, but body armour and weapon bring it to slightly over 60 lbs. In other words, you need the conditioning and stamina of a combat ready soldier to ruck your kid any distance with this contraption!

  27. @ Kristi. That just made me laugh. Maybe this contraption would get me in shape, if it didn’t kill me first.

  28. I can’t imagine using that for my kids. My youngest has been able to walk over a mile on her own since she was about 18 months old. She’s a really active kid. The only other one still young enough wouldn’t tolerate being carried around like that. He may be clingy, but there are limits!

  29. W..T…

    Seriously folks, who wants to join me in coming up with an invention that capitalizes on parents fears, insecurities, and ignorance. We would make a fortune. That’s really what all these companies are doing. They know there a plenty of lazy, fearful, and ignorant parents out there, that they can sell almost anything to that gives the idea of “safety” for their kids. Just plain ridiculous. I have my own bonding, carrying, and litterally more fun and convenient method. It’s called a piggy back or a shoulder ride. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it’s free. But really, at age 7, unless it’s a special circumstance, I’d be encouraging my kids to use two feet and a heart beat. I don’t know about the rest of you, but all of the 7 year olds I know, actually pretty much all the kids I know that can walk, prefer to run around on their own. Not strapped to some gizmo, that impedes child development.

    Dummies. Anyone who falls prey to this and other dumb inventions like it.

  30. Could not even finish watching the video– GROCERY SHOPPING! Seriously? We have to haul our children on our backs as we hit the produce section? Some adventure! No wonder our country has an obesity problem. Unless children are very small and run off (ie toddlers), they can walk!

    I cannot imagine any place on the planet I would use this to carry my seven year old.

  31. @ Meg: Not better. But parents who have to do less work for their kids. Think about it, with your kid strapped to your back, where can they go? You don’t have to keep an eye on them, you don’t have to run around after them, and you can do what YOU want, without “looking” neglectful. If you look at it in a broader spectrum, it’s really a tool for the parent, not the kid. The child obviously doesn’t need it. In short, it’s for lazy parents. The less they have to deal with their children, the better.

  32. I can see the opportunity for overuse of a product like this, but there are also legitimate uses that do not involve treating a child like an invalid. One of my very first purchases when I found out I was pregnant was a hard frame Kelty backpack that would carry up to 50 pounds in child. We hike, and we like to hike and camp and go FAR. Further than a 5 or 6 year old may be prepared to walk at one time. A 20 mile hike may well be in range for a five year old, but maybe they need an occassional break. Not to mention the fact that on a long hiking trip intended for camping, you cannot always hike at a short persons pace (though you definitely should dedicate a large amount of time for this).

    I don’t live in a city so this isn’t a problem for me, but if I did I could forsee the need to pick up my smaller child when walking several miles on crowded streets – if only to make the walk in a reasonable amount of time. Again, the child should be left to walk as much as possible but there may be practical considerations (such as getting to the market and back within the day).

    So yeah, it’s likely to be overused by people who are over precious with their kids – but don’t just discount the overall usefulness off the cuff as though everyone using it is a horrid child smotherer.

  33. @ HSmom: “I cannot imagine any place on the planet I would use this to carry my seven year old.” Actually, the only place I’d find this useful, is if I was out in the rain forest of South America, traversing through the jungle, escaping pygmy headhunters, and my 7 year old injured himself. Then this thing would come in pretty handy. Fortunately, I don’t think many parents will ever have to go through that scenario. lol

  34. @ EricS. Yeah, I will probably kick myself when I find myself in that situation and I don’t have this gizmo!

  35. This is just ridiculous yeah we had one of those Kelty things we use for hiking and parades but we always assumed the 50lb weight limit was just in case you had a big toddler not to use with 4+ kids.

    Our kids are only 4 & 2 and our strollers, and carriers feel pretty obsolete. We love our wagon cause it will haul all the stuff at , fairs, apple picking, etc and if the kids get tired they can climb in a and take a little break.

  36. I certainly wouldn’t use this every time I take my kids out, but I *can* think of legitimate uses for this.

    Two come to mind right away:

    1) When hiking with my 4-year old. Yeah, she can walk on her own, but brambles that are waist-high on me are over her head.

    2) When out and about with any of my older children, and they get tired. Yeah, I could call it quits just because they’re tired. Or, I could do like I do now and carry them around.

    There are times when I carry my kids around anyway. Obviously it would depend on how bulky the carrier is, but if it’s easy to bring along why not use a carrier?

  37. Notice the “fake” kid in the picture? A real one would be kicking and screaming to be let down! He couldn’t chance having a real kid in the video! As a person who has had back surgery, good luck with this. I can see ruptured discs coming!

  38. Just a point of clarification: Standing and walking are two different skills. There are kids who can bear weight in their legs but cannot walk independently, or for long periods.

  39. @ Eris: But really though, how many parents do you think have that in mind. I can confidently say very little compared to the parents who buy it for their own “convenience”. My nephew is 4, and he walks with us where ever we go. When he comes to visit me, we walk all over the city. He’ll tell us when he’s tired (which isn’t very often), we use this opportunity to get a drink, maybe some treats (like ice cream) and sit on a bench. Then we are off again. Being in a rush is no excuse either. If you were in a rush, the last thing you need is to be lugging your kid around. If you can’t leave them alone for an hour to get your urgent stuff done, drop them off at a friend’s or family member’s place for that time. Where there is a will, there is a way. What were people doing before this invention came out. It worked back then, why wouldn’t it continue to work now. I can almost guarantee, that if your in a rush, this contraption would make things harder for you to get around.

  40. Who the heck wants to carry a 7-year old on their back? LOL. Sheesh people.

  41. I have an 8 yo, 6 yo and 3 yo. We did baby-wearing and extended breastfeeding and all that attachment parenting stuff that some other posters are making fun of – LOL. Our 3 yo does still sleep in our bed because he won’t get out. But by the time they are 5 yo, is the last acceptable time for that anyway. Moving on, I am amazed about this carrying thing. No amount of back brace could induce me to start carrying around my 6 yo who is 64 pounds and I don’t think any amount of bribing would convince him to get in the thing. My weird 8 yo would probably be all about it though. Anyway, I haven’t worn my 3 yo since he was 2 yo and he is happy about that. Every once in a while he asks for me to pick him up and every once in a while I do for a minute or two and then set him down but most of the time, I just tell him that Mommy doesn’t carry boys who are older than 2 and we can hold hands and he accepts that. Thank god, especially now that I’m pregnant. No way could I be carrying him around all the time. We got rid of his stroller because I never used it and he has a chunk tendency and I figure he is far better off walking than me pushing him around….

  42. This product and the video for it remind me of a joke that I read. I don’t remember exactly how it goes, but here’s the gist of it. The punch line is correct.

    A Bulgarian woman comes to America and sees a mother pushing a child in a stroller. The Bulgarian woman admires the child and asks the American mother how old he is. The American woman says, “Five.” The Bulgarian then says, “I’m so sorry that your son can’t walk.” The American mother replies, “Oh he can walk. But why should he have to?”

    I’m sure that any other nationality can be substituted for Bulgaria and the joke would still make sense.

  43. My 10yo would like that. She’s only 50lbs and HATES to walk. She gets about a mile and starts complaining her feet her and she’s dying. After a freaking mile. My almost 5yo can walk 4 or 5 miles without complaint. Okay, she complains but it’s mostly typical 4yo whining about everything because she’s bored of walking. The 10yo is just annoying and lazy.

    There is no situation where I could think we would need that contraption. We’re planning some camping trips this summer and our youngest will be 1. We are considering getting one of those backpack carriers so we can cart him around but both me and my husband have bad backs. He has screws holding his lower back together and mine’s just bad from all the extra weight I carry. We’ll most likely avoid areas that we can’t access with a small stroller until the baby is able to walk easily on his own (I’d say 2-2 1/2 for easier hikes). We’ve been taking our kids on long walks in the woods since they were toddlers. After the 4yo was born we went on a 10 mile walk and the younger 2 kids (then 3 1/2 and 4 1/2) never complained until the last 1/2 mile. The oldest (then almost 6) whined the whole time and demanded to go in the stroller (a double from when they were little but we were only using the back part for the baby).

    Just like any other free-range situation kids WILL rise to the challenge if given the opportunity. The 3 and 4 year olds knew there was no way we were pushing them all in the stroller and it wasn’t fair to only push one of them. We were walking and that was it so they didn’t complain and took up the challenge. Of course, that 3yo, when she was 6, was walking the 2 miles from where our truck broke down to our house and never once complained the first mile. Then we stopped at a park for a break (it was like 90F outside) and I found out she had bleeding blisters all over her feet from her sandals. I felt so bad. She ended up riding in the stroller with her little sister (2) on her lap. The 2yo walked occasionally but she kept lagging behind and we were in the city having to cross busy streets with 4 kids…safer to be in the stroller. It was one of those umbrella ones which also had a bunch of bags on the back…way over it’s weight limit but it survived, lol.

  44. When I was 7 I was climbing trees to get apples and walnuts and loquats, and just for the heck of it. Apple picking indeed!

    My idea is that if the child is too big to ride in the top of the shopping cart, they’re really too big to be carried in a carrier. My dad carried me when I got tired, but on his shoulders or just to the car, not all the time.

    On the other hand, this carrier doesn’t make me mad. I don’t think it’s evil, just a waste of money.

  45. @Erics: Respectfully, being in a rush is the ONLY time I carry my 22 month old now (besides hiking/camping trips) – it takes two minutes to slip her in the carrier. Since I live in a very rural area, this isn’t very often but I could see how a city person needing to shop for the family on foot could need to carry. Leaving the child with another person IS optimal if that is an option for you – I can’t afford a sitter, and have no friends who don’t work who can watch my child, and I know I’m not the only one in that position. As much as I support free range for my kid, 22 months is still kinda young to leave alone for an hour or so.

    I will grant you that the majority of people purchasing will have their own ease of mind in heart, but my point is that jumping to the conclusion that every person you see wearing older children is a coddler is misplaced. In our current culture of kneejerk reaction, we are too quick to leap on parents, always assuming they are motivated by the worst (regardless of your base stance, be it over safety conscious or free range).

  46. I know what market this thing is targeting– parents who can’t handle their children whining. This is the same group of parents who can’t tell their kids “no.” (Or as my parents used to tell me when I whined about be TOOO tire… “tough.”)

  47. I strongly suspect this is aimed almost entirely at special-needs children, or bought by parents of such children. At least, I would hope so.

  48. I have made my 2 year old walk everywhere (almost everywhere anyway) since he has been able to walk any at all. Even in parking lots, I have him walk–without holding his hand (unless it’s a really nutty parking lot), I simply direct him where to go & lookout for vehicles.

    Heck, about a month ago, I took him with our 5 & 8 year-old nephews walking nearly a mile in the woods–he walked almost all of it.

    A “child carrier” for us? Yeah, right.

    LRH

  49. I have a friend living in Tokyo. Her 3 year old had to walk 3 hours home from daycare while the father was carrying the baby after the earthquake.

  50. I laughed out loud reading this!

  51. Silly… My parents used to walk me to daycare – under a mile – since I was 18 months old. They told me it would take them 45 minutes to an hour (less as I got older) to do so instead of 10 minutes at adult pace, but they did it. And I would certainly not have tolerated a stroller, let alone any such contraption. Even at parades, there are no pictures of me older than 3 years old still sitting on my Dad’s shoulders.

    And when we had long walks, as in reeeally long hikes, we either told stories or sang to make it more fun. And then we stumbled at a bearing on a road, and that was a boon. My cousin and I would just throw or roll it in front of us and chase it and basically run for 4-5 miles without noticing it. Nothing fancy, just a bearing a couple inches in diameter, probably fallen off some passing car, best toy to entertain an kid aged 5 to 9.🙂

  52. I still wear my 20 month old sometimes as he often has a “moment” and refuses to move another inch. I always start him out walking though.
    I honestly can’t imagine carrying a 60lb kid around for an extended period of time, and as there’s no real parent contact on this thing, I don’t know if I’d trust my son to hang on – he’s still quite small. 7 is way too old to need to be carried or pushed.

  53. Don’t let my son see this! He’ll get ideas! Seriously, dumb product for most cases. But could be useful here in New Orleans for Mardi Gras parades for those parents who don’t have ladders!

  54. Have you ever walked around with a 60 lb backpack? This one won’t have much of a consumer life. We backpack with the scouts often and going a mile with a 40 lb pack makes me tired. I couldn’t do 60 lbs of live weight for very long. We did have a backpack (from Kelty) when the kids were todlers. It was great, but even that was harder than a regular backpack. Kids move too much.

  55. I have a carrier that comfortably goes to 90lbs. I don’t intend to use it *that* long (I have a 2yr old and am pregnant with another) but I can see how it could have been helpful for my brother in the hospital. There are situations where wearing an older child can be very comforting for the child. And sometimes a child who was worn as a baby and toddler will want to be worn occasionally, like when sick. I’m not against occasional ‘babying”, just like I’m not against occasionally being pampered. I wouldn’t wear an able-bodied NT 7yr old on a regular basis, but if he were sick and just feeling really down and asked for it, sure, where’s the harm in that?

  56. If you want closeness with a 60 pound kid, it works better to do it sitting down!!! I got sciatica from carrying my 40 pound 5-year old a few too many times. We are not designed to carry 60 pounders. And they are designed to walk long before the age of 7.

  57. Now they just need ti make one to carry teenagers xD

  58. Oh this thing is stupid!!
    Long hikes?! Is anybody carrying an actual backpack with snacks and water?! Or do they think a mile is a long hike?
    Sheesh…

  59. I think this falls under “unnecessary”, but not outrageous, if used sensibly.

    For example, when you ARE in those situations where a sensible person might normally want to piggyback your kid (dense crowds, parades) this is probably less fatiguing for parent and child than non-technological piggybacking. So if it’s used for that purpose, and not out of any sense that a child that large “can’t” or “shouldn’t have to” walk, it seems reasonable. But it also seems kind of ridiculous to spend $80 for those rare occasions.

  60. I feel bad for the inventors because I imagine they’re really proud of their ingenuity, and it takes a lot of time and money to get to the point where they’re selling at a trade show. So I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that they don’t actually intend any 7 y.o. / 60 lb kids to be toted around (unless special needs.) I’m going to be nice and suppose that if your family attends lots of standing-only festivals and parades, it might come in handy… but don’t the kids get to sit on the curb in front of all the adults anyway?

  61. Elizabeth put me in mind of something else. There may be special needs kids who don’t have physical disabilities that interfere with the use of this product, but do have physical/mental/neurological disabilities that make it desirable to carry them more than it would be for a typical child. I once knew a kid of six or so who had juvenile arthritis and spent a lot of time being carried around by his dad, toddler-style with his arms around Dad’s neck. He had the use of all his limbs, but couldn’t handle a normal amount of walking, even the amount involved in something like a normal morning at church, especially if he was having a bad day. This would almost certainly be easier on the Dad’s back, if it’s properly designed.

  62. “but don’t the kids get to sit on the curb in front of all the adults anyway”

    Lets just say I wish we all lived in your town. It’s not like that everywhere.

  63. This post is so timely: I know a person who just bought a double stroller for her 4 and 6 year old children “so there won’t be any fighting over the stroller” on their upcoming island resort vacation. 8 o

  64. This seems like an injury waiting to happen for the parents. I can just see a kid jumping or jerking on the bar and bam – there goes your back.

    I don’t see any problem carrying a kid piggy back/ shoulder style at any age so long as the parent wants to. I got piggy back rides all the time from my dad and thought it was a great time! But then, that was a game and not a necessity.

  65. @pentamom
    “Lets just say I wish we all lived in your town. It’s not like that everywhere.”

    This makes me really sad. There are places in the world where it’s not just automatic that all the children get to sit up front?

    Come to my city! Kids play outdoor in the snow during the three daily recesses all winter (all five months of it ; ) too!

  66. I don’t know any seven year olds who would like this. I know my kids at seven were scrambling around all on their own. Through the woods, up rocks, up apple trees to pick fruit while hanging on with one arm.youknow the way you are designed to. On the one hand my teenagers are baffled by it, but on the other hand they have spent the past twenty minutes laughing at it., abit of entertainment on March Break.lol

  67. @Timkenwest – In my area, you’re lucky to have curbs for the children to sit on.

    It’s not just about the kids being free-range. It’s also about the logistics and setup of the city’s infrastructure.

  68. I’m all attachment parenty (extended breastfeeding, co sleeping) but I also think this is nuts. I think it is nuts that my 3 year old walks further in our suburbs than some 7 year olds we know–if you can pitch 4 innings of baseball, you can walk a half mile to synagogue no matter how tired you are. My sister thinks that if we started referring to strollers for older kids as wheelchairs, they would lose their appeal.

  69. @ Eris: I don’t deny what your saying. But I’m sure if you compare the number of people who have a legitimate reason for using something like this, to the number of people who use it for the other reasons I mentioned, they are much fewer. We have have become a society of doing the least amount, less work and effort, being fearful of many unsubstantiated things, even being the first to get the “latest and greatest”. If you look at it in the practical sense, most people really do not need this product. But you did kind of confirmed what I’ve been saying, that most things parents do is really for their own benefits, and not necessarily the child’s. So this product for the most part, is for the parent and not the child. Which is kind of ironic, considering, lugging a 7 year old on your back is pretty tiring, and a killer on the back. As a couple of our soldiers have mentioned through their own experience of lugging around their rucksack. I still think it’s easier to hold on to your child, who can obviously walk at by the age of 3. There is that strap thingy for toddlers. Which makes more sense at that age than this product for older and bigger kids. But hey, too each their own. People are going to do what they do, for their own reasons. I’m just stating my opinion that this product is for the most part a waste of money.

  70. Thing is, if my kids are any indication, either (a) they love to run around and could run circles around me all day long, or (b) they would be happy to ride but they need the exercise more than I do!

    I’m not the Incredible Hulk myself – I get tired – so the chances of me going too far for my preschoolers to be able to walk is verrry slim. On the other hand, maybe my kids aren’t a fair standard. Having had to walk everywhere since they were wee tots, they might have more stamina than some spoiled kids.

    If this contraption is meant to be used on a hike, it actually makes me nervous. If you are going on a path that is not safe for children, how is it safe to carry a good-sized kid on your back? I have done a fair amount of hiking and I can’t imagine that an uncontrolled shift of weight from behind would be good for stability. If it’s a matter of the child holding on, how does that work when you have to bend yourself into an odd position to make progress? And if you lose your footing, does that increase the likelihood that your kid gets hurt? Nah – this is sounding more and more like a wipe-warmer . . . .

  71. Okay… I didn’t read all the replies and I’m completely, 100% with the idea that widespread use of this product is completely absurd. I have twins and that double stroller is a PITA so we ditched it really early. By about 3.5 yo, I made my kids walk EVERYWHERE – to the subway, to the store, etc.

    BUT, I know a couple of people who have something like that for hiking – I don’t know that they’ve put a 7 yo in there – but a 5 or 6 yo – on a multiple mile hike. Sure, the kid walks a couple miles total and rides a couple miles. You have to be pretty extreme, but… hey, some people are. And I must say that when my kids were not quite 5 yo, we went sightseeing in Europe and by the end, my arms were exhausted – the kids walked a LOT, but I also carried them a lot. I wouldn’t have minded that thing.

    But as a general, daily thing? No way.

  72. Oh, okay, someone else mentioned the hiking thing… I don’t think the idea is that you would use it on a path not safe for kids (as in to protect them… though… a path would have to be pretty extreme to be “unsafe for children” in my book) – but to expect a 5 or 6 yo to hike 5 or 6 miles is too much for many kids. Mine top out at about 3-4 miles, which seems fair enough to me. I think the idea is that then you can hike farther and carry them part of the way. I don’t think the intention is that it be used on a super difficult path or climb.

  73. And we wonder why this country has a problem with childhood obesity…good grief.

  74. I agree with Eric S. – a wonderful contraption for lazy parents who can’t be bothered with teaching their children to behave properly. It’s very hard to misbehave when your strapped to mom or dad.

  75. Two thoughts on competence vs dependence:
    1. I recently bought this book for my 11 yr old nephew: Housebuilding for Children. It’s mostly illustrated by photos of 7-12 yr olds wearing toolbelts and working with tools (hand, not power). There’s a section for adults on setting up a workspace for kids, but mostly the kids are making the playhouses themselves.

    2. My friend recently climbed Halfdome in Yosemite (for those who don’t know it’s a 17 mile day-hike from the valley floor with very steep climbs that require holding onto cables while you walk almost straight up the granite cliff face). One group of people climbing the same day included: 1 dad, his 9-year-old twin daughters, and 3 of their friends. Turns out the girls had wanted to do this for the 9th birthday, so the dad trained with them and their friends, every week, for a year. Walking with backpacks long distances, then on their birthday weekend, they did it!

  76. Why would I want to transfer all of my child’s weight onto my sholders anyway?

    All of my backpacks – including the multi day hike one that carried 60lb of gear – are set so that the weight is on my hips mostly, not my sholders. Just where the weight is when I was piggybacking my daughter…

    Besides all of its other drawbacks this think is a quick way to wreck your shoulders IMO.

  77. When I was in school there was one overweight child in my school, my whole school (it was a small school, a couple of hundred kids, but still)
    Probably a quarter of the kids in my daughter’s class are overweight.
    TV and games consoles, not just sending them outside to play (incase they get killed/molested) and crap like this carrying device are ruining our kids health. We are not giving them a chance. It’s insanity.
    That movie Wal-e does not seem so far fetched anymore!

  78. What a fabulous invention (I am not being sarcastic). Going out for walks in the woods (I can’t really call them hikes as we’re only talking 3-4 miles over non-technical terrain) is an important part of what keeps me sane provided 2 conditions are met: (1) I can set my own pace [fast] and (2) no one’s talking to me. Sadly, this gadget probably won’t help with (2) but in terms of (1) it makes it marginally plausible that I could take my (38#) preschooler along. Otherwise, his presence destroys what I need out of a particular sort of walk, not that we don’t enjoy spending time in the woods (including walks) together — but as I tell my mother, he’s a non-linear thinker: every bit as happy as I am to be *in* the woods, but motivated to plunk rocks in the creek, not enjoy the sort of walking I enjoy.

    Am I willing to pay $80 for it? Probably not.

  79. “It’s not just about the kids being free-range. It’s also about the logistics and setup of the city’s infrastructure.”

    It’s also about how friendly people are. This is a reasonably free-range place, and while it isn’t the meanest town around by any stretch, there are enough people who are only out for themselves or their own kids, that they would stand blocking the view for others without a second thought. Not everyone, to be sure, and I’m sure there are many would would step aside and let the kids up front, but you certainly can’t count on it.

  80. I’m sorry, but as a mom of a child with mild cerebral palsy, this is a godsend. Of course they’re trying to market it to everyone and not just special needs families. I truly love your Free Range philosophy, but this isn’t as outrageous as you’re making it out to be. A parent fit enough and willing to lug around a 60 pound child simply won’t be the type to discourage fitness in their children.

  81. i’ve carried my son on my shoulders since before he could walk it has just been more convenient to carry or shoulder than haul around a stroller plus its free and he has become a progressively better workout. the whole time he has learned balance and adventure that way but now he’s 3.5 and most times he wants to get down and walk on his own something like this is just ridiculous why would i want him to have a birds eye view when looking and finding stuff at ground level is soo much better

  82. As a parent of a special needs child, I can say that this is great for kids that can’t walk, in those places where it is hard to use a stroller, wheelchair, or walker (hiking, festivals, etc.).

    Now, for those kids that can use their legs? Parents, enjoy the fact that they can. Let them run around and strengthen those legs. Who cares if they complain of being tired? The more they use them, the easier it will be.

    Seriously.

  83. Sheesh! I must be a REALLY bad mom! I’ve been making my son walk all this time! We go on hikes up to 4 miles if we have the time (He’s 6), and lately at the grocery store, HE pushes the cart, while I walk along beside him! And he is proud to be contributing to the process, instead of just riding along.

  84. Love how one of the suggestions for use is the mall… also, this seems like a really germaphobic invention because the child doesn’t actually get to TOUCH anything…

  85. This kind of product has been around for years. We had one we used with our first kid (now 12) It was an older version of the Kelty FC3 Child Carrier. We used it a lot until she was about 4 and then she wouldn’t get in it. It was built by a good backpack co. with all the waist support and adjustments you could want. Even with all of that, after 40 lbs, It was more than I could comfortably hike with. Live weight is very different from dead weight. The idea that such a product is for lazy parents is silly. You try walking around with 60 lbs strapped on you back and you will quickly discover that it is not an activity for the lazy.

    Seems like a lot of excitement over something that will quickly eliminate it’s self from use by anyone who doesn’t truely need it. For those people, there are probably better products, but maybe not.

  86. Oops, no, I take my earlier comment back — I see this product has no hip belt. If I want my son’s weight on my shoulders we can achieve that all by ourselves, thanks.

  87. No, this is clearly a product for special needs children. People aren’t mocking their use of it — what’s ridiculous is the idea of marketing this to parents of children who are able to walk perfectly well on their own.

    I do carry my 30-month-old son on my back occasionally (in the same woven wrap I’ve used since he was an infant, which also doubles as a shawl and a handy picnic blanket) when we go for long walks. He likes to walk, but 10 miles is a long trek for an average 3-year-old, and if we come to an extended patch of nettles, I’m not going to make him walk through it.

  88. Long hikes? My 3.5 year old hiked 7.5 miles a few weeks ago. Up hills, down hills, no complaints. Then a shoulder ride from dad for awhile while the rest of us (including my 6 year old) finished the 9.5 mile hike.

    So I’m not sure why you’d need this for long hikes either.

    A similarly ridiculous “new low in parenting” product: http://www.strollernanny.com/features_dvd.html

    I saw a dad pushing his 2 year old around a beautiful lake in stroller while she watched TV. Hopefully at least the nature channel was playing.

  89. Now I’d agree with you on strollers. I expect to see “power assist” child carriers soon. They would of course have a dvd player, an mp3 port, and satelite tv. I’ve seen too many fat lazy parents pushing fat lazy kids who should be walking. The back pack thing is cheap, but not really all that useful at the weight limits they claim. Besides, 60 lbs of live weight, even well distributed, would give most people a heart attack.

  90. My first thought was that it must not be intended for clumsy parents like myself. I’d likely run my kid head first into a tree.

    I did literally laugh out loud when I saw the suggestion on the website to use it ‘kite flying’. If I didn’t fall over trying to run, I would wrap that kite string around my kids neck trying to get the kite in the air.

    Nope. I’m pretty sure that my athletic 7 year old is better off on his own two feet, than strapped to my back.

  91. Didn’t know where to post this, but figured you might find it interesting.

    Is Children’s Book Too Graphic for Kids?

    http://video.foxnews.com/v/4554700/is-childrens-book-too-graphic-for-kids/?playlist_id=86912

  92. Lovely device, parenttakes two steps,slips , falls backwards, breaks child’s hip, spine and skull. Parent goes to jail. great invention.

  93. @ alan
    I see quite a few kids in the nicer neighborhood near me riding motorized scooters to school with their iPods plugged into their ears. Kids in 3-5 grades. Seriously. Scooters with seats and motors?! Doesn’t that sort of defeat the purpose? They just sit there and basically drive themselves to school.
    ugh

    now, with strollers, I used a stroller with my grandson until he was 4. Mostly this was because he was a major runner. I will not ever put a leash on a kid myself. I can totally understand the idea behind it, and I get that it keeps a kid walking and such rather than riding, but I just get the willies. Anyway, he’d get in and out, but if we were on a high-traffic road, it was in. Quieter neighborhood streets, where even if he did dash out there was extremely low risk of catastrophe, he walked. He’s a really active kid. He’s almost 5 now, and much more cognizant of WHY he needs to slow down, needs to look, etc.

    A previous comment mentioned that at 4 the kids in strollers with bottles should be using sippy cups. Sippy cups drive me nuts after about 2. Even the preschool where he goes, as soon as they’re in the toddler room they use regular cups, plates etc. Glass/ceramic regular ones. My grandson has a thermos with a push-button lid and a straw that he is required to use if he’s around my computer (we don’t have tv. He watches some netflix, and has a couple games). Other than that, he uses the same utensils and cups that we do.

  94. Is there a strap for keeping the kid in, or is the kid just expected to hold on? Not sure if there is a benefit either way.

    I can see this for some special needs kids. Maybe parades where people get hassled by police for having the kid on their shoulders.

    Not hiking. My kids, even when little, when their legs got tired, they needed to sit – not stand. Standing on this thing, bouncing up and down….tiring. I wouldn’t buy it.

    My three kids ran a mile this last weekend. They are 11, 8 and 6. All of them were in under 12 minutes, and my 8 year old was done in 9. My 6 year old came in ahead of his older sister.

    On the way home, Dad and I had a discussion about how we didn’t have to believe them about being tired any more when we were on short (mile there, mile back) types of hikes because we know they can do it!

  95. Last year when my daughter was 8 and son was 6 we unintentionally took them on a steep hike to a peak in NH White Mtns. We had accidentally taken the wrong trail to the top. They did their share of complaining (as did I). It was sprinkling, slick, and the adults had to push them up some particularly steep sections. The result was a gorgeous view and VERY happy kids who wanted to do it again the next year, and we did!

    We never would have considered this carrier for our kids after age 2.

  96. My seven year old grandson just made friends with neighbors around the corner by himself. The mother told him any time he wants to play with her kids to just knock on the door, by himself. He keeps asking when he will be aloud to walk to the corner store alone and when he can take to subway to school by himself. The last thing he wants is for an adult to carry him on their back and pretend its an adventure.

  97. Er… I don’t see many younger children being the size of a 7-year old to warrant this. I can see some cases for some special needs kids–though they leg bars affects that. I can count lots of “what about this case?” situations for this, but nothing practical enough to make me buy this.

  98. OH, HELL NO!!!

    My daughter is going on 4 years old. Although she’s on the petite side, there is no way on God’s green earth that I would ever consider hauling her around in a backpack when she is perfectly capable of walking on her own. The most I am willing to do is carry her into the house from the car if she’s asleep, and even then, I often wake her up and make her walk. I am her mother, not her pack mule.

  99. I don’t believe this. We are being PUNKED!

  100. I can recall one time I was put in a carrier. I suspect I was about 4.

    I was a farm kid, never had been to the city.
    We had to go to the city for the first time, for medical tests, and my parents walked everywhere. They didn’t want to spend the money on public transport, as money was tight.

    So, they borrowed some carriers. The two children there were hoisted onto each parent’s back, and we were able to safely go places.

    Of course, if they had had the time, it would have made more sense to teach us about traffic lights, not wandering off, traffic.
    But, we were both having medical tests, so were pretty ratty about that.
    Had had very little sleep (a city is SO noisy if you’re used to remote Australia).
    And so it seemed easier for a few days to carry us around.

    Don’t worry, the rest of the time we had to walk every where😉 We were LITERALLY the only kids who had to walk home from school!

  101. We hiked with our little ones in the Olympic Peninsula, and hauled in our gear for an overnighter when our children were 11, 9, 7, 5, 2 and 4 months. We picked the nearest campsites we could for primitive camping because we new the limitations we would have. Our 5 year old wore his own backpack with a lighter load, but our 11 year old girl made 2 trips to help her dad.
    They need to rethink their design, because the only way that we would haul a 7 year old would be if he was hurt, or asleep (unlikely) and then he’d be too tired to stand on the carrier correctly and it would be like hauling dead weight. My 3 year old is the size of a 5 year old and very heavy I wouldn’t even put him on my back any more, let alone a 7 year old who would have to stand on the ledge.

  102. Totally had to comment here. I have a 14 month old son and am a hard core baby wearer. So that being said, I clearly see the benefits of carrying YOUR BABY (which actually I find helps him see the world around him when I take him places like an art musuem).

    This device is insane. Already at 22 lbs I am ready for my son to start walking places, like to and from the car in the driveway and on the sidewalk on our way into the grocery store.

    When I bought my OhSnap the salesperson tried to sell me on the Ergo saying it is rated for up to 90 lbs. I looked at her like she was nuts and was like umm 45 is just plenty for me thanks!. I even made a joke to my friend that if I was still wearing my son at 90lbs there was a major problem here!

  103. Okay, by seven year old was huge and it never would have worked…but I WISH I had had something like this to remove him sleeping from the train, and the two block walk to my house….oy vay! Trying to shake a big kid awake and then walk them home is tough!

    Otherwise…this is bat shit crazy territory

  104. Oh, I forgot to comment – this is NOT for lazy parents. This takes way more effort than any stroller.

    However, it may be good for the mom’s health (to some degree.) I heard that the longer that you carry your child, the less are your chances of getting bone thinning. Probably just going to the gym would do the same thing though. Much more likely to fall when the child shifts weight and end up with a broken hip that way.

  105. Oh dear Tuppence, why the snark?

  106. Would have been handy at Mardi Gras. I was so sore from hoisting my 6 yo up to see the floats over other people’s shoulders! I can imagine it could be handy with a slightly smaller kid in an airport or other place where it’s just best to be able to move with the crowd. But for the most part, a regular kelty type backpack carrier works for taking little kids hiking and stuff like that – my 6 yo can walk as far as I can, he certainly has more energy!

    I do wonder at the design though…it doesn’t seem to have a hip belt. Ouch!

  107. Oh dear MJ, why the policing?

  108. Sorry what are those log things that come off my kids hips, oh legs and they are made for walking and apple picking amazing!!!
    Seriously there is no way my back would survive my 5 year old.

  109. Wow, I just followed the link and saw the picture of a mom carrying an older child in that thing like it was nothing…

    We have a back pack thing, since we like to go hiking a lot — like hiking in the alps, high mountains and such. But let me tell you that _I_ cannot carry my youngest one, because her weight is killing me already, and she is a small just-turned-4-years-old!

    And there will be no need for the backcarrier anymore, since she is eager to use her own little legs this upcomming hiking season.

    So long,
    Corinna

  110. Oh how cool. Another idea for kids to get them so pent up with energy they may burst and a very worn out parent. Think I’ll pass on this one!

  111. i’m not sure this is the sign of the apocalypse so many are claiming, but maybe just another example of a dedicated tool designed for one purpose only. (aside from making a buck, that is.) i’d just hate to carry it around on the off-chance we’d need it.

  112. I’ve concluded that no, it’s not for lazy parents, because the kids are too heavy. I think this product would very much appeal to parents who are control freaks.

  113. Several people have touched on this, but I have a perspective that might interest;

    I worked as a security guard at an outlet mall for a while (I was bad at it). I noticed that around 4pm every day kids below a certain age would become sniveling little horrors. The things was, people would plan out a day that started at 7am or so, and didn’t have any allowance for the kids not having the stamina of adults. At about 4pm the kids really needed a nap, or at least a serious rest, and when they didn’t get it they got understandably cranky.

    Maybe this carrier won’t help with this problem, but it seems to me (a childless observer) that it might.

  114. I agree that this contraption is weird. But the general distate and concept that wearing your baby / toddler is also some how an affront to free-range ideas is so silly to me.

    I have several friends who occasionally wear their 3-4 year old in carriers. Generally they have a younger child and that’s why they have the carrier with them in the first place. But sometimes the preschooler wants to be up in the carrier. I don’t see what’s so horribly wrong about that? It’s not like you’re forcing them (and forcing a 4 year old to ride in a carrier just isn’t happening).

    My almost one year old will be walking soon. I’m not suddenly going to insist she walk everywhere if she’d rather be in a carrier. And I’m not going to insist she be in a carrier if she’d rather walk. If we need to get somewhere in a hurry I might insist she ride on me. Carriers fold up smaller than strollers, I can fit one of mine in my diaper bag.

    I just don’t get this general making fun of carriers, or thinking that “attachment parenting” can’t also go along with “free range parenting.” I don’t really subscribe to either label completely, but I indulge my child’s desires in an effort to ENCOURAGE indepedence, not to lesson it.

    I know this isn’t related to the item at hand, which, again I think is pretty silly for most able-bodied children. But some of the comments moved beyond that.

  115. My daughter is almost 4, and we do carry her quite a lot — she asks to be carried, we can talk much better when we’re face-to-face, and I really don’t see the harm in it. I say that not in response to the product, but to the hundreds of folks here who seem to think that carrying a child over one somehow makes you a coddler. I don’t think any of us would be reading this blog if that were the case.

    Regarding the product, I’m glad all of you have the hours it takes on a regular basis to be so leisurely with walks, errands, etc. with your children (though I did notice that a many of the most judgmental referred to their nephews or nieces rather than their own kids). For me, I need to walk my dog twice a day — yes, I sometimes take my daughter, but then that’s our evening: a few blocks walk can take up to an hour with all the puddle jumping, snow sliding, and rock finding she wants to do. And that’s great, sometimes. But sometimes I just want to walk the damn dog and get on with whatever else we have planned for the night. And I don’t want our walk to become a completely negative experience with having to rush her up whenever she wants to look at something. She’s 3.5; she’s supposed to be curious. So, I can definitely understand the appeal of a product like this. Likewise, we spend a lot of time in Florida and take long walks from the condo to downtown. The walking we want to do is downtown, but we need to get through a completely boring stretch of about 2 miles first. Sure, she could walk it, but it would take hours, and we’d all be too exhausted to walk around where we want to walk. So we take a stroller and let her out when we get downtown. I don’t see a problem with it, and I’m a bit offended at all the people here who would judge us for it.

  116. Right on, jcaritas. I’m not in this situation myself, but people don’t only walk places with their kids for fun or leisure — some people have places to get on foot. While nobody should use a stroller in place of giving kids a chance to walk and run around on their own, if you are actually trying to accomplish some errands on foot, you just might not want to take all day adjusting yourself to a child’s pace — not to mention dealing with a small child with your hands full.

    And if you have kids of different ages, it just might be that the older kids would like to see the whole zoo that day since they won’t have a chance for another year, instead of taking the whole day to see a third of it while the toddler chases butterflies.

    Excessive stroller use is bad; strollers have their place if sometimes exercise and exploration is more fun, but other times getting where you’re going matters.

  117. C.S.P what you are referring to is known by my friends as “the witching hour” because the kids need some down time like you mention. And it isn’t just toddlers – kids in grade school also need some down time and snack around then too.

    Me, I am not going to put down a parent if they want to use this. Personally, I suspect that the parent needs to be in great shape to do this, and to do it, the parent must have a good reason to go through all that effort.

    I suspect that very few people will buy this thing for the reasons that the developer suggested. Most people would see it as a waste of money, too much effort, or not appropriate for their child. Those who do get it will have good reason – a child on chemo or otherwise sick who wants to do what the family is doing, a child with a CP, or other disability.

    The grandma or grandpa who buys this for their son or daughter to use with their typical grandchild will probably never see it in use. Most parents won’t get it.

  118. I had a bit of a giggle when the guy in the video made such a big deal out of how the kid’s head is higher then yours. When my daughter was young enough that she still rode on my husband’s shoulders from time to time, we were stopped on several occasions by security guards instructing us that it wasn’t allowed. The explanation we were given was that they were concerned that she would hit her head on something low enough for my husband to clear.

  119. @Rhiannon, ITA.

    People in North America (and I live here, too) seem to forget that some people WALK places.

    When my daughter was that age (0-6) I didn’t own a car. We had two strollers AND a wagon, AND a sled. And she spent time in all of them, and in a carrier too.

    OVER use of a carrier/stroller/wagon/sled might be bad, but when you are covering long distances how is it different than strapping you child into a car?

  120. Just to weigh in…yes, I do think the product is ridiculous because a stroller is much better. (not when a kid is 6 or 7, however). But, I’m very much a free range parent and just want to say to you stroller folks…don’t apologize. When I took my 2 and 5 year old to Disney World, I plunked them in a double stroller. And as I passed hordes of parents of kids of around the same age, having meltdowns due to tiredness, I just smugly pushed my stroller on by. (I was a single parent at the time, so cut me some slack!)

  121. It’s nice to hear from some other people who use carriers; with all the negative comments, I was beginning to think I might be harming my almost-3-year-old by carrying him on my back on long hikes. I’ll just relax and go back to doing what I darned well please.🙂

    This evening we took the boy for a walk to the playground a few blocks away (everyone walking, no carriers involved). He decided he wasn’t feeling energetic enough, and we had a few minutes of ‘I don’t want to walk, I want to ride in the pram!’ So embarassing, made me think of this discussion and I hoped the neighbours didn’t hear him … but he remembered how to use his legs in the end, and we all had a good time.

  122. “you just might not want to take all day adjusting yourself to a child’s pace —”

    I do walk with my daughter quite a bit and I don’t always adjust myself to a child’s pace. When we are going for a leisurely walk for fun, I adjust myself to her pace and let her explore. When we are walking to get somewhere, I tell her that we don’t have time to look at every rock and that we need to get to point B. Of course I have to walk slower than I would if I was alone because her little legs don’t go as fast as mine but I’d walk slower pushing a stoller anyway. If she grumbles about not stopping for rocks, I tell her “oh well, you’re not the boss this time.” A stroller is simply not an option in her life and hasn’t been for several years and I never carry her so she knows walking is what is going to happen. She doesn’t ask for or expect anything else.

    I don’t get this idea that the kids need to call the shots all the time and everything needs to be done to their needs and wants. Sometimes we need to live life to my needs and wants and she needs to roll with the punches. If that means that she has to walk to the store without looking at every rock, sobeit. Her life is not going to be damaged by not being able to look at every rock every single time we walk somewhere.

  123. I carried my children – even at 6 and 7 – when needed (fell asleep in the car because child was impossible to wake up once asleep). But they were on my hip and it was a short trek. Otherwise, they walked. We did use a stroller if we were going to be out for a long day until they were about 5 so they could rest/nap if needed. But I don’t think I would have ever used this product.

  124. @Kokopuff – See, I think strollers are ridiculous myself. Never used one, my kid is 22 months old and has NEVER been strapped in. I carry an Ergo carrier that fits in my diaper bag and if I need to carry her because she’s tired or other circumstance, I’m set. No bulky thing to lug, no running over people’s toes or blocking aisles or trying to fold and unfold some huge dumb contraption.

    While I can’t speak to the usefulness of this SPECIFIC product, I still hold to my original opinion that people need to lay off the judgment and consider that there are legitimate uses for carriers with somewhat older kids (between 2-5ish) that DON’T involve hampering their development.

    I’m glad to see some different opinions chime in today than the original ones I saw, I was beginning to worry that the “free range” parent culture was just as sanctimonious as the coddle your kid culture and the beat your kid if they don’t behave cultures.

    Our current “web” environment is too much based on joyfully leaping on and attacking EVERY LITTLE THING that we might disagree with to give ourselves some form of feeling better about our choices. I’d like to hear a little more POSITIVE free range comments and news – maybe about things that are empowering kids, or parents who are taking chances and winning.

    For me, I let my 22 month old run up and down steps while adults all around her rush to aid her potential fall (and I politely tell them to back off) – and they are always shocked at her resilience when she does tumble and gets back up without a tear. There, that’s my positive contribution of the day (as irrelevant as it may be to the rest of the comments, ha!).

  125. I make my 3 y/o walk everywhere–several miles a day at least. It’s SO WEIRD to imply that you bond more with them on your back than you do hand in hand!! That is so creepy (altho I agree re: special needs children — that could serve a great purpose but otherwise — what? How limp and inert do we want to become as a nation? Just awful.

  126. Me: Did you see this “Child carrier for children up to 7 years old?”
    My husband: Um, yeah? It’s called “sneakers”.

    LOL, love that man!

  127. If you don’t let your kids walk, you will will reach the weight limit long before the age limit

  128. “Of course I have to walk slower than I would if I was alone because her little legs don’t go as fast as mine but I’d walk slower pushing a stoller anyway.”

    I never did. I find I can walk as fast pushing a stroller as I would for any other activity save exercise walking, which is not all that fast, but still faster than a two year old can walk for any length of time.

    Again, I’m not talking about a situation where you’re walking 50 feet from the car to the store, or around the store. I’m talking about people who have to travel many blocks or the equivalent by foot in order to go about their business.

    “I don’t get this idea that the kids need to call the shots all the time and everything needs to be done to their needs and wants. ”

    I don’t either, but some people were singing the praises of letting the child run free and explore as a reason not to use strollers, as though there was no imaginable reason any decent parent would want to do anything but let the child run free after the bugs and butterflies. I think a stroller is a legitimate solution to those times when you have a good reason not to let the child run free and explore. Yes, you could be constantly chiding them to keep up — or you could put them in a stroller because it’s been a long day and you need to spend more time traveling than arguing. As I said, overuse of strollers is bad and kids should do a good bit of walking, it’s just that I resist these arguments as reasons *why strollers are evil.*

    If a stroller doesn’t work for you and something else does, great. I just don’t know why it has to become a “strollers are evil” thing, assuming people aren’t using them in actual place of letting their kids walk, and teaching them to cooperate. If they are, that’s bad. If they’re not, then I don’t see why strollers have to be regarded as some Satanic object.

  129. I agree, Pentamom. Grocery shopping is a great example. I walk to the grocery (20 minutes each way at my own pace) to do the weekly shop, and there’s no way I’d be able to carry all the stuff we buy and supervise an easily-distracted almost-3-year-old. I chose our pram partly for the carrying capacity of its shopping basket, and once that’s full I can hang bags on the handles and put the rest in my backpack. Small Boy sometimes rides in the pram and sometimes walks, but we almost always take the pram with us to transport food.

  130. I have one for kids up to age four. BUT as soon as my little one was able to walk and run well, she wanted to walk and run. She now will only go in it if she’s tired or wants milk. I am following the natural instincts for a child…which is to move!

  131. I’m not endorsing of the usefulness of this particular product, but I’m also not seeing why it’s outrageous. I need to point out that two of my daughter’s 3.5 year old classmates are nearly 60 lbs (not overweight for their size, just big kids). In spite of their size, they are still babies in many ways. My 3 year old still *needs* to be carried sometimes (and in an urban environment, carrying is often more convenient than strolling and more what she *needs* at that moment anyway). If free-range-parenting is about forcing kids to grow up before they’re ready, I want no part of it. And, personally, I’d rather not have to force my child to walk when I need to go somewhere and she doesn’t want to – there are a lot of battles in the day when you are a parent of a preschooler and, if I can, I’d choose to skip this one. It’s very convenient for me to be able to hoist her only-30-lbs up onto my back and just go. If this product enables a parent to meet the needs of their kid, what’s the issue?

  132. Are you people seriously fighting over strollers??? Carriers??? Getting so worked-up that you’re going so far (and low) as to suggest people’s opinions are less worthy because they refer to their nieces and nephews, rather than their children?

    Why would anyone need unanimous validation from strangers regarding strollers!!? Carriers!!? Give me strength!

  133. This drives me insane.

    I cannot count the times I have taken my 3 year old to a children’s place (the Children’s Farm, the Conservation Dept. Educational Center and hiking trails, Kaleidoscope at Crown Center – places that are BUILT for children) and I see parents pushing strollers. Not babies in strollers – 3, 4, 5, 6 year olds in strollers! First of all, no wonder so many kids are overweight if we aren’t requiring 5 year olds to walk. But how are the kids supposed to touch and observe and learn if they’re stuck in a stroller?!

    Furthermore, some of these areas can be tight and it’s ridiculous that my child and I are tripping over strollers containing children who are perfectly capable of walking. (Again, I’m not talking about babies here. Or even non-child-friendly places, although I’m still not a huge stoller user. Mostly because my kid hates them.)

  134. I agree with the mom who said she’d like to see more positive comments instead of people attacking each other. I would like to add that it is not always easy to tell a childs’ age by their size. My son is a very tall one year old with lots of hair and even the woman who runs our playgroup has to be reminded sometimes that, no, he’s only one yo. I know some other mothers of tall children who also deal with dirty looks from people who think we are “babying” our toddlers. Please, stop jumping to conclusions and jumping down peoples throats when you don’t know the whole story. Thank you

  135. @Angelina I totally agree with you. My younger niece is a sweetheart. She was off the charts tall from about 18 months – 3 years. Literally her height didn’t appear on the charts for her age. More than once we had strangers tell her to “be a big girl” and “act her age” – when she was acting her age. The fact she is very verbal also confused things.

  136. I think this is a brilliant idea…

    Think about watching parades…. I don’t know about you but my arms get tired trying to boost the kids up so they can see for an hour or so… this would be perfect for that.

    We used to have to walk 3 hours to get to and from the shopping centre with a 5yo (not to mention actually doing the shopping). With our arms full of bags we couldn’t lift him, he was too old for a stroller but he’d get leg cramps overnight from the walking… this would have been a hands free way to carry a tired little body home again.

    Or taking the kids hiking (well, bushwalking here) this would open up a lot of walks that my husband, older children and I could manage but there are parts that are too steep (or it’s simply too long) for our younger kids to manage. We’d be able to do them carrying them over the harder parts of the walk.

    I think this invention is brilliant!

  137. I just showed this video to my 6 year old and he’s horrified. Why Mom?
    But, this is the kid, that at almost 4 years old, walked 13 hours a day in Disney with no carriage. We brought it, but he never used it.

  138. Tuppence, thank you. These types of conversations often seem to degenerate into stroller-hate, and sometimes for me that is worse than the breast vs bottle debate!! (Of course I raised my kids before baby wearing became the thing, so maybe I’d feel differently if I were younger.)

  139. @ CSP, You are quite possibly the first childless person on the Internet who has actually looked at children tired and frustrated, and had compassion on them.

    I would like to nominate you to Win the Internet for this week. Thanks for understanding that children are not adults, nor do they act like them. They are very immature and pretending they are small adults really doesn’t do anything to help the situation.

    Naturally this is a bit extreme–stopping for a snack or rest, scheduling in a nap, etc. would be preferable. However, it’s not insane to carry a six-year-old once in awhile.

    And again–this is almost certainly built for the special needs market, but targeted at a larger group for higher profits.

    What a judgy thread. Really, people. Children are different. Some kids run off (no matter how you train them–even smacking with a paddle black-and-blue will not change their personality, you want us to give 18-month-olds lobotomies? God I hate the judgment). Some kids get tired more easily (apnea, short legs, flat feet). Some kids are clingy and some days a parent needs to GET SOMEWHERE and does not want to spend the 365th day this year freaking dragging a five-year-old. Just not worth it.

    But ultimately the comments which point out the following are the truest:

    These things are super hard to use, even if well-made and if the kid sits well. No parent would use them out of laziness.

  140. I tend to see KC’s point of view–seems like something to use when going on hikes so that the kid can have a break from walking…I was happy when my 2 1/2 year old wanted to sit in the stroller again after a summer of walking all the time. I really don’t see the problem of having a stroller so the kid can sit down and relax, especially when going on vacation and they still take naps…I don’t see what’s wrong with strollers? Or this carrier for the adventure seeking parents.

  141. @Katherine I don’t think people are objecting to a toddler using a stroller, though some don’t personally use them.

    They object to an able bodied elementary aged child using a stroller. Yes the adults should pace themselves. A vacation shouldn’t be a forced march of course. On the other side, they should be up to a normal day without being hauled around.

  142. I don’t know, Kimberly…sounds like a lot of people are talking about making 2,3, and 4 year olds walk everywhere. Sure a 7 year old in a carrier is extreme, but the ones available now (little that I know) aren’t for beyond 2 years or so, so maybe this would appeal to some people, like I said, who hike, like KC. Oh well…

  143. “For example, when you ARE in those situations where a sensible person might normally want to piggyback your kid (dense crowds, parades) this is probably less fatiguing for parent and child than non-technological piggybacking”

    Yes, this. I have an almost 5 year old and we tend to do long, exhausting hikes when on our various trips. For example, last summer we did some extensive mountain hikes at Glacier, the summer prior in the Adirondacks, this summer we are talking about doing doing parts of the Appalachian Trail.

    My kiddo is still smallish and still within the weight limits of the Ergo carrier we have. At his current weight, I’ve piggy-backed him without the Ergo, and I’ve piggy-backed him in the Ergo. I can do maybe 1/2 mile without the Ergo. I can do at least 3 miles with the Ergo. He’s not allowed up until he’s done several miles on his own two legs, though.

  144. When I was 7 my grandparents took us to Disney World. My brothers and I trekked the entire park at least twice each day for 3 days straight (Not to mention the time we were on our feet waiting in line for rides). And we did it by ourselves! My grandparents couldn’t keep up with us so they did their own thing. Yes we were exhausted by the end of each day but at our young age we were still capable of walking for long periods of time. Unless the child is disabled I just don’t see the point in using such a thing for an older child.

  145. Wow! Is this is a joke?? 7 years old?? 7. As soon as my cousins, neice and nephew could walk we let them walk, run etc… What is the purpose of this??

  146. I’m all for free range kids and healthy exercise but some of you who are mocking this product need to remember that “special needs” doesn’t only mean kids who can’t walk.

    I have an 3 1/2 year old with Asperger’s and, although he is perfectly capable of walking, he is easily distracted and can be difficult to direct, particularly in strange and overly-stimulating situations. A short walk to the playground, just a block from our house, can take 15 minutes of coaxing and often results in a tearful tantrum. Longer walks usually require a stroller ride but sometimes a stroller just isn’t a possibility.

    My husband can hoist him onto his shoulders when we really need to move quickly (or when he’s in danger of darting into the street) but I’m not strong enough to do that *and* I have a newborn too. I’m not sure whether a carrier like this would work for me, but I can see where it would be very helpful for parents of children like mine.

  147. […] porte-bébé utilisable jusqu’aux 7 ans de l’enfant ! C’est le site, en anglais, Free Range Kids qui en parle (merci à Marie pour l’info). Le nom du porte-bébé ? Le Piggyback Rider. Bien […]

  148. X5i6Z3 Wish I could come up with posts that cool.

  149. Well, we must be a minority, but we’re considering this product for our 6 year old. Let me explain. We are a family of hikers, we don’t ditch our kids with babysitters and go out in the woods by ourselves. They come along. Just yesterday we tackled approximately a 8-9 mile hike. We had planned on going at least 10 miles, but because of conditions of the trail, bailed out around mile 8. Our six year old walked a total of about 3 miles over rough, rugged terrain, giant boulders and briars, without complaint. He enjoys a challenge just as much as we do. Then daddy had to help carry him periodically. If we were tired, why shouldn’t he be? We might consider this product for the purpose of these long hikes that we enjoy. Specifically for rest periods for our son, who loves the adventures of a long hike too, but has much shorter legs than mommy and daddy. Now, if we were just going 2 miles on flat even road, there is NO way he’d be riding. But for diehard hikers like us, this product sounds promising.

  150. Really? Oh so sorry that not everyone are as perfect as everyone else on this site. Some of us walk quite a bit and those short little 4 year old legs get tired. I don’t want to have to go slow and take ages to get to our camp site. Or perhaps I have a lot of older kids and need to be able to sling a tired, cranky little boy on my back and not have my arms tied up holding him.

    But no. that would just make toooo much sense, wouldn’t it?

  151. I happened upon this site because I was researching back carriers for my just-turned-4-year-old. We’re going to be spending a lot of time walking around a big city in the near future. I don’t want to deal with a stroller getting on and off public transportation, and my little girl will want to be carried after a certain amount of walking — which gets difficult for me over long distances (she’s about 31 pounds; I’m small and will tire after carrying her on my hip for half a mile). We’re also planning to go on some hikes in the mountains, and so a back carrier would definitely come in handy. I don’t know anything about the product on this page (I’m looking for more of a Babyhawk-style product), but I really don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to carry your child on your back. Honestly, my daughter loves to be carried, even at age 4, and will most likely have a blast riding some on my back. We let her walk plenty, but when you’re doing several miles a day in a big city or on a hike, it’s just not practical for her to walk the whole time.

    So, uh, lighten up, everyone. Those of us who might enjoy carrying our children on our backs aren’t going to destroy the world, or our children.

  152. This reminds me a little of a hunting blind, for whatever reason.

    Perhaps the child could be reloading, or maybe providing cover fire while the parent reloads?

    …Perhaps not.

  153. To all the folks knocking this product Let me ask you a Question….What if you spend $20k on a trip to europe…a month of walking tours…Do you think a seven year old might get a little tired from time to time?

    My daughters a DIVA…..I know she won’t be able to walk 10 hours a day without breaking down into some sort of 7 year old crisis.

    It’d be perfect to give my little girl a “break” – she’s not gunna be on it for 10 hours…she’ll be on it for a 10 – 15 minutes max at a time so we can keep up with the tour group.

    I’m 6ft 6…she won’t break my back.

    And before you say….If you know she won’t keep up with that sort of tour don’t take her on a trip like that….let me say to you “Get stuffed!” – I’ll do what I want….it’s my life….

    BTW – if you see me in Europe later this year with one of these things on my back…dare ya to come up and say something.

    “Don’t like it…Don’t buy it”

  154. My daughter is 4.2 yrs old and weighs 45 lbs. But I think this is an excellent idea for family vacations with younger kids. It says up to age 7 and 60lbs doesnt mean you have to use it that long. My scale goes up to 300lbs, but I dont have to weigh 300lbs to use it.

    We are traveling to Europe this summer and I think this is just what I need.
    Thanks-

  155. The horror of that abomination is staggering I can’t imagine the bs a kid would get in school for that. I would punch my self to if I got put in one of those luls

  156. Whoever is knocking this product down OBVS have PERFECTLY FIT kids! I have a 13yr old who has always been very athletic and walks at age 3 all of Disney. My second daughter who is 6 on the other hand gets tired and may need a break so I like the idea. Besides what kids doesn’t like a piggy back ride! Get over it ppl, different strokes for different folks🙂

  157. I think people need to broaden their views and consider why this product may have been invented in the first place. There is obviously a reason. Who in their right mind would want to carry a 6-7 year old if they didn’t have to. There are special needs kids, broken legs, and any outing that’s fun for older siblings that is just too strenuous for 5-7 year olds. I actually came across this page cause I googled “trekking carrying a 5 year old. We have a hike in Thailand coming up that is perfect for my 10 & 11 year old but my 5 year old just won’t make it and I’d rather carry him on my back when he needs it so that we don’t miss out on this experience as a family.

  158. I’m going to agree with the few posters that saw there could be some value in this. I’m not sure about the bar hitting me in the back of the legs (or the $70+ price tag!), but there are definitely times when I need to carry my younger kid(s) to keep up with my older one(s) and they just aren’t as strong and don’t have as much endurance. I rarely use it any more, but I still carry my mei tai with me to sling my 3YO when I need to. My kds get plenty of activity and a very independent, but there comes a time on many outings where the 3YO especially, but even the 6YO wants/needs a lift.

  159. I would use something like this. We have 4 kids between 3 and 10, and using a carrier like an ERGO makes all the difference when we are somewhere very crowded or going on a 5-6 mile hike. I carry one of the younger ones (3 and 5) for a short bit and I have more hands free and they aren’t crushed by others (like at a crowded ball game). My kids ride bikes and walk and run ALL over town, but sometimes the security of knowing my 3 year old can curl up on my back and rest for a bit while I navigate through a crowded area is very nice. She is tall for her age and something like this might work for the next few years… no different that a stroller at DIsney World, in my opinion. (By the way, all 4 of my kids are independant thinking, capable young people… whether or not their momma carries them once in awhile!)

  160. I would use an item like this and before anyone places judgment please hear me out! My 7 year old is 42 lbs very active in numerous sports. He is not lazy and I have no problems handling a whining child.

    However, I also love hiking and outdoor activities which at times go beyond the physical endurance of any 7 year old I know personally. Most of these postings list short distances less than 5 miles. Have you considered the longer treks where 10-15 miles are covered on uneven terrain that perhaps a small child could use an occasional break? Maybe those people who are appalled by the parents who give in to the children and carry them are the same parents who think walking 4 miles counts as high physical activity. No, I would not carry my child on short distances and certainly not while apple picking but yes I would be thrilled to extend my hikes with my children if I had a hands free way to help them along at the final stretch on a long day in the woods.

  161. Agree Jennifer and other posters.
    I am keen on hiking, it is great exercise for me and my girls (2 and 5 and the wife – a little older…), and while the parents enjoy it our kids don’t – after about three or four k’s. We have to stop right when I want to crack on. This is where a backpack to carry them would allow us (and them) to keep on going, it is great exercise for me (hell I used to carry more than this in the army, so my 20kg girl is a breeze), and they get more time with dad, which I think is fantastic. If your kids are plain lazy then sure be concerned and don’t carry them, but if you’re looking to take them where their little legs can’t, then I see nothing wrong with this.

  162. i actually think this is a great idea for hiking. my husband and i love to hike. we are both very tall people and have a 3 year old who is very large for his age. he weighs 42 pounds already, with not an ounce of fat. we all love the outdoors. many times my son can not travel by foot as far as my husband and i can. though my boy “looks” like he is 5 or 6 years old, he just turned 3. i would love to have this product to be able to stay out in the wilderness longer than we could if my son was walking by himself.

  163. I take my 6 yr old who is almost 7 with my 2 yr old in the wagon, the only reason is at times my 2 yr old wants to nap and I have to exercize and my 6 yr old can’t do 6 miles I walk, so a wagon allows me to get into shape and not rely on people to watch my kids!

  164. I can’t believe so many people are hating this product. I just searched this out and am so excited about it. I have a 4-year-old and a 6 year old. My older child can easily hike 6 miles and we have a blast, but my younger daughter peeters out at about 4 miles. Children are able to walk about what their age is. So all these haters seem to think that I should just leave my daughter at home! No way. Or these haters think I should cut the hike short. No way. And yes, my children can climb apple trees. I think that might have been a bad example on the sellers part.

  165. I’m a mum of a 4 and a half year old with Cerebral Palsy and we have been taking him in a babycarrier and he just still fits. This means he can walk a bit holding our hands and when he is tired he can go in the back pack. This makes it possible for our family of five -6 year old running, 4 year old with CP ana 14 month old baby to actually get out and do things. Have some compassions for families like ours who would love to have three kids that can run and play but don’t. Products like this are necessary for our family to get by.

  166. Hi, well my son is 7 and CANNOT walk🙂 so even though it might seem obvious for most that children are already walking… many of us in fact have children who cannot do it at this age ( and even ever!)… so i am very glad there is such backpack for our family… and i actually search for a very long time before finaly finding one! Should be more of them if you ask me🙂

  167. I appreciate the negative commentary as there are some good points- and, as is typical on these types of posts, lots of pontification. But, I’ve been thinking about snowshoeing and taking my 3 year old son with me. It’s an arduous task for a 3 year old, particularly with deep snow, so a carrier is a potentially good solution for that.

  168. This is funny. Just the other night on our nightly mile family walk and this was only our 3rd night, my husband and I were dissagreeing on whether we needed the stroller for our 2 yr old who had fallen asleep in her car seat before we got to our starting walking point. I thought she should be allowed to sleep, and my husband thought she should wake up and get the benefit of walking with us and sleep later. I ended up holding her for half our walk while she slowly woke up, and I put her down halfway and she held hands with Daddy and started enjoying herself and walked the rest of the way, even playfully stomping along with Dad. I was glad she got the benefits of walking but the first half did hurt my arms and at that point I was wishing I had the stroller. But on a different note, when I’m the only adult, however, for safety reasons, I sometimes need the stroller for my 2 yr old as my 4 yr old thinks she can cross busy streets by herself. And if I alone have to fight a 32 pound 2 yr old to stay in one spot or yank her arm or pick her up fast all while I chase my 4 yr old, there has been a few times when I felt our walks got out of control. With the little one in the stroller, I can lock it quick and chase after her if necessary. I know that sounds sad but I’m sure it happens to more moms than just me. If where I was walking was without streets and cars, other very dangerous obstacles, i’d have no qualms about ditching the stroller more often. When my now 10 yr old was 4 yrs, I used to push her in a jogging stroller to her preschool which was about 4 miles away. If I didn’t I would have had to leave 2 hrs before hand every morning. Sometimes strollers are about safety and speedy travel purposes. I wish I didn’t worry so much though because if Ihad gotten my 4 yr old used to those long preschool walks, at 10 yrs old and overweight, she wouldn’t complain about any of our walks that barely surpass a mile and a half /2 miles. Maybe more walking trails that didn’t interfere with cars and crossing streets around neighborhood schools would be a good step in the direction for 1-4 yr olds especially.Moms could still backpack/ stroller them if they want or are in a rush or if child is napping while you have to pick up your older children from school, but I would def. have my 4 yr old and 2 yr old myself and my 10 yr old walk to and from my 10 yr old’s elementary school.

  169. This would be great at festivals. I struggle to hold my tall 3 year old for long but standing up he can’t see anything. Its not a nice place to be at that height in a crowd, always being bumped into and knocked by peoples bags. I think this carrier is a great idea!

  170. We appreciate constructive criticism that is based on fact rather than speculation. So we encourage all of you to try our carrier, if you don’t like it, simply return it. If you do, you will be joining our growing community of (thousands of) riders who LOVE their Piggyback Rider.

  171. I have a 6-1/2-year-old son I think this would be perfect for. He is typical most of the time, but due to some minor congenital brain differences he has mild right-sided weakness and tires out more easily than a truly typical kid. We wouldn’t want to put him in a wheelchair, but sometimes we do need to carry him or just go home. No one can look at a child and see how big they are and just decide – he’s 7 he needs to walk. Some kids look very typical and are just slightly different from their peers and needs assistance from time to time. We don’t carry my fully able-bodied 12-year-old around. I wouldn’t assume someone is babying their child if they were using this – I would be thankful someone made something to meet a need for a family who needed it. Why is there so much judgment associated with needed to carry an older child?

  172. OK I’ll be one of the few voices of dissent. I came across this post searching for a carrier for preschool-sized children. I have an almost-four year old who is quite tall and who is uncomfortable in the ergo. I’m a single mom, with no car, living in the city. My daughter is at that in-between napping stage, and I imagine she’ll be in it for awhile. She can go without a nap, and sleeps better at night without a nap, but she gets extremely tired during the day. We have to make two long trips each day to go get her big sister from school, we have to walk to her preschool, to do errands, and so on.

    I wonder how many of the people who balk at this are car-free and have to do all of this on their own. In addition to wanting to provide some relief for my very small child who is legitimately tired, I’d like to provide some relief for myself. It’s not always easy carrying around bags of groceries/kids’ backpacks/etc., while dragging an exhausted 3 1/2 year old down the street. Sometimes I’d just like things to be a tiny bit easier, both for myself and my child. And I don’t know why it would matter to someone else if I’m lucky enough to get that. I won’t be buying this carrier because I can’t afford to buy a carrier, but I was searching online for instructions to make an appropriate carrier.

    And I don’t even think this is in violation of the “free range” perspective. Believe me, my kids are free to climb trees, use real tools, get themselves filthy, and so on. I wish people weren’t always so quick to judge.

  173. OK people. Can you stop being so judgmental for a minute and think this through. Say you live in Colorado (like us). And you love to go on LONG hikes up STEEP mountains. When you have a toddler or young kid you simply can’t do it. But with this my 5 year old could hike as long as she could (and she can hike a decent amount of time on a challenging trail) and then ride a little and then hike some more. We might actually be able to do some serious hiking again with this. I don’t think it’s prolonged “baby wearing”. It’s just a piece of equipment to allow active families to be even more active, even though they have a whiney, tired 5 year old who can’t hike 6 miles! The people who criticize this obviously aren’t hikers. A mile at a nature center is not a hike!

  174. please i think this is a good idea not all five year old kids can walk across america in a morning so well done for inventing something like this, feel free to have a go at me i am english so used to it !!!!!!

  175. This is perfect for what we are looking for. Our (small) 5yr old son LOVES music so much. One of the bands he likes us to put on the CD player is playing at a local family festival. He will be able to see!! I’d also imagine this is more comfortable than putting him on my shoulders…..what an excellent piece of kit albeit being a bit to expensive for what it is.

    We’re into hiking to, so we’ll now be able to go up hills with him!! wow, excellent.

    Some people on here just don’t think of it’s potential uses.

  176. I feel this product would be very useful. We have a large toddler. He is four years old and wearing a size 7/8. I make him walk everywhere, however, he does get tired and strollers no longer fit him. This would be a great idea for long walks, trips to the city and amusement parks. I am not sure why some parents are quick to bash an idea that would help several parents. Not all children are alike and their needs differ. Wouldn’t it be nice for parents to have an option!

  177. We got my 3yr old son one of these for Christmas. He absolutely LOVES his piggyback rider! He is a normal kid in every aspect except that he has asthma. An attack can sneak up on him out of nowhere. Leaving him breathless and gasping for air. And even with his inhaler, the medicine takes a bit to truly kick in and after that he can be tired for a while. My husband or I can wear this like a backpack and barely notice it. Then, if we need it, my son can climb on and we and our other 4 kids (including a 17month old who I wear on my back) can continue our outing (which we do go lots of places frequently🙂 Not all kids are just lazy. Not all parents are limiting their kids by using a product like this. Don’t judge a book by its cover🙂

  178. I love this Idea. We are going to Peru to do the Inca trail and we have two kids. One is 5 years old and it may finding it hard to walk all the time…so on the piggyback packer he will go!!!!

  179. I have a daughter with Mild cerebral Palsy that can stand, but only walk with crutches. This would be perfect to take her to the beach since the crutches and wheelchair do not work well in sand. I can see why people are in an up roar over carrying an able bodied 7 year old, but this would be ideal for our four year old. Children with special needs sometimes lack the knowledge of the world around them because they are unable to get out and explore. This is an answer to a lot of prayers for our little one. I would love to be able to hike with her or just take her to the beach and other backpack carriers only go to 30′ height. This will give her the ability to get out and see more of the world!

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