Gear and Gizmos
We love the great outdoors. As residents of Vancouver, we’re spoiled with an abundance of nature right in our backyard. We love hiking in the North Shore Mountains and strolling along Stanley Park’s iconic seawall. Surrounding ourselves with nature is an important part of our weekly routine, it’s therapeutic.
But mountain hikes and long walks quickly tires out our little man. He’s too big for his baby carrier but too small to walk long distances on his own. He wants to be picked up and carried, but he’s become quite heavy and it’s not long before my back starts to ache and I need to put him down again.
It’s a tricky time, one that requires a unique solution.
We turn to our trusty stroller for easy walks and tackling daily errands, but when we want to get outdoors and connect with nature we need something less clunky and awkward. Wheels don’t work so well in the mountains.
The Piggyback Rider replaces traditional carriers and strollers, offering a fun alternative that won’t break your back. It has similarities to a standard backpack but it’s designed to carry (or “piggyback”) toddlers aged 2.5 years and up.
It’s an innovative “backpack” that allows your toddler to stand upright on a tempered aluminum bar, distributing your child’s weight at your core. It makes it easy to transport your toddler without putting too much pressure on your lower back and shoulders.
He was cautiously intrigued when we took the Piggyback Rider for a test drive in the forest. At 2 years old, he’s a little younger than the recommended age of 2.5 years old.
We quickly understood why the company set an age restriction. He couldn’t quite understand how to climb on the carrier and had trouble getting comfortable. But he eventually figured it out and had fun once we got going.
He smiled and giggled in amusement as we walked along the riverbank. He liked that he had control over what to look at and he liked the handle grips.
It’s less restricted than his baby carrier – there are minimal straps for both of us, making it easier to move. It feels and acts like a traditional backpack, but he has the ability to move his arms and feet freely, unlike his traditional carrier that had him pressed up to our chest.
He can see forward – because he’s standing on the bar, he gets a bird’s eye view of the action.
Comfortable – weighing less than 3lbs, it’s lightweight, durable and has all of the standard backpack adjustments. Because he’s standing upright, his weight is evenly distributed, making it less strenuous on the lower back.
Travel companion – because the Piggyback Rider is lightweight and easy to pack, it’s a great addition to our travel gear. We can see it replacing clunky strollers for short trips and weekend getaways.
Quality material – the Piggyback Rider is well crafted. It has solid stitching and is made with thick, durable material. It feels strong and able to take a punch.
Foot bar with grip – the standing bar has a non-slip surface that’s similar to grip tape on the top of a skateboard. This makes it easy for your child to keep their balance even if their shoes are wet and dirty.
Safety first – the child harness clips to the adult backpack, keeping him close to your back and adding an extra layer of safety if he loses his balance and slips off the standing bar. There are also 4 secure hand grips on the shoulders straps.
The only thing we disliked about the product was that he needed help getting in and out of the carrier. We understand that part of this is because he’s under the recommended age limit, but it would have been very difficult to use if Nicole wasn’t there to help.
We think the Piggyback Rider is a quality product and can see it getting some solid use next spring when he’s a little older. It’s a fun alternative to traditional carriers and he seemed to enjoy the ride.