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Hands-on Gear Review
Clevr Cross Country ReviewPrice: $125.00 List | $119.99 at Amazon - 4% off
Pros: Inexpensive, sun and rain canopy
Cons: Hard to access storage, convoluted adjustments, poor child comfort
Bottom line: Awkward functionality in a poorly fitting pack
The Clevr Cross Country looks like a well-equipped backpack carrier, but its features are difficult to use with disappointing functionality. This pack has strange adjustments on the shoulder straps and the passenger harness with convoluted strap threading and multiple points for possible errors. The Clevr is uncomfortable for wearers and passengers with thin shoulder padding and less structure in the waistband. The seat pad is the flimsiest in the review offering little support for the baby's bottom as it folds under pressure. While some parents will be attracted to the lower price of the Clevr, we think it is worth paying more to get a better fitting pack that is more comfortable for the wearer and passenger.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Crosslinks is an e-commerce company that purchases products from the factory to sell directly to consumer cutting out the middleman. Crosslinks main concern is customer satisfaction with same day handling and three business day shipping. The company sells everything from home and garden supplies to sporting goods and fitness products. They offer a limited number of baby gear items.
This comparison chart includes the overall scores for the backpacks we tested in this review with the Clevr (blue) coming in below average. This pack is virtually the same as the Kiddy Adventure Pack which has the same model number.
The information below includes performance details about how the Clevr compared to the competition during testing.
The Clevr earned a 5 of 10 for parent comfort. The overall comfort is average and felt good at first, but it suffered in comparison to the other packs after testing them all.
The straps have nice padding, but they lack the structure necessary for comfort. The straps feel comfy until you get the opportunity to use a better pack.
The torso adjustment is limited to 1.5 inches making it somewhat useless. The back padding is comfortable and breathable. The waistbelt padding and structure are about average offering basic support.
The Clevr earned a 4 of 10 for child comfort.
The Clevr comes with two drool pads/face cushions that attach to the front of the cockpit with Velcro. The design is vertical which isn't as comfortable as packs with angled pads for resting napping heads. The cushion is well padded and covered in soft fabric. We like that you can remove and clean the pad with a spare to use while it air dries.
The design of the cockpit leaves little ones hanging awkwardly (above left) when they fall asleep. We couldn't get the sides tight enough for a secure feeling and our little testers were either hanging or had their foreheads resting on the bar under the drool pad (above right). The seat pad lacks structure and folds under baby's weight. The pad is thin, and it doesn't cover the buckles in the front which could be uncomfortable when baby leans forward while napping. The hem of the seat is rough and could chafe naked legs.
The lack of foot stirrups on this pack means the baby's legs will be dangling down to the side. While not all children will use the stirrups, we found it better to have them and not need them than vice versa.
The Clevr has a canopy (above left) with legs that slide into holes on the back of the pad to keep it upright (above right). The canopy is not attached, and there is no storage pocket for it, so if you bring it, you will have to use it or carry it. The canopy protects from the sun above and behind and has a vinyl front and sides to protect passengers from the wind and rain.
Ease of Use
The Clevr earned a 4 of 10 for ease of use.
Adjusting the torso length is a convoluted process that includes pulling the strap out of one loop and putting it through another loop. Given the limited range of 1.5 inches, it may not be worth the hassle since it doesn't improve the fit.
Shoulder strap height adjustment took us longer to figure out than it should have and the waistbelt is harder to adjust with straps that stick and don't move smoothly. The Clevr is one of the hardest packs to fit on the fly which resulted in parents wearing an uncomfortable carrier instead of making changes.
The child harness adjustment (above left) includes unthreading and rethreading the straps out of the buckle, through the back strap and then back into the buckle. Significant changes need to be done before you put your baby in the pack. Adjusting the seat (above right) into a higher position is arduous with a baby in the backpack. There were so many straps to connect we worry parents will miss one.
The kickstand (above left) is smooth moving, but it doesn't have a reassuring lock. You'll want to make sure it is open all the way before setting the pack down. The Clevr has a single carry handle (above right), no space for a hydration bladder, and is spot clean only. The manual for this pack is only pictures and lacks much of the information you'll want to know.
The Clevr earned a 3 of 10 for storage.
This pack has a zippered pocket on the waistband. The pouch isn't large enough for most smartphones, and the zipper has a fabric cover that gets caught in the zipper teeth making it challenging to use.
The main pocket is relatively easy to access and is big enough for a lightweight jacket, a few diapers, travel size wipes, and snacks. The pocket functions well, but the kickstand can get in the way when zipping.
The back of the pack has a mesh pocket with elastic top. The pocket is exposed to the elements, but it can hold a few essential items for quick access. The wearer of the pack can't reach this pocket, but a travel companion can help.
The Clevr has two mesh cup holders that require two hands to put the bottle inside. The wearer can't reach the holders making us wish it has room for a hydration bladder.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD & Wendy Schmitz
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