Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL Review
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Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL
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|Pros||Easy on the wallet, fit for narrower builds, comfy for passengers and parents||Comfy to wear and ride in, lots of storage, canopy and hydration pocket||Vari-flex waistband, day pack, comfy for baby||Lightweight, folds fairly small for travel, less expensive, easy to use||Budget-friendly, good storage|
|Cons||Very limited storage, canopy costs extra, no dedicated spot for a hydration bladder||Higher price, hard to adjust seat, may be too long for shorter torsos||Expensive, harder to use||Hard to reach shoulder straps, torso length seems short||Lower quality, not very comfortable for parent or child|
|Bottom Line||This high-quality, less expensive pack is comfortable for babies and parents with narrower builds but the storage is limited||Comfortable pack with lots of storage, a canopy, and easy to use features||Expensive, high-end pack that is cozy for kids, but harder to use||A generally average pack with a better price than much of the competition||Inexpensive option with good storage, but it isn't that comfortable to wear or ride in|
|Rating Categories||Deuter Kid Comfort...||Kelty Journey Perfe...||Deuter Kid Comfort Pro||Osprey Poco LT||LuvdBaby Premium|
|Parent Comfort (30%)|
|Child Comfort (25%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Specs||Deuter Kid Comfort...||Kelty Journey Perfe...||Deuter Kid Comfort Pro||Osprey Poco LT||LuvdBaby Premium|
|Usage Ranges||Min-Max: When child can sit upright independently - 48 lbs||Min-Max: 16 lbs - 40 lbs||Min-Max: When child can sit upright independently - 40 lbs||Min-Max: 16 lbs - 40 lbs||Min-Max: 16 lbs - 40 lbs|
|Max Pack Load||48 lbs||48.5 lbs||48 lbs||48.5 lbs||N/A|
|Weight||6 lbs||7.4 lbs||8.5 lbs||5.3 lbs||6.4 lbs|
|BGL Folded/Flat Dimensions||16.5" W x 10" H x 31" L||16" W x 10" H x 31" L||16.4" W x 9.5" H x 34.8" L||13.5" W x 7" H x 30" L||14.7" W x 9.5" H x 28.5" L|
|Fabric||210 denier polyamide fabric. Tear and abrasion resistant, watertight to 1500 mm||Body: Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
Interior: 75D Poly x 140D Nylon Blend
|210 denier polyamide fabric with strong ripstop threads and PU coating.||210D Nylon||Waterproof 600D & 300D Ripstop Polyester|
|Hydration Bladder Compatible||No||Yes||No||Yes||Yes|
|Included Accessories||Journey Sunshade||Daypack, Mirror||Sunshade||Changing Pad, Rain Cover|
|Care Instructions||Hand Wash||Spot Clean||Hand Wash||Hand Wash and Hang Dry||Spot Clean|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Hans Deuter began the Deuter company in 1898. At the time, they created mailbags for the Bavarian Royal Mail. By the early nineteen hundreds, they graduated to saddlebags and tents for the army. They went on to create the first nylon backpacks and were recognized by Germany as the leader in backpacks in 1970. Deuter consults with a variety of bikers and mountain experts to help design their current lineup of products. They've called the US home since 2010.
The Comfort Active SL performed well in our tests for wearer comfort, with a score in this metric that rivaled most of the best baby backpack carriers in our review.
The shoulder straps on this pack are closer together, and our smaller testers liked the contour of the shoulder straps. The male testers and those with wider backs thought it was less comfortable. The padding is good, but it places pressure too high up for our male testers' comfort. With the shoulder strap design and chest clip placement, this backpack doesn't squish boobs like some of the competition, nor does it place unnecessary pressure on the sternum.
The waist strap is super easy to adjust with a buckle attached with a V-shape strap; this allows the pressure of the pack and baby weight to be distributed over a wider area with no tight or pinching spots. The padding is comfortable without being bulky and sat nicely on the hips of testers. It is narrower than the competition, but we assume this is part of the "made for women" schtick happening with this pack.
The torso adjusts well for height and has a range long enough for most wearers. It is more convoluted than some of the competition for adjusting, but the back padding ensures you'll be comfortable once you get it fitted.
The Active SL is one with kid comfort in mind, coming in with an almost perfect comfort score.
Child comfort starts with a padded seat that supports little ones without adding bulk between the legs where it could chaff or grow uncomfortable. It is contoured with a shape that is wide under the rump and narrows at the legs. The shoulder straps are wide and height adjustable, offering a snug fit with useful padding that never pushes on the baby's face.
The headrest is very well padded, and the padding extends around the top edge of the sidewalls, so little ones can nap to the side or fall somewhat forward with a pad to catch them. Our napping testers seemed comfortable, and their head was never in a position where there wasn't padding. The cover is removable for cleaning, which is nice given that drool and spit-up can and will happen when you have a baby on board.
The stirrups are adjustable and place feet in a comfortable and maintainable position for passengers.
Ease of Use
The Comfort Active SL is relatively easy to use compared to the competition.
The adjustments are comparatively easy to make on this pack, and you can make many of them on the go or as you hike wearing the pack. Some of the straps have the forward pull tightening like the waistband, and we appreciate this style for the increased ease of use over those that pull back and away from the body.
The shoulder straps are easy to access for adjustments. We set it up on the first hike, and everything stayed in place and was comfortable for every trip after. The shoulder straps are a little stiff, but they stay in place once set, and we'll take stiff to set if it means long-term resistance to shifting. The torso length isn't easy to adjust with Velcro tabs; you have to slide through small slots to change. Testers recommend making torso adjustments before you hit the trail as it can take some trial and error to find the right fit, and the adjustments take time.
Some of the adjustments for the child's cockpit seat and shoulder straps are less friendly than those for the wearer, but they are manageable, and once you get your hands inside, the buckles aren't hard to operate. Once you have the seat in the right spot, it doesn't slip even under the weight of a wiggly baby. This pack scores well for on-the-go baby seat and cockpit adjustment with Velcro height adjustment that is easy to use and stays put. There is one pull strap per side for shoulder and waist adjustments.
The kickstand is a bit stiff and opens wide to create a stable base; we were never worried during testing about an accidental closure. It was easy to open and close while wearing the pack, but it was harder for some testers to reach than the kickstand on some of the competitors that are closer to the user.
Storage is essential when you're on the go with your baby. The storage features on the Active SL are the real downside to this pack, resulting in a score that is only about average for the metric.
The main pocket (above left) on the pack sits low, and between the back legs of the kickstand, it is only accessible when the pack is off or by another adult when you wear it. It has a clip closure, and the sides have breathable mesh to avoid stowing wet gear in an enclosed space. It is a big open pocket with no internal organization, so you might have to move things around to find what you want. There is also a mesh pocket higher up (above right), but it is thin and larger items will not fit inside.
The pack doesn't have any bottle or cup holders, and the waistband only has one pocket. It has a zipper and is large enough to fit an iPhone X, but just barely. It is probably better suited to a granola bar or car keys.
This pack doesn't come with a canopy, and while you can buy one as an accessory for a fee, it doesn't have a dedicated pocket to store it if you aren't using it. The main problem with this is that there aren't many pockets to begin with, so using one for a canopy or bladder will take up your limited area for other supplies.
Should You Buy the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL?
The Active SL is a high-quality baby backpack, and those with a more petite or narrower frame may find its women's-specific design extra appealing and comfortable. It doesn't offer all the bells and whistles like some top-of-the-line backpacks, but it may be enough for your adventuring needs. Plus, it's budget-friendly — you may be able to overlook what it lacks.
What Other Baby Backpacks Should You Consider?
If you desire a baby backpack with all the features, and you don't mind paying for it, check out the Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite. It's a top-rated, high-quality contender with attractive design features, such as ample storage to stash tons of gear, a built-in canopy, and a hydration pocket. Since these design features are missing from the Active SL, we suggest going with the Kelty if they're essential to you.
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BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.Learn More