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Reviews > Packs > Infant and Child Carriers > Kelty FC 2.0 Child Carrier > Test Report by Jerry Goller

KELTY FC 2.0 CHILD CARRIER
TEST SERIES BY JERRY GOLLER

Main Shot


FIELD REPORT
INITIAL REPORT - June 21, 2009
FIELD REPORT - September 22, 2009
LONG TERM REPORT - November 09, 2009

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Jerry Goller
EMAIL: jerrygoller@backpackgeartest.org
AGE: 62
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)
NAME: Jack Goller
AGE: 2
GENDER: MALE
WEIGHT: 29 lb, 5 oz (13.3 kg

I started camping with my father at age 6 or so. I’ve backpacked, off and on, all of my life. Even in the Marine Corps, I was in the Infantry. I consider myself a light weight backpacker with an average dry pack weight of 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 7 kg), depending on the season and terrain. I backpack year round. Most of my trips are 2 to 5 days long and in Utah. I also, from time to time, take much longer trips lasting one to two months or more. These trips are usually on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

NAME: Jerry Goller
EMAIL: jerrygoller@backpackgeartest.org
AGE: 62
LOCATION: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 220 lb (99.80 kg)
NAME: Jack Goller
AGE: 2
GENDER: MALE
HEIGHT: 33" (84 cm)
WEIGHT: 29 lb, 5 oz (13.3 kg

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

Side View




This is my first child carrier so I'm not sure how many of the FC 2.0 features are unique to this carrier.

Due to the sun in Utah and the mosquitoes in our mountains, I purchased the Sun/Rain Hood and the Child Carrier No-Bug Net accessories. Jack is very fair skinned and we do have West Nile Disease in our mosquito population.

The carrier is well made of durable material with excellent sewing.

Torso Adjustment



The adult side of the harness has a spring-loaded locking pin to adjust the height of the shoulder straps (torso length). The shoulder harness slides up and down a center rail that has spaced holes in it. Once the harness is the right height the spring pin can be released and the harness moved up or down until the pin locks.

The hipbelt also has a medium sized pocket on the right side with a zipper closure.


Cockpit Detail




The child's cockpit, as Kelty calls it, seat is adjustable to three different heights to accommodate shorter or taller children. The adjustment is a simple set of two rings on the carrier body and two snap-hooks on the front edge of the seat.
The cockpit has both padded shoulder straps and heavily padded leg straps. The entire cockpit is padded for the child's comfort.
Both the shoulder and leg straps are adjustable for properly securing the child and for the child's comfort. The shoulder straps have side release buckles on one end to make it very easy to put the child in the cockpit. The side release buckles are completely covered with a soft material which makes it hard for the child to release the buckle but easy for the adult to do so. The shoulder strap harness is adjustable up and down, to properly place the padded area on the child's shoulders, via a hook and loop patch centered between the two webbing straps the harness rides on.

Leg Strap Detail




On the back of the carrier is a removable day pack. The pack is just large enough to carry a sippy cup, snacks, etc. There is also a car key clip. The bottom of the carrier also has a large storage area for coats, diapers, and such.

Daypack Detail



One of the best features of the Kelty Child Carrier is the auto-deploy kickstand. The design is both simple and effective. The hinge that joins the kickstand to the carrier is spring loaded forcing the kickstand to deploy. The shoulder strap bottom webbing is very long and passes through a D-ring and on to the kickstand. When the shoulder straps are relaxed (the pack not being worn) the spring loaded kickstand deploys. When the pack is put on and the shoulder straps tightened, the kickstand is pulled up against the carrier. See Image to Left.

Kickstand Detail

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions, although only 9 small pages long, are more than sufficient to easily set up and adjust the child carrier. There are numerous large, easy to understand illustrations that make it a snap.

TRYING IT OUT

Jack loves to ride in his new carrier. Whenever I put his shoes on and bring out the carrier he lights up with a big grin and gets excited. I think we're going to have lots of fun with this test. The cockpit was easy to adjust and fits Jack well. It is a very stable platform for him and I felt no sway or looseness, for want of a better term, while carrying him. Being a light weight backpacker it is going to take a bit of used to carrying 40 pounds (18 kg) or so. It is a good thing I remembered the technique for getting a heavy pack on. That technique is described in the instructions.

Check back in September for our Field Report.


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Silver Lake Trail



During the last two months or so Jack and I have had a chance to use the Kelty Child Carrier in many situations and terrain under quite varied conditions. We've experienced everything but snow. Jack road in his carrier through the entire four days of the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City. Each day lasted about 8 hours and the walking was on cement floors with carpeting. The conditions there were much harder on my feet than any trail. He also rode in his carrier at the Salt Lake City Farmer's Market for 3 hours one Saturday morning. It proved to be very handy for keeping Jack out of trouble in the crowd.

OR Show
Outdoor Retailer Show


We hiked the Jordan River Trail in Salt Lake City a number of times. The Jordan River Trail is a long (around 22 miles or 35 km) urban park with an asphalt covered trail running along the river. It is at about 4,000' (1200 m). The temps on our trips ranged from the upper 90 F (mid 30's C) down to the lower 70s F (lower 20s C). The days were clear and sunny. The wet lands areas have a healthy duck population and Jack loves to feed ducks.


Jordan River Trail
Jordan River Trail


We also took a couple of hikes on the Silver Lake Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. The trail is about 4 miles (6.5 km) long and circles Silver Lake. It is pretty flat and an easy trail to hike. The lake has ducks in it and Jack enjoyed feeding the ducks.
We also took the Kelty Child Carrier to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks in Utah. We stayed on developed trails that were around 4,000' or so (1200 m) with temps in the upper 80s F (20s C). We hiked around 5 miles (8 km) total between the two parks.


PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Like any other heavy load pack I've ever used, getting the Kelty Child Carrier properly adjusted for fit is extremely important. Considering that the load is shifting, indeed sometimes squirming, the importance of this can't be overstated. Once I got the torso length properly set and the pack, with Jack in it, adjusted as far as shoulder straps, upper load lifters, hipbelt, and lower load lifters were concerned, the carry was very comfortable, considering the weight. Jack rode close to my back and the pack didn't move unduly side to side, even when scrambling. All in all, the pack proved to be more stable than I expected. It felt like any other quality heavy weight pack I've used and more comfortable than most.

Cargo Detail
Lower Storage Compartment



The lower storage compartment proved adequate for diapers, wipes, and the other support gear Jack needs. The shoulder straps of the day pack can be adjusted so that they stick out below the attached day pack. I used those straps to mount a rolled up blue foam pad to the pack to use as a changing pad.

The only thing I sorely missed was some way to carry water to be easily accessible by both me and Jack. I feel this is something Kelty needs to address. Even when using it around town in the summer I wished for water for myself and Jack. I'm going to try and rig a sippy cup or water bottle for Jack that he can easily get to and some way to mount a Platy reservoir for myself.



SUMMARY

So far, the Kelty Child Carrier FC 2.0 has proven to be very handy. If it had provisions for water carrying it would be close to perfect. I'll work on that problem during the next few months. I'm interested in seeing how it feels on snow and ice. That should be interesting.


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

We only made two additional day hikes during the long term report period. One was in the Wasatch Mountains and the other was in the Uinta Mountains of northern Utah.
Both were during cool, crisp fall days with sunshine and no snow. Both were also at around 8,000' (2500 m). Both were also on maintained trails. Each hike was about two hours long, which has proved to be about my limit for carrying Jack on mountain trails. Even at that, Daddy had to take a couple of breaks and let Jack terrorize the wild life.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The Kelty Child Carrier continued to perform well. I found nothing new about its performance other than Jack is getting heavier. I suspect he is just about to out grow it. I added a square of blue foam to use as a changing pad for Jack. I used the day pack's shoulder straps to secure the pad to the back of the pack.

SUMMARY

All in all, I am quite pleased with the carrier. While nothing will make Jack and his support gear feel light, this carrier certainly does make it manageable. I continue to be impressed with how well it secures a wiggly Jack to my back and how stable the load is when walking. I really can't feel Jack leaning side to side when I walk.
I'd still like to see some accommodation for water for both myself and for Jack. I can see how a much younger child may not need that but I know I certainly appreciate water to drink while serving rickshaw duty for Jack. Lugging around 40 or so pounds (18 kg) of Rat Boy is thirsty work.

CONTINUED USE

I'm reasonably certain that Jack will be too heavy and too big for this carrier by next spring when we can hike with it again. But it certainly was nice while it lasted.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.

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Reviews > Packs > Infant and Child Carriers > Kelty FC 2.0 Child Carrier > Test Report by Jerry Goller



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