If you happen to be stuck between the Deuter Kid Comfort II and the Kelty Journey 2.0, I can help.
These two backpack child carriers have quite a few similarities, however, there are a few key differences that set them apart. First, let’s take a look at what they have in common.
Want the short answer? Skip to my conclusion.
- Both have a minimum weight recommendation of around 16 pounds, or 6 months of age. Your child must have full head and neck control before you can use either one.
- Both offer a maximum weight recommendation of about 50 pounds, which includes the pack, your child, and your gear. (The Deuter Kid Comfort II is just under 50, at 48.5 pounds)
- Both weigh close to 7 pounds, with the Journey at 7lbs 2oz, and the Deuter at 6lbs 8oz.
- Height adjustable child seats and adjustable child safety harnesses.
- Removable, and washable chin pads, aka drool pads.
- Both offer padded shoulder straps and padded waist belts, and adjustable sternum straps.
- Hydration pack storage pockets, camelbaks not included.
- Both have convenient storage pockets on the waist belt.
- Both offer padded grab handles, aka load lifter straps. These straps are positioned in such a way that they allow for a balanced lift when loading and unloading the pack onto your back.
- Both the Deuter Kid Comfort II and the Kelty Journey 2.0 have excellent weight distribution systems. Most of the load weight is distributed to your hips, not your shoulders and back. This is also important when it comes to keeping your center of gravity.
Kelty Journey 2.0 Advantages:
V-Bar Structured Cockpit – Also known as the roll cage, the V-Bar structure gives your child added protection. Let’s say the unthinkable happens and you slip and fall on your back. The V-Bar structure keeps the cockpit from collapsing.
More Storage – The Deuter Kid Comfort II only offers 1100 cubic inches of storage, whereas the Kelty Journey 2.0 offers 1300 cubic inches.
Easy-to-use child Safety Harness – It buckles over the shoulder, and then has easy-access leg loops that you can buckle from the sides. The Deuter Kid Comfort II’s harness is more like a car seat harness. It’s a little more difficult to do.
Torso-length Adjuster – Both child carriers offer easy to use torso-length adjusters, but since I’m being picky, the adjuster on the Kelty Journey 2.0 is quicker and easier.
Sunshade – This is perhaps one of the biggest advantages to the Journey. It comes with a sunshade, whereas you have to purchase the Deuter sunshade separately for the Kid Comfort II.
Deuter Kid Comfort II Advantages:
Locking Kickstand – The kickstand locks into place, which to me feels more stable. The only problem is that once you’ve loaded your child onto your back it’s next to impossible to unlock it. I have found that it’s easier if you simply unlock it on the lift, before you position it on your back.
Side-Entry – This is a huge plus! You can literally un-buckle the side and your child can load themselves.
Compression Straps – These straps are located on the outside of the cockpit. They allow you to expand or compress the size of the cockpit based on the size of your child. The cockpit on the Kelty Journey does not expand, and it’s quite a bit more cramped.
Vari-Flex Waist Belt – This is probably the biggest advantage to the Deuter Kid Comfort II. This waist belt pivots in the center, and the hip fins on each side move with your body. So instead of hiking up the hill with a stiff pack attached to your back, this one moves with your body, giving you more freedom.
Air-Contact Back Panel – Not only is this back panel padded and lined with breathable mesh, but it also offers air-flow channels that allow the air to circulate, keeping you cooler and more comfortable.
Load-Adjuster Straps – These straps allow you to position the load on your back. In other words, you can pull them tight and have the load snug against your back, or you can loosen them to lean the load back. This definitely comes in handy when you’re hiking up steep terrain. Instead of having the load pushing you forward, you can ease it back and give yourself a better center of gravity.
The Kelty Journey 2.0 is perhaps the more convenient option. It offers more storage, an auto-deploy kickstand, and a sunshade. It’s a tad bit easier to use and to adjust. It’s also the less expensive option if you consider the fact that you won’t have to pay extra for the sunshade. I also love the V-Bar structured cockpit for additional safety, and the easy-access water bottle holder on the waist belt is a nice touch.
The Deuter Kid Comfort II is probably the most comfortable of the two. With its expandable cockpit your child has more room to maneuver and grow. The side-entry feature makes it extremely easy to load and unload, even if the child safety harness is a tad bit more difficult. Plus you also get the breathable back panel, and the Vari-Flex waist belt. If you plan on going the distance, I would definitely recommend the Deuter Kid Comfort II for comfort.
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