Pros: Fits anyone, attached back pack, canopy
Cons: Frame makes it bulky
I had the soft baby carriers but all the support for the baby was put on your shoulders. That would cause back pain for dh. I wanted something solid. I looked at many carriers and decided on this one. I must admit the canopy was a big deciding factor. We purchased two of these when the twins were seven months old. The weight limit is 45 lbs for the child. Below I describe the pieces of the carrier but it comes out of the box fully assembled.
The carrier has a hard plastic frame the bottom is like a inverted "Y" shape and opens to two pieces to form the "Y" and a "U" shapes. These are the legs of the carrier when place on the ground. The top portion of the carrier looks like two out stretched arms coming off the back. The fabric is a sturdy nylon, it is heavy and well stitched. There is a small detachable backpack of the back of it and can hold up to 10lbs it also has small mesh pockets. Between the plastic frame and your lower back is a pad to prevent any discomfort from the frame possibly hitting your back. The canopy is made of the same material and has small mesh sections on the bottom of the side for ventilation. It has straps with a chest strap and a waist belt. Inside it has a harness for the baby rather than a belt like most of the carriers.
First the adjustments for adults. You put it on like a backpack and it has a chest strap for more stability. It then has a waist belt that is attached to the plastic stable leg of the frame. It has five different settings for the belt to be placed at according to your height. This allows the weight of the carrier to be place primarily on your hips thus relieving much of the back pain associated with soft carriers. I am a VERY large woman and the waist strap adjusts to fit my waist with a couple more inches left.
The adjustments for the child include the height of the seat. You don't want you baby to disappear in the seat just as you do not want your toddler hanging out. One of the deciding items is the harness strap for the child. Most backpacks just have a seat belt. If something was to happen like you fall you do not want the child to slip out. It also prevents them from pushing themselves out.
The attachments are a storage pack holds up to 10 lbs and is attached by four clips. There is a piece of mesh on the outside that forms a pocket. There is also the canopy which is snapped onto the pack and can be secured to form a shield from the sun or rain. You can also undo two snaps and the canopy stays attached to the carrier but can be pushed back out of the way.
It also comes with two little loops of heavy fabric cording on either side of the top of the carrier. We took plastic rings for kids and use them to make a chain and hooked their toys on one side and their baby safe feeder on the other.
We went to the Renaissance festival shortly after we purchased the carriers and they worked great for the weekend. We are in South Florida so it was hot the canopy and the Baby Safe Feeder filled with ice helped keep the kids cool. We also used them in New York City to see the sites when they were 11 months old. We used them for the Renaissance Festival this year at 19 months of age and they still liked them. At least this year they didn't pull my hair as they did when they were 7 months old.
When we went to New Jersey we took them with us. We dismantled them and placed them in a suit case. The frame makes it difficult to fit into many spots for storage. We went to NJ through a stop in Cleveland and we had our evenflo car seats with us we would gate check them if there were no open seats. While waiting to be boarded a man asked how we liked the seat I told him we loved them. I went on to list some of the benefits. He said he was the president of Evenflo and that he likes to hear people talk about their products. I told him we have the trailblazers and talked about those for a while. I told him the only thing it doesn't have is someplace for a bottle of water. He said thank you for the information. I saw the new Trailblazers for this year and he didn't take my advice about the water bottle. Oh well, I have a strap for water bottles and hang my water around my neck.
We purchased them for $99 each at Babies R Us with a twins discount of 20% on the second item. This purchase was well worth money.