Pros: Price, convenience, weight
Cons: too many to list; main would be stability and metal frame!
As I am expecting our fourth child, I am now going through the baby items we have and deciding what I want to keep and what deserves to be tossed. When it comes to the Infantino BackPack Rider, Im not really sure that I will keep this or not.
This Infantino BackPack Rider aluminum frame baby carrier is perfect for trips to the park, mall, or just a stroll around the neighborhood. It's a full-featured carrier. The feather-weight backpack makes it easy for you to pop your child into the pack and head out on a walk. Your baby does need to have proper neck control as there is no support for a younger baby. This model also has an attached carry pouch for baby items. This feature is perfect to put diapers, wipes and a bottle. The colors are a versatile navy and green. This carrier stands on its own for easy loading. Measurements: 21 X 16 X 15 and weight is 7 pounds. Infantino BackPack Rider is made to carry up to 40 pounds.
I remember buying this Infantino BackPack Rider to keep my hands free while helping my oldest learned how to ride his bike. My five year old was only six months old at the time and the requirements for this backpack were that a baby needs to have proper neck muscle control in order to comfortably ride in this backpack. Hey, free hands and a new baby? Great idea!
There was virtually no set up required with this Infantino BackPack Rider. It came fully assembled straight out of the box. There are adjustable shoulder straps (they adjust like any other backpack in the armpits) and then a waist strap that is at the bottom of the aluminum frame that secures in the middle of your tummy. The seat is sturdy enough with the opening large enough for a regular size toddler (I put my three year old in this yesterday to decide whether or not I wanted to keep it) and the leg openings are wide enough for you to accidentally slide your babys feet into one hole.
The pouch holds two regular sized bottles, a change of clothing, burp cloth, a travel package of wipes and two diapers It closes securely with Velcro.
Imagine a bag of potatoes. Now, imagine stuffing said bag into a backpack and, while alone and without any assistance, swing the backpack into position on your back and adjust the straps without jiggling the potatoes too much. You've just imagined (and I've just remembered that I do not want to keep this) how it is to use this Infantino BackPack Rider.
First of all, this Infantino BackPack Rider was bought because of the metal frame that allows it to stand alone. Just the fact that I could place my baby into this backpack (guiding his feet into both holes) and then lift and place this on my back while alone convinced me that this is just what I need to free my hands in order to help my oldest child ride his bike.
I clearly remember why this still looks new after five years: you cannot, under any circumstances, safely place any baby over six months old into this Infantino BackPack Rider while in the standing position. It will, as the manufacturer says, hold 40 pounds. But, I felt uncomfortable with placing a live, kicking and squirming baby into the aluminum frame (making sure that his little legs go into the right holes) and then trying to hoist the contraption around my back and then position the belt around my waist and the straps around my shoulder blades (not unlike a regular backpack).
The weight of the backpack is tolerable at seven pounds; adding baby and filling the carry pouch made this a great cardio workout. I felt steady on my feet and the weight seemed equally distributed on my back and shoulders.
The simple fact of the matter is I was not an average size woman after giving birth so it made this Infantino BackPack Rider uncomfortable from the beginning. The waist strap was tight when fully extended around my waist and the shoulder straps dug into my shoulders and I could not get them to be comfortable with any amount of fussing. Either the straps dug into my armpits or the waist strap dug into my belly. This is clearly made for the average sized post partum woman and not for a person who hasnt been a size 6 since her wedding.
The aluminum frame of the Infantino BackPack Rider sat on my back with minimal discomfort; except for the support piece that forms the stand when this is set down. The support piece folds and then meets the frame where your babys legs are. If they are old enough, the toddlers will be able to extend this piece (which should be collapsed while on your back) with their feet and it will dig into your lower back. There is also the simple fact that metal is not comfortable to wear. Just like underwire bras; great idea, poorly executed.
If your child is wearing shoes, their little shoes can really do some damage on your kidneys. Although their feet are positioned to swing from the sides away from your body, it isnt always what happens and your kidneys are in their foot path (not to mention if youre the least bit ticklish; their hands are right there to get the tender spots!!).
If you have long hair and want to wear your child in this Infantino BackPack Rider , my suggestion is a bun or tight braid. Do not, under any circumstances, leave your hair down. It is directly in their face and if they are teething, it is going directly in their mouths and down their throats. Another potential for danger is that hair can be considered a choking hazard and can cut off circulation if wrapped around a tiny finger; if you use a backpack of any kind, have your hair cut or make someone with short hair carry the backpack.
My husband, at 6'3" and a 48" chest, could not secure the waist strap at all. The shoulder straps were clearly not made for tall men and he was never able to get them comfortable without cutting off the circulation to his shoulders; because it did not fit him, he got out of wearing this backpack.
Overall, this Infantino BackPack Rider will not be meeting with our new baby. Although its aluminum frame weight is manageable and the design is good, this is another one of those great concepts that just didnt seem to make the grade in my opinion. There are just too many variables that make this product a non-starter for me.