We thought about both carriers and travel strollers for getting around with Nu. While we were in Italy we had our Stokke MyCarrier and our Uppababy Vista stroller. We knew these two items were not going to work for us while travelling around the world. The Stokke carrier was ok for when Nu was smaller but when he reached 18 pounds I couldn’t even bare to go around the block with him in it because it was so uncomfortable. We absolutely LOVE our Uppababy Vista, and I am sure we will miss it while away, but its just too huge to carry around with us (its 26 pounds!) and didn’t want to damage it on the way.
We looked into a lot of great travel strollers that could have done the trick. We narrowed our favourite down to the Mountain Buggy Nano. It folds into a tiny little case, is super light and is so small it can be brought on a plane as cabin baggage. It was pretty pricey, but then so are many of the carriers. The main reason we eventually decided on a carrier instead of a stroller was because Nu seemed to really enjoy being carried and we thought it might be easier in places where there are cobblestone streets, uneven sidewalks and lots of stairs. The big downside to not having a stroller is that its slightly more difficult for Nu to nap on the go and obviously, it’s a lot more heavy lifting for us. On the plus side though, it’s really great exercise. We also figured that if we were really struggling with the carrier we would find a cheap umbrella stroller somewhere along the way.
We spent a long time trying to decide if we should go with a soft or structured carrier. We narrowed our decision down to either the Onya, Ergo or Tula for a soft carrier and the Osprey Poco, MEC Happy Trails or Phil & Ted Escape for a structured carrier. We went and tried them all on several times just to be sure. Although I felt really comfortable in a soft carrier and especially liked the way the Tula felt, Nu didn’t seem to sit properly when on Sami and Sami also felt that he needed more structure. We also thought that Nu may get too hot being so close to our bodies in the soft carrier given that most of the countries we are visiting will be warm when we are there. We decided to go with a structured carrier, with the only downside being that it was going to take up more space and that it would be slightly heavier for me to carry.
We originally decided on the Phil & Ted Escape after visiting MEC and trying both this one and the Happy Trails on. The major difference between these two for me was the child seat, which was much wider on the Escape – something that is very important for a baby’s hips. However, after buying the Phil & Ted we realized that neither of us were very comfortable with it. We continued our search and ended up love the Osprey Poco. It’s super comfortable and has a lot of great features like:
- Adjustable torso height so that Sami and I can both use it comfortably
- Breathable back, with space for a camel pack
- Lots of padding on the shoulders and waist
- Lots of spacious compartments, which means we don’t really always need a diaper bag with us
- Adjustable seat height (we put Nu higher when he is awake so he can see more and lower when he needs to rest so he can lean his head against the side)
- Wide seat and foot rests to lift legs into ‘M’ position (best for hips)
- A removable drool pad that can be machine washed (this is great because we give Nu lots of snacks on the go and it can get pretty nasty)
- When the sunshade is up its pretty comfy for Nu to sleep
The slight downside to the Osprey Poco is that the sunshade and rain cover had to be purchased separately, adding to an already steep cost of $270 CAD. The newer models all have the sunshades built in now but they are more expensive than the one that we bought.
In terms of travel, it actually hasn’t been much of an issue to have the backpack because all of the airlines we have flown with thus far have treated it like a stroller, allowing us to bring it right to the gate and even allowing us to take it on board in some cases. I also seem to be managing fine with the weight so far as its only about 6 pounds.
Overall, the Osprey Poco is a great structured carrier and we would recommend it to anyone who is looking to travel with a young child.