Have backpack, will (family) travel

G and me on a hike last week

G and me on a hike last week

I’m not a gear head, but when it comes to traveling with babies, I’m not going to lie: I sort of geek out about the equipment I love.

This explains why I adore my taxicab-yellow BOB Ironman fixed front-wheel jogging stroller. It also explains why I am in love with my pale green, external-frame Kelty child carrying backpack (and the sunshade/rain visor accessory).

We’ve owned both pieces of equipment since L was about six weeks old. Which is to say these tools have served our family for all three kids.

The jogging stroller doesn’t stray too much from home—while we’ve brought it with us on a few road trips here and there, I use it mostly when I have to cram in a run with one of the kids in tow (literally). The backpack, however—let’s just say that thing has visited more states than most of my friends. It’s also been to England.

I love the pack for its versatility. I also like it because I can’t comfortably wear Ergos or Baby Bjorns.

Technically, you’re not supposed to take kids in there until they’re old enough to hold up their heads when they are sitting or standing. I admit—I’ve been tooling around with Baby G in there since I used it to bring her to our town’s July 4 parade (which, technically, was two weeks after her 6-month birthday).

Since then, I’ve used the thing at least once a week. Sometimes on hikes. Sometimes at Costco. Sometimes for regular Saturday grocery-shopping at Safeway. Sometimes I’ll just put her in there when I’ve got stuff to do around the house. Sometimes I get her in when I need to finish a story and I don’t feel like plopping her in the seat at the foot of my stand-up desk.

She loves the pack because it’s spacious and it enables her to stand and see what’s going on from a bird’s eye view. I love the pack because it’s comfortable and I know she’s safe.

(It also has a TON of storage space.)

Of course the big question will come once Baby G outgrows these trusty devices; what do I do with them then? Do I sell ‘em? Do I keep them for posterity? Do I give them to friends? Letting go of favorite family travel gear can be difficult. I hope I’ve got the fortitude to make the right call when it’s time.

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