The Piggyback Rider

Hiking Gear Review

Review courtesy of 


Earlier this summer we had a problem, our 2 year old.

Well, he wasn’t really the problem but his mode of transportation on the trails was. He had no interest in riding in the Kelty backpack carrier that saw us through last summer. No, he wanted to hike but his little legs would poop out after a half mile. He’d sit on the trail, whine and refuse to get up. Then I’d be stuck trying to haul him and our baby back to the car. Ugh.

I needed a carrier that he could easily get in and out of by himself. A product that would let him walk or ride depending on his level of fatigue. So, I decided to try out the Piggyback Rider.

I had read reviews from the Piggyback Rider last summer and I wanted to see if The Piggyback Rider was really as awesome as so many outdoor bloggers had claimed.

It is. The Piggyback Rider has been a lifesaver this summer  and fall.

There are 2 parts to this carrier. A backpack that is worn by our toddler and a harness that is worn by the adult. The toddler’s pack has 2 hooks that clip onto the adult harness. The adult harness is like a backpack without the pack and a small platform for the toddler to stand on. It’s tricky to explain, we’ll let the pictures do the talking.

Things we love about this product:

  • It takes up minimal room in our SUV. A huge plus considering the size of the average backpack carrier.
  • It’s easy to “clip” the kid in and out, you can do it with just one hand making this ideal for hikes with just one parent.
  • I can easily hike with my baby in a front carrier and my toddler in the Piggyback Rider on my back because it’s lighter than a backpack carrier and it’s easy for our toddler to get on and off the Piggyback Rider himself. (We’re getting ready to publish an ebook about hiking with babies and toddlers, I’ll go into great detail in this book about how I hike carrying 2 kids)

Things we’re still trying to figure out:

  • With our backpack carrier we had room in it’s built in daypack for things like snacks, water etc. With the Piggyback Rider we can’t wear a daypack, so we haven’t found a good way to carry our gear. We do stash a little bit in our toddler’s pack but not much. Al has had good luck wearing his Ribz with the Piggyback Rider. I haven’t tried the Ribz yet but it seems like a viable option.
  • This is not a comfortable way to ride when a toddler falls asleep on the trails. I think the solution will be to give our kid sips of coffee during our hikes to keep him fully wired (okay, fine, bad idea).

Things we’re not nuts about:

  • The hydration bladder that came with the toddler’s pack. Ours leaked the first time we tried it so it went right into the garbage can but we understand the quality of the bladder has now improved.

Overall, this is a pretty cool product. We get stopped on the trails all the time with people asking about it and we tell them to just go out and buy one. I feel like we are able to give this product a fair shake because we purchased it ourselves and have really abused it over the past several months.

We recommend this product to anyone with kiddos. You can buy a Piggyback Rider here.

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