“ Brand: Bush Baby / Carrier Type: Framed / Carrier Position: Back „
I purchased my bush baby carrier last April as we were planning a trip to the western United States and knew we would be doing a lot of walking in places unsuitable for a buggy. I wanted a baby back pack which would be comfortable to wear without putting undue strain on my back (or rather my husband?s back)! And would give my then 15 month old good support. We looked at several models prior to making our purchase namely the mothercare (much cheaper) back pack, which we found very uncomfortable as the straps dug in, even when tried out in the shop. We also looked at the similarly priced Kelty, which we felt was good but did not give the child enough support as there are no foot stirrups and the seat is no where near as deep as the bush baby. In addition a friend let us try her bush baby carrier for a weekend and we fell in love with it. I would strongly suggest that if you are considering buying any baby carrier you ask if the shop will allow you to return it if after a few tries you find it uncomfortable. Having decided that we wanted to buy a bush baby premier ACS child carrier (to give it its full name) I checked for the best price and as always got John Lewis to match it! However the price of £129.99 seemed the same for all stockists. What you get for your money *************************** The bush baby ACS stands for adjustable comfort back system and comfort is certainly what you get! Unlike most other carriers the bush baby can be easily adjusted to fit most adults from 5 ? 2 TO 6? 2. To adjust you simply pull the Velcro strip at the back of the carrier, which pulls the padded spine of the carrier ergonomically into your back. We have found this really important as I am 5 ? 3 and my husband 6 ? 2. The carrier is made of 600-denier cordura fabric on a lightweight aluminium frame. The child sits in a fully adjustable seat within the frame, which is really well padded and has a similarly well-padded safety harness. The
harness is fixed at 2 points to the back of the carrier and fastens at the front with a plastic clasp, this prevents the child from falling out if you need to bend forwards to tie a shoe lace for example .One of my favourite features is the little velour padded pillow at the front of the seat. My little lad often falls asleep on long walks and his head falls forwards. With this carrier he rests his cheek on the pillow and looks really well supported! There are 2 stirrups made of strong webbing. These enable an older child to support their legs. The stirrups can be detached. The most important part of a baby carrier (after the Childs comfort) is how comfortable it is to carry, especially on long walks! The bush baby has the best padding of any carrier I have seen. The shoulder straps are very padded and wide. They can be shortened or lengthened as required. There is a wide padded hip belt, which again is fully adjustable there is also a chest strap to add to the comfort for the wearer. The carrier has a thickly padded lumber cushion. The shoulder straps have air mesh fabric to help keep the wearer cool. At the back of the carrier are 2 deep, zipped pockets. The main one has a 25-litre capacity and stores the (included) sunshade. The main compartment is big enough to take extra rain gear for my 6-year-old, sandwiches and flask. It has elastic holders inside to keep bottles upright. The second smaller pocket is great for a map, wipes and nappies. Both pockets can be zipped open fully to make access really easy. At the sides of the carrier are 2 mesh pockets, which are great to store water bottles. The bush baby premier comes complete with a sunshade, which attaches to the carrier simply and securely by placing the plastic poles into the holes provided. I love the way the sunshade can be stored in the pocket when not needed. I?m sure I would have lost it by now without this feature! We used the carrier in Arizona and the sunshade gave my son
wonderful protection for his head by giving him total shade, although I still used a hat and sunscreen! The carrier has a grab handle at the back to make picking up easy. The pros ******** As you probably have gathered I am really happy with my carrier. It has so much to recommend it! The padding and ease of adjustment made this carrier really comfortable for both my husband and myself. My son was 15 months old when we bought this carrier and loved it right from the start. Now at 2, he likes to walk but still needs to be carried on long walks. The foot stirrups give his legs and hips really good support. The seat area is well enclosed to give all round protection from the elements, and supports him well when he sleeps. The carrier has a wide base to enable it to stand-alone. Although it is possible to get my son into the carrier alone (when he cooperates)! It is much easier when 2 adults are available, one to help lift the carrier up and get it into the correct position. It is unsafe to leave a child unsupported in any back pack and the bush baby is no exception. The fabric is really easy to wipe clean and dries quickly when it gets wet, which it often has! The carrier can be pressed flat when not in use or for travelling. We taped ours up when we flew to the states and it travelled well. ?. And the cons *************** Well not many really! The carrier is only available in a boring royal blue, I wish there were other colours available, but this is only a very minor gripe! It does have a picture of a bush baby in silver with bush baby written in red! It would have been good if a rain cover had been included in the price. It is possible to purchase one separately at a cost of £23.95! I think having paid nearly £130 this should be included. The straps fasten at the front and my 2 year old is working on how to get them undone! As the plastic clasp simp
ly needs to be pressed to release it I don?t think it will take him much longer to figure it out! I see that the carrier has been recently updated and the straps now fasten at the back, so this is no longer a problem. The overall verdict ***************** I think my 2 year old would give his Pac Pac 5 stars, except when he wants to walk when it becomes yuk, pac pac! This carrier is not cheap but if like us you do a lot of walking with a small child then I would really recommend it. The bush baby premier is recommended for children from 6 months-4 years or a maximum weight of 20 kg.
Having owned, and then disposed of, another ‘top end’ child carrier – the Vaude Jolly Comfort (£100ish), I feel I have a good marker for comparing this product to. After purchasing this carrier about 4-5 weeks ago I have been nothing short of thrilled with every aspect of it. The comfort for both child and parent are phenomenal, despite what appears to be a rather basic adjustment system (at least compared to the Jolly). I am 6ft 2” and it doesn’t rub or dig in at any point (which also goes for my wife at 5ft 7”). The Jolly comfort on the other hand suffered from shoulder straps that were too short and left the thin nylon banding to dig in like cheese wire under your armpits – a real problem on long walks. The tough Cordra material that is used to make the BushBaby can also be found in the best quality professional rucksacks, and for obvious reasons. As soon as you try this carrier you can tell it is practically impervious to wear – the Vaude looks nicer with a velour style back system, but you know this will look shabby in time. Lightweight Aluminium is used in both carriers but to me the BushBaby shaded the comparison hear as well. This appears to be because of its lack of a metal ‘flip out’ stand. Although this feature, which appears on many carriers, seems handy at a glance, all you really require is for a child carrier to have sufficient enough base to stand it up correctly while you place the child in it. As you would (and should) never leave a child for even a second in a grounded carrier, there seems little point in the extra weight and bulk of a kick out stand. The biggest benefit of all though is its storage capacity and ease of access to this. The Vaude housed a tiny back compartment which could store nothing more than its sun shield and perhaps a thin rainproof and map. The design also meant access was very, very difficult with a thin entrance and narrow compartment causing wedging
/catching of its contents. The BushBaby on the other hand has cavernous space and two fantastic U shaped openings that can be zipped totally flat for cleaning. I can fit my child’s changing bag, a flask and packed lunch and still leave room for modest clothing items – there really is no contest. At the same time it has a third, thinner pocket for maps, wallets, Walkman etc. which again is invaluable. There are also extra features which I have yet to use, but I am sure will come in useful at a later date. It has stirrups included in the price, to give older children extra comfort. It can be easily dismantled in to two sections for flatter packing if you intended to stick it in a suitcase. BushBay have also started giving the child’s sun visor (which used to cost an extra £16) away included in the price, which is another big plus. To sum up, this product blows the Vaude carriers away (I have seen their £120 ‘Pebbles’ model and again it has some real design problems). It is also far more substantial and comfortable than the Kelty Kids ‘Trek’(£130), which I tried before this purchase and is not a bad product (very light/good comfort), but again is well behind this product in the most important factors for a really good carrier. At £130 it is above most peoples budget for such a purchase, and is aimed at people who either enjoy a lot of walking (like my wife and I), or just people with stacks of cash. If you can afford it, then I suggest snapping up one of these things and look no further. It is one of my best purchases in many years, and not including the Macpac and ‘Expedition’ Kelty models which are nearer the £200 mark and I have not tried so can’t comment on, is surely the best child carrier on the market today.
This baby carrier features the fully Adjustable Comfort Back System, designed to fit people from 5'2 to 6'2 tall, and giving the most exact fit available.