backpack child carrier and hydration system

Snugli Cross Terrain carrier Platypus Hoser 1.8L
Snugli Cross Terrain child carrier

I chose this product for my first gear review because I’ve used it SO much and highly recommend it. I have carried Sam on hikes in the Snugli Cross Terrain carrier for over two years now. When he hit about 20 pounds, it was time to carry him on my back! The features I appreciate most are the many storage areas, especially the one which utilizes space under the child. You will find that not many carriers effectively utilize this space – I guess they assume you’re hiking with someone else who can carry the extra gear (clothes, rain jacket, lunch, diapers, first aid, etc.). The sun/rain canopy works well and is easy to stow when not in use. The little water bottle holder on the waist strap is way too small – it’s the size of a 12 oz plastic water bottle you’d buy at the convenience store. I use that holder for my camera and insert a Platypus hydration system in the top pouch. The pack wears well, shows little dirt and grime, is easy to adjust for torso size, and balances the load well on my hips.

Platypus hydration systems

The Platypus Hoser 1L and 1.8L models have a gusseted bottom so that they stand on their own. This means you don’t have to thread a little hanger through them to dry out between uses. Sam learned to drink from it around 6 months of age, and it doubled nicely as a teether for about a year! (Buy extra bite valves to have on hand!) When I was using a small backpack for a diaper bag, I threw it in there so we both had water whenever we needed it – at the doctor’s office, the market, whatever. I have also used it for about 2 years with our jogging stroller so that I don’t have to chase a water bottle down the street if it gets tossed out. This is especially handy during a race! (No backtracking!) This morning I contacted Platypus customer service regarding a warranty issue – mine developed a slow leak around the cap area. The reservoir states “lifetime warranty” so I thought I’d just see what happened. They responded within minutes that I should just send the reservoir into their repair department for replacement. Amazing! They were very helpful. I hadn’t even told them about my positive review yet, so this is how every customer can anticipate being treated. Very nice.

One note…Some dentists will tell you it’s not ideal to share utensils or drinking glasses because you swap bacteria and increase the child’s likelihood of tooth decay. Others say that swapping bacteria in small quantities helps boost the child’s immune system and ability to respond effectively to the bacteria, before they cause decay. The best advice I think is to be reasonable – if you’re taking good care of your teeth (flossing and brushing) and are healthy, go ahead and share! Do what is easiest and most amenable to getting out and getting fit 🙂

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