The Chicco Smart Support Backpack is pretty simple to set up right out of the box. I have to admit it was so simple to set up I put it together without even consulting the manual. Considering that my child will be riding in it, I erred on the safe side and read the manual to be sure I didn’t miss anything. The manual is clear and understandable.
Even though the backpack was easy to set up, it wasn’t so easy to use. The straps are a little tougher to adjust than they should be. I found that once it was on, I was unable to get the back adjusted to just the right way that was most comfortable. In order to get the straps adjusted to the best fit I had to actually take the backpack off or have my husband help. I also found that the plastic support bar along the back dug into my back and was just plain uncomfortable. There is a padded belt but the padding did not prevent the discomfort. I added a towel underneath for extra padding which made it much more comfortable. That said my husband did not have the same problem. I think it probably fits him better since he is taller (I’m 5’7 and he is 5’10). Being female, I had issues with the chest strap. The height of the chest strap is not adjustable so it rides right across the fullest part of my chest which makes it difficult to wear it as tight as I feel it should be. However, this was not an issue for my husband (for obvious reasons).
After getting the pack adjusted as best as I could, I put my 18 lb baby girl in. Securing her in it was a breeze and I didn’t even have to adjust the seat height. Based on reading the instructions, adjusting the height seemed pretty straightforward and simple. I did play around with the height of the seat and once again the straps were difficult to adjust. Once the pack was on, my daughter loved riding in it.
My husband and I have taken the baby out on a few different hikes, both long and short. Fortunately, the weather was nice so we never had to use the rain cover, but it’s a nice option for when the weather is windy or rainy. We did use the sun canopy which was wonderful for protecting our daughter’s very fair baby skin. The exterior back pocket was roomy enough to hold our phones, wallet, keys, small snacks and a small camera which was great. The overall size of the carrier is nice. I love how lightweight it is, especially for longer hikes.
Overall, if I were to rate this backpack carrier out of 5, I would give it a 4. I think with a few factory adjustments, it could be a really awesome carrier.
To buy: target.com