The Piggyback Rider is a child carrier for kids over 2.5 years and up to 60 lbs with a backpack strap and a bar the adult wears and a safety harness for the child. I love a good quality minimalist children's product so I purchased it and Nathan used it during our hot vacation with Emily, our two-and-a-half year old. She loved being up high and he loved that she wasn't sitting on his shoulders, holding onto his ears.
I didn't really test out the Piggyback Rider myself until we got home to balmy Canada.
1. It is super lightweight, well-made and compact. The Piggyback Rider consists of a backpack strap and bar and a safety harness for the child. Because it packs up so small, it was easy to bring along on our trip. It would also be easy to throw in the car or to have on hand in the stroller basket. The instructions were easy to follow (including a video) and it's sturdy and strong.
2. It can be used in conjunction with another front carrier. Nathan looks super impressed in the following picture and Emily isn't adjusted properly here (She should be higher for his and her comfort), but I wanted to show that he has six-month old Gabrielle in the Baby Bjorn on his front and Emily on his back. No problem.
3. Emily really enjoys it & it allows her greater freedom than other options. At age 2.5, Emily can still technically fit in the ergo carrier on my back, but she's getting so independent and heavy that for longer hikes, this allows her to run, walk, play, and then catch a ride when she gets tired without the bulk of a stroller or larger hiking backpack.
1. Price. As Canadians, our dollar is low, so the price is automatically more, but when you add international shipping and customs charges, you're looking at almost $200 Canadian. That hefty sum may be worth it if it's going to be a product you use all the time. It's up to you to decide if it's worth the cost.
2. Comfort. While the structure of the Piggyback Rider is super lightweight, I found it really uncomfortable on my shoulders, no matter how it was adjusted. I don't know if this is because I have a very narrow back so Emily's weight distributed differently on the straps, but it just didn't work for me which is really disappointing, because I was hoping to LOVE it. Nathan found it comfortable, but for longer walks he prefers our hiking backpack. Emily was comfortable the whole time and enjoyed it.
Please note that the Piggyback Rider has a very user friendly return policy, so if you're debating it, try it out for yourself!! If you're in the Saskatoon area, hit me up. You can try mine.
3. Ease of Use. I am a fairly independent parent and I like to be able to manage the kids on my own. While I could possibly sit on a couch and wrangle Emily onto my back and then snap her harness to mine (or attach everything first and then wiggle in), it wasn't the most user friendly without a little help.
Similarly, the bar for Emily to stand on tended to shift a little and was difficult to keep square (see first photo on Nathan's back). When the straps were adjusted exactly and Emily's feet were wide in proper position, this relieved the problem, but it was a little finicky when she adjusts her weight, which I could see growing as a problem as she grows.
The Piggyback Rider company and customer service are prompt, professional and easy to deal with. The product is well-made and sturdy and the instructions are easy to follow. Honestly, I really wanted this to be my favourite product for Emily at this stage, but it's just not a good fit for me. I won't get as much use out of it as anticipated as I hoped to use it on weekly river hikes with my sister and her pups, but it is a product that Nathan will use during hikes or when not wanting to bring a stroller.
This year, my absolutely rave review for kids' products is still with the Make My Belly Fit Jacket Extender, which Nathan is wearing in the last picture with Gabrielle. I've gotten so much use out of it this winter and it is convenient for either of us to use with baby and down the road if we ever decide to add to the family one last time. Check it out here!