The Freeloader child carrier | The Family Travel Bug Review
We are thrilled to have found the Freeloader child carrier before our trip to Europe! Finding the right child carrier for family travel can be tough. We have 3 daughters ages 10, 7 and 3, we have hiked and traveled all around the world with our children. During our travels have tested and searched for products that will make traveling and exploring easier.
While planning a 3 week trip to Europe, spending most of our time in Slovenia and Austria, we planned a lot of walking. We also bought low fare airline tickets that did not include checked luggage. So we were limited to what we could carry on (between the 5 of us!). We needed a child carrying backpack for our 3 year old, but were concerned about the space we had.
Child carrier pack backs
We have used a Dueter carrier for years and while we love it, it is just too big and cumbersome to bring as it would take up one carry on item. Space was precious. So this option was eliminated quickly. Searching and asking fellow travelers what they have use we found The freeloader child carrier. This product stuck out to us for a few reasons:
- Folds into itself and can be packed and fit in a roll aboard suitcase
- Allows child to sit and rest their legs
- Has waist straps to take pressure off the shoulders
- Has a high weight limit (80 lbs) so our 3 year can use it for a while
Our product review of The Freeloader
When we first pulled out the backpack our daughter Aria was a little nervous to climb aboard. Once we bribed her with a treat she climbed on. She immediately liked it.
There are 2 ways for the child to get in the seat.
- Place the backpack on the floor and put the seat out. The child can climb on, then the parents buckle the straps. Then the parent squats down and puts the backpack on and stands up. Ready to go…
- Second, put the backpack on and stand up and have the second adult place the child in the seat and buckle the straps. Ready to go..
We usually did the second option because we would start hiking while Aria was walking on her own. When she got tired she would stop dead in her tracks and demand to get in The Freeloader. Then we would just pick her up and put her on.
Aria loved the freeloader. The second she was tired she would stop dead in her tracks and demand to sit in the backpack.
We as parents also loved it because it’s so light when Aria wasn’t in the seat. It also doesn’t put as much weight on our lower back compared to our big framed carrier. I think this is due to the fact that the child is close to the back more like a piggy back style of carry vs framed packs put the child a least a few inch way from the back. It was the perfect carrier to use while roaming Europe for 3 weeks. We will also bring it on all future trips. No need for cumbersome strollers anymore!
- There are handles on the adults shoulder straps for the child to hold onto. This was nice so that Aria has a place for her hands, and when she falls asleep holding the handles it keeps her up right.
- Foot straps: this kept Aria’s legs from constantly bumping into the back of our legs, and keeps her hips at a better angle.
- Side pockets to hold snacks, keys etc. These are on the waist belt of the carrier.
- The seat fold up and can be held in place when the child is no sitting or using the backpack. Then the pack feels like a normal backpack.
- Can fit into a carry-on suitcase.
What is the age/weight limit for the carrier?
The backpack is designed for ages 2.5 years and 25-80 lbs (11kg-86kg)
Sizes of packs?
There are 3 different sizes. The website has a measurement guide here on which to buy for your size. We choose medium because it would fit both Russ and Ashley.
The freeloader is used by many families with special needs children, such as spina bifida, muscular dystrophy and traumatic brain injuries. The freeloader company has a special discount for families with special needs children. See here for information regarding this.
How to purchase and cost
Purchase it directly from the company website here.
The backpack is $299. The company also offers 4 installments of $75.
After using this carrier for 3 weeks in walking around Paris and in the alps of Slovenia and Austria we highly recommend this product. It was very comfortable to wear WELL as comfortable as it can be to carry a 40 lbs 3 year year old. It does not take a lot of luggage room and can transported around the world easily. We will be taking this on all our world adventures from now on. We don’t let having little kids stop of from seeing and adventuring. This helps us be able to continue to explore far and wide. This freeloader made our life much easier hiking through the mountains and gorges of the beautiful alps.
Check out our other product reviews and tips here!
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