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Recently, I was looking for a child carrier backpack since I was interested to bring our child closer to nature. Carrying a child in a backpack feels more convenient than cruising with a stroller in nature and you can more easily access places off the beaten track. This is a first short review about the Thule Sampling Elite Child Carrier Backpack which I got provided for free by Thule to test it here in Finland. Thanks to Caj Koskinen for taking a few pictures.
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I was carrying the Thule Sapling Elite mainly in the forests around our neighborhood and in the outskirts of Turku nearby the sea where I was walking on narrow trails in the forest. The Thule Sapling Elite is also very comfortable to carry when you walk up a hill and the child (14 kg) did not feel that heavy on the back either. The Child Carrier also comes with an additional small backpack that you can attach to it. This could be useful to share the load between two or if you only want to walk a shorter distance without the child carrier and to carry the most essential items with you.
Of course, it is quite hard to see what your child is doing in the back while you are walking along the trail. Thule was thinking ahead and added a mirror in one of the hip belt pockets which you can take out to monitor your child. My child felt also more comfortable when she saw me smiling to her from time to time so this is a simple but really great feature.
When there is a lot of sun you can keep your child happy by unfolding the sunshade over your child’s head. The sunshade is stored at the inner backside of the backpack and should be deployed when your child is already sitting in the seat of the child carrier.
Here you can see how the sunshade is stored in the Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier.
The Sampling Elite has a fully adjustable back panel and hip belt so you can fully adjust it to your needs. The load stabilizer straps allow on-the-go adjustments to the backpack’s center of gravity.
On the lower backside of the backpack, there is also a bag with a zipper where I stored items that I could need during the trip like diapers, jackets, baby clothes, backpack rain cover or snacks. Moreover, there are also 2 zippered hip belt pockets where you can store for example snacks, keys or your phone. If you plan to go on a longer trip then you can also store a water hydration bag in the backpack.
Talking about the seat on the backpack. You can load your child either from the top or the side into the seat. The Sapling Elite has also removable stirrups so the child can rest its legs and readjust.
Thule is also selling the Thule Sapling Rain Cover to protect your backpack and your child from rain.