We bought the Cross Country backpack carrier second-hand as a pushchair alternative when Rosalin was around 6 months old and have enjoyed using it for the past 18 months. The rucksack is comfortable and easy to carry and my daughter loves sitting in it. She enjoys being able to have a good look around and, when she’s had enough, she drops her head on the comfy pillow and just nods off. It’s a solid, sturdy product, with a small range of useful features, which has been a reliable companion on our frequent travels.
The Cross Country child carrier sits roughly in the middle of LittleLife’s range of backpack carriers – in terms of size, weight, storage and cost. We chose it for its combination of sturdiness and storage capacity, as we were looking for a versatile carrier we could take on adventurous holidays abroad and use for easy country walks at home.
We weren’t disappointed. As with all LittleLife products the Cross Country is made of high quality, sturdy material, that can take the roughs of air travel. At a not inconsiderable 2.5kg it’s not particularly lightweight, rather mid-range in terms of weight.
As the name suggests the CrossCountry is perfect for country walks and hikes, even on rough terrain. But realistically, the older (and heavier) the child gets, the shorter those walks become.
Overall the Cross Country sits very well on shoulders and hips and is easy to carry. Thanks to its adjustable shoulder straps as well as chest and waist belt straps, the Cross Country can be easily adapted to an individual’s size, ensuring a comfortable carrying experience.
The baby seat and straps are very comfortable, creating a cosy space for little ones to rest in. The frame is solid enough to stand up on its own when on the floor and can occasionally be used as a child seat.
Overall the Cross Country can carry a load of 20kg and LittleLife suggest it can be used for children aged 6 months to 3 years.
Rosalin is about to turn two and is still very comfortable in it. However, the overall carrying weight is starting to become an issue for us, so I’m not sure how much longer we will realistically be able to use it for.
The Cross Country carrier has a couple of key features:
- X-Buckle Child harness: This ensures the child is safely and comfortably strapped in with no risk of falling out. The height of the child’s seat is also easily adjusted using a pull strap, depending on preference.
- Storage pocket: With a capacity of 20 litres,this is a real winner as it saves having to bring a separate rucksack. It comfortably fits a baby / toddler’s necessities when on a hike. When on the road or travelling by plane, the carrier is in fact able to take on the role of a small bag. On our most recent trip I have managed to transport a couple of pairs of hiking boots in there as well as a total of 40 nappies!!
- Sun Shade: A simple sunshade cover can be attached to the top of the rucksack, reducing sun exposure and helping keep little one protected. It has mesh fabric on the sides, to not restrict baby’s views. It’s not a rain cover, but we have used it as one in the past – over a short period it’s ok.
Secondary features of the Cross Country include:
- Washable face pad: It has a nice little animal design which Rosie loves. When she’s tired, she just pops her head on the pillow for a little snooze.
- Toy loops: Two simple loops on the side to attached toys to.
- Foot stirrups: There are two little footrests on the side, although I would question how much use they are.
- Side pockets: There are two additional pockets on the side of the rucksack which are useful for water bottles or small items.
LittleLife offer the slightly modernised Cross Country S4 carrier for just under £170. There are cheaper models, such as the Ranger or Adventurer, but you lose the storage capacity, so it depends if this is a necessity for you.
In a nutshell
Would I recommend the LittleLife Cross Country child carrier:
But, because of its price tag, I would suggest looking for a nearly-new or barely used second-hand one.
Still looking for a lightweight travel pushchair? I’ve reviewed our experience with the SilverCross Zest in this post.