REVIEW – LittleLife Cross Country S2 Baby Carrier

ITEM: Cross Country S2 Baby Carrier

MANUFACTURER: LittleLife

DESCRIPTION:

A slimline backpack style baby carrier with a small cargo capacity.

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REVIEW NOTES:

This review is another in the series of “Life Development” load carriage solutions for other situations away from muted colours and camouflage patterns.

This “Life Development” series provides a slight shift in focus from tactically-oriented mission essential equipment to transportation arrangements of truly vital cargo. ie. My child….

It should be noted that this is the older model, and has since been superseded by an improved design incorporating more features.

The Cross Country was purchased by my darling wife second hand from one of the online trading post websites.

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SPECIFICATIONS:

DIMENSIONS –

Length – 24.9cm

Width – 27.9cm

Height – 68.1cm

Weight – 2.5kg (approx. 5.51lbs)

Cargo Capacity – 20L (approx. 1220 cubic inches)

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MATERIALS –

500 Denier Cordura

Fleece material

Aluminium frame

YKK zips

Plastic hardware (tri-glides and side-buckles)

Webbing tape

Steel D-rings

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LAYOUT:

ATS RAID on the left, Cross Country S2 on the left.

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FRAME AND HARNESS –

The Cross Country is an interesting hybrid design, featuring an internal frame layout, but using materials traditionally used in the construction of external frames.

The frame is tubular aluminium.

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There is a flattened shelf on the bottom to rest the pack upon when not being worn. Mid-way up the pack, there is a hinged section that forms a rigid beaver-tail to accommodate the seating area for the child “cargo”.

The harness is composed of fairly standard straps and a hip belt. The hip belt has quite substantial padding and is able to be adjusted for tension via tri-glide buckle.

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The pack straps are contoured, feature a slide adjustable sternum strap, and tension adjusters on the top of the harness. It can be easily adjusted for back-length via hook and loop material wrapped around a webbing tape ladder situated along the spine. This back-length is easily adjusted for users of different size and shape, such as swapping between mummy and daddy.

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At the top of the harness is a carrying handle made from webbing tape.

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All the harness running ends (shoulder straps and top tensioners) have loops at the end to allow easier adjustment by the wearer.

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RUCKSACK –

The rucksack of the Cross Country Baby Carrier is divided into two sections – a cargo carrier area and the child seat/harness.

The cargo area occupies the lower portion of the Cross Country, and has a capacity of 20 litres. Access is via a crescent shaped zip with dual zipper heads.

Cargo area zip access:

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Cargo area zip open:

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In order to allow stability when during usage, such as loading a child, or resting the weary adult whilst still loaded with child, there is a kick point conveniently placed for the toes of one’s foot.

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The raison d’être for the Cross Country is the child seating area. This has a rigid beaver-tail type flap which has two functions:

1.Transfer the weight of the child to the frame and onwards to the wearer’s pelvis

2.Ensuring security of the carried child, reducing any chance of the “vital cargo” falling out.

At the very top of the rigid beaver-tail, is a webbing carry strap to aid in manoeuvring the Cross Country Baby Carrier.

Inside the seating area is a seat which can be adjusted for height as the child grows. It has a harness system to securely strap in the child, composed of very nice soft padded straps and a unique X-buckle system to secure the load.

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In order to provide a secondary harness and prevent the child swaying, there are two wings that can be tensioned via tri-glide buckles. These both improve the stability of the pack and reduce the risk of the child falling out. These wings have two accessory mounting points. There is a steel D-ring on the tensioners, and a brightly coloured cord-loop as seen on many climbing harness to attach such items as toys, or other needed accessories for the child.

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ACCESSORIES –

At the top of the harness is a pile section of velcro to secure accessories such as a cushion for the child. This acts as a “drool sponge”, and a cushion against impacts should the terrain be somewhat undulating and unforgiving for the adult wearing the Cross Country carrier.

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PERSONAL ASSESSMENT:

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The Cross Country Baby Carrier has been used to carry a toddler (weighing approximately 13kg or 28.6lb) through some fairly easy bushwalking tracks.

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The cargo area in the bottom of the pack has been great to carry those essential extras needed by the child, such as nappies, water, nibblies and un-needed pocket stuff of the adult (wallet, keys, phone, etc.).

The ability to easily adjust the back-length of the harness to accommodate different users has been utilised quite extensively. Whilst the harness is not designed for really hard use across rough terrain, it’s been sufficient for the intended load and light usage that we’ve been subjecting it to.

The X-buckle harness for securing the child into the seating area has been difficult to use whilst the child is in the pack. It’s a little bit fiddly, but that more use should engender greater familiarity.

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PROS –

Harness is comfortable and easy to adjust between different users.

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CONS –

I feel that access into the cargo area is not the best possible solution for this application. However, it is a reflection of civilian bushwalking packs where the concept of a clam-shell zip is standard.

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PERSONAL SUMMARY:

For the design and materials, it’s a really nice pack.

Now that we’re starting to get more mobile again, and able to show the little one the wonders of the natural world and the outdoors, this one will be getting some more use.


Posted in Civilian, Packs & Webbing, Specialist by with 2 comments.

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