This is the pack for the bushwalking couple or outdoors enthusiast who finds that the advent of a first child into the home places what appears to be an unavoidable limitation to past backpacking freedoms. Been there. Done that. Here is part of the solution.
The WildChild addresses the many shortcomings and compromises we see in other child carriers. The pack harness is not an after-thought. The WildChild is fitted with the sophisticated WE Synchro-FORM harness system using comfy airmesh contact faces. You child is provided with a comfortable, adjustable-height seat and upper-body restraint harness. The spacious lower compartment will hold all the extras you need for a day outing. A mesh back pocket with shockcord over-lacing provide quick for stowage of items needed close at hand and drying points for damp clothing. The backrest and side panels of the seat compartment are adjustable in and out (at the side straps) so different size kids and a range of clothing layers are easily accomodated. The comfortable mesh seat with padded edges has a long height adjustment range. Carry your child in the raised position so they have a good view of the surroundings or lower them down if they need head support or are sleeping. The top edge of the pack harness panel is fitted with a removable, easily cleaned, padded cover.
The WildChild does not free-stand, and for several very good reasons. Many carriers on the market have extensive, folding, external tubular frames that allow the carrier to be stood up when it is placed down on the ground. For such a system to be stable and safe, the frame must have a very wide footprint. Such designs are a severe handicap when backpacking and are unnecessarily bulky and difficult to pack in a vehicle. Even the internal tubular 'Z' frame used on many baby carriers is an awkward nuisance in the car (and certainly not stable enough to free-stand). The WildChild solution is a simple, streamlined and lightweight design using the same tough aluminium section of our backpack harness panels. When your WildChild pack is empty it can be collapsed to minimum profile. For loading and unloading your child there is a simple foot strap loop. Stand on it! This keeps the pack upright on the ground when loading and makes sure the pack stays behind when you lift your child out. Two lift handles are provided on the top of the pack so it will remain balanced when lifted up ready to fit on your back. If your child falls asleep and you wish to put the pack down, it is a simple matter to just lay this streamlined pack down on the ground so your child can continue to sleep in a comfortable, safe, horizontal position.
Although a big umbrella is a very useful accessory when backpacking with your child on sunny or rainy days, we offer a range of purpose-built add-ons for the WildChild. Please look at the options in the section below. If you are planning to go bush for a few days you will find these accessories indispensable.
The WildChild backpack can give you the freedom to go bush and feed the wilderness in your child before the inescapable and crushing influence of modern electronics and suburban life take a hold. One of our light-weight Overhang tarps makes an excellent alternative to a full-blown tent. Taking our children bush from an early age on overnight and multi-day walks was a great source of pleasure and satisfaction. Summer beach walks are a good place to start. We began around the three month mark. How long can you keep doing it? Until you can't carry the load anymore (by which time they should be carrying a small daypack with their own clothing)!
Pack Harness Components
If you require hip pads with a longer reach, size Large pads are available and can be exchanged for the standard Medium size fitted (provided these are not soiled or worn). If you are particularly slim and require smaller reach hip wings both the standard medium hip pads and medium hip plates need to be changed to size Small. (Small pads do not fit on the standard medium length plates).
Long SIDE POCKETS
The WildChild can be fitted with long SIDE POCKETS, supplied in pairs. Make sure you order the size corresponding to your pack size: S/M or M/L. They mount on the side compression straps at the top and, at the bottom, on the webbing tabs provided. These long pockets are idea for carrying the clothing bulk needed for young children. They also provide extra side protection to your child's legs where they protrude normally from the seat compartment.
Canvas side pockets:
For OLDER MODEL WildChilds. For multi-day walks these full-length, L-zipped side pockets provide the extra capacity required for clothing and other gear. They also provide excellent side-protection for the child's legs. These black canvas ones are equipped with our original overlapping press-stud straps at the bottom end. These pockets suit WildChild packs equipped with short, vertical webbing pocket mounting tabs on the bottom edge of the lower compartment sides. A pair of M/L pockets 550mm high x 150 wide x 100 thick, adds almost 18 litres capacity to the pack. A pair of S/M pockets, 50mm shorter, adds about 16 litres.
Nylon side pockets:
For NEWER MODEL WildChilds. For multi-day walks these full-length, L-zipped side pockets provide the extra capacity required for clothing and other gear. They also provide excellent side-protection for the child's legs. These Oil Blue 1000d nylon ones are equipped with webbing barbs on the bottom edge. These pockets suit WildChild packs equipped with rectangular plastic loops in the base seam of the lower compartment sides. The pockets are 150mm wide and 100mm thick. A pair of M/L pockets adds almost 18 litres capacity to the pack. A pair of S/M adds about 16 litres.
A simple SUN HOOD is available. This 'bonnet' like accessory attaches around the upper side straps on the carrying compartment. Its simple, high-density polyethylene plastic frame is easily stowed when not fitted to the pack.
The one-sized Wildchild Sun Hood is supported overhead by an enclosed (but removeable) polypropylene frame sheet. The Sun Hood engages behind the upper side-adjustment straps on the child compartment wings and is held in place by touchtape tabs.
WildChild Sun Hood polypropylene supporting framesheet can be supplied separately. This symmetrical-about-both-axes frame differs from the raincover one. It has short tongues each end and no edge wings.
Wildchild Raincovers come in two sizes to match the pack back length size designation. The rain covers are supported overhead by an enclosed (but removeable), one-sized, polypropylene frame sheet. The end tongues of the frame sheet engage behind the upper side-adjustment straps on the child compartment wings. These covers are large enough to completely enclose the pack, including the occupant's legs and the optional long side pockets, if fitted. An elastic strap with a side release buckle joins the cover side panels across the pack harness panel. Twin drawcords at the base snug the cover around the whole load. Make sure you order the size corresponding to your pack size: S/M or M/L.
The WildChild Raincover polypropylene supporting framesheet can be supplied separately. It differs from the sun hood one by having longer end tongues and wings along one edge.
This protective pad fits over the top of the WildChild harness panel. It is detachable so it can be easily washed. The cover fabric is our textured polyester harness fabric.
Dry Sacs and Liner Bags
Follow the link to the Sea To Summit website for dry sacs and liner bags. They are equally useful for separating wet clothing and nappies from dry, as they are for ensuring gear in your pack stays dry in wet conditions.
The links beside the picture at the top of this page lead to a wide range of information, advice, instructions , technical background, and so on, probably much more than may interest you. If you purchase or already own this product we strongly advise you to read the use and care pages carefully. The info on the DIY repairs page could also be worth a scan, just so you are prepared incase of a field mishap.