Image of the August 2015 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
August 2015 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Packs / Child carriers

Macpac Possum

Price:

$399.95

Our Rating:

This well-padded child carrier uses Macpac’s easy-adjust Explorer harness: simply lift and cinch to move it to the desired position – perfect for couples sharing the carrying duties.

It weighs 3.5kg and is designed to carry loads of around 20kg, but with my daughter only weighing 11kg, I didn’t come close to this – even when nappies, food and water were added – so it has a useful lifespan of several years.

I was comfortable with the load I did carry, the harness felt stable and the carrier stayed glued to my hips, moving with me through all twists and turns. The seat for the baby is well padded and soft, and my daughter never seemed in discomfort. Once strapped in and the sides tightened, it would not be possible for her to come out accidentally.

The cavernous 35-litre storage capacity is plenty for all baby essentials plus extras for parents. Accessing these items is through three external pockets. You could easily pack a day’s or weekend’s gear in here so long as someone else was hauling sleeping bags and the tent.

I found it easy to put Alice into the carrier, but found the harness a little complicated. It comes down over her shoulders from the rear to be clipped in at her thigh, which can be fiddly to access. There’s also a chest strap which I often accidentally clipped the harness into.

Because much of the testing was done in summer, I used the sunshade accessory ($34.95) frequently. Protecting young children from the sun is crucial, especially in New Zealand, and I feel Macpac should offer this as standard. The shade is effective and features a roll-down mozzie net.

The stand is super stable when locked into position, but because it is zipped away in the lower compartment, you really need someone else to pack it away or open it for you. When my wife wasn’t with me, I would balance the carrier on the ground to do all this – not ideal. Once this compartment is packed with gear, I could not access the stand without first emptying the compartment.

Overall, the Possum offers impressive comfort for both wearer and baby, but an external stand, built-in sunshade and simplified baby harness would make it a much more attractive proposition.