KOKOPAX CLASSIC REVIEW
This is a review of the Kokopax Classic child carrier, the higher-end of the two models Kokopax offers. This carrier has found traction on the market for its simplicity of design and ease of use. It was seen on the Ellen show, giving it additional exposure. What did TotGear think about this carrier? We were quite surprised at how much we liked the Kokopax. Let’s see if it is right for you.
PUTTING YOUR CHILD IN THE CARRIER
This is the easiest carrier to put a child into that we have used to date. There is a good stability stand that holds the Kokopax upright when resting on the floor. When you insert your child into the backpack, all you have to do is feed your child's feet through the two leg holes, buckle them in via two buckles, and voila, you're done...it's that fast!
The shoulder straps that hold your child in place are strips of nylon that you feed your child's arm through. The same strap acts also as a waist belt, because it loops back around to the same side of the carrier. When you snap each buckle into the harness, the lower part of the strap acts as a lap belt (like the ones found in cars of yesteryear) while the shoulder straps do their job. Essentially, this is a five-point harness (two shoulder straps, two waist belts and the harness coming up through the legs of your child) that secures your baby. It is a very safe way to secure them in a backpack.
The TotGear crew does wish the location of the harness (where the buckle snaps into) was higher so we did not have to reach down in front of the child to hunt for the harness. Also, we would have liked to have seen the carrier with different-colored buckles so they were not camouflaged against the remainder of the material of the backpack.
The adjustments of the shoulder straps are in the back pocket, on the back of the carrier. It is easy to adjust them. The material used for the straps is a bit rougher than some of the carriers, making it a touch more difficult to make adjustments with this type of strap.
GO LIVE YOUR LIFE WITH YOU LITTLE ONE IN TOW
Getting the pack on is a little more difficult than with some of the other carriers, because it lacks a strap to hold onto when putting it on. We were forced to grab onto the upper portion of the frame and place it on our backs, using our free hand to grab onto the shoulder strap. The job was completed, but we think it could have been a more seamless.
You can collapse the stability stand to make the pack more maneuverable, but many folks in our crew noticed that when it was collapsed, the child's legs would get in the way and prevent the ride from being as smooth as it could be. A small issue.
The wearer’s shoulder straps are well-padded, and they do a good job of distributing the weight over your shoulders. They are not made of the same material as all of the other carriers, but they are comfortable. There is no chest strap on the shoulder straps, which some found annoying. The purpose of a chest strap is to keep the shoulder straps from pulling off to the outer part of the shoulders. There is an adjustment strap on each shoulder strap similar to those on the backpacks most of us wore in grammar school. Again, the strapping that they used here is a bit rougher; thus it is a little more difficult to make minor adjustments, because the strap causes more friction when going through the buckle.
There is no back plate on the carrier, so if your child starts to practice their soccer moves, they can come into direct contact with your back. Also, since children sometimes feel the need to channel their inner Houdini, they can leverage themselves off of the waist belt to push themselves up. The nice thing about not having a backplate is that you don’t have heat buildup like you do on many of the other carriers.
The waist support is a padded piece of hard plastic that comes into contact with the lower part of your back. We are generally not a big fan of this type of design because of the amount of pressure it puts on the wearer, but Kokopax does a good job of providing enough cushioning so that it is not much of an issue.
STORAGE AND SUNSHADE
This portion of the review will be short, because the the Kokopax does not come with either an area to store items or a sunshade. Unfortunately, this prevents people who are looking to purchase an all-around framed carrier from purchasing the pack if they are going to spend time outdoors. The lack of storage means that you will still have to take your diaper bag along for the ride.
GOING ABOUT YOUR DAY...IN STYLE
Kokopax makes the most stylish framed baby carriers available. The model TotGear tested is called the Watson, and it consists of a houndstooth pattern with a brown wooden button to tie it all in. Member of the TotGear crew felt they needed a Sherlock Holmes-style pipe and paperboy hat to complete the look. Each design is really fun, and gives you the ability to use your baby carrier as an accessory.
As stated in the beginning of the review, this one of our favorite carriers because of its simplicity and style. It is a framed backpack that is easy to grab when we run out for an errand or if we are doing chores around the house. What prevents TotGear from recommending the Kokopax to everyone is the lack of sunscreen and storage, but if you're not exploring the outdoors on a regular basis, this carrier is a clear winner.