Gear Review: Kelty Pathfinder 3.0

There are so many great kid carriers on the market. But when it comes to cargo space, the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is one of our favorites.

Tested in: Nearly everything; hiking with child 25-35 lbs, summer and winter conditions.

  • Cost: $300
  • Best Use: A kid carrier for long distances and/or hikes where you need lots of cargo space.

Selling Points: Overall I’d say the Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 is very well designed. Compared to others on the market, its main selling point is the extra cargo space. This pack has a separate pocket for a hydration reservoir, a large zippered compartment under the kid’s seat, and a detachable day pack (with mesh water bottle pockets) that zips on the back.  If you have lots of water, snacks, or layers that need to come along, this pack has space for them.

Hiking with kids, Utah

Other things we love:

The waist belt is very comfortable but also designed so that all the essentials are on your hips. On one side you have a mesh water bottle holder (or sippy cup) and the other side a Velcro pouch perfect for a camera.

Kelty’s system for adjusting the torso length/hip belt is one of the best we’ve seen. Even allowing us to adjust the length while it is on! For most packs this isn’t necessary but with a kid carrier we find that we pass it between people and easy adjustment on the trail is quite handy.

The pathfinder’s Auto-deploy quick stand makes setting the kid down, loading and unloading very easy. And when you put the pack back on, the stand automatically tucks in, something I didn’t know I’d miss until I was using a different pack.

Kelty Pathfinder 3.0 review

Kelty thought through all the little parent details by including things like a changing pad and a “pillow” bar cover in the child cockpit that is removable for washing (cause you know they will drool all over it). 🙂

Significant Specs:

  • Maximum weight load (Child + Gear + Pack): 50 lbs / 22.6 kg
  • Child weight: Minimum 16 lbs / 7.3 kg; Maximum: 40 lbs /  18.1 kg
  • Length: 19 in / 48.5 cm
  • Width: 15 in / 38 cm
  • Height: 30 in / 76 cm
  • Weight: 7 lb 10 oz / 3.5 kg
  • Suspension: Adjustable

Torso Fit Range:

  •  15 – 19 in / 38 -48 cm

Desired Improvements:

I’d prefer that the sunshade was able to remain on the pack while you loaded/unloaded a child instead of taking the whole thing off. Deuter has a design that seems to work well for that.

If you are looking for a pack but tight on space (ie. in the trunk) this might not be the one for you. It does collapse down a little for storage, but it is bigger than others on the market.

The Bottom Line: Kelty engineered a fantastic pack that has more cargo space than any other Kid Carrier I’ve seen. This pack is versatile, comfortable, and durable.

Hiking near Moab UT

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