Key features of the Phil & Ted’s baby back carrier:
Age suitability: 6 months until 4 years (18kg)
Weight: 2 kg
Features: Compact fold, adjustable harness, mesh back material, padded hip belt
Total cost: £99
Phil & Ted’s is known for their high quality products with great functionality and the Parade carrier is no exception.
They describe it as a ‘festival of fun’ and, although the advertising department might have gone overboard on the alliteration, the carrier is excellent.
The Parade retails at £99, with product rivals including the Phil&Ted’s own Escape (£179),Thule Sapling Elite (£259.99) and the Osprey Poco AG Premium (£300), premium carriers which are designed to allow the wearer and the little person cargo a comfortable and enjoyable trip.
From ease of assembly (take it out of the box, put child in, adjust the straps and go!) to comfort for both parent and child, there’s almost nothing to dislike about this carrier.
You can buy the Parade carrier from Phil & Ted’s, Precious Little One or Mothercare.
Is the carrier lightweight?
Yes. Empty, it weighs only 2kg and also has amazing support.
How compact is the Parade?
The Parade is sold as a ‘fold flat’ carrier, and, while my definition of ‘flat’ is clearly different to Phil and Ted’s, the carrier does fold down nicely and can be tucked away in a closet or cupboard.
It won’t take up too much room in a car boot, but won’t fit in a buggy basket due to its metal frame. If you kept some diapers, wipes, etc in the main compartment, this would also add some width.
Despite being light and compact, the carrier is very sturdy. From the stitching and hard-wearing fabric to the buckles and metal frame, I think it will easily stand up to everyday use and travel.
The Parade is also fairly compact when being worn. I found it easy to manoeuvre through London, even in busy spots, and I don’t think I left too much damage in my wake. It was ideal for getting through crowds and easier than pushing a buggy. I’m looking forward to taking it on holiday and using it for sight-seeing and light country walking.
It will easily fit in overhead compartments on planes and trains but is too long to go under the seat in front of you. All in all, very easy to use, travel with, keep in the car or to store at home. For city living, the Parade works perfectly for us.
Is the Parade carrier comfortable to wear?
Very, designed like a good travel or hiking backpack, it has a sternum strap to distribute the stress across your chest and a sturdy hip belt that places most of the weight on your hips – all contributing to happy shoulders and lower back.
After months of pregnancy, rocking and carrying, isn’t a happy back really all a parent wants?
What is the storage like on the carrier?
In case you do want just a little bit more from your carrier, the Parade has excellent storage – maybe even too much, if you’re like me and are tempted to throw things in simply because you have the space.
The hipbelt has a small zippered pocket, perfect for keys and cash/cards, but not big enough for a smart phone, which seems like a silly oversight.
A couple of additional centimetres would make it perfect. There is a huge pocket under the seat unit perfect for nappies, wipes, snacks, a change of clothes and more. There’s also a detachable mini backpack and side pockets – they’re just not particularly accessible when you’re wearing the unit.
We have used a BabyTrekker carrier since birth and love it, but the option to ditch the changing bag and use the in-built storage is amazing.
I don’t mind that it doesn’t have a mirror to check on Emily – that’s what smart phones are for, right? Although the option for a rain cover would be a huge bonus, it’s not enough to justify an additional £100 on the price tag.
Is it easy to put on and take off the Parade carrier?
I was a little wary at first as to how I was going to get the carrier onto my back when Emily was in it because it felt a bit top-heavy, but it’s actually a breeze.
The carrier is freestanding so it’s simple to get her in and then I just put it on like a backpack. She’s snug and secure the whole time.
Adjusting the straps for both parent and child is easy and quick. I’m on the short side and Emily’s dad is quite tall, but we both find the Parade comfortable.
Available to buy at Kiddicare, Pramworld, Mothercare and other retailers
Is the Parade carrier comfortable for your child?
Yes, Emily loves being perched up high behind me and chatters away as we walk. If the view isn’t enough for her, she can play with toys attached to the two loops. That’s a nice bonus when we’re on the go for a while.
The backpack style leaves the baby a little more exposed to the elements so be sure to wrap them up well and to bring a big umbrella. I’m pretty sure Emily thinks the view is worth it.
The Parade is not as conducive to napping as our front carrier. Emily misses the cosiness of being snuggled up on someone’s chest, but this is more a problem for me than for her! At eight months, Emily is less concerned with being held close and loves the high vantage point of the Parade.
The seat is adjustable and can be lowered as your child grows. The child’s shoulder straps are easily tightened or loosen, but require a little fiddling to get small enough for really little ones. I can see us using this carrier for years to come and it will be great for travelling.
What do you think of the style
I wouldn’t call any baby carrier particularly stylish, but we have received many compliments on the Parade. It’s a huge hit at nursery, where both parents and staff say it’s the best they’ve seen.
We have the blue model and I love the deep colour. It’s rich, vibrant and hides the dirt well!
Is it easy to clean?
Although the material does not come off the metal frame, it is durable and wipes clean pretty easily.
The Parade is very comfortable for both parent and child, and perfect for everyday use on a variety of terrains.
The storage options mean that you can leave the changing bag at home and have hands free fun from about 6 months through the toddler years.
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