We have been using the Ranger for a few months now over summer, having bought it to replace a much bigger and much more feature rich Vaude Butterfly Comfort carrier. Our main reasons for making this switch were the low bulk of the carrier, and the weight. At only 1.7kg, the Ranger is over 2 kg lighter than our old carrier, and is slim enough that fitting through kissing gates is less of a problem than previously.
The Ranger is a very simple carrier, which has been paired back to the minimum. It is the lightest and cheapest child carrier in the LittleLife range and is said to be the lightest carrier on the market that meets the UK standard. You get the same back system and hip belt that other LittleLife carrier’s use, as well as the same seat system and seemingly the same aluminium frame, but that is it. It has no extra frills and no inbuilt storage, apart from a couple of jellybean pockets on the hip belt, and there’s also no kick stand to make it self-supporting.
The back system is well thought out, with a very quick and simple length adjustment and a good hip belt. I have a minor complaint in that I can feel the base of the frame on my bum below the hip belt, but this hasn’t caused discomfort in use yet. Having said that, my wife hasn’t had this problem and finds it really comfortable to carry.
The carrier is very stable on your back, doesn’t creak or squeak and our son is well supported.
There is no kick stand, but there is a rear bar that you need to stand on to keep the carrier from toppling over. This is pretty straightforward so long as you don’t forget!
There is no storage built into the Ranger but previously we have found that inbuilt storage in carriers is a pain – it is all the wrong shape to use well for camping, and if only out for a day then the one not carrying our son can carry everything else. LittleLife do sell a small bag, which clips inside the base of the carrier as an accessory but we have not purchased this yet.
For storage, we use a lightweight drybag which we clip shut around the rear of the frame and gives us lightweight, although less easy to access storage. Additionally when we are wildcamping we strap a 20l dry bag onto the outside, attaching it at the top and around its middle. This allows us to actually fit what we want onto the bag. In our case we usually put the cooker and ground mats into the base of the carrier and then put the tent and some of the food into the drybag we strap onto the back.
Technical Info (taken from LittleLife website)
- Weight: 1.7kg (3lbs. 12oz)
- Dimensions: 28 x 26 x 75cm
- Max. Load: 20kg
- Capacity: 6L (optional)
- Adult Fit: 5`2″ – 6`2″
- Suitable for Ages: 6 months – 3 years
- Adjustable Backsystem
Overall we love the compactness, low weight and price of the Ranger carrier, which has the same back system and child seat system as its much more expensive product family. The lack of features like a kick stand, or built in storage could be seen as disadvantages, but we actually find it useful to have a minimalist carrier which we adapt by attaching drybags at certain points to allow us to pack our loads as we like.
Have you found a backcarrier that works for you? Let us know all about it (good and bad points!) below!