Gear Watch: The Piggyback Rider

December 1, 2011
My 1-year-old just discovered the fun of riding piggyback on Daddy—and has since been demanding rides like I’m a pony at the fair. Which is why the Piggyback Rider has captured my attention of late.

The Piggyback Rider ($79) consists of a pair of shoulder straps worn by the parental pony of choice, which are then attached to a stiff foot bar that hangs down the back. The child stands on the bar and grabs a pair of small handholds sewn into the shoulder straps, thus keeping the parent’s hands free. For younger riders, parents can purchase an optional child safety harness ($15), which clips into the small handholds and safely tethers the kid.

The Piggyback Rider is designed to support a child up to 60 pounds and the foot bar can be adjusted up or down to accommodate various heights (though I wonder how comfortable it is to carry 60 pounds on your back without any sort of waistbelt support). It’s recommended for children age 2 1/2 and up, which means I’ll have to wait a bit before my personal pony show can accessorize with it.

The whole system weighs less than 3 pounds and rolls up to compact, easily toted size when not in use. It is produced by Full Sail International, a small family-owned business based in Bethesda, Maryland.

“Equipped” is an AMC Outdoors blog, written by Matt Heid

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.