We were gifted a Kelty Ridgeline Framed Baby Carrier when our friends Sara and Kevan left for the States. That means we’ve had it for about a year now—and it’s been useful and we’re grateful for it. However, it’s bulky and no matter how we fiddled with it we couldn’t figure out how to collapse it or fold it or make it smaller in any way.
It doesn’t fit well in taxis. It doesn’t fit through metal detectors. It doesn’t fit through Hezekiah's Tunnel. It’s great when there’s a kid in it but not so great when there isn’t a kid in because it’s huge and doesn’t fit much of anywhere.
But it was free, right? And free is good. And we’ll be going camping and hiking this summer so it will be useful. We decided to keep it.
We’ve been trying to sell some of our things before we go—our jogging stroller was high on that list and finally sold today but because it was taking so long to sell we decided that we’d just take it home with us and pack the backpack carrier in a suitcase. We couldn’t really justify looking for a new jogging stroller if we didn’t get any money off the old one…
Anyway, as I mentioned the carrier is huge. It wouldn’t fit in a suitcase. So we searched the darned thing all over, again, for a way to collapse it. It looks like it should fold but there’s no way to do it.
We asked the Lewises when they gave it to us if it was possible. There was no way that they knew of. Our friends, the Smiths, have the same carrier. They also had no advice on how to collapse it. Then our friends, the Palmers, mentioned that they would have brought their carrier to Egypt with them…except that it’s so stupidly bulky that it would end up being more of a headache than handy since there is no known way to fold it up.
And I gave up looking for the instruction manual long ago.
So after literally turning the thing upside down (and every other possible angle) looking for a magical “collapse button” we decided we’d just have to take some of the screws out and force it to fold.
Guess what. It was missing two critical screws and still wouldn’t collapse!
I loosened some of the straps and then it folded right in half.
But then we sold the stroller so we were back to plan A, which was to check the backpack carrier at the gate and use it for carting children around in the airport instead of a stroller. That meant Andrew had to put the screws back in, so he did.
And guess what. It still folded up nicely for us.
No, seriously. It folds as flat as a pancake. Just like that. Nice.
So we tightened up all the straps we had “needlessly” loosened and went to fold it up and put it by our suitcases.
And guess what. It wouldn’t budge. What in tarnation is going on here?!
So we loosened the straps again to examine things and…it folded.
Those little straps that have bright yellow warning labels that say “tighten before use” are there so that the backpack doesn’t fold up with your child inside it. Go figure.
So that’s it. That’s the trick. There are four straps between the “child’s cockpit” and the adult frame. You just loosen those puppies and the carrier folds up like magic.
Two of the straps are yellow and two aren’t…and we don’t actually know if you need to loosen the ones that aren’t. But it doesn’t hurt anything, right? As long as you remember to tighten them when you’re finished.
I looked up the instruction manual online—and for some reason found it right away, which is weird because when I was looking for it about a year ago I couldn’t find it anywhere—to see if it said anything about how to fold the carrier. While it mentioned its “no-pinch hinge” there was no mention of how to get that hinge to do what hinges do. You know…bend.
It also says, and I quote, “Your new Kelty Carrier comes collapsed/folded for ease of shipping; it must be set up and and adjusted prior to use.” So obviously it’s supposed to bend. It then goes on to explain how to set up and safely use the carrier without ever mentioning what to do with the carrier once you’ve finished using it.
So if you’ve ever wondered, now you know. And if you feel stupid for not figuring it out earlier, don’t worry. You’re in good company.