We travel a lot with our kids. Every trip seems to require at least one layover in a large airport, requiring us to lug three kids, 1-3 car seats, a diaper bag, and a few other carry-on bags from one gate to another. Whew! that’s a lot to carry.
So I decided to convert the carseats into “back-packs”, so that I could carry the seats hands-free. I often stuff some of the smaller carry-on bags, coats, sweaters, etc, into one of the seats. It’s so much more comfortable than lugging them around in my arms!
One drawback is that you have to be really careful when you turn around, lest you bop somebody on the head with the carseat.
I ordered a simple set of back-pack straps from Campmor. I spent about $30 per seat and got some nice straps, but you could probably find nearly the same thing at any outdoor gear store, or probably places like KMart, probably for less money. You don’t need anything fancy: just a pair of straps, four sets of clevis pins with split rings, and probably a few washers. (The pins and rings attach the pack straps to the seat.) I was lucky to find holes in the seats in just the right places; I needed to add a few washers to strengthen the connection. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to drill a hole, if necessary, but I can imagine a seat manufacturer claiming that voided the warranty.
I would never use this rig to carry my kid on my back. The parts of the seat to which I attach were not designed for that sort of stress, so the pins might pull right through. Also, as you can see in the photo, the system depends on the shear stress of the ring, unlike in most back-pack systems that depend on the shear stress of the pin. So I’d be afraid of the pin pulling through the plastic hole on the seat, or the ring shearing through, if there were a lot of weight. If I’m just carrying a diaper bag, and it fails, so what… but if I’m carrying a kid, and it fails, I’m in big trouble.
I doubt it would be good for long distances, unless you added some padding along the back.
It’s not really a back-pack in the sense that I can carry big loads. I guess it’s a car seat you can carry on your back.