Hatcher Pack Review
Hatcher Pack was born when founder Jaclyn took her oldest on an adventure only to be tangled in straps from both her diaper bag and her baby carrier. She was frustrated and only became more so when her daughter had a blowout and she realized she had not switched over any diapers from her home diaper bag to her “adventure” diaper bag. She invented a pack that could be all things, a daily diaper bag, adventure pack, and baby carrier all rolled into one.
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Trying to find the best pack for your family? Check out our top picks for Baby Hiking Packs for 2020 here.
Hatcher Pack Specs
The Hatcher Pack can be used as a standalone backpack, but can’t be used as a standalone carrier. Because each piece is so unique I have split these specs into the backpack portion and the carrier portion.
- Volume: 40L
- Weight: 2.64lb
- Large grab handles
- Zippered inside pockets
- Adjustable sternum strap with safety whistle
- Large zipper pulls
- Reservoir compartment (reservoir not included)
- Laptop compartment
- Large side mesh pockets (easily and comfortably fit my 30oz Stanley water bottle)
- 12 Pockets
- ATSM International Certified
- International Hip Dysplasia Institute Certified (Hip Healthy Product)
- Storable, lightweight
- Designed for a one-person assembly
- Adjustable neck support and neckline
- Breathable mesh
- Safety buckle (used to help get baby into the correct M-shaped carry when facing in)
What the Hatcher Pack is Best For
The Hatcher Pack has some great features that make it ideal to carry around town. Perfect for when you have the baby in the stroller but will inevitably have to carry them, slipping into a restaurant, or navigating down stairs. The baby carrier portion is extremely lightweight and takes up little room in the spacious backpack.
The carrier easily clips on and off for frequent in and out toddlers who want to walk but also need to be carried at times. It also has easily adjustable straps that make adjusting the pack between users a breeze so caregivers can easily switch on the go. My husband and I are similar in height at 5’9″ and 5’10” respectively so this may not be as comfortable if you are much shorter or much taller than us.
The number of pockets will also make sure you have space to store all your baby’s needs from sunscreen to baby wipes. A generous hydration pouch allows you to take this pack on longer excursions while keeping you and your little one hydrated. The deep side water bottle pockets securely keep bottles in place even when bending over.
The easy one-handed attachment clips made switching between my five-month-old and my two-year-old easy. The straps are also quickly and easily adjusted between myself and my husband for easy shared carrying. While the comfortable mesh kept my kiddos cool even on hot summer days.
With 40L of total storage, you have room for your diapering essentials, snacks, toys, laptop, and more. This backpack is attractive and doesn’t scream diaper bag so it is something I will be using long after my kiddos no longer need to be carried. This can be your standard carry-on while also easily doubling as a baby carrier for tired little legs.
The size makes it one of the largest capacity kid carriers out there while staying under three pounds. This can carry enough for an overnight for both you and baby while still comfortably fitting under the seat in front of you on a plane. No more need to lug multiple heavy bags and kid carriers through the airport.
This pack is best for smaller kiddos. The carrier portion is small so larger kiddos tend to slip and slide around more. While my five-month-old would need an “infant insert” in many other soft structured carriers, this one fits her frame really well overall.
If you are going to be carrying a heavier child I recommend that you make sure you have sufficient weight in the backpack portion to achieve a more comfortable carry. The load in the backpack does a nice job evening out the weight you are carrying in front and in back. With an empty pack, however, things feel uneven and become uncomfortable quickly for both the baby and the wearer.
What We Love About the Hatcher Pack
The Roomy Storage
One of my favorite features of the Hatcher Pack is the 40L backpack. This is more than enough room for a day hike with all my kiddos. There are lots of pockets to keep everything organized, including a laptop sleeve to use for traveling or even as a great work bag. The backpack is an “earthy” color palette that is extremely attractive. It looks much nicer than any other diaper bag I’ve owned.
The zipper pocket on the front is the perfect spot for storing diapers and wipes, while the laptop sleeve also works great as a place to store a changing mat. The zipper pocket on the outside of the laptop sleeve was a great spot to slide in a change of clothes for the blowout your kid will inevitably have at the most inopportune time.
The Waterbottle Pockets
Have I mentioned I LOVE the water bottle pockets? These are the tallest, roomiest, pockets I have ever seen on a backpack. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I bend over to pick something up or tie a shoe my water bottles always fall out of my diaper bag. This has NEVER happened when wearing this bag and I love me some large, double-walled, heavy water bottles.
There are two of these amazingly deep pockets on each side of the Hatcher Pack and they are easy to access while on the move. The nice “tab” also makes it easier to return the water bottle to the pocket after getting a drink. With big pockets on each side you can have enough room to bring water for the whole family.
The Mesh Shoulder Pockets
Why do keys always disappear to the bottom of the diaper bag? Nothing is worse than digging through a giant diaper bag while holding a screaming baby and trying to keep your toddler from running in the road (I speak from experience).
These mesh shoulder pockets are just big enough to hold a set of keys. They are always right where you left them, no matter how many times you have to go digging through the bag, and easily reachable when it is time to head home from your adventure. Plus with the zipper pocket, you always know they will stay put.
What We Don’t Love About the Hatcher Pack
The Mesh Fabric Connectors
Something I am not loving about the carrier portion is where the connection points to the backpack hit my baby. She is still small enough that I want her facing inward but I found that her face rubbed against the straps and she was uncomfortable. When faced out this wasn’t an issue but she doesn’t have the head control to stay in this position while I walk.
This is especially annoying when she is trying to sleep. In my other soft structured carriers, she likes to snuggle her face under a strap to block the light and take naps. I was able to get her asleep in this carrier but it was a challenge with the scratchy mesh fabric by her face. She also took a much shorter nap because she was not “hidden” in a dark spot.
The Carrier Hip Support
I found it very difficult to get the “M” shaped hip support and instead found my baby’s legs were dangling. The black safety buckle is meant to get the baby into this hip-safe position, however, I could not get the support she needed from the buckle alone. I would have preferred adjustable fabric at the bottom of the carrier that could be lengthened for inward carrying and retracted for forward facing.
I think a longer fabric portion would allow for better hip positioning when the baby is facing in and this additional fabric could be buttoned back or adjusted similar to the 360 Ergo. The longer fabric would help bigger kiddos feel more secure in the carrier as well and be less likely to slip around.
The Dependency on the Backpack
There are many times during walks and hikes that I swing my backpack to my shoulder or take it off to access snacks or other things for my kiddos. This carrier is designed in such a way that the baby would have to be removed from the carrier before the backpack can be taken off.
I find this isn’t an issue when I travel with another adult who can access my things for me, but when I am solo this is annoying. This can also be very annoying if you have a sleeping baby in the front that you would like to leave attached but you want or need to remove the backpack either to access something or just to take a break from carrying it.
Hatcher Pack: The Bottom Line
The Hatcher Pack is a large attractive pack with an ok baby carrier. It’s my opinion that this is not a pack for hiking long distances while carrying a baby. Instead, this may be better suited for city adventures and toddlers who want in and out of a pack frequently. This pack would be a good purchase if you frequently walk with a friend/partner, if you have a single child, or if you have a large age gap between children.
For my family the backpack alone is something I would purchase on my own; I LOVE the color and those huge water bottle pockets. The carrier is a different story.
My husband and I are on alternating work schedules so we regularly adventure alone with our four kids. Therefore, the carrier is not something I would personally purchase for our family as it doesn’t fit our current needs/lifestyle. However, the few times we were able to adventure together we did enjoy using the new pack when we had a partner with us for assistance.
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Hatcher Pack Review
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