My Kelty Journey PerfectFit Review



Jul 17, 2023

When it comes to outdoor adventures, having the right gear is essential. If you're an outdoor enthusiast, you've probably heard of the Kelty Journey PerfectFit, a backpack that has gained immense popularity among hikers, campers, and backpackers. Here is my unfiltered review of the Kelty Journey PerfectFit Signature Carrier.

I can honestly say it is the ultimate companion for outdoor adventures. I now own not one, but two of these carriers, one for my husband and one for me. These back carriers have gone everywhere with us, on hikes but also as our child transportation method (for free) at airports and travels. 

Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature Carrier and LIllebaby Carrier gives ability to carry my two children
Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature Carrier and LIllebaby Carrier

For anyone looking for a hiking backpack you must do some research to help you decide which carrier is best for you, even if it means getting a different carrier. For example I know some love to have a hydration system built in, I don’t so that might be a sticking point for you.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that, at zero cost to you, I will earn an affiliate commission if you click through the link and finalize a purchase. Rest assured all products I suggest are products I have bought or would buy based on personal experience or through my network of other mommas.

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier Line

There are three different hiking backpack options when considering Kelty Journey Perfectfit; Signature, Elite and Normal. All three products are similar, but change in features and storage space.

All Kelty Journey Perfectfit packs feature drool pads, suspension system, 5 point harness, retractable stand for loading child, max load of 48.5 lbs and storage offerings.

Below you will find the differences for each one.

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit 

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit is the simplest hiking backpack. It weighs only 5 lbs 6 oz and is the lightest of the offerings. It has one large storage compartment on the pack. 

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature

The Signature series hits the sweet spot for me. It weighs 6 lbs 9 oz and comes with the built in sunshade.

me hiking with kelty journey perfectfit signature hiking backpack
Me with my youngest on a hiking trip to the Poconos

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit SIgnature’s main difference is that it has additional storage space. You get two zippered hip belt compartments and an additional back zippered storage space. 

The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Elite

The Elite weighs 7 lbs and 7 oz and comes with all the offerings of the Signature series plus a hydration system built in. It also has greater storage capacity with two additional side mesh pockets.

Why I chose the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature

Now how do you pick between the three models? My criteria for selecting were:

  • Light as possible while having carriage space
  • Compatibility for travel
  • Comfort for both me and my child 
  • Safety

my first baby carrying him in a kelty journey perfectfit backpack
Our first baby using our Kelty backpack in Rocky Mountains

For me this was the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature child carrier. The basic model didn’t have enough storage for me for a full day out hiking with a child. The signature model was rough without being excessive or adding on additional weight.

I personally didn’t want the hydration system, I am happy to carry water bottles and the hip belt has a great spot for my water bottle with the Signature.

Positives of Kelty Journey Perfectfit:

Weight of hiking child backpack:

The weight of this pack is perfect for the amount of storage it offers. Other brands such as Deuter Kid Comfort have similar storage but weigh a pound heavier and cost more.

Storage Capacity:

I find the balance of two main storage compartments works well when hiking with babies and toddlers. The top can be diaper changing equipment, hats, sunscreen, bug spray and other essentials, sometimes even coffee making equipment. In the bottom I can place a small lunch box and cooler for a picnic lunch.

The side zipper pockets work great for my phone and a water bottle. I can also put my keys in mesh compartments in the main back zippered section.


my husband using the kelty journey perfectfit child carrier with sunshade
My husband carrying our son in the Kelty with his wind proof wrap around it for extra warmth

I am 5 “7” and my husband is 6 “7”. The Signature is easily adjustable to both our heights and builds. We can take turns wearing the hiking backpack with only minimal time needed to readjust.

Built in Sun Shade:

When out for the day with a baby or toddler you should be considering the sun exposure. Having the built-in sunshade eases my mind. Especially when on a new trail where you never know how much coverage the trees will provide.

Compatibility for travel:

When not in use the Kelty Journey PerfectFit Signature compresses for a travel mood. Just let out the straps below the drool pad and push the kickstand in. We can travel with two of these in our trunk and still have plenty of room for other things.

Comfort for my child and me:

Not only is it comfortable for me, but all three of my kids have taken naps in this carrier. They have no problem falling asleep and getting their Z’s in.

One year old catching a nap in the Kelty Journey Perfectfit hiking backpack
One year old catching a nap in the Kelty hiking backpack

The backpack incorporates the PerfectFit suspension system, which ensures a customizable fit for individuals of all sizes. With an adjustable torso length and shoulder straps, this backpack can be easily adjusted to suit your unique body shape, providing unparalleled comfort even during long hikes or treks. The well-padded hip belt helps distribute weight evenly, reducing strain on my shoulders and back.

Removable Drool Pad:

One of my kids was a drooler. No matter if he was teething or not he drooled over everything. The removable drool pad was key for sanitary purposes! 

Negatives of Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature

No built in hydration:

As I mentioned this hiking child carrier doesn’t have a built in hydration back. The elite series does. 

No rain cover:

The only other negative I found was no rain cover. Again, not a big deal for me as I don’t tend to hike with my kids in rainy conditions. For days with light rain I will place my child in rain proof gear and use the sunshade. 

The pack material is water resistant.

Overall opinion of Kelty Journey Perfectfit Signature

I have hiked hundreds of hours using this hiking child carrier and will continue to do so. This pack is the ultimate hiking companion for our family and has all the right features without being too cumbersome. 

My two toddler boys each in a Kelty Journey Perfectfit Carrier
My two toddler boys each in a Kelty Journey Perfectfit Carrier

The pack has survived three kids and is still able to hold my almost 5 year old, although he often can hike the entire  way now. 

If you invest in this hiking child carrier you won’t be disappointed! Whether you're planning a weekend camping trip or a long-distance hike, the Kelty Journey PerfectFit will be your ultimate companion, ensuring that you can enjoy your outdoor experiences to the fullest.

When it comes to outdoor adventures, the Kelty Journey PerfectFit backpack stands out from the crowd, especially when you take into account its reasonable price. With its customizable fit, spacious design, and durable construction, this backpack is engineered to provide maximum comfort, organization, and reliability.