My parents’ friends are always saying that the gear for babies has never been better.  Countless times I’ve heard, “We never had these options!” But in one realm at least, I’ve wished there was a vintage baby supply shop to visit. The world of baby backpacks is bafflingly gearified and feminized. Hunting online for something for my husband to wear around Boston, they all either looked like we were hiking the Appalachian trail or trimmed with gingham and owl cartoons. Then last month while on Nantucket we visited the take-it-or-leave-it at the island’s dump, which is open to the public. I couldn’t believe the luck when I saw one of the classic Gerry backpacks there! Someone must have just cleaned out an attic, dropped it off and there it sat, looking at exactly like dozens of photos from the ’80s with my dad carrying one of us around. It’s definitely got less buckles than our modern one and the safety strap is a much smaller operation, but to have my husband be delighted to wear it is fantastic.

What about you? Is there vintage gear you treasure, or something you’ve spotted in an old photo and wished hadn’t been given away?


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Comments (12)


  1. Posted by: sarah

    I need myself one of those puppies!! Let the search begin.

  2. Posted by: Brandy

    Just picked one up at a yard sale today. I don’t remember riding in ours, but they do hold a special feeling. :-)

  3. Posted by: fernando7

    The best ever baby backpack is the old Gerry. It gave just a little platform for baby to stand on tiptoe using some big muscles and falling our if you’re not careful. Also bending way over you have to be careful. We climbed rough trails, roller skated, rode horseback, and other things that I couldn’t recommend but we did. Baby thrived by the grace of Gerry. Thanks for posting the 70’s picture.

  4. Posted by: Annie

    Yes, I carried my daughter around in one of these. It was great! So simple yet so useful. I agree that things have gotten out of control vis a vis choices and complexity. Now my daughter has a 3 month old and I’m looking for one of these!!

  5. Posted by: Yesenia Bockover

    I just found a green one of these today at the RAD thrift store here in Bakersfield California….I paid $2.75 for it and I am beyond stoked!!! We will be going on a trip to Tahoe in the beginning of next month and plan on doing some hiking, and I can’t wait, it is so comfy! :)

  6. Posted by: Max

    I so wish that somebody still made and sold a backpack carrier as simple and lightweight as the old Gerrys. They were really great, but they’re getting harder to find. The closest thing currently in production I’ve seen is the Kelty Mijo. It’s not feminized or gearified or oversized, but it’s still bigger than this one. To be fair, the Mijo does have some safety features like no-pinch hinges, baby back support and five-point harness. Life’s just more complicated these days I guess.

  7. Posted by: cindy

    Kept telling my daughter about these, wishing I had my old one. Well today at the white elephant I found one! So excited. Bought it for $3… The canvas and straps are toast, but have unstitched it already and going to use as a pattern and remake the seat and straps. Can hardly wait!!!

  8. Posted by: Rachael

    @Cindy–that’s fantastic! Good for you. Karma thrifting always seems to come around. So happy for you.

  9. Posted by: Jackie

    I NEED that pack. Can I buy yours? :) any suggestions where to find one?

  10. Jackie, We are still using ours, with baby #3! But I bet if you put an email search alert on craiglist, one will pop up!

  11. Posted by: Teresa

    I carried my 27 year old son around in one of these when he was little. I was just online looking for something similar and could not believe the backpacks I was seeing. One weighted 5 pounds without a baby in it. Who designs something that heavy? And all the fancy pockets, who needs them? I hope to find a simple bare bones pack to use to carry my grandson.

  12. Posted by: Marie

    I agree. I loaned our Classic blue Gerry carrier to our oldest son when our first granddaughter was born. Nearly 25 years ago now. It took 24 years to get a second granddaughter and I was hoping against hope that our son had not ‘tossed out’ our old Gerry pack. Nope – it’s gone. Now I am scouring eBay and appalled at the prices they get for one – $75-100! That’s if you can even find the classic blue one. I am ‘watching’ one now and will probably bit the bullet and pay whatever it takes to get it. The newer ones are so cumbersome! Our babies (4 sons) loved it. Their logo is/was true – “Gerry babies are happy babies”

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