Image Credits: Backcountry
Backpack carriers from Kelty, Osprey, and other trusted outdoor brands keep hikers and their passengers happy.
Having a kiddo doesn’t have to end your outdoor adventures, as long as you have the right baby gear. Whether you are planning to take off for a day hike, backpacking trip, or long day out on the town, having the right baby carrier is the difference between an enjoyable activity and a meltdown (for both you and your little one). With a variety of products on the market that cover a range of features, quality, and comfort, we’re pretty certain that there’s a hiking baby carrier out there for you.
Best Baby Carriers for Hiking
Best Overall Hiking Baby Carrier: Kelty Journey PerfectFit Elite
Best Frameless Baby Carrier: Ergobaby Omni Breeze
Best Budget Hiking Backpack Carrier: Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier
Best Hiking Backpack Carrier With Storage Space: Osprey Poco Plus
Hiking Baby Carrier With the Most Bells and Whistles: Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Carrier
Best Backpack Carrier for a Day Hike: Osprey Poco LT
Best Hiking Carrier for Toddlers: Thule Sapling Child Carrier
What to Look for in a Backpack Carrier for Hiking
When it comes to taking a baby or young child out on the trails, a wrap carrier just won’t cut it. Even an infant starts to feel heavy after a few hours, so you need something that will provide hip and lumbar support for the wearer and is comfortable for the rider to limit fussiness. It is also good to have ample storage areas for all the diapers, wipes, snacks, layers, and other tidbits you’ll inevitably end up bringing along.
Beyond the basics, you’ll want to consider your individual needs when deciding which bells and whistles will make your journey the easiest. If you live in a hot climate, you’ll want to look for a carrier with a design that’s breathable and includes a hydration sleeve to store a water reservoir (also known as a bladder). These features will not only keep you from becoming overly sweaty and uncomfortable, but will ensure it’s easy for you and your little one to have access to water and avoid dehydration. A sunshade, whether it’s removable or integrated into the design, is also a must for protecting your child from the sun’s rays and to prevent overheating.
If you plan to go on long hikes or multi-day backpacking trips, the suspension and fit of your hiking carrier becomes especially important. In general, the more you plan to use your pack, the more it’s worth investing in a top-of-the-line backpack carrier with a good suspension system and a highly-adjustable hip belt, back support system, and shoulder straps. Longer hikes also call for more gear to pack along, so make sure you look at the total carrying capacity of the pack in question, which includes the weight of your child and all your gear, as well as the storage capacity in its pockets and compartments. The storage capacity is typically given in liter measurements.
We’ve rounded up the best hiking carriers for your baby or toddler below, along with some helpful tips about what each is best suited for. Once you make your pick, you’re ready to hit the trails! Just make sure you don’t forget to pack the snacks.
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