If you lead an active lifestyle and have a newborn baby or are expecting a baby, then you’ll probably want to expose your child to all of the joys the outdoors provides. It doesn’t matter if you like hiking, fishing or doing some other form of outdoor activity, you probably would like to take your child with you at some point. And if you plan on doing that with your child, then you’ll probably want to consider getting a hiking baby carrier.
These types of carriers allow you to take your baby with you while providing them with a certain degree of protection. Modern carriers made for outdoor use are equipped with a variety of features which make them useful for using outdoors—things like kickstands, sun protectors, and even water bladders. All that’s left is to choose a model that fits you and your baby’s needs. Of course, that’s where the hard part begins.
Finding the best hiking baby carrier isn’t always easy because it seems like a new model hits the market every single day. And that’s why we’ve decided to list 10 of the models that we think are the best ones to take out into the great outdoors. These are carriers that have the strength, durability, and features that we think an outdoor baby carrier should have.
At the end of this article, you’ll also find a section on what to look for in a baby carrier that’s made for the outdoors. We’ve listed all of the specifications that we believe are important for taking your baby out on your next outdoor trek or hike. So without further delay, let’s dive right into our list of the top ten carriers for hiking.
Best Hiking Baby Carriers – Reviews
10Kiddy Kiddy Adventure Pack
Parents who want to take their baby into the great outdoors may want to consider this lightweight backpack carrier that can hold children up to 40-pounds. It can be adjusted to fit a number of different heights, has padded pelvic and shoulder belts and a 5-point harness system. It also has an integrated rain and sun shield designed to give your child that little bit of extra protection. This model also has a collapsible stand and distributes the child’s weight in a way that it’s not too cumbersome for the parent. This carrier is also high-quality and should provide years of use.
9Be Mindful Camping Baby & Toddler Carrier
This baby and toddler carrier is designed to be the ultimate carrier for outdoor enthusiasts who want to take their children hiking or camping. This lightweight carrier pack has a rigid external metal frame that works to distribute your child’s weight—up to 40 pounds—evenly and comfortably. It has multiple adjustment options for the shoulder straps so that parents can maintain correct posture while carrying their baby. Other features of this carrier include a 4-point adjustable harness system, padded seats for the child and an FDA approved hydration pouch for carrying water. It also has a main compartment that can hold a variety of snacks or food items for you or your child.
8Kelty Transit 3.0 Child Carrier
Sometimes all you need out of a child carrier is simplicity and that is exactly what this model provides. It’s designed to be safe, comfortable and to provide performance without being overly complicated. It has a 5-point adjustable harness system that adequately secures the child in place and has a supportive cockpit that ensures the child is comfortable during the trip. This model also has a sun shade that keeps the damaging rays of the sun from falling directly on the child’s head. Other features of this carrier include a padded seat, toy loops for hanging toys, a front storage pocket to hold spare clothes or diapers and a bottle pocket.
7TeckCool Store Toddle Hiking Backpack
Made from a durable but lightweight metal frame with 600D Oxford Cloth and available in a variety of colors from red to green, this hiking baby backpack is sure to be as durable as it is fashionable. It is approved by the ASTM and is strong enough to be used daily for camping, walking, and hiking. It has an easy-to-use adjust system that ensures a comfortable fit for not only your child but also you and has a metal stand that allows it to sit upright on flat surfaces. This model can also be easily folded and features two side bottle holders and multiple pockets.
6Crosslinks Deluxe Toddle Cross Country Backpack & Carrier
This deluxe backpack carrier is designed with a strong but light metal frame and 600D Oxford Cloth. This combination of materials makes this backpack/carrier durable and the ability to withstand the elements on a day-to-day basis. It features padded should pads, padded wrist straps, multiple pockets, and two side water bottle holders. It also has an extra-large back pocket for diapers or other necessary items. This unit can fold flat, for easy storage, and also has a kickstand that allows it to sit securely upright on level surfaces. All of these features make this a good model to carry your child in as you introduce them to the great outdoors.
5Osprey Poco AG Plus Carrier
Featuring an adjustable double halo harness and child seat that’s surrounded by a padded cockpit and a zero-G backpack suspension system, this carrier is not only comfortable to the child but also to the parent who’s carrying him or her as well. It’s made with a high-quality lightweight aluminum frame that fully supports the load of your child and has a built-in sunshade that can be deployed quickly and easily. It also features a fleece-covered butterfly harness that holds the child securely and comfortably in place. This carrier ensures that both the parent and the child arrives at their destination in comfort and style.
4Thule Sapling Child Carrier
The Thule Sapling is a child carrier that’s not only comfortable for the child but also for the parent carrying the child. It has a fully adjustable back panel and a hip belt that make the whole rig easy to carry. It’s also height adjustable and has an ergonomic seat for the child that evenly distributes the weight of the child and provides inner thigh support. Comfort and safety aren’t the only two things this model provides, however. It also provides plenty of storage space with two zippered hip pockets, mesh pockets and a hydration reservoir sleeve.
3Clevr Child Cross Country Backpack & Carrier
Designed to hold most children up to 3-years of age, this backpack/carrier is made from a strong and lightweight aluminum frame that weighs approximately 5-pounds but is strong enough to securely hold the child. This product has padded straps and a padded hip belt, for comfort, and also has lumbar padding. It can hold a child up to 33-pounds and includes a variety of different pockets for holding essentials such as bottles, diapers, and toys. This unit also comes with a rain/sun canopy that can be removed quickly and easily as needed. This makes this carrier a good model for camping, hiking or other outdoor activities.
2Kelty Tour 1.0 Child Carrier
This carrier has a number of features which makes it a safe choice as a baby carrier and has even earned certification from the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA). It has a 5-point adjustable harness, padded and height-adjustable child’s seat and a curved waist belt and padded shoulder straps. It’s made with an aluminum frame that’s not only lightweight but also durable as well. It also comes with a front pocket that’s easy to get into and an adjustable suspension system. All of these features combine to make a carrier that strong, durable and easy to use.
1Deuter Kid Comfort 2
Certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for its safety features, this child carrier is a good model to carry your child into the great outdoors. It has a padded 5-point safety harness system that not only adjusts to your child’s height but also their size and was developed to promote a healthy sitting position by a leading pediatric specialist. It also has height-adjustable footrests for the child, a padded hip belt and is fully adjustable to the back of the parent. Other features of this carrier include 2 grab handles for lifting the carrier, a wide kickstand for stability on even surfaces and S-shaped shoulder straps to prevent neck strain.
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Choosing the Best Hiking Baby Carrier
Before you try to find a carrier that suitable for hiking or other outdoor activities, it’s important to first figure out whether your child is old enough to be carried in such a device. As a general rule, if your child is at least 6-months old and 16-pounds, and is capable of holding their own head upright, then they can be carried in one of these carriers. Now that that’s been determined, let’s take a look at some of the features you should look at before purchasing a carrier for your child.
The first thing you’ll want to look at is the frame of the carrier. You’ll want to select a frame that’s made of tubular aluminum because those are the ones that are the strongest while being the lightest. This is important because the frame will help transfer the weight of the child from the carrier to your hips.
The kickstand is another important feature to have in a carrier. Kickstands not only allow you to put down the carrier when you need a break but also provide a stable base for putting your child into and taking your child out of the carrier.
The Harness System
The better carriers contain at least a 4-point or 5-point harness system for strapping the child into the carrier. This is important for not only keeping the child in the carrier but to also keep the child’s weight centered correctly in the carrier.
Optional Accessories & Features
Another thing you’ll want to take a look at when deciding on whether a carrier is good for hiking is its complement of optional features. Some of the more common features or accessories include hydration-reservoir bladders, removable sun or rain canopies, removable insect netting, diaper changing pads, the number of pockets, toy loops and bottle holders. What exactly you need the carrier to have is completely dependent on what your needs are.
What You Can & Can’t Do With An Outdoor Backpack Carriers
There are a number of uses for backpack carriers and there are also some uses which aren’t recommended when using one of these devices. Here is the breakdown on the activities you should and shouldn’t use your carrier for:
Recommended Activities for a Carrier
- Taking a walk
Activities That Aren’t Recommended for a Carrier
- Mountain or any other climbing
- Hiking on loose rocks
- Any activity done at high speeds
- Any activity involving a motorized vehicle
Additional Tips (Part 2)
Here are just a few more recommendations for safely using your carrier while camping, hiking or traveling:
- Choose carriers that conform to the US standard ASTM F2236-08.
- Always read and follow all manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure that you child is adequately strapped into the carrier.
- Don’t carry the carrier and your baby over uneven terrain.
- Never cook with your child in a front wearing carrier.
If you follow the dos and dont’s of using a carrier, do your research and select one of the top models currently available, then you and your baby can enjoy the outdoors without having to worry about any unintended consequences—as long as you follow all safety protocols and manufacturer’s suggestions for using these devices. These devices are great for taking baby out for hikes or walks and allows the whole family to spend time together. Just be sure that it’s done safely at all times.