Looking for the best baby carrier to bring your little one along with you on your next adventure?
When you only have 2 days off per week it can be tough to balance family life with hobbies and passions. Thats why I permanently have a Deuter Kid Comfort for those long days out in the mountains with the family.
A more lightweight, frameless option like the Ergobaby is perfect for evening walks on the beach.
This comprehensive guide will help you decide which carrier is the best for you and your child.
Hiking Infant Carriers (Top Picks)
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Best Toddler Hiking Backpacks
We reviewed over 10 baby carriers for this article. Below are the best baby carriers for hiking that made our short list.
- Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier and Backpack - Best Overall
- Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier - Editor's Choice
- Clevr Cross Country Baby Backpack - Best Value
- Thule Sapling Child Carrier
- Ergobaby Carrier
Read our complete buyers guide for baby carriers for hiking.
Best Hiking Baby Carriers
1. Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier and Backpack
Thanks to the aircontact system, which ensures great breathability and effective weight distribution, which in turn makes the pack more comfortable to carry.
The VariFt system means you can easily adjust the carrier to your back length and the ergonomic VariFlex hip straps means that the pack follows your every movement.
Additionally the load adjustment straps mean that you can easily change the packs centre of gravity to suit your individual needs.
In terms of little ones comfort, the pack has numerous child - comfort features such as a soft chin pad that is removable so you can easily clean up any mess, the pad also provides young kids with stability and side support when they are napping.
Deuters side access to the child seat make it easier for kids to climb in and out of the carrier, and in addition to this the seat’s height and width can be adjusted, even with the child already in the pack.
The specially developed seat has an adjustable five point harness, to keep your child safe and comfy while on the go.
For older kids, the pack has stirrups which they can rest their feet in and includes a teddy bear, which can help keep them entertained.
Additionally, this nifty pack has pockets on the outside which means you easily have space for diapers, hats, bottles and whatever else you may need.
The pack is also compatible with a 2 or 3 litre hydration pack, meaning you can you can easily stay hydrated on longer hikes.
As an addition to the pack you can purchase the Deuter sun/rain roof cover which can be purchased separately for about $30.00 from Amazon.
This cover protects your precious cargo from UV radiation and the rain, as well as provides insulation from the cold and wind.
What we like
What we dislike
2. Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier
While it was tossup between the Deuter and the Osprey over you would snag the best overall place, the Deuter just topped the Osprey as it was found to be more comfortable for the parent carrying. However, the Osprey is still a great baby carrier that keeps hikers and kids needs in mind.
The Poco Plus uses the same anti-gravity suspension system that many of their other packs use. This, in combination with the lightweight aluminium frame, helps support the load and provide stability.
The pack is also features an adjustable harness and the Osprey Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt, which makes swapping between parents easy.
In terms of your kid’s happiness and comfort, the pack features a removable drool pad, however, it is less supportive than the Deuter. The child seat features an adjustable Double Halo harness and made with your child’s safety and support in mind.
The pack also features adjustable and removable stirrups for older children’s feet, providing leg support in a comfortable way.
One of the packs winning features is the built in sunshade protection which can be deployed from zipped pocket when you feel that it is needed. The sun shade is needed when using the Poco® rain cover.
The carrier has storage for diapers and other items, as it has lower zipped compartment and mesh side pockets.
However, this is not ample so you will have to carefully plan what to pack. Additionally it does have a water bladder slot, which can come in handy.
What we like
What we dislike
3. Clevr Cross Country Baby Backpack
The best budget baby carrier is the Clevr Cross Country. While not the fanciest pack, it has all the essential features of a baby carrier, not to mention, it comes in a variety of colours, so you can pick the one that suits your family best.
Made with a strong, lightweight frame 600D oxford cloth, this baby carrier can easily withstand the elements and frequent use.
The padded waist and shoulder straps are adjustable and help take some of the weight off your body.
The pack also has a sun/rain canopy that can easily be removed, as well as two side pockets for water bottles and a large back pockets for diapers and any other necessities.
The child seat is 3 way adjustable and has the handy feature of adjustable stirrups for your kiddie’s feet. Additionally the pack has a removable, washable droop pad.
However, the biggest win of this pack is its affordable price, which makes it one of the most popular lightweight baby carriers around.
What we like
What we dislike
4. Thule Sapling Child Carrier
The best all-rounder baby carrier is the Thule Sapling, with its clever design it fits more than one person easily and ensure the comfort and safety of your child.
With a breathable back panel (meaning you won’t get too hot and sweaty) which is fully adjustable, as well as an adjustable hip belt, the pack can easily swap between two parents.
This, in combination with load stabilizer straps, which help adjust the packs centre of gravity, mean that the Thule Sapling makes it comfortable to carry your little one.
The Thule also keeps your child happy, as the ergonomically designed seat effectively distributes the child’s weight, making them as comfortable as possible.
Dual loading acces means that you can put your child in from the top or the side, depending on what is easier for you.
Removable stirrups let little ones rest their legs and help them adjust themselves.
Additionally, the pack has space for a hydration bladder as well as plenty of other storage. The hipbelt pockets mean that you can easily keep important items at hand.
The pack also has deployable sunshade, keeping your little one safe from the elements.
What we like
What we dislike
5. Ergobaby Carrier
The best frameless baby carrier for hiking is the Ergobaby. Although not specifically made for hiking, this simple, lightweight carrier is ideal for babies and small children, however, for long distances hikes and older children this isn’t ideal.
The biggest pro of this baby carrier is your baby can either sit behind or in front (with a forward facing option) of you and the carrier can be used every day, rather than just for hiking.
The infant insert (sold separately) means that it can accommodate babies age 0 - 4 months, while most other baby carriers require the babies to be able to lift their heads.
The cushioned shoulder straps and lumbar support mean that you are comfortable when carrying the baby, however, the frameless system means that you may be uncomfortable and sweaty on longer hikes.
The compact size and design mean that it’s easy to carry around when not in use, and the whole thing can be washed. The carrier also features a hood to protect little one from the elements.
All in all a useful, comfortable baby carrier, however probably not ideal for longer or more serious hikes, due to being frameless.
Having the baby so close to you means you won’t have as much freedom of movement as other packs may provide, but this can be a pro in the case of smaller babies who need this support.
What we like
What we dislike
Hiking Baby Carrier Buyer's Guide
A baby carrier for hiking is a crucial piece of equipment if you plan on taking your little one with you on your next adventure.
There will obviously be limits as to the difficulty and lengths of hikes that you do if you are carrying a child on your back, however, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy less strenuous day hikes with your family.
Typically you can take your child with when they are old enough to sit up on their own (roughly 5 to 6 months), for this reason it is critical that any baby carrier you choose keeps both your little one’s comfort, and your own, in mind.
To help you pick your next baby carrier for hiking, here are the key features you should keep in mind.
As a hiking baby carrier it is important that the pack is made from durable materials that will withstand frequent use outdoors. Softer materials may not last as long but heavier, more durable materials may be less comfortable.
The ideal pack will have soft padding in the areas that will be in contact with your body (and your child’s) but the outer material should be made from something more durable.
Comfort for both you and your little one is an important feature that you should keep in mind when picking your next baby carrier. There are numerous features which contribute to both your comforts.
The first thing to consider is adjustability. If you will be swapping the pack between yourself and your partner, it is important that the packs straps can be changed to fit both of you. Waist belts, shoulder straps and back panels are all areas that should be adjustable.
When buying the pack it is ideal if you can both try it on beforehand, so as to check that it can fit both of you. If you can easily adjust the pack, you can easily change the packs centre of gravity to suit your body.
In terms of little one, the seat should be adjustable so that as they grow they can continue to comfortably fit into the pack.
Another important aspect of babies comfort is whether or not the pack has sun/rain protection for them. Protection from both the cold and the sun is critical to little ones happiness and health.
Padding is another element of comfort that is important is padding. If you are going to be hiking for longer periods it is important that areas, such as the hip belt, be adequately padded for maximum comfort.
How Big Is Your Baby
The size of your baby is also something you have to consider. Most packs require that babies be old enough to support their heads, however, some, such as the Ergo 360, are made to accommodate infants as well as older babies.
The majority of child carriers accommodate children up to around 20kg, if your child is already almost this big it may be more worthwhile waiting until the child is old enough to walk by themselves before making an expensive purchase that can’t be used for long.
How far you will be hiking is definitely something that will affect what baby carrier you will purchase. Larger carriers are more difficult to fold up and transport but they may provide more support for you and your little one on longer hikers.
Lightweight carriers are easier to fold up and carry but may provide less support if they don’t have an internal frame. This makes hiking longer distances less comfortable than those that are slightly larger, however, these smaller baby carrier packs are more ideal for everyday use.
Storage is definitely something to keep in mind, especially if you are going to be hiking longer distances with your kid. Some packs even have space for hydration packs which comes in handy if you are doing longer hikes and need to carry water.
Some packs have larger storage compartments which can be useful when carrying baby items such as diapers and bottles. Hip belt storage is also handy for items which you have to access quickly.