The Best Baby Carriers for Hiking in 2020
- Award-winning anti-gravity system
- Not for infants
- Maximum weight 48.5 lbs
- Multiple pockets
- 2 water bottle holders
- Limited padding and no foot pegs
Hiking is one of lifes great pleasures, and so is having a babybut you might be wondering about the best way to combine the two. Fortunately, there are a number of baby carriers designed specifically to help you hit the trail with your little one. The trick is finding the carrier thats right for your family. You need to consider things like comfort and durability, but safety is at the top of the list.
Weve taken a close look at the most popular baby carriers for hiking and analyzed expert ratings and customer reviews to determine which baby backpacks deliver the strongest all-around functionality and safety.
Best for Newborns
|Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier||Clevr Baby Backpack Cross-Country Carrier||Boba 4G Carrier||Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier||Phil&teds Escape Baby Carrier|
|48.5 lb. max load||40 lb. max load||
Front Carry: 7-25 lbs.
Back Carry: 25-45 lbs.
|16-48 lbs.||40 lb. max load|
|ViewonAmazon||View on Amazon||ViewonAmazon||View on Amazon||View on Amazon|
Amazon.com List Price as of 12/19/19 10:50 a.m. MST. (Full disclaimer)
Best Baby Carriers for Hiking
1. Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier
A consistent favorite of parents and testers, the Poco AG is a top-of-the-line baby carrier that includes an award-winning Anti-Gravity system and one of the most stable frames of any hiking baby backpack. Maximum recommended weight is 48.5 pounds.
The anti-gravity suspension system has claimed accolades, including the Editors Choice award fromBackpacker.1It combines contoured suspension and seamless mesh to deliver unsurpassed balance and stabilization that lets you move as if youre not even wearing a pack.
An extra-wide base, locking foot bar, and dual grab handles provide stability as you load and unload baby.
Storage isnt a concern with the Poco AG. A removable pack provides all the extra storage you need to keep babys supplies handy. Plus, you can use it on its own for shorter urban hikes or walks.
Note that its not for infants, though. You cant use the Poco AG until your little one can hold their head up. There is no insert or adjustability to accommodate smaller babies.
And the price tag reflects its quality. Its hard to get top-of-the-line benefits without a top-of-the-line price tag, and the Poco AG is no exception. This baby backpack will cost a little bit more than most, but reviewers say the perks are worth it.
- Loaded with storage
- Not for infants
- More expensive
2. Clevr Baby Backpack Cross-Country Carrier
This is the least expensive carrier on our list, which makes it a favorite of budget-conscious parents.At five pounds, parents report loving the lightweight construction of the Baby Backpack Cross-Country Carrier.
This fixed-frame baby carrier backpack features impressive storage. Youll find a place for everything, with multiple pockets, two water bottle holders, and an extra-large pocket thats a perfect fit for diapers.
However, across the board, users find this backpack to be less comfortable than others, with limited padding and no foot pegs for the child.
And the size and strength of the waist belt and padding arent sufficient to avoid slipping and bunching during wear.This carrier is recommended for children between 16 and 40 pounds.
- Loaded with storage
- Less comfortable
- Less supportive
3. Boba 4G Carrier
The Boba 4G is a soft pack that grows with your baby; however, it may be uncomfortable on longer treks.
Its a front-facing carrier for children up to twenty-five pounds, and can convert into a back carrier for twenty-five- to forty-five-pound children.
The sleep hood is great for napping newborns, and the foot straps provide extra comfort and stability for toddlers. Additionally, the Boba is designed for ease and comfort during nursing, so you dont have to worry about a hungry baby during a nature excursion.
But it does have its faults. Because the Boba is a soft pack, you dont have the same convenience and stability you would loading your baby in and out of a freestanding, hard-frame carrier.
Also, keeping your baby carrier clean is important, so the Bobas penchant for attracting lint has been one of the top complaints of parents. And even though the Boba is designed to be adjustable, many smaller-framed adults struggle to make it fit properly, leading them to return it.
- Good for newborns to toddlers
- Loaded with extras
- Easy for nursing
- Not freestanding
- Lint magnet
- Poor fit for smaller adults
4. Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier
This is one of the most expensive backpacks on our list, but the solid construction and loaded extras keep it a favorite for parents and reviewers. Recommended for children between 15 and 40 pounds.
This carrier boasts extra inner-thigh support and stirrups for your little one, which keeps their weight evenly distributed for ultimate comfort.
A viewing mirror gives you eyes in the back of your head, making it easy to monitor your baby throughout the hike. And no one will go thirsty with the included hydration sleeve that is roomy enough for a 3 L reservoir.
As for downsides, deploying the kickstand can require force, which causes concern if you need to use it while baby is strapped in.
And extras are awesome, but not if they dont come as promisedmany customers have reported missing items when they open the box.
- Ergonomic support
- Mirror for watching baby
- Hydration pouch
- Kickstand is difficult to use
- More expensive
- Missing items at delivery
5. Phil&teds Escape Baby Carrier
Loaded with extras, the Escape offers comfort, safety, and perks. Suitable for children ages three months to three years.
The Escape comes standard with a sleeping hood, changing pad, removable daypack, rain shield, mirror, and foot stirrups. And baby is all set for a trailside nap thanks to the moldable headrest and shoulder cradle that offer snug support to developing neck muscles.
You can safely load and unload baby in this secure backpack that features two carry handles and a pop-in and pop-out stand that makes it easy to safely set the pack downeven with one hand.
But note that all that stability, plus extras, equals a pack thats fairly heavy even before you strap your little one in.
This backpack comes with a generous hydration pouch, but despite so many other included extras, the water bladder has to be purchased on its own.
- Loaded with extras
- Comfy for baby
- Easy to load
- No hydration sleeve
Things to Consider in a Hiking Baby Carrier
Choosing the right baby carrier for hiking with your baby can feel overwhelming. Its difficult to know exactly what youre going to need. Safety, while certainly the most important factor, is one of many considerations that will impact how comfortable you both are and how long youll be able to stay on the trail.
Harness and Cockpit Security
The most important consideration when choosing a baby carrier for hiking is whether or not it will keep your baby safe. A secure child harness and supportive cockpit are must-haves.
A secure harness keeps your child safe during every trek. Look for harness systems that are adjustable and comfortable around their legs, shoulders, and arms.
The cockpit is the area where your baby sits in the carrier. You want a well-designed cockpit that provides ample support for the neck, head, and back, as well as cushioned support in the front in case baby nods off during the hike.
Age and Weight Recommendations
Its exciting to take baby on their first hike, but make sure that the baby carrier you choose is appropriate for your childs weight and age.
Most baby backpacks will provide a recommended age range for use. If youre eager to take out a newborn, be sure the carrier you use provides the right neck and head support. A baby typically wont be able to ride in a backpack until they can hold up their head and neck on their own.
Along with age, baby carriers come with a recommended weight capacity. This is important for you and your little one, as you want to make sure the hiking carrier you use can support your babys weight. Consider how long the backpack will last as your child grows.
Baby backpacks arent a small investmentmake a purchase that will accommodate your hiking needs as long as possible.
Because you probably wont be the only one carrying your baby in the great outdoors, you want a baby carrier that easily adjusts to fit different adult body shapes and sizes. You dont want to have to buy two packs for one child.
Many hiking baby carriers are designed to safely carry your baby from infancy to toddlerhood. Look for baby carriers that grow with your child and can stand up to their changing needs and weight.
When you strap on a baby backpack, you want it to carry as many extras as possible. You certainly dont want to add a diaper bag to the supplies you need to transport.
The thing about taking a baby on a hike is that they come with extra baggage like diapers, bottles, and snacks. Consider the number and size of storage pockets and look for places to carry other essentials like water and your phone.
Both you and baby will be more comfortable with a few perks. Accessories like sun shades, rain covers, key/toy rings, and drool pads can make your adventures into the outdoors more pleasant.
More About Baby Safety
Want to learn more ways to keep your baby safe while on the move? Check out ourBaby and Child Safety Directory, where we provide the answers you need to protect your little one.
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