After Baby arrives, many parent find themselves trapped indoors. And that’s why getting back into the great outdoors can be such a rewarding experience for the entire family. Of course, it’s only possible to hike at the level you were used to before your cub arrived if you have the right gear. The baby-wearing element might add a new level of difficulty to hiking and backpacking, but it’s a challenge most nature junkies can’t wait to take on. To help you do that, we’ve researched the best hiking baby carriers for new parents.
When looking for hiking baby carriers, parents want a product they can rely on to keep their little one safe. For both children’s products and outdoors gear, safety is number one. Comfort level for both baby-wearer and “rider” are just as important, and other qualities like material, ease of use, storage, weight and value matter, too.
We recommend hiking carriers that keep your kiddo on your back. You’ll want to have full vision and attention to the front of your body as you move along. And if you do stumble (we know, we know –– you won’t), you’ll be able to easily catch yourself without the risk of putting your little one between you and your fall. The only disadvantage is not being able to watch your baby’s eyes widen at the mountains, trees, and sky throughout the entire journey.
We’ve rounded up the best hiking baby carriers so your entire tribe can hit the trails with confidence! Read on to see which ones made the cut.
1. Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Signature Hiking Baby Carrier
Kelty is our top choice for good reason: It’s just about the only hiking baby carrier on the market that checks off all the boxes we care about and then some. Plus, it’s designed to ergonomically fit both Mom and Dad, which is a tough feature to nail. And trust us: You’ll want to share the load. Baby will appreciate the plushy cockpit that’s cozy to sit in for extended periods of time, and the five-point safety harness will keep your little one snug no matter the terrain.
There’s an integrated sunshade feature that’s easy for the wearer to deploy in a pinch, and the large, zippered lower and underseat storage offers plenty of protected space to stow away essentials. Similar to any other hiking backpack from a reputable outdoor brand, there’s plenty of adjustable lower back, chest and shoulder support. It’s also worth giving a shout out to the removable and washable drool pad (yeah it’s gross, but at least you know it’s not falling on you), and the adjustable stirrups that will keep those sweet, swinging shoes in place instead of bumping into the wearer’s body.
2. Luvdbaby Premium Baby Hiking Backpack
BEST RUNNER UP
While Luvdbaby isn’t a well-known outdoor brand, the baby brand nailed their hiking baby carrier. More affordable than other alternatives, this is one of the most comfortable carriers out there for both women and men, thanks to the padding and built-in support system. There are several pockets conveniently placed around this baby hiking backpack, so it’s a breeze to reach back and grab your essentials without having to take time off from the trail.
The waterproof carrier includes plenty of features you’ll also find in some of the priciest carriers on the market, like a changing pad, self-supporting aluminum stand, insulated pockets for baby bottles and food, and an easy-to-deploy sunshade.
3. Deuter Hiking Baby Carrier
BEST FOR WOMEN
This super lightweight hiking baby carrier by Deuter was designed with women in mind. Featuring comfy foam padding and breathable hip fins for ultimate support, you won’t find another carrier on the market as comfortable for women. The S-shaped straps are thinner and fall closer together (like a racerback bra) for the ultimate fit.
The seat is ultra comfortable for little ones, too, and moms really appreciate the foot stirrups and chin rest which creates a barrier between Baby and wearer in all areas.
4. Osprey Packs Hiking Baby Carrier
BEST ALL-WEATHER PROTECTION
Get ready to hit the trails with an Osprey hiking carrier that’s so worth the splurge. If you’re a frequent hiker, you know that on some days the sun can shine brighter than expected, the skies can open up without warning, or the wind can have more of a bite than you anticipated. It’s important to consider weather as a factor in which type of hiking baby carrier you bring home, and if you know that your tribe will still hit the trails in less-than-ideal conditions, you’ll absolutely need a carrier that can really protect your little cub.
Just like other carriers on the market, the ergonomic support system features adjustable, padded strap, in addition to a fully framed and padded cockpit for baby. The built-in sunshade deploys in a pinch, but unlike other sunshades, this one offers basically full coverage so your baby can stay safe in less than ideal weather conditions. The body of the carrier features plenty of protective fabric, so your kiddo will always stay tucked in and guarded from the elements.
5. Thule Sapling Hiking Baby Carrier
BEST FOR BASICS
Thule, a popular baby-carrier brand, offers a top-notch hiking carrier that looks as good as it functions. The gender-neutral carrier has plenty of adjustable support for both male and female hikers thanks to the adjustable hip belt and back panel. One of the features that makes this carrier stand out amongst the rest is the included hydration sleeve, which (surprisingly) isn’t included on plenty of other baby hiking carriers. It includes a sunshade, stand, stirrups, and storage pockets. This durable carrier is also ideal for travel since it won’t take up too much room in your suitcase. If you’re bold (yeah, we know you are), you can get away with wearing it in the airport, too. Just keep the sunshade retracted…
6. ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Hiking Backpack
BEST BUDGET BUY
It might look bulkier than other carriers, but it’s somehow just as lightweight. With hundreds of rave Amazon reviews, this budget buy is ideal for the family who needs a hiking baby carrier to depend on for day trips at the zoo, amusement park, or campsite trips. The padded straps, energy-absorbing hip belt, and aluminum frame offer ideal support and the sunshade with see-through sides will keep your kiddo curious and well-protected.
7. Chicco SmartSupport Baby Backpack Carrier
BEST DAY OPTION
This carrier features a multi-position seat and an adjustable sunshade that gives parents plenty of control over the baby-wearing hiking experience. The built-in kickstand makes loading your little one into the carrier a snap, and you’ll appreciate features (from material to overall design) that increase airflow and breathability. You’ll be making your way up the mountain while Baby can sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey.