This is a gear review about the Best Baby Carrier Backpacks for Hiking.
If you’re going hiking with a baby, toddler, or small child, it couldn’t be more important that your hiking baby carrier backpack is 100% safe, secure, and comfortable for both you and the child.
The last thing you want is for the baby to cry all through the hike because they’re uncomfortable. And that means investing in a top-quality hiking baby carrier.
I have been checking out and testing some of the best hiking baby carriers on the market for hiking parents, and these are the baby carriers that made the list.
Best Baby Carrier Backpack for Hiking 2023
The Baby Carrier Backpack for Hiking in 2023 are:
Best Hiking Baby Carrier – Overall
Weight: 7 lb 2 oz / 3232 grams
> Bestseller with phenomenal ratings
> Very comfortable for baby AND parent
> Ventilation space for breathability
> Side opening
> The sun visor can be tricky to position
The Deuter Kid Comfort baby carrier is super popular as a child carrier for kids and is notably in the first position in this review of backpack carriers for children.
The first thing to note is that it meets current safety standards as a hiking child carrier. It’s also very comfy for both the wearer and the baby. But with the name Deuter “Kid comfort” you can see who they want to be comfortable in this kid carrier.
It features plenty of padding, including a large cushion for their head, and it’s more than comfortable enough for the baby to fall asleep in.
The fit is adjustable, thanks to the Deuter VariSlide back length adjustment system, so it grows with the baby for personalized comfort over the years. And in addition to the adjustable seat and straps, there are even footrests, too.
But the star feature of the Deuter Kid Comfort is the somewhat unique ventilation space between the baby and the wearer’s back, so neither of you gets too hot and sweaty. And this area has a mesh lining for air to come through, giving excellent breathability to the child backpack carriers.
It also comes with a sunroof accessory, to protect the baby’s head from the heat of the sun. Or if there’s a little rain, the outer fabric has a water-repellent PU coating, so the rain will simply gather and drip off and not soak through.
And it’s comfy for both the child and Mom or Dad, too. The Deuter Kid Comfort carrier is relatively lightweight, and the weight of the carrier is evenly distributed to ensure there’s no awkwardness, and you’re free of any discomfort as you trek.
In addition to the padded shoulder straps, there are also hip straps that not only provide extra security but also feature little storage pockets for added convenience. And there’s also a backpack pouch for diapers and other baby gear.
A further feature is how another adult can pull the baby out from an opening at the side of the carrier, rather than having to set the baby backpack carrier down first. Super handy.
It’s designed to be durable and is made with quality components. The frame is composed of break-proof spring steel, and the lightweight polyamide 210 Denier fabric is abrasion resistant and features strong rip-stop threads.
It’s available in two different color options, namely maroon, and midnight (which is a nice blue).
The backpack is well ventilated due to the space between the back and is good compared with some regular backpack carriers.
Overall, if you are looking for a child carrier that is comfortable and has all the features that you need, the Deuter Kid Comfort is one of the best hiking baby carriers.
Best Child Carrier Backpack
Weight: 7 lb 14 oz / 3572 grams
> Phenomenal customer ratings and reviews
> Built-in sun shade has UPF 50+ protection
> Lots and lots of handy storage
> Space for a 1.5-liter hydration bladder
> 7-year long warranty
> This is such a popular item, even the large online retailers occasionally run unavailable
The Osprey Poco Plus baby backpack carrier is one of the popular hiking carriers for children on the market. I’m a big fan of Osprey hiking backpacks and this is definitely one of the best backpack carriers for kids.
The Osprey Poco Plus can carry any child between 16 and 48.5 pounds which is a good weight limit. And it meets all the current safety standards. What’s more, the built-in sun shade offers UPF 50+ protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. And it easily stores and deploys.
One of my favorite things about this baby hiking carrier is that it features a special compartment to fit a 1.5-liter hydration bladder, which you can buy separately, one of the most important things to take with you on a long hike to keep you hydrated.
It’s also very comfortable for the baby, with a deluxe child cockpit, complete with plenty of padding, removable foot stirrups, mesh side panels for breathability, and even a removable drool pad that can be detached for easy cleaning.
It has a unique double halo child harness, which is not only very safe and secure but also allows for easy loading of the child into the carrier.
And of course, to be able to accommodate such a large weight range, the seat height is fully adjustable up to 6 inches.
The hiking child carrier is also very comfortable for Mom or Dad, too, with padded shoulder straps, and ventilated mesh back panels, and you can adjust the height of the shoulder straps, and the hip straps as well.
But the star feature of this child backpack carrier has to be just how much storage space it has. There’s a huge amount of storage underneath the baby’s seat, which is more than big enough for diapers, hiking gear, snacks, and more.
And there are handy zippered pockets on the hip straps which are perfect for small items you want to keep handy, along with large cockpit side pockets, and a zippered main pocket.
The warranty for this model is also very impressive. Osprey calls it their “All Mighty Guarantee” and it lasts for 7 years, and all repairs are completely free of charge. Not that I think you’ll ever need it.
It’s available in two color options, namely blue sky, which is nice and bright, or starry black, which looks even more solid and safe.
I was really impressed with just how much gear you could pack in this thing. Most parents will not need to take another bag on their hike.
The removable drool pillow is a really handy feature when the little one falls asleep. So cute.
Overall, the Osprey Poco Plus is one of the best child carrier backpacks for someone who wants lots of storage space. Want to carry everything for the child and everything for a picnic? This is for you.
Best Baby Carrier for Australia and New Zealand
Weight: 8 lb 9 oz / 3900 grams
> 3-stage harness system to grow with the baby
> 19-liter storage capacity
> Comes with a sunshade and rain cover
> Multiple pockets for storing your gear
> Has the breathable Explorer harness
> This is such a popular item that Macpac often runs out of stock, best to check online.
I also felt this baby carrier was certainly worth a spot on my shortlist. It ticks all the boxes and is suitable for all weather.
Thanks to the handy Sombrero and Rainbow rain cover included in the price because sometimes you never really know what the weather’s going to do.
I can confirm that it meets all the current safety standards and that it’s designed with both baby and adult comfort in mind.
The child seat is fully adjustable, with a 3-stage hook and clip safety harness system, so as the little one grows, the carrier can be adapted to continue to fit them. The adjustable foot stirrups ensure that child is well secured and comfortable in the hiking backpack.
The child’s shoulder straps and head pad are removable for easy washing, which is super handy for getting out sweat or drool.
For the parent’s comfort, there are adjustable shoulder straps, and the breathable Explorer harness, complete with a padded hip belt for optimum weight distribution.
It’s also very convenient for gear storage. It has an impressive 19-liter storage capacity. There are 10 liters of storage on the main pack and there is a detachable mini backpack that has a 9-liter storage capacity. The removable daypack is very handy and a good addition to this pack when most others have limited storage space.
There’s a stretch mesh pocket under the backpack, which is handy for stashing soiled nappies or other baby gear. And there’s also a large zip pocket at the base, complete with a smaller pocket for smaller items, 10 liters in total.
It’s made with top-quality materials, including thick 1260 Denier ballistic nylon for the base, and 420 Denier ripstop nylon elsewhere.
It’s available in different sizes, according to the length of the adult’s back. Please refer to the product page for a size guide.
There are two color options to choose from, including Black Iris, which is, black, blue, and khaki, or Bossa Nova, which is red and khaki.
If you do decide to buy this hiking baby carrier, you may wish to invest in a child’s neck pillow, which you can buy separately.
Overall, this is one of the most comfortable baby backpack carriers on the market but it is only available in Australia and New Zealand.
Best Budget Baby Backpack Carrier
Weight: 6 lb 6 oz / 2892 grams
> lightweight child carrier
> Effectively “grows” with baby
> Large amount of storage space
> Comes with Perfectfit suspension
> Its excellent value for money
> This is such a popular item, even the large online retailers occasionally run out of stock
> It doesn’t come with a sun shade, but you can buy a compatible one separately
The Kelty Journey PerfectFit is another great baby carrier that ticks all the boxes. Hiking parents love the budget price of this framed backpack child carrier.
It’s a very lightweight baby carrier backpack. Coming in at a mere 5.9 pounds. The Kelty is a perfect hiking carrier for babies on long hikes on the trails.
First off, the Kelty Journey PerfectFit meets the current safety standards, and second, it’s really comfortable for both baby and parent. Its adjustable design means that it can hold infants from 16 pounds up to 40 pounds, so it effectively “grows” with your baby.
There’s a plush child cockpit, to keep your little one comfy, complete with a security harness and removable foot stirrups. And there’s a handy drool pad that can be removed for easy washing.
It comes with Perfectfit suspension, and you can adjust the fit of the baby carrier on your torso with the baby inside, just by pulling the straps until they are sufficiently snug.
This hiking baby carrier also comes with a large amount of onboard storage space, in fact, it’s like there’s an entire backpack on the back of the baby carrier backpack. And there are also easy-access mesh pockets on the side, too.
It’s available in two color options, namely dark shadow, or insignia blue.
It’s also a great option for those looking for backpack carriers with a limited budget because when this article was written, it was available for under $250.
The little one certainly seemed to like it too, and he loved the foot stirrups. It’s the most lightweight out of the ones I tested.
Overall, if you are on a budget this is one of the best baby carrier backpacks.
Best Lightweight Baby Carrier Backpack
Weight: 5 lb 1 oz / 2296 grams
> Good amount of pockets and storage
> Great warranty
> Best for short day hikes
> Supply issues can sometimes make this product difficult to find
The Osprey Poco LT is the lightest toddler carrier backpack on the market in 2023. For those that want the lightest full-feature kid carrier then this is for you.
The lighter weight does have a reduced level of comfort for both the parent and the child but that will not be noticed by most people on shorter hikes. The Osprey Poco LT does not have foot stirrups for the child and the harness is not as comfortable. If you plan on completing a full day of hiking or travel then the heavier but for comfortable Poco Plus will be a better option.
It can carry a weight limit of up to 48 pounds including the weight of the child and all your gear in the hiking carrier. And the built-in sun shade is much appreciated on warm and sunny days. There is also room for a hydration bladder which you will need to buy separately.
Overall, this is the best lightweight baby carrier backpack for those wanting something as light as possible for shorter day hikes.
More to Consider
Here are several more to consider:
- Deuter Kid Comfort Active Child Carrier
- Deuter Kid Comfort Venture Child Carrier
- Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Child Carrier
- Thule Sapling Child Carrier
As promised, here’s your buying guide. Let me walk you through all the key points to consider before you buy.
Safety And Security Features
The safety and security of your little one should be your first, and foremost, concern. And to that end, I’m pleased to confirm that all the baby carriers that made my shortlist meet the current safety standards for baby carriers.
However, the onus of responsibility for the baby’s safety falls to you as their parent. And to ensure that the baby is perfectly safe in their baby carrier, you must ensure a snug fit in their harness.
To that end, if you are using an adjustable baby carrier, you should ensure that they are properly secure, and adjust the straps to fit the build of the child.
You should also make a note of the maximum weight of the baby carrier so that you can ensure it’s exceeded.
Comfort For Baby
For the baby’s comfort, you need to ensure there’s plenty of padding and cushioning. They may also like to use foot stirrups.
The best baby carriers are the ones that you can get the most use of, since that’s how you get your value for money. To that end, I recommend baby carriers with adjustable sizing, that effectively “grow” with your baby.
I also recommend that you look for a baby carrier with a sun shade, because even on a cloudy day, the sun’s harmful UV rays can still penetrate through. Most do not have a built-in sunshade but one that is removable.
Ventilation is also very important. It allows breathability and prevents both baby and parent from getting too sweaty.
Comfort For Parent
Parents will want to consider several things before purchasing and using a toddler backpack carrier.
A baby carrier for hiking tends to have adjustable backs and shoulder straps and hip straps. As you may be carrying more weight than with a normal hiking backpack it is important to have a hip belt that is comfortable and adjustable to fit you.
In fact, it is better if the hip belt and shoulder straps fit both parents. Then you can take turns carrying babies if one gets tired or injured when out on the trail. This is great for hiking parents who want to take turns carrying the child’s backpack carrier.
Larger infants can get rather heavy to carry, so please don’t make this worse for yourself by buying a heavy baby carrier. A lightweight option will be far more comfortable for you, especially for hiking long hours. But you need to keep in mind that the hiking carriers designed for babies and children are not as light as your normal hiking backpack. The heavier sturdy metal frame adds quite a lot to the weight.
Carry Weight Limit
Most of the toddler backpacks in this review will hold around 50 lb / 20 kg or more in weight. This weight limit includes the weight of the baby and all the other gear you might carry in the storage pockets. For most people, this is more than enough carrying weight capacity.
Storage and Pockets
Most parents will appreciate a couple of storage pockets to carry all the things they need when going on a hike with a baby. Most have enough for diapers, wipes, water bottles, jackets, and more. Some people like to keep these storage pockets filled even when the pack is not in use. this makes it easy to just grab the pack and go for a hike with minimal thought. Just a quick check and you are off.
Your chosen baby carrier for hiking should be made of top quality materials, and for added durability and lifespan, we recommend looking for ones with a high Denier fabric, and ideally ripstop stitching for extra peace of mind. Most also include a sturdy metal frame to add to the overall strength of these child carriers.
Overall, the child carrier packs that are on this list are super durable and will many years, even with hard use.
Many of the best hiking baby carriers also feature storage pockets, which can come in very handy for storing such items as sunscreen or a GPS unit.
Something worth looking out for in a child carrier. If the baby is still in diapers, you’ll be glad of the storage pocket when it comes to changing them. Some best baby carrier backpacks even have room for a hydration bladder.
Value for Money
Hiking Baby Carriers can really vary in price, with some costing $300 or more. So if you have to work with a budget, be sure to check prices as you go along.
I would argue that your chosen hiking baby carrier should be of the utmost quality for both safety and comfort purposes. In which case, you should resign yourself to spending a significant amount of money for the best possible baby carrier.
The Best Baby Carrier Backpacks for Hiking in 2023 are:
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Backpack Child Carrier?
I think my favorite from the shortlist is the Osprey Poco Plus. Here’s a quick reminder of what it has going for it:
Phenomenal customer ratings and reviews, Built-in sun shade has UPF 50+ protection, Lots and lots of handy storage pockets, Space for a 1.5 liter hydration bladder, and a Whopping 7-year long warranty
At What Age Can A Baby Go In A Backpack Carrier?
That’s actually the wrong question to ask. It’s not the baby’s age that affects whether they can go in a baby carrier, but rather their weight.
Baby carriers tend to have a minimum baby weight of 16 pounds. (And of course, there’s also a maximum weight.)
You may wish to wait until the baby can hold the weight of their head on their neck before putting them in a baby carrier backpack. This will probably exclude the first three months following their birth.
Can You Wear A Baby Carrier And A Backpack?
No. But you can wear a baby carrier that has its own backpack, like my number 5 pick, the Kelty Journey PerfectFit.