When you’re out hiking as a family, you don’t want to have the added stress of worrying about your little one on the trail, you’d rather wholeheartedly know that they’re safe and secure in a baby carrier that you can rely on.
Baby carriers can be a game-changer for hiking, especially if you’re a family that loves an adventure and you want to introduce the new addition to the outdoors.
However, with copious amounts of baby carriers on the market, how can you find out which one is the best? Don’t worry, we’ve got the answer for you.
We’ve compiled a list of the top five best baby carriers for hiking. Alongside this, we’ve written a handy buyer’s guide as well as answered some frequently asked questions that may have already crossed your mind.
Take a look at our top pick below.
Carriers for Newborns and Toddlers
OUR TOP PICK
The Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier for Newborn to Toddler with Lumbar Support and Cool Air Mesh grows with your baby from newborn to toddler (0-48 Months; 7-45lbs).
This baby carrier is padded with lumbar back support and extra padded shoulder straps. The shoulder straps can be used in two ways: regular or crossed over.
This carrier features a large removable storage pouch and a UPF baby hood for sun protection and privacy for easy breastfeeding.
- The lightweight mesh is soft, yet durable, to keep your baby cooler in warm weather.
- This baby carrier is inclusive! It is designed to fit multiple wearers from petite to larger body types.
- Padded lumbar support waist belt for maximum lower back comfort. Also includes extra padded shoulder pads.
- One customer struggled with putting this baby carrier, claiming that it took longer than they were expecting.
The Boba Baby Carrier Classic 4GS - Backpack or Front Pack made with 100% cotton and is a soft pack that grows with your baby.
The unique quick-release breastfeeding buckle makes it easy and convenient to nurse your baby on the go when you’re out hiking!
This baby carrier is designed to mimic the soothing environment of the womb. The insert acts as a booster seat and maintains the ergonomic “froggy” and “M” positions that newborns naturally assume.
- The Boba carrier comes with an integrated infant insert for babies 7-15 lbs! The infant insert has two configurations: Stage One for infants as small as 7 lbs. and Stage Two for babies starting at 10 lbs.
- Easy to clean and maintain! This baby carrier is entirely machine washable, meaning that you don’t have to worry about it getting covered in spit-up or sick.
- Comfortably fits parents from 5'0" - 6'3" in height and 25" - 58" waist.
- One customer claimed that the shoulder straps weren’t the most comfortable fit.
Carriers for 6-9 Months and Up
Once your baby is sitting up independently, which usually happens around the 6-month mark, you might find that they’re more comfortable in a more structured child carrier. These are often more convenient as they will often have space large enough to carry snacks, diapers, water, and all your baby essentials for hiking.
However, it is worth noting that every baby is different and develops at their own pace, so it is always worth waiting until you feel comfortable to move them on to a child carrier.
If you want to upgrade your baby’s carrier for hiking as they grow, the following options are for your baby from 6-9 months and up.
The Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier is built for durability and comfort for your toddler as they grow.
This child carrier features a built-in sunshade that easily stores and deploys for UPF 50+ UV sun protection.
This child carrier deluxe child cockpit with double halo child harness and adjustable and removable foot stirrups.
- This baby carrier features a lower zippered compartment and an external hydration sleeve.
- Features a drool pad that is removable and washable for your convenience!
- The Osprey child carrier is great for when your baby is a bit older and you’re ready to take them on longer treks! Minimum child weight is 16 lbs for use and maximum weight including child, gear, and the carrier is 48.5 lbs.
- One customer claimed that their back hurt after carrying this child carrier for a significant period of time.
The ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier is a lightweight frame that is built for
Rain or shine, you’ll be fully prepared with this baby carrier! The included sun canopy and rain cover help keep your baby protected, cool, and dry during all weather conditions.
The adjustable seat customizes the carrier to fit your child’s height. The carrier is built for children between 9-48 months (max 33lbs) allowing you to use your carrier for years as your baby grows!
- The lightweight frame only weighs 5.5 pounds yet is sturdy enough to be comfortable for both baby and adult for hours.
- This baby carrier features multiple pockets, thick padded shoulder pads, a padded waist strap, and two side water bottle holders for your convenience.
- Metal stands allow it to sit upright on a flat surface and can be quickly folded in when on the go.
- A few customers claimed that this backpack was uncomfortable on their shoulders.
The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier for Hiking with Kids is made with premium materials that are built for durability.
This baby backpack carrier allows you to safely carry your baby in a padded cocoon with safety straps and stirrups.
The straps are heavily padded and the belt is load bearing to spread your precious cargo weight.
- The Baby Backpack also has a removable stowable sun visor that shields your little one from the elements.
- This baby carrier includes a convenient foldable diaper pad for on the go changes, preparing you for every eventuality.
- The main material is waterproof 600D & 300D ripstop polyester material that is strong and durable.
- A couple of customers claimed that this particular baby carrier didn’t come with instructions.
Best Baby Carrier for Hiking Buying Guide
There are a few things to consider when purchasing a baby carrier for hiking, but it mainly comes down to the harness and cockpit security and the age and weight recommendations.
You want your child to be as comfortable and as safe as possible throughout your hike. That being said, you don’t want to cut corners by buying a lower-quality baby carrier that your child could slip out of. After all, safety should always come first, especially when it comes to your little one.
Check out the features below before purchasing your baby carrier for hiking.
Harness and Cockpit Security
When you’re thinking of buying a baby carrier for hiking, the most important factor to consider is whether or not it will keep your baby safe.
A secure child harness and supportive cockpit are essential to look for in your research.
- Harness security - A secure harness keeps your child safe during every hike. Look for harness systems that are adjustable and are a comfortable fit around their legs, shoulders, and arms.
- Cockpit safety - 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 the baby nods off during the hike.
Weight & Age Recommendations
An important factor to consider is the weight and age recommendations that are attached to the baby carrier in question.
Weight - Generally speaking, baby carriers usually come with a recommended weight capacity. This is important for you and your tot, as you want to make sure that your baby is as safe as possible and the baby carrier you’re using can easily support your baby’s weight.
Something else that is important to consider is how long the backpack will last as your child grows, as this will contribute to the amount of time you can use it and the value for money.
Age - The majority of baby carriers will provide a recommended age range for use. If you’re eager to get out of the house with your newborn, be sure the baby carrier that you’re using gives your little one the right neck and head support.
It is also important to remember that a baby typically won’t be able to ride in a backpack until they can hold up their head and neck on their own, and are sitting up independently (typically 6 months).
To be safe, make sure that you check the manufacturer’s website for the age recommended for the baby carrier that you’re researching.
A big factor to consider when purchasing a baby carrier is whether it’s versatile or not. Generally speaking, a baby carrier is not a cheap purchase, so you’ll ideally want it to stand the test of time and grow with your baby!
It is likely that you probably won’t be the only person carrying your baby on your hikes. As a result, you’ll ideally want to buy a baby carrier that covers a variety of body shapes and sizes and can easily adjust to fit them accordingly.
You don’t want to have to buy a new carrier unless they outgrow their current carrier, so make sure that you get one that is adjustable!
It is also worth noting that some baby carriers come with removable inserts that allow your newborn to grow with the carrier. The insert acts as a booster seat, to ensure that your baby is sat comfortably and in the safest possible position as you hike outdoors.
The great thing about removable inserts is that your baby can grow with the carrier without you having to replace it, making them an incredibly versatile feature to opt for.
Something else you’ll need to take into account when purchasing a baby carrier is how easy it is to clean and maintain. To keep your baby carrier smelling fresh, you should make sure that you check the manufacturer’s website to find out how to properly maintain it, as this will affect how long the baby carrier lasts, too.
Babies tend to produce a lot of washing, so you’ll ideally want to find a baby carrier that is safe to stick in the washing machine with the rest of your laundry after a long hike!
Some baby carriers have removable drool pads that are also easy enough to clean to keep your carrier smelling fresh and to ensure that it’s ready to use the next time you fancy a family hike!
Something important to consider is the accessories that your baby carrier for hiking comes with. These accessories are great to have on the go and might save you in a crisis if your baby needs a diaper change or a distraction when you’re out on a hike and can prepare you for every eventuality.
Some baby carriers come with sun shades, diaper changing mats, rain covers, key/toy rings, and drool pads that can make your adventures into the outdoors somewhat easier. These accessories simply mean that you have less to think about when you’re packing your bag for a hiking trip.
Although you’re likely to have many of these items anyway, it is simply convenient and less stressful to have them all in one carrier without having to add any extra thought. There are already millions of things to remember when you’re traveling with a baby, so a carrier that comes with these types of accessories might be something that you want to prioritize!
Frequently Asked Questions
What should a baby wear hiking?
Hiking is a great way to beat feeling cabin fever when you’ve got a baby. However, come rain or shine, you want to ensure that your baby is protected from the elements when you’re out hiking so that they’re as comfortable they can be when you’re out on your adventure!
When you’re planning a hiking trip, you’ll want to make sure that you check the weather forecast in advance so you have a better idea of what to dress your baby in. If it’s going to be hot, make sure that your baby is in cool, breathable clothing and has suncream on and you should pack extra so you can top it up throughout the day.
You should also shade your baby’s head and face with a good sunhat as keeping them cool in the shade is essential. You don’t want them to be uncomfortable or worse, to overheat.
We recommend that you don’t hike with your baby in the depths of winter, as they’ll need to be bundled up in a snowsuit and it could become more complicated to feed them. They can also get very cold considering they won’t be moving around as you will be. You should, therefore, try to stick to hiking on days with milder temperatures to prevent a fussy baby.
Hiking in the rain, however, shouldn’t put you off. Make sure that your baby has enough layers on, as they won’t be moving, and also cover their skin with long pants, socks, long sleeves, and ideally something waterproof so they don’t get cold and wet.
You can further protect your baby by using a hiking backpack baby carrier with a good canopy and a rain cover (this will also help protect a bit from the wind).
At what age can you take a baby hiking?
The answer to this question largely depends on you! Spending days inside at a time can make you feel like you’ve got cabin fever, especially if you’re used to living an active lifestyle generally. You can start hiking with your baby as soon as you are feeling up for it.
To begin with, start with shorter hikes nearby your house and build up your confidence from there. The most important thing to remember is that you know your baby the best.
Only you know how long your baby will tolerate being in a baby carrier, and some babies are fussier than others. You won’t know until you try, and therefore, you shouldn’t feel any pressure to get out hiking before you feel ready to.
Tips for Hiking with a Baby
- Keep your diaper bag well stocked and make sure that you pack hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a hat for your baby, and most importantly extra baby clothes! You never know when you’re going to need an outfit change.
- Be patient. Remember that it is absolutely fine to turnaround and head home sooner than expected. It’s a new experience for your baby and fussiness can happen
- Hydration is key. Make sure that you bring plenty of water and snacks! Especially if you’re nursing.
- Get used to changing your child’s diaper in your car. Timing isn’t always a baby’s strong suit, so you’ve got to expect the unexpected and be prepared for anything!
- Make sure that you are prepared for every eventuality by packing a rain cover. After all, the weather can be unpredictable and change at any moment depending on the season that you’re hiking in.