If hiking is a way of life for you, it’s likely you want to continue hiking after the baby arrives.
Hiking is a great way to get exercise and recover from pregnancy and carrying the baby during a hike is one-way dads can interact with the baby too.
A baby carrier hiking backpack may be the best solution for including the baby in your outdoor adventures.
Besides hiking, a baby carrier backpack is useful for shopping, running errands, a day at a theme park, a parade or any number of outdoor activities.
Our guide to the best baby backpack recommends characteristics to look for when choosing the best hiking backpack for baby and includes 5 baby backpack carrier reviews 2020.
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- What is the Difference Between a Baby Carrier Hiking Backpack and a Regular Baby Carrier?
- Ergonomics and More: Baby Comfort
- Suspension: Weight Distribution and How Comfortable the Pack is to Wear
- Hiking with Baby: A Few Tips
- TOP 5 Best Baby Backpack Carrier Reviews 2020
What is the Difference Between a Baby Carrier Hiking Backpack and a Regular Baby Carrier?
Regular cloth carriers
The weight of a regular cloth carrier is usually on your shoulders.
Backpack style baby carriers
A backpack-style baby carrier is usually for larger babies, between 30 to 50 pounds, although some hold more.
The backpack style carriers usually have some storage for baby items and hiking necessities, and these carriers also often have aluminum frames that double as stands, so you can take the baby off your back out of the carrier and place the carrier standing upright on the ground, which makes it easy to put the baby back in the carrier when it is time to go.
A frame has the added benefit of supporting the baby and if used with a securely fastened and properly fitting hip belt, can take the weight off your shoulders and place it at your hips, making the backpack much more comfortable to wear.
Ergonomics and More: Baby Comfort
Check the seat of the backpack to ensure the baby can sit in a position that does not put a strain on the hip joints.
An ergonomic seat will allow the baby to sit naturally as opposed to some carriers which force the baby to hang awkwardly from a narrow-based strip of fabric.
The baby’s legs should be in a comfortable bent position, as if he were sitting in a chair, not straight down and dangling.
The International Hip Dysplasia Institute makes a good point.
Babies spend their time in the womb in a fetal position, with their knees and legs bent at the hips. It takes time for their joints to adjust to being in a straight position.
Check the seat ergonomics of the carrier to keep babies joints safe.
The best baby backpacks also have a comfortable headrest so baby can comfortably doze off while you hike.
Suspension: Weight Distribution and How Comfortable the Pack is to Wear
If you plan to hike even a small distance a well-built harness and suspension system are a must.
The suspension consists of a frame, usually aluminum, the shoulder straps, and a hip belt.
These items should be adjustable to match your torso length and waist circumference.
The best baby hiking backpacks have suspension systems with a sturdy padded hip belt that you can secure around your hips to carry the weight of the baby on your hips, rather than your shoulders which can cause pain and injury.
The backpack should fit from the hips up, not the shoulders down.
The suspension system should also have a padded back with some sort of ventilation systems like a mesh cover or breathable fabric.
Check the material on the backpack to make sure it will be comfortable for you and baby on long hikes, the last thing you want is a hot sweaty baby sticking to your back after a strenuous trek.
Hiking with Baby: A Few Tips
- If you want to check on the baby without having to put the backpack down, get a selfie stick and use it with your Smartphone camera as a sort of ‘rearview mirror’. You can also use the setup to take a few pictures of the baby enjoying his hike. It’s one of the best uses of a selfie stick we can think of!
- A low-tech option that allows you to check on baby while hiking without draining the battery (or budget) is a simple clip on rearview mirror (link to Amazon.com).
- The backpack style carriers are designed for babies that can sit up and hold their head upright on their own. Generally, that is around 5 months, but the most important thing is that the baby is able to hold his head up well.
- Don’t forget to protect the baby with sunscreen meant for baby’s delicate skin.
TOP 5 Best Baby Backpack Carrier Reviews 2020
Deuter Kid Comfort 2
The Deuter Kid Comfort II is one of the most popular baby carriers, probably because it is comfortable and safe for baby and the person hiking with baby.
This backpack has padded foam shoulder straps padded back, hip belts and a ventilated back panel. The hip belt has side pockets and moves with and forms to your body.
The frame makes a stand, so you can easily load baby, plus the pack has a side entrance to put baby in from the side instead of the top.
The backpack has a hydration pouch. The seat height is adjustable and the seat itself is ergonomic, holding babies legs in a natural sitting position.
The backpack has a chin rest/head rest that is removable and washable and allows the baby to nap during the hike.
This backpack has a large zippered pocket under the baby seat, a large zippered pocket on top, two side mesh water bottle holders that could also hold toys or snacks.
The pack has an optional rain cover for baby and a safety harness to secure your baby in the seat.
- Ergonomic seat.
- Great harness, suspension and hip belt.
- Aluminum frame.
- Removable chin pad head rest.
- Side entrance.
- Does not fold up very much so it is bulky to store, but the comfort for baby and wearer make it worth it.
Thule Sapling Child Carrier
This well built backpack style carrier, the Thule Sapling, has a handy frame that stands securely so you can easily load your baby before putting the pack on.
The back is padded with a well-ventilated mesh panel, padded shoulder pads, lumbar pad, wide-winged hip belt with side pockets, which adjust in length, all making for a great suspension system to keep the wearer comfortable.
The pack has side mesh bags to store baby items, A storage compartment on the back and under the baby seat. The pack is compatible with a hydration system and has a harness for baby.
Adjustable height ergonomic seat and baby harness to get the right fit for your baby, plus stirrups to keep your baby in a comfortable and ergonomically correct seated position.
This carrier can be loaded from the side, and has a sunshade that can be attached to the top, if needed.
- Great suspension, hip belt, and shoulder straps with ventilated back panel.
- The best hip belt seen on a baby carrier with wide wings and adjustable length.
- Ergonomic seat with stirrups.
- High-quality aluminum stand.
- Our baby backpack carrier reviews revealed to us that the carrier is very large and can be bulky on your back, and the stand legs are hard to retract while you are wearing the pack, but if you leave them sticking out, you will hit people or things as you walk.
Kelty Tour 1.0 Child Carrier
This Kelty Tour 1.0 has padded back, hip belt and shoulder straps, with a mesh panel for ventilation, all in all, a good suspension system.
Small zippered pockets on the hip belt and a medium storage bag on the back. The baby harness and seat are adjustable.
The seat is ergonomically designed, allowing baby to sit in a natural position.
The kickstand frame opens automatically when you loosen the shoulder straps so it is ready to set down without any hassle.
- Smaller and streamlined, with a good suspension harness system provided the hip belt fits you well.
- This hip belt is too limited in its adjustment, and may not fit very small or very large frame people.
- The frame does not fold up to store.
Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier
This popular baby backpack has a removable and washing machine friendly drool/chin pad baby can use to snooze the hike away, should you be so lucky.
The frame is collapsible for easy storage, and works as a footrest for baby and a stand to use while loading the baby in the carrier before placing the pack on your back.
The pack has a built-in sunshade, adjustable and removable stirrups for baby and side mesh pockets and attachment loops to store babies’ things.
The backpack has Ospreys renowned suspension system, so carrying baby will be comfortable and allow you to hike longer.
The pack has a lower zippered storage compartment and a back storage compartment, with side mesh pockets and a zippered stash pocket for valuables.
- Great suspension system, except issue noted below.
- High-quality pack, ergonomic seat, height-adjustable baby seat with adjusting baby harness.
- The only backpack in our baby backpack reviews with removable and adjustable stirrups.
- Some hikers said the hip belt on this model is too hard and uncomfortable and does not fit well.
Mother Nest Baby Carrier Ergonomic for Toddlers
This is a backpack for babies up to 33 lbs. It is 100 percent cotton, with no internal frame.
There are a few storage pockets on the backpack, which can also be worn facing forward.
The sleeping hood blocks sunlight, the drool pads are removable and washable, and the back pocket detaches.
Ergonomic seat and outer leg flaps help keep babies’ legs in a natural bent position. This backpack keeps the baby close to your body.
- 100 percent cotton, washable and comfortable.
- Hip belt to support weight and padded shoulder make for a comfortable carry.
- You will need help placing the baby in the carrier and it only holds babies up to 33 lbs.
This concludes our guide and reviews to help you find the best baby backpack for hiking with your baby.