Best Baby Carrier for Hiking

Many families hike and then find there is a new addition. Along comes a new baby, and those day hikes are very different.

A baby holder used to mean stiff and oversized carriers. Nowadays hiking with baby means you can use a baby carrier that distributes weight and is comfortable for you and your baby.

These are a great addition to baby camping gear, so read on and check out these carrier reviews and buying guide.

guide in finding the best baby carrier

You will quickly find the best baby carrier that meets your needs.

What is a Baby Carrier?

A baby carrier is a means of transporting your child while you are out hiking. These come in different types and will vary on their effectiveness and child comfort while hiking.

A kid’s carrier can come in either wraps, slings, softshell carriers or hard-shell carriers that are designed with dual functionality and perform more like a backpack.

The best carriers can double as baby seats once you stop, and when in use, they deliver plenty of comfort and protection for your child.

These baby carriers will also give your child the best chance to see what is happening around them. This means they can embrace the outdoors as well.

All types of baby carriers have benefits and features, which affect their use and function. What they do need to do is deliver comfort and protection for your child as they can easily be caught by the sun, or by a sudden downpour.

Top Baby Carriers for Hiking Reviews

Clevr Premium Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier with Stand and Sun Shade Visor Kid Toddler, Green Lightweight - 5lbs 1 Year Limited Warranty

1. Clevr Premium Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier with Stand and Sun Shade Visor Kid Toddler, Green | Lightweight – 5lbs | 1 Year Limited Warranty

The Clevr baby backpack offers lots of functionality for those family hikes. It is super lightweight and comes in at just 5lbs, which is remarkable considering the baby carrier backpack comes with a built-in sun and rain canopy.

This has clear sides and sits high enough above the wearer so the sitting position is high enough so they can see what is around them as you head cross-country.

The view they have is the best on offer, and is as good as any piggyback rider, but with the chance to rest.

Pros

  • Plenty of value for money
  • Lightweight metal frame backpack
  • Offers lots of storage space
  • Built-in sun shade and rain protection
  • Built-in adjustable foot stirrups

Cons

  • Waist belt size doesn’t fit all users
  • More suited for day hiking
  • Only suited for taller adults

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 5.5lbs.
  • Size: Backpack H25 x W10 x D16 Child section 35 inches tall
  • Materials: 600d Oxford Cloth
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Sun and Rain Protection: Yes
  • Max Weight: 33 pounds
  • Min Weight: 1pound

The Clevr baby hiking backpack offers lots of storage capacity and comes with a built-in kickstand. This means it doubles as a baby seat once you stop, without needing to adjust anything.

With a rough guide of around $110, this kid’s carrier will fit most camping gear budgets. In testing, it was found to be the best baby carrier for dad because of the structure and positioning of the waistband and shoulder-padded straps.

For families who venture out on shorter hikes, this 3-way adjustable child seat is suitable for children between 9 months and 48 months. This means it is suitable for a toddler hiking carrier then for newborns.

It can also fold flat when not in use, so it could be the best toddler carrier for hiking, with the adjustable seat, ample storage and the washable drool pad.

Boba 4G Carrier, Dusk, 0-48 Months

2. Boba 4G Carrier, Dusk, 0-48 Months

The Boba 4G light weight baby carrier is designed as a front-facing carrier. It is suitable for children who are newborn up to 48-months.

In the front-facing position, it can carry children up to twenty-five pounds. If you switch to a rear carrying position, you can increase this to forty-five pounds.

It has three carry positions for comfort, yet it isn’t designed or suitable for long hikes or for larger children.

There is no adjustable suspension, and there is no sun or rain protection, and if you are caught in a sudden downpour, the 100% cotton gets wet easily.

Pros

  • Removable sleeping hood
  • Lightweight
  • Can be used front carrying or rear carrying
  • Washable

Cons

  • Not designed for long hikes
  • Limited storage
  • No rain or sun protection

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 2.2lbs.
  • Size: 20.9 x 15.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Sun and Rain Protection: No
  • Max Weight: 45 pounds
  • Min Weight: 7 pounds

With a guide price just over $320, it is an expensive option, while not delivering as many features as you may expect from a baby carrier for hiking.

Lower than this price, there are even options which deliver more storage and even a changing pad for when diapers need tending to.

It does come with a sleep hood and can be quickly adjusted to fit for nursing mothers who need to feed while on a hike.

The build quality is exceptional, but while out hiking, you can find it becomes a lint magnet and will require washing.

Parents may find the Boba the best baby backpack carrier for safety while carrying their child. However, an inquisitive child doesn’t have as good a viewing platform as others offer.

Clevr Deluxe Baby Backpack Hiking Toddler Child Carrier Lightweight with Stand & Sun Shade Visor, Red 1 Year Limited Warranty

3. Clevr Deluxe Baby Backpack Hiking Toddler Child Carrier Lightweight with Stand & Sun Shade Visor, Red | 1 Year Limited Warranty

This baby backpack carrier seat delivers lots of features. There is a 5-point safety harness, plenty of storage, and built-in metal legs.

There is built-in sunshade protection in the form of a retractable canopy, and you can also attach the removable rain cover. If you are hiking alone, this will necessitate you removing the Clevr Baby Carrier to fit.

Like other models, it is made from durable 600D Oxford cloth, and the seat is suitable for children between 9 months and 48 months.

When you are looking at how to start hiking with children. This like the first in the list is perfect for older babies.

Pros

  • Removable rain cover
  • Lightweight
  • Retractable canopy
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Comes with a removable mini backpack

Cons

  • Not designed for long hikes
  • Limited storage
  • No sun or rain protection

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 2.2lbs.
  • Size: 20.9 x 15.8 x 0.4
  • Materials: 600D Oxford cloth
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Sun and Rain Protection: Yes
  • Max Weight: 33 pounds
  • Min Weight: 7 pounds

There are padded straps on the hip belt for energy absorption, and the padding in the lumbar region helps keep you cool in use.

With a guide price a little under $90, the Clever Deluxe Baby Backpack can be a great way of taking smaller children out day hiking.

With added water bottle holders and accessory pockets, there is little need to keep stopping on your short hike, but when you do, the built-in foldable steel legs act like a toddler seat. After your hike, the Clever Baby seat can be folded for easy storage.

Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier 7 – 45 lb., Adjustable Newborn to Toddler Carrier, Ergonomic Inward Front and Back Carry, Easy-to-Use, Lightweight – Stormy, Gray

4. Baby Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier 7 – 45 lb., Adjustable Newborn to Toddler Carrier, Ergonomic Inward Front and Back Carry, Easy-to-Use, Lightweight – Stormy, Gray

The Baby Tula Free to Grow is another sling-type baby carrier that is intended for front-facing use. You can carry children as small as 7 pounds up to 45 lbs.

It can also be used on the rear. One advantage is there is no need for an infant carrier insert.

With lots of adjustabilities, it caters well for small children. While there is no dedicated rain or sun protection, there is an attachable hood for when your baby is sleeping, or it can be used for light sun protection.

Pros

  • Highly adjustable
  • No baby insert required
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Hard to adjust while hiking
  • No sun or rain protection

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 1.25 lbs.
  • Size: 20.9 x 15.8 x 0.4
  • Materials: 100% cotton
  • Sun and Rain Protection: No
  • Max Weight: 45 pounds
  • Min Weight: 7 pounds

With a guide price of just under $180, it is expensive for what you get. It does deliver lots of comforts, but is designed more for daily use around town than when hitting the trails.

The Tula Free to Grow is lightweight and easy to use. However, it can be hard to adjust during use.
The material is durable, and machine washable, which is good because it easily attracts dust and dirt with no legs or kickstand options.

Because of the high degree of adjustability, it may be the best baby carrier for toddlers.

Clevr Premium Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier with Stand and Sun Shade Visor Kid Toddler for Best Baby Carrier for Hiking

5. Ergobaby Carrier, 360 All Carry Positions Baby Carrier with Cool Air Mesh, French Blue

Unlike a lot of other sling-type bay carriers, this one is specifically designed with hiking in mind. It has multiple carrying positions rather than just front and rear-facing. You can use it over both shoulders and over one shoulder in true sling fashion.

It is designed to provide a front-facing fashion so they can see what is around them. The Ergobaby Carrier differs from other slings as it does come with a sun hood.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Unique 360 carrying design
  • Frameless design
  • Washable

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No storage options
  • No rain protection

Technical Specifications

  • Weight: 1.7 lbs.
  • Size: 10.5 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches
  • Materials: Polyester, mesh
  • Warranty: 1 year limited
  • Sun and Rain Protection: No rain protection
  • Max Weight: 33 pounds
  • Min Weight: 12 pounds without the baby insert. 7 – 12 lbs. with insert

The Ergo baby carrier comes in with a guide price of just under $145, so it is on the more expensive side.

Apart from the carrying positions and comfort air feeling it gives your child and yourself from the breathable mesh. There are no storage options, so another means of carrying camping necessities will be required.

Other lightweight baby carriers cope for children up to 48 months, yet the Ergo baby front carrier with the adjustable bucket seat is only suitable for children up to 36 months and 33 lbs. in weight.

This toddler carrier for hiking is award-winning and can be one of the best baby carrier for hiking over short distances.

things to consider in looking for a baby carrier

What to Look For When Buying a Baby Carrier

When looking for a baby carrier, there are a few things you need to consider. One of the most significant factors is if you are taking short or longer hikes.

There are different types available, and these serve up different functionality and features depending on their intended use. This buying guide will show you the main categories you need to think about.

Types of Baby Carrier

There are wraps and slings, yet when it comes to hiking, these are not ideal. These are designed as a means of carrying your baby while running errands. The two main hiking baby carrier types are:

Soft Structure

You will find these frameless baby carriers are more suited to younger children. These are fully adjustable in the same way as a backpack, yet in many cases, they come without the extra features of a backpack child carrier.

When in use, you can find these are ideal where a toddler likes to walk some of the hikes, yet they just as easily as to hitch a ride some of the way.

They are also ideal for younger children who are not yet at walking age.

They have easy-adjust straps and can cater for a few months old up to four years of age. The best baby slings even allow young babies to be nursed without first removing the carrier from the shoulders.

Backpack Toddler Carriers

Much of the design of these is the same as a regular backpack. They double up as both and should offer ample storage for some necessities. In younger children, this can be all you need for diaper changing.

There are even a few backpack carriers, which come with an included changing mat for these instances.

The majority of this type of child backpacking carriers have adjustable torso sizes, padded waist belts, and are an excellent choice for backpacking and hiking with kids.

Child Backpack Carrier Comfort and Padding

When you are looking for the best baby carrier for hiking, comfort is one of the key requirements for your child, and for the person who is doing the carrying.

To cope with this on a longer hike, any baby carrier will need a sound suspension system. With maximum weight reaching almost 50lb, a baby carrier needs to be strong enough so it won’t break or slip from your back.

You will need to consider the max weight of your child before you add anything from your camping essentials for beginners list.

This means it is to be sure you don’t go over the recommended capacity. To keep the backpack secure, it needs to be fully adjustable around the shoulders, hips, and the waist.
You will find that overly soft padding isn’t more comfortable over long distances.

Backpack Child Comfort

Unlike frameless baby carriers you can have in front of you, a backpack style of baby carrier will always be on your back. A secure child harness is essential because the seating position in most cases is high up in the shoulder region.

With this in mind, you do need a way to easily adjust the straps around your baby to make sure they are secure when in place.

The sides of the cockpit need to be high enough to prevent them from leaning out to the side.

Because children may slump forward while you are carrying them, the inclusion of a drool pad stops them dribbling down the back of your neck while they sleep.

Weather Protection on Baby Carriers

When you have any kind of toddler carrier when hiking, you need to think about the weather. Most frameless designs don’t offer much in the way of protection against the rain or the sun, and many are made of absorbent materials.

When you look at backpack carriers, these are very different. The ones that are designed for extensive hikes, they come with sun and rain protection.

This can differ from rain hoods you can attach, and sun shades you can retract, or they come with rain and sun protector all in one.

This kind of rain cover can be a great option because there is no need to stop and fasten it to the carrier.

While a child will be fully covered, you need to make sure there are lots of ventilation for them inside their weather canopy.

Adjustability of Baby Carriers

Comfort, as we have seen, is a concern, yet adjustability is equally as high on the list. If any child or toddler carrier doesn’t fit, it can be dangerous, as well as making your hike unbearable.

A backpack carrier needs an ergonomic design, so there is no strain on any part of your body.

Shoulder straps were one of the most vital. If these don’t sit securely, they will let the cockpit sit backward at an angle.

Adding to this, one thing to check is the overall length of the backpack carrier. If any parent is on the shorter side, they may require an adjustable carrier, or they will need a different model. Even frameless models suffer from these problems, and it is one reason why they are not the best on a full day hike.

Storage Capacity and Pockets

If there are a couple of adults on a hike, then storage space can be divided. Yet, for the toddler carrying a backpack, there are a few features they can benefit from. Easy accessible storage pockets and drink holders are a welcome addition.

While on your hike, you can reach for things without stopping, however, there does come a time when you need to pull over. This can be for lunch, or there is a bathroom stop.

At these times, you find the best backpacking packs make life easier. A frameless carrier leaves you no option but to put your child on the floor if you are alone. If with another parent, they will need to hold them. (Be prepared with our Backpacking Checklist)

Some of the better-featured backpack carriers have unique design features. Built-in kickstands or foldaway legs make dealing with your child easier.

In many cases, you find there is a zippered compartment that is easy to access when your child carrier is in the baby seat mode.

Clean diapers or anything else to care for your child can be accessed, without digging around in another backpack.

Clevr Premium Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier with Stand and Sun Shade Visor Kid Toddler for Best Baby Carrier for Hiking

Final Verdict

While compiling these hiking gear reviews for the best baby carrier. We took a lot into consideration to make the decision. After this, like all reviews, there needs to be a result of any price to performance ratio.

Out of all the above top-rated baby carriers, one began to stand out straight away. We found the Clevr Premium Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier with Stand and Sun Shade Visor Kid Toddler, Green | Lightweight – 5lbs | 1 Year Limited Warranty to be the best option for several reasons.

It delivers the best price per performance out of all, and this was clearly shown when used over long distances.

The kickstand meant there was no need to put a child on the floor, and all the baby needs were easily accessible. On the go, it is easy to reach snacks and a water bottle without effort.

The overall size and weight meant it is suitable for almost all average-sized adults while delivering maximum comfort. The sun and rain protection was a welcome inclusion and could be removed easily when required.

For the money, there is not much to find wrong with the best infant carrier we tested for these reviews.