You’ve been hiking for years but life has changed and there’s a new baby in your family. And, you’re wondering, how can I hike with a baby? Of course – it’s actually never been easier to take the whole family outdoors. You just need to find out what the best baby carrier for hiking is for you based on your needs.

Gone are the days of stiff, oversized carriers. There’s a variety of hiking baby carriers to choose from that are safe and convenient ways to get your baby to enjoy nature. Modern ones are built to evenly distribute the weight on you to ensure you’re comfortable as well as you’re climbing those hills.

Here at The Adventure Junkies, it’s our goal to help make the research process easier for you. This guide will help you figure out which hiking baby carrier is right for you.

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Backpacks for Kids

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

Quick Answer - The Best Baby Carriers for Hiking

  1. Deuter Kid Comfort 1
  2. Osprey Poco Premium
  3. Crosslinks
  4. Phil & Ted’s Parade
  5. Crosslinks Deluxe
  6. Thule Sapling
  7. Kiddy Adventure Pack

 

Comparison Table - Best Baby Carrier for Hiking

PictureNameMin. Child WeightMax. Child WeightFreestandingWeightPriceRating
Deuter Kid Comfort 115 lbs40 lbsYes5.5 lbs$$4.7
Osprey Poco Premium7 lbs45 lbsYes11.1 lbs$$$$4.8
Crosslinks2 lbs40 lbsYes7 lbs$4.8
Phil & Ted’s Parade7 lbs40 lbsYes4.4 lbs$$4.2
Crosslinks Deluxe2 lbs40 lbsYes6.6 lbs$$4.5
Thule Sapling15 lbs40 lbsNo8.2 lbs$$$4.8
Boba 4G7 lbs45 lbsNo2.2 lbs$4.5
Kiddy Adventure Pack16 lbs40 lbsYes6 lbs$$4.0
PictureNameMin. Child WeightMax. Child WeightFreestandingWeightPriceRating

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Reviews - The Best Hiking Baby Carriers

Deuter Kid Comfort 1

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 15 lbs
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING A COMFORTABLE SEAT FOR KIDS

PROS: Sturdy kickstand, comfortable baby seat

CONS: No padding on back or shade for sun

FOLD UP: Yes

Osprey Poco Premium

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 45 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 7 lbs
  • Weight: 11.1 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING EASY TO ADJUST BACKPACK

PROS: Secure kickstand, plenty of storage

CONS: Expensive, rigid frame makes it less comfortable

FOLD UP: Yes

Crosslinks

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 2 lbs
  • Weight: 7 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING AN AFFORDABLE, SUPPORTIVE CARRIER

PROS: Supportive frame, stands up, lightweight

CONS: Not the best for storing in small spaces

FOLD UP: Yes

Phil & Ted’s Parade

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 7 lbs
  • Weight: 4.4 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING COMFORT AND STORAGE OPTIONS

PROS: Padded straps, good amount of storage

CONS: Can’t remove baby drool pad

FOLD UP: Yes

Crosslinks Deluxe

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 2 lbs
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS HAVING GEAR TO CARRY

PROS: Sunshade, wide straps for added comfort

CONS: No kickstand

FOLD UP: Yes

Thule Sapling

Specs
  • Freestanding: No
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 15 lbs
  • Weight: 8.2 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WANTING COMFORT AND SOME STORAGE

PROS: Storage for gear, water reservoir pocket, sun shade

CONS: Difficult to fold up

FOLD UP: No

Boba 4G

Specs
  • Freestanding: No
  • Max. Child Weight: 45 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 7 lbs
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS WITH INFANTS ON SHORTER HIKES

PROS: Easy to wash and store, comfortable

CONS: Not designed for long hikes

FOLD UP: Yes

Kiddy Adventure Pack

Specs
  • Freestanding: Yes
  • Max. Child Weight: 40 lbs
  • Min. Child Weight: 16 lbs
  • Weight: 6 lbs

BEST FOR: HIKERS NEEDING A SUPPORTIVE CARRIER WITH STORAGE

PROS: Several storage compartments, water bottle holder, padded straps

CONS: Not good for babies under 16 lbs (7.2 kg)

FOLD UP: No

 

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST BABY CARRIERS FOR HIKING

HOW BIG IS YOUR BABY?

How big your baby is will be one of the first factors you’ll want to look at when purchasing a baby carrier. Some carriers are front loading and can hold babies that are only a few months old securely on your chest. If your baby is larger, you’ll want a more supportive carrier where the child sits in the back.

The majority of carriers only hold children up to 40 lbs (18 kg), so keep this in mind if your child is right on the edge. It might make more sense to wait until they can walk on their own.

 

MILES YOU’LL BE PUTTING IN

Lightweight carriers are great for day trips or when you’re not trekking too far. They’re easy to fold up and take up the least amount of room in your car. While they don’t have much storage room, a light weight carrier will hold your baby securely to you.

If you’ll be hiking for an extended period of time or over rough terrain, a larger carrier would be more fitting. This will make sure both you and your child are comfortable with all those miles you put in.

 

TYPE OF FRAME

There are pros and cons to both softshell and hardshell carriers. Softshell carriers work well for smaller children who are less than a year old. They also tend to be lighter and less expensive than hard shell carriers.

Hardshell carriers will be much more long lasting. Another advantage is you’ll be able to carry larger children. They’re more supportive so you can travel farther and more comfortably.

 

STORAGE OPTIONS

How much storage you’ll need depends on how long you’re going for. If it’s a short day trip, you might just need to fit your keys, phone, water, and a few snacks. Most carriers will have enough room for those essentials.

If you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, you’ll want a carrier that can double as a baby carrier and a decent day backpack. Extra water, food, and layers will need to fit in your carrier depending. If you’re planning an overnight trip, your hiking partner will need to carrier a larger backpack.

 

FREESTANDING

Many larger frames have a metal stand so you can easily set the carrier down without it tipping over. If you’re traveling by yourself, this will be a helpful option since you don’t have someone else to take the baby while you adjust your gear or take pictures. It also provides a bit more stability than a lighter frame that doesn’t have a stand.

 

FOLD-UP CARRIERS

Some carriers come fully assembled and ready to use, but they don’t fold up. If storage space isn’t a problem when packing for your trip, these are convenient to use.

If you plan on car camping or have a small car you’ll want a fold-up carrier. While many are still sturdy, they have the advantage of folding up to save room in your car.

 

HOW OLD IS YOUR KID?

Before choosing a carrier for hiking, you’ll want to consider if your child has the ability to support themselves on their own. There’s a big difference in a baby that weighs 10 lbs (4.5 kg) and can’t hold up their head versus a child who’s almost 40 lbs (18 kg) and can walk on their own. Be sure your young baby’s head is supported. Otherwise, they can experience pain and potential injuries.

 

 

READ MORE

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Hiking Backpacks for Kids | Hiking Shoes for Kids

Rain Jackets for Kids | Kids Hiking Packing List

Hiking with Kids – FAQ | 7 Awesome Hiking Games For Kids

5 Awesome Tips For Hiking With Kids

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