Hit The Trails! Mothering’s Best Hiking Baby Carriers

Mothering has the best hiking carriers for mamas and babies

Whether summer is right around the corner or it’s the middle of a gorgeous fall, families want to spend more of their days outdoors.  If you are an active family, you probably love being outdoors in every season and one of the best activities that can be done most of the year is hiking. Check out the best hiking baby carriers to make the trip even better.

Hit The Trails With The Best Hiking Baby Carriers

Editor’s Pick

Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier Backpack

The Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier Backpack was designed to make hiking even easier with your little one. It has a specially designed harness system that helps parents easily lock and load their baby into the hiking baby carrier with color-coded buckles and a simple kickstand that keeps it in place when on the ground and loading your little one into the cockpit. There is also a step-in side entry point so bigger kids can step into the carrier themselves (because we all know what it’s like to hear, “I can do it myself!”).

For parents, the Deuter Kid Comfort Child Carrier Backpack has the VariSlide precision back length that ensures it fits well for anyone who wants to carry and to switch back and forth between parents. The VariFlex hip belt provides ergonomic load distribution to relieve back pain and the load adjustment straps using their Tri Glide technology to help parents fit the carrier to their bodies to make it as comfortable as possible. The Aircomfort Sensi Vario back system is engineered to give increased ventilation and helps air flow freely between the seat and the parent’s back. There are also several external pockets for increased storage.

For the riders, the cockpit is designed with an ergonomic sitting position to make sure that your child is comfortable and their developing bodies are safe while seated in the carrier. The adjustable seat can be moved up and down, and the footrests are also adjustable. There is a wraparound chin and drool pad, an integrated headrest, and a retractable sunroof to make it the most comfortable ride ever.

Key Features:

  • Exceptional ergonomic load distribution
  • TriGlide technology for parent comfort
  • Ergonomic seating for kids supports hip development
  • Footrests for kids
  • Integrated headrest for kids
  • Several external pockets for lots of storage

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Hiking Parents’ Favorite

Osprey Poco Child Carrier

The Osprey Poco Child Carrier is one of the highest-rated baby hiking backpacks on the market. Its ergonomic design makes it easy and comfortable to carry for long periods of time without putting too much strain on your back. The deluxe child cockpit has a Double Halo child harness and adjustable and removable foot stirrups to make sure that it fits your child comfortable for their size and height. It also has a removable and washable drool pad for the youngest of your riders.

Hiking is a favorite summertime activity and so the Osprey Poco Child Carrier has a built-in sunshade that can easily retract for better visibility or put up to protect against the sun’s harmful rays with UPF 50+ UV sun protection.

There are also two open-mesh hip belt pockets that give you quick access to needed items like snacks, toys, and keys. The external hydration sleeve makes sure you and your little one have plenty of water with a 1.5-liter reservoir. There is also a lower zippered compartment for additional storage. The Osprey Poco Child Carrier holds a child from 16 lbs to 48.5 lbs.

Key Features:

  • Superior comfort
  • Parent favorite
  • Ergonomic design helps parents have more comfortable hike
  • Double halo harness and removable foot stirrups allow for best comfort for child
  • Built-in sunshade for sun protection

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Best High-End Baby Hiking Carrier

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack

The Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack is a great baby hiking carrier for daily hikes or trail walks. It has a fully adjustable back panel and hip belt that create the perfect fit for mom and dad, and makes it easier to switch back and forth from mom and dad.

For shorter hikes, you can remove the removable backpack for less weight or add it back on for longer hikes. There is also a large zippered compartment for additional storage and two quick-access pockets on the hip belt for access to snacks, toys, your phone, or your keys.

The Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack is comfortable for your little one, too. There is a plush, height-adjustable seat and a deployable sunshade. Total weight capacity is 48 lbs with a minimum child size of 16 lbs. The dual access step in load allows your child to climb in by themselves, too.

Key Features:

  • Fully adjustable back panel for multiple wearers
  • Zippered compartment for extra storage
  • Two quick-access pockets for phone/snacks/keys
  • Weight capacity of up to 48 lbs.

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Most Comfortable Baby Hiking Carrier

Ergobaby 360 All Carry Positions Baby Carrier

Most baby hiking carriers are made for children 6 months and older, or for those who can sit up on their own at a minimum. But if you can’t wait to step out on the trail with your little one, then you may want to consider an infant carrier like the Ergobaby 360.

While not a traditional hiking carrier, when you’re hiking with an infant, you’re not necessarily pulling the traditional mothering gigs out either. The Ergobaby 360 is a great carrier to have at home, but also for the trails you want to travel.

The all-position carrier can hold little ones from 12 lbs up to toddlers in several different positions. It is a great option for parents who love hiking but their little ones are not quite ready for the larger baby hiking carriers, or who just don’t want to lug all that often-heavy metal. It’s washable and easily adjustable for you to swap out with another adult if you need, and makes it so you don’t have to have a separate carrier for home and trailing.

Key Features:

  • UPF 50 Tuckaway hood for nursing or dusty trails
  • Lumbar support waistbelt for back
  • Padded shoulders help for a comfortable fit and weight distribution
  • Easy to wash and dry

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Best Budget Baby Hiking Carrier

ClevrPlus Urban Explorer Child Carrier Hiking Backpack

The ClevrPlus Urban Explorer Child Carrier Hiking Backpack is a lightweight baby hiking backpack that is great for regular hikes. It is strong and durable enough for long trails, and comfortable for both kids and adults. Both the shoulder straps and the hip belts are padded and they have energy-absorbing lumbar padding that helps keep your back cool and comfortable even in hot weather. The adjustable child cockpit can be adjusted to fit your child, and the carrier is designed for children between 9 months and 48 months with a maximum weight of 42 lbs. The safety belts and foot stirrups make it a comfortable ride for your little one too and keep them safe while inside the carrier. There is also a washable drool pad because sometimes hiking can just be that exhausting.

The ClevrPlus Urban Explorer Child Carrier Hiking Backpack also has a sun canopy and rain cover to help keep your little one protected from the elements. It also has plenty of storage with a removable diaper bag that can be taken off to decrease the total weight of the hiking backpack. The ClevrPlus Urban Explorer Child Carrier Hiking Backpack also has included storage compartments that can hold things like changing pads, diapers, wipes, bottles, sweaters, your phone, and your keys.

Key Features:

  • Affordable comfort
  • Removable diaper bag that can decrease total weight of carry
  • Energy-absorbing lumbar padding
  • Highly-rated in reviews

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Related: How to Nurture Playful Learning at Home, Outdoors and On-the-Go


There are several different ways you can hike with a baby, and many of them aren’t all that different than going for a walk with your little one. However, if your family is avid hikers or you are planning on taking long treks you might want to consider getting your family a hiking baby carrier.

What is a Hiking Baby Carrier?

A hiking baby carrier is a utility-style backpack that has a seat for your child to ride in on the back. It often comes with a wide-based seat for the rider, ergonomic straps and hip belts to distribute weight, stirrups for the rider’s feet, and several storage pockets.

Hiking baby carriers are great for active families. Whether you are an avid hiker or you just enjoy going on trail walks with the family, hiking baby carriers can make outdoor adventures much easier with little ones who are not yet mobile or older children who cannot walk for long periods. They are also great for families who enjoy more difficult hikes but have children in the family who cannot yet complete those strenuous activities.

What You Should Look for in a Hiking Baby Carrier

Not all hiking baby carriers are created equal. Some are specially designed for longer and more strenuous hikes while others are made for shorter trail walks with the family. No matter what though, you will want to be sure that your hiking baby carrier as these minimum specifications:

  • Aluminum frame for a lightweight design
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Padded hip belts
  • Lumbar support
  • Ergonomic design
  • Storage pouches and pockets
  • Hydration reservoir
  • Stirrups for the rider
  • Sunshade or canopy
  • Safety straps in the cockpit

If your family loves hiking and you plan on taking longer and more difficult hikes, you might want to look for a hiking baby carrier that also has aluminum roll bars to protect your little one in case of a fall or tumble.

Other Considerations When Hiking with a Baby

Even experienced hikers will need to consider what additional gear they might need when adding a little one to their group. Babies and toddlers have additional considerations for their health and safety that must be taken into account to ensure that they are safe during the hike.

Since you will more than likely be outdoors for extended periods of time, it is a good idea to make sure that you take frequent breaks to ensure that your little one is well-hydrated and not overheating. You will also want to make sure they are protected from the sun’s harmful rays even if it is cloudy outside.

Here are some additional items you may want to consider when hiking with a little one:

  • Hat with UPF 50+ protection
  • Sunscreen- apply before heading out and frequently during the hike.
  • Plenty of water and snacks- larger hiking backpacks will have a water bladder reservoir. If you have a small backpack you will want to ensure that you bring plenty of water for both of you.
  • If they are walking, allow them to explore- part of hiking is getting your child into nature, but they can’t do that while constantly sitting in the backpack. Give them time to get out, stretch their legs, and explore nature around them. This also gives them some time to cool off from being in the carrier.

Hiking is an amazing family-friendly activity that not only allows your child to be in touch with nature but also models for them the importance of exercise and an active lifestyle from a young age. It also helps parents get out and take time for themselves, even with the kids with them. A good, high-quality hiking baby carrier will make family hikes much more enjoyable and, therefore, much more frequent.

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