Having a baby does not mean you bid adieu to your regular walks and hikes. With the best baby carrier for hiking, you can seamlessly carry your little ones. They are loaded with everything you need for a hike, right from the top-quality harness, padding, and suspension systems. They are made keeping in mind the needs and wants of those who go for walks and hikes. The supportive and comfortable baby carriers allow you to hold your child effortlessly for miles. To help you choose the right one, go through the types of carriers available and the brands that sell them. We have compiled a list that you can refer to help you choose one in this post.
Our Top Picks
Types Of Baby Carriers
These are long swathes of fabric that you wrap around yourself and your baby and are available in stretchable or woven fabrics. It spreads across your entire back without digging in and causing discomfort. You need to tie on the sling correctly each time, which is a tad inconvenient, but it can be left tied on when the baby has been taken out.
A sling is a little fabric pouch that your baby can sit in. Also called ring slings, these are a long stretch of fabric with 2 rings at the end. It’s worn across the body and is suitable for infants and toddlers. The baby can be quickly moved in and out of the sling, but it’s not a good idea to use them for hiking as the entire weight of the baby is on one shoulder, and you can’t carry any extra gear. Bag-style slings should be completely avoided as they are unsafe for babies as it brings their chin to their chest, and also covers their face with fabric, which can be suffocating.
- Meh dai
A mei tei or meh dai is a perfect combination of a structured carrier and wrap. They have thicker straps, are padded, and have a more structured baby support area. These Asian-style baby carriers are a rectangular or square piece of cloth with 4 straps, 2 of which are tied around the wearer’s waist, and 2 over their shoulders. The pocket that is formed is for the baby to sit in. It can be worn on the front, back, or hip, and spreads the weight evenly over your hips and shoulders.
- Soft structured carriers
They are a cross between a backpack and a meh dai. A soft carrier has a solid fabric frame and padded straps and gives the same support as a hard frame carrier. They give good back support and are adjustable like a backpack. Depending on the brand, the baby can be on the front facing in or out and on the back facing in.
- Backpack carriers
They have a hard, solid plastic or metal frame with a firm place for the baby to sit in. They are heavier and bigger than other carriers. They’re built for long hikes and make carrying more weight and gear possible. They feature adjustable length at the torso, a padded waist belt, and plenty of pockets storage, so that you can hike and backpack with kids.
11 Best Baby Carriers For Hiking
Hikes are a great way to bond and this baby carrier for hiking has a cool, breathable 3D mesh lining to beat the heat and is an ergonomic option. Ideal for babies weighing between 8 to 32 pounds, you can carry your baby in 4 different ways facing you, forward facing, wide, knee to knee support, and on your back. The special internal harness makes it easy to use, as you can leave your baby in the carrier, remove the whole system and help your partner take over. This baby carrier features an elegant and practical 2-in-1 bandanna bib that can be used separately or along with the carrier. It protects the carrier from drool and spit-ups, and can be popped into the washing machine, and snapped back on when dry. This video review will help you learn more about the product.
- Machine washable
- Built-in headrest
- Comes with a shoulder straps
- Perfect tailored fit for all caregivers
- Some may find the fit around the legs rather tight
This multi-functional baby carrier is designed according to the different stages of skeletal development that your child will go through between 3 to 36 months of age. Its ergonomic design ensures that your baby sits in the M-shape that effectively reduces the pressure on the hip joint and prevents hip dislocation. It also features a 3D memory non-slip stool to provide unparalleled comfort for your baby’s little buttocks and ensure that the walk is not a bumpy one for the baby. The shoulder strap is 75 mm wide and 20 mm thick, while the belt is 14 cm wide and 130 cm long to evenly distribute the weight. This video will help you make an informed decision about your purchase.
- Adjustable panel
- Windproof cap
- Nanograde velcro
- Double lock at shoulder and waist
- 3 combinations and 6 ways in which you can carry your baby
- Some might find it complicated to put on
This hiking backpack child carrier has a lightweight but strong metal frame with 600d oxford cloth. It features thick padded shoulder pads, a padded waist strap, multiple pockets, and 2 side water bottle holders. It also has an extra large back pocket for diapers and other essentials, with a safety reflective strip across it. The canopy is easy to remove and protects your kid from sun and rain. The child carrier has adjustable straps, and the waistband extends to about 60 inches. Watch this video to get a detailed review of the product.
- Weighs 5.5 pounds only
- 3 way adjustable child seat
- Foldable metal frame
- Adjustable foot stirrups
- Easily stands on table with kickstand
- Ideal for babies between 9 to 48 months
- Some may find the strap clips and buckles a bit fragile
This carrier offers adequate suspension and an even distribution of weight. The torso is height-adjustable and the mesh back keeps the baby cool at all times. A removable mesh hood is included to protect your baby from the sun. It has myriad zipped compartments and mesh pockets to carry diapers, wipes and food, including a thermal insulated zipper pocket to keep a baby bottle or some food at the desired temperature.
- Polyester lining
- Zipper closure
- Padded straps
- Load bearing belt
- Lightweight aluminum kick out stand
- Comes with free baby changing mat
- Handy hip pockets for keys and phones
- Some feel it could be more ergonomic
This ergonomic baby carrier for hiking has an exquisite design and a large padded waistband to provide the support you need to prevent back pain and also provides maximum comfort to your baby. The stool is made of silicone and is a non-slip material. Made of durable cotton material, the carrier features a widened shoulder strap and belt with high quality velcro, zippered pocket, headrest, and a sleeping hood for support and sun protection. Ideal for babies up to the age of 36 months, this carrier features a 3D breathable, mesh air panel that can be zipped down for cool air and zipped up when cold, and also gives ergonomic support to your baby. It can be used in 3 ways as a single seat—facing in, facing out, and horizontal, and in 3 ways as a baby carrier—facing in, facing out, and on the back.
- Non-toxic material
- Wide seat for baby’s comfort
- Easy to operate and adjust
- Flexible carrying position
- Has CPSIA certification
- Dual adjustable straps for easier breastfeeding
- Not machine washable
A lightweight baby carrier, it features a detachable baby hip seat that weighs less than 1 pound and helps to evenly distribute your baby’s weight. With 8 ergonomic carry styles, it’s exceptionally comfortable for feeding, as a front facing baby carrier and as a backpack baby carrier. It comes with an adjustable widened waist belt which can extend up to 55 inches, and extendable shoulder straps for a customized fit. It’s ideal for babies between the ages of 4 to 36 months, and has an adjustable back panel that provides support for your baby’s neck and head. It features breathable 3D mesh with padded memory foam for air flow and cushioning for both child and parent.
- Dual adjustable straps
- Polyester belt and straps
- Premium buckle with additional locking teeth for security
- 100% organic cotton teething bib
- Detachable sun and wind hood
- Zippered pocket for storage
- Some feel the zipper could be stronger
Get ready for those long hikes with your baby with this comfortable baby carrier for hiking that is made of high quality, soft material that’s soft on the skin. Weighing just 1.4 pounds, it offers excellent lumbar support and both the shoulder strap and waist belt are wider and thicker for added comfort. It also features dual adjustable straps for easier breastfeeding. Made of durable cotton and polyester, this smart-colored carrier has a headrest to support your baby’s head while sitting or napping. It includes a hip seat, can be carried in 16 ways, and is ideal for babies and toddlers up to the age of 36 months.
- Zippered pocket for diaper and bottle
- Hood for support and sun protection
- Suitable for all seasons
- CPSIA certification
- Some may find it hard to get it on by themselves
This 100% premium, soft cotton baby carrier with a 14 cm waist belt, 20 mm thick shoulder strap and adjustable buckles makes it perfect for all caregivers and is ideal for babies weighing between 7 to 45 pounds or aged 3 to 36 months. Add the breathable 3D cool mesh to beat the heat and your hikes with your baby become a treat. The 100% pure cotton filler greatly reduces the friction of the strap on the baby’s legs. There are 12 ergonomic ways to carry your baby with or without the hip seat. It also features a UPF 50+ tuck away baby hood for sun and wind protection and privacy while feeding.
- Ergonomically designed stool
- Non-slip saddle on hip stool
- Storage pouch for diaper or bottle
- May be difficult to get the baby in and out alone
This baby carrier for hiking is easy to put on, has a secure fit, and is comfortable for both parent and child. Your baby can sit both forward and rear facing, and has a built-in, removable changing pad, and is easy to clean. Designed for front carrying, it’s ideal for children weighing between 12 to 33 pounds and fits a waist of up to 48 inches. The front and back panels are padded and the shoulder straps are designed with a breathable mesh for coolness and comfort. Extra pouches can be added to hold bottles, toys, or pacifiers.
- Premium cotton material
- Weighs 1.65 pounds
- MOLLE/PALS compatible design
- ASTM certified
- Some may find the clip a bit fragile
Carrying your baby for long hours could invariably lead to back pain and this baby carrier for hiking has just made life easier for you! With its 3 point weight distribution system, it relieves the pressure on your shoulders and back even after carrying your baby for hours. It features flexible, adjustable straps and a wide, padded waist belt, and is suitable for babies weighing up to 50 pounds. The collapsible sunshade provides ample relief from the sun and wind.
- Large storage bag under seat
- Shock-absorbent padding
- Insulated pocket for warm milk
- Easy access to bottle holder bag
- Small zipper pocket on waist belt for cards, keys
- Adheres to strict safety standards
- Collapsible aluminum frame
- Not suitable for newborns
A baby doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to drop your sense of style and this baby carrier for hiking ensures that with its stylish design. It is designed to cater to all your needs and even comes with an attached bib for drool and spit-ups. Widened shoulder straps and a padded waist belt distributes the weight well as they are adjustable. Its well-designed, breathable 3D mesh keeps you and your baby cooler in warm weather and it’s easy to switch between front and back positions as your baby grows. Ideal for babies from newborn to toddler stage, it features widened shoulder straps, a thick padding to prevent chafing of your baby’s legs.
- Ergonomic 6-in-1 carrier design
- Made of skin-friendly cotton
- Upgraded safety buckle
- Convenient pockets for bottles and diapers
- Suitable for babies weighing 7.5 to 33 pounds
- Some feel it may not be suitable for a newborn
Now that you have been through our review of the 11 best baby carriers for hiking, here are a few considerations to keep in mind while choosing one for your baby, so that you don’t compromise on comfort and safety.
What To Look For In A Hiking Baby Carrier
A baby carrier needs to be comfortable and must have features that add to the comfort. The metal frame needs to be strong and provide excellent support to support a baby. They need to have strong suspensions to endure an 8 to 40 pound baby. The hip belt should be padded and provide firm support. A secure child harness and seat is of vital importance, as is adjustability, support, and comfort around the legs, arms, and shoulders. The fabric should ideally be durable, soft to touch, and machine-washable. A well-designed cockpit would have tall sides and back, and a large, cushioned pad in the front, for a comfortable nap. It should have several pockets to carry essentials, and a folding kickstand for easy storage and transport.
- Pack weight
Lightweight carriers which have fewer features usually weigh around 4 to 5 pounds, while fully-loaded models can be 8 pounds or more. Add the weight of the child and anything else you might be carrying adds up to a lot. Unfortunately, the more comfortable the pack, the heavier it is.
As multiple adults might be using the back carrier, it’s important that it has adjustable straps that can be shortened or lengthened, and ensures that the cushioned areas are supporting you properly.
- Child age and weight recommendations
Most manufacturers recommend that a child be able to support their head and should weigh at least 16 pounds. Be sure the carrier provides adequate neck and head support. Do check the instructions on your pack, and ensure the harness can safely hold your child. The maximum weight limit will also vary depending on the design, but is around 30 to 50 pounds.
- Carrier safety
All child carriers have to adhere to safety standards and ensure they don’t have exposed springs, sharp edges, or unintentional folding. Many have a JPMA safety certification, which means they have been tested separately through an independent party. These tests ensure that the baby carrier follows federal, state, and ASTM restrictions.
- Pockets and storage capacity
Most baby carriers have an array of pockets for storage. The storage pockets are usually at the front with 1 or 2 pockets along the top and a larger pocket with a zipper at the bottom. Large hipbelt pockets are convenient for storing snacks if your little one gets cranky. Some include a hydration sleeve, where you can slide in a water bottle and straw for water on the go.
- Sun and rain protection
All good baby carriers either include a sunshade as that’s mandatory on long hikes for sensitive baby skin. The built-in hoods are right behind the cockpit area and can be quickly opened. Accessory sunshades are also very easy to connect and use, and usually have a dedicated pocket to store them in. They protect against rain too, but dedicated rain shades are made of water-resistant material.
It’s very convenient if the baby carrier for hiking has stirrups on either side of the child seat. This gets them into a proper sitting position and takes off some of the pressure of sitting for hours. It’s a good thing to have for longer trips, and they are usually removable, in case your child outgrows them.
There’s nothing better than exploring the outdoors with your baby. If you’re considering buying a hiking baby carrier, comfort is your first requirement, because carrying a baby on your back for an indefinite period of time is no joke. And you need to remember that what works well for one person, may not necessarily work well for you. Sometimes it’s a good idea to try on different baby hiking carriers to determine which works the best for you. While there isn’t a single best baby carrier for hiking to suit everyone, we’ve reviewed a wide variety of options under the 11 best baby carriers for hiking which we hope will help you find the perfect one for your hiking sojourns.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Sristi Suman has prepared this list of the best baby carriers designed for hiking and traveling as she holds expertise in sports and adventure-related products. These products come with important features such as high-quality harnesses, padding, and suspension systems to keep your little one safe during walks and hikes. She has picked them based on their features, benefits, and reviews among users who have used them already.
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