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Best Baby Hiking Backpack: Starting a Family Does Not Mean the Game is Over!

Mother hold baby girl in backpack on waterfall background
Henry Silva
Written by Henry Silva

You will agree with us that starting a family is one of the most important things in life, but people who like to stay active in the wild are often worried that spending time with children will keep them indoors. Luckily, there are now ways to bring your children with yourself in the back country.  Best baby hiking backpack solutions are perfectly safe, lightweight, convenient and fun!

Remember that no backpack, tent or any other piece of equipment can be more important than this one. Also, despite the fact that modern baby carriers provide high levels of safety and security for your children, you should still stay away from some more extreme activities such as climbing.

Of course, if you want to go camping with your child, you should never forget to review all other things a child needs to remain calm and content there in the wild. Both your child and you need to prepare for going into the wilderness together in a way, which would make the activity fun for both of you.

Luckily, we came up with a list of features for you to look for before buying a baby hiking backpack, as well as providing reviews about the best models in the market. The idea is to guide you through with the information, so you can then make the right choice.

Product NameWeightLoading RateSpecial FeaturesPrice
Deuter Kid Comfort II7 lb30 lb including childHeight adjustable variable width child seat, soft padded 5-point safety harness with effortless size adjustment function, anatomically shaped shoulder straps with 3D mesh lining, removable chin pad, pull-forward hip belt, plenty of storage. 3L hydration system ready.Check price on Amazon
Osprey Poco AG Plus7 lb48.5 lb including child6 inch/15cm of torso adjustment, adjustable and removable stirrups for child leg support, 5-inch Fit-on-the-fly hip belt extension, anti-gravity contoured suspension, advanced double Halo harness and child seat, dual grab handles, integrated sunshade, toy attachment loop.Check price on Amazon
Deuter Kid Comfort III7.6 lb48.5 lb including childVary quick adjustment system, anatomically shaped shoulder straps with 3D mesh lining, side entry for the child’s seat, integrated sun roof on a higher padded headrest, 18L total volume, Aircontact back system with breathable foam back.Check price on Amazon
Deuter Kid Comfort Air6.1 lb48.5 lb including childAdjustable 5-point child safety harness, 3M reflector loop, plenty of mesh and zipped pockets, kickstand with audible ‘click’ sound when locked, adjustable child stirrups, height-adjustable seat, ergonomic chin pad for increased comfort of both the wearer and the child when the child is asleep.Check price on Amazon
Clevr Crosslinks5.1 lb40 lb of child weightMultiple pockets including two water bottle pockets, retractable canopy for multiple child protection, added straps and hip belt with energy-absorbing lumbar padding to keep your back and shoulders dry and fresh, removable and foldable canopy, foldable kickstand.Check price on Amazon
BabyBjorn One2 lb33 lb of child weightFour ergonomic baby carrying positions: newborn, baby facing in, baby facing out and back carry, ergonomic leg position, 12-inch wide seating, extra-padded shoulder straps. stabilizing waist belt providing with even distribution of the child’s weight.Check price on Amazon

Features To Consider Before Buying

Before acquiring any baby hiking backpack, it’s important for you to take a look at the most relevant features they have to offer. Based on the weight, age and size of your child, the backpack might change. So, take a look at the features below to make an informed choice.

Form Factor

Most child carriers for hiking are actually backpacks with a baby compartment added. To make it more comfortable for the child, many models are stripped of larger compartments and hydration pack sleeves, though some still offer these features. Others emphasize the baby carrying function, leaving only a few pockets for any equipment you would bring with yourself.

hiking baby carriers on the ground and a mother with her child

Baby carriers are something different: these are lightweight baby bags with secure straps, but without any metal frames. These are meant only for babies and toddlers and are very lightweight. Baby carriers are great for family travel, where another adult person is present and able to carry a separate backpack with gear.

Materials

Most baby carriers use artificial fabrics, which allow a plenty of air to the skin of both the carrier and the child. To increase child area, a backpack requires a thick frame, which is usually made of aluminum, and a kickstand, which helps with storing, picking up and unloading the child. High-pressure surfaces such as shoulder straps are often padded to further increase the carrier’s comfort.

Safety Features

Almost all child backpacks feature some kind of safety harness for the child. Some manufacturers will not even mention that feature, assuming the buyer already knows such a feature is a must.

picture of a mother and her child in a Beco Baby Carrier

Five-point harness, identical to that in some advanced child safety car seats, is the most common device for keeping the child in a secure, yet comfortable position. All serious child carrier manufacturers rate their products with the maximum child weight that should never be exceeded.

Note that backpacks are designed for hikes, walks, and other on-foot activities. Never use them while cycling. Child movements can disrupt your balance while on the bike resulting in a crash! If cycling is your primary activity and you need to bring your kid with yourself, buy a child seat instead.

Child Weather Protection

There are two basic add-ons for protecting the child from weather exposure: sunroof and rain cover. In the majority of baby carriers on the market, the sunroof is included in the package.

picture of a child in a baby carrier smiling at the camera

On the other hand, the rain cover is most commonly an additional feature which needs to be bought separately. In most backpacks, the child compartment walls are weatherproof, unless it’s a pack with mesh walls.

Additional Features

As said above, some child carriers share functionality with an actual gear backpack to some extent. The most advanced models will even include a 3-liter hydration bladder sleeve and a couple of additional large compartments with a plethora of pockets all around.

Those are meant for well-prepared athletes for whom weight is not an issue, though they still have to pay attention to the maximum load rating, which is most commonly 48.5 lbs. It includes the backpack, the child, and the gear, basically, the entire weight that is on your shoulders and back.

two adults hiking with their baby

Other backpacks will have only limited gear carrying functionality, one or two larger compartments, and several pockets, without support for hydration bladders. One of the most useful features is the diaper-changing pad.

Adjustability

One of the key reasons to use child carriers is its possibility to support the growth of your child, as well as changes in your weight (or differences in weights among others wearing it). You don’t have to worry as most carriers feature adjustable straps for both the wearer and the child. Adjustability of the child safety harness is a key safety consideration.

Top Product Reviews

In this section, you will find the best models of hiking backpacks to carry your child in it, and based on the knowledge you gained from the previous section of our article, we are sure that you will be able to find a product that perfectly matches your personal preferences.

Deuter Kid Comfort II

Deuter Kid Comfort 2

Price: $240 – $260

Material: Deuter super polytex polyester

Weight: 7 lb

Load rating: 30 lb including the child and all the gear.

Specific features: Height adjustable variable width child seat, soft padded 5-point safety harness with effortless size adjustment function, anatomically shaped shoulder straps with 3D mesh lining, removable chin pad, pull-forward hip belt, plenty of storage. 3L hydration system ready.

Best use: Long and short hikes, lasting from one to several days, camping.

Description: The Deuter Kid Comfort II child carrier is the right choice for those who want a lightweight all-in-1 solution for carrying both the child and the gear. Plenty of storage options is accompanied with side entry for the seat. Storage choice is at least as good as in classic backpacks, and that hydration bladder compartment is a big plus.

What we don’t like is that sun and rain cover is not included, you have to buy one separately. The system also lacks foldability, so it may be a bit bulky if you use public transportation or a small car.

If you need to fly to your destination, you may still put it in a suitcase, though most airlines will treat it as a stroller and allow it in the cabin. And it does fit the overhead storage. Additional features include a reflective safety light loop and a teddy bear in one of the mesh pockets.

PROS:

  • Excellent ventilation for baby and adult
  • A lot of storage compartments
  • Hydration bladder included

CONS:

  • No rain cover, must be bought separately

Related: The Deuter Comfort Rain Cover is the ideal add-on to buy with this backpack. It is, in fact, the rain cover that is missing in the backpack. Buy it to keep is safe from rain.

Check the price on Amazon

Osprey Poco AG Plus

Osprey Poco AG Plus

Price: $280 – $290

Material: Fabric/nylon/210D nylon double diamond ripstop, lightweight aluminum frame.

Weight: 7 lb

Load rating: 48.5 lb including child, gear, and pack.

Specific features: 6 inch/15cm of torso adjustment, adjustable and removable stirrups for child leg support, 5-inch Fit-on-the-fly hip belt extension, anti-gravity contoured suspension, advanced double Halo harness and child seat, dual grab handles, integrated sunshade, toy attachment loop, a large compartment and a number of stashes and mesh pockets.

Best use: Shorter hikes, urban and extraurban walks.

Description: If you emphasize child safety and comfort and value it more than the amount of time spent in the back country, you go with the Osprey Poco AG Plus child carrier. This is the mid-tier child carrier from the AG (Anti-Gravity) series. Top one has a hydration bladder sleeve and removable daypack, making it suitable for longer stays in the wilderness.

But with the AG Plus, you get all you need for one-day hikes. The Anti-Gravity feature will lower the pressure on your torso and skeletal system, keeping your spine in the right position and preventing pain even after hours of carrying your child around.

Speaking of child safety, the child cockpit is fully framed and padded, yet there is a butterfly harness covered with fleece. Reinforced grab handles make pickups secure. A big plus for the AG Plus are the safety leg loops, which will add further protection and safety for the little ones.

PROS:

  • Built in sunshade to protect your child
  • Adjustable hip belt for additional comfort and relieving weight from the shoulders
  • Reinforced grab handles and leg loops for child safety

CONS:

  • Hip belt hard to adjust
  • No rain cover included

Related: The Osprey Poco Rain Cover is the product to buy with the backpack, that way you’ll keep your child and your gear dry!

Check the price on Amazon

Deuter Kid Comfort III

Deuter Kid Comfort 3

Price: $270 – $300

Material: Nylon, Deuter super polytex.

Weight: 7 lb

Load rating: 48.5 lb including child, gear, and pack.

Specific features: Vari Quick adjustment system, anatomically shaped shoulder straps with 3D mesh lining, side entry for the child’s seat, integrated sun roof on a higher padded headrest, 18L total volume, Aircontact back system with breathable foam back,

breathable child seat cushions. 5-point safety harness with effortless size adjustment function, cushy and extra soft child rest pillow.

Best use: Long hikes, camping.

Description: The Deuter Kid Comfort III child carrier is the advanced version of the Comfort II child carrier described above. It brings extra functionality regarding comfort for both the adult and the child.

The headrest and soft pillow will help your child fall asleep and stay sleeping while you’re on longer trails, so you will have more time to concentrate on the activity. You will really enjoy the activity thanks to that breathable back cushion, which will keep your back, less sweaty and hot from carrying the backpack all day long.

While the integrated sunroof will protect the child from light rain, for heavy raining you will need to get a rain cover, which is sold separately but is made to fit the Deuter Comfort carriers. Besides the features summarized above, it has the most of those from the Comfort II, even including the teddy. For some more information, read the Deuter Comfort II description.

PROS:

  • Excellent ventilation for you and the baby
  • Fits great to all sizes of adults
  • Includes a teddy bear

CONS:

  • Not stable on a flat surface

Related: The Deuters Steamer Hydration Pack is commonly bought with this bag, as it can be used inside the backpack to keep you hydrated.

Check the price on Amazon

Deuter Kid Comfort Air

Deuter Kid Comfort Air

Price: $230 – $250

Material: Microrip-nylon/super-polytex

Weight: 6 lb

Load rating: 48.5 lb including child, gear, and pack.

Specific features: Adjustable 5-point child safety harness, 3M reflector loop, plenty of mesh and zipped pockets, kickstand with audible ‘click’ sound when locked,  adjustable child stirrups, height-adjustable seat, ergonomic chin pad for increased comfort of both the wearer and the child when the child is asleep, AirComfort back ventilation system, JPMA approved.

Best use: Shorter hikes and walks, especially one-day, which take long hours.

Description: If you don’t want to compromise the comfort of you and your child while on the go, you choose the Deuter Kid Comfort Air. This pack still has a plenty of room for the gear of both you and your child, though it is not really meant for longer stays in the back country.

There is a long list of storages including large compartments and zipper pockets. One compartment is located under the child seat – it’s the one where you put whatever you need when the child is not in the carrier.

High level of ventilation is achieved by using mesh wherever applicable. The mesh is high quality and the child can’t break it with ease. Even the back wall is mesh – something your back will be very happy to hear.  Your child will enjoy significant freedom of movement while staying safe.

The only downward is an absence of sunroof, which you need to buy separately. As for the other two Deuter carriers from the above, this one also comes with a teddy in the large side mesh pocket and a child leg support for increased safety and comfort.

PROS:

  • Excellent ventilation
  • One of the best reviewed models
  • One of the most comfortable for the babies

CONS:

  • Rain cover must be bought separately

Related: The Chums Rearview Mirror is a great item to purchase with any baby hiking backpack. Just clip it to your shoulder strap and keep an eye on your little ones as you are on the move.

Check the price on Amazon

Clevr Crosslinks

clevr baby carrier

Price: $130 – $180

Material: Aluminum frame and 600d Oxford cloth.

Weight: 5.1 lb

Load rating: 16-40 lb of child weight.

Specific features: Multiple pockets including two water bottle pockets, retractable canopy for multiple child protection, added straps and hip belt with energy-absorbing lumbar padding to keep your back and shoulders dry and fresh, removable and foldable canopy, foldable kickstand.

Best use: Shorter hikes and walks, especially one-day, which take long hours.

Description: If the requirements of your child are not big, or if you’re on a budget, the Clevr Crosslinks carrier is what you’re looking for. This inexpensive item doesn’t make any compromises regarding safety, yet it’s among the lightest options, and besides that it has some features which can’t be easily found even in some more expensive models.

Despite being among the cheapest, this carrier is also among the best regarding rain and snow protection for the child. It also pays special attention to the wearer’s comfort.

The cons of this item is a lack of larger storage compartments and possibility to fold it while traveling. Despite bulky, this one can be brought to the cabin instead of the stroller and fit in the overhead compartment.

PROS:

  • One of the lightest models
  • Stands on flat ground
  • Good price

CONS:

  • Lack of storing compartments
  • Not ideal for long hikes or camping trips

Related: The BooginHead Cup Holder is the ideal cup holder to buy with this bag, clip it to the shoulder straps and have your little one drink without the cup ever falling to the ground.

Check the price on Amazon

BabyBjorn One

BabyBjorn backpack

Price: $110 – $190

Material: Advanced fabrics which promote child comfort and skin health, no frames and no metal parts.

Weight: 2 lb

Load rating: 8 – 33 lb of child weight. Babies and toddlers up to 3 years of age.

Specific features: Four ergonomic baby carrying positions: newborn, baby facing in, baby facing out and back carry, ergonomic leg position, 12-inch wide seating, extra-padded shoulder straps, stabilizing waist belt providing with even distribution of the child’s weight, unisex design and colorways (black, denim).

Best use: Urban and extraurban walks, short hikes.

Description: While going as a couple, one parent can carry a classic backpack, while the other one can bring the child in this ultra lightweight and convenient BabyBjorn One child-only carrier.

Yes, this one can only keep the child, having no storage options. But what is better than having a possibility to carry your child on your chest, and not back like in most hiking and camping, baby carriers, once you solved the issue of who else has to bring the actual backpack with the gear only.

BabyBjörn uses advanced materials and pads making this carrier much more pleasant for carrying and being carried than any of those camping baby carrier backpacks.

Additionally, this carrier holds a certificate from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, which rated it baby-hip friendly. It does not just keep your child in a healthy position, it also promotes hip joint development, making it awesome for the newborn babies.

PROS:

  • Can be used on the back or the front, very dynamic and versatile
  • Incredibly light
  • Very good safety features

CONS:

  • More of an everyday or city carrier, than for hiking
  • Lacks pockets or compartments

Related: The BabyBjorn Bib For Carrier was designed on purpose to use with this carrier or backpack. It makes sure your baby doesn’t spill drinks or food on himself while on the move.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrapping Up

When you’re making a decision about which child carrier is the best for you, you need to know some important factors such as your child’s weight and height, how many days you’ll be hiking, or how long you will be walking.

father carrying his little child in the nature

With that in mind, then consider the features we gave you in this article and go buy with the certainty of knowing what you’re after. When you make a good choice you will enjoy your hikes even more than you did before having a child. Plus, they won’t be as tough or frustrating as before.

Did we forget any particular model of a baby hiking backpack? Is there any other item you might think of that would be ideal for hiking with little ones? If so, please leave a comment below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Henry Silva
Henry Silva

Henry was hiking since he was 4. He was lucky enough to be born in Boulder, Colorado and enjoy Rocky Mountain National Park hikes growing up. His favourite is Longs Peak, which rises to 14,259 feet (4,346 m) above sea level. It is the highest point of the park. Henry likes to explore new hikes and spend his spare time in the wilderness.

  • Marissa Sava

    Oh my god these are so cute! I loved the backpacks which gives me storage as well as a baby holding space. But will I get back problems from this?

  • Henry Silva

    Back problems can be the result of many things, and carrying heavy loads is one of them. However, we cannot tell you if this will cause you back problems. If you are experiencing back pain, try to keep the loads you carry lighter and consult a doctor.

  • Andre Mahe

    I was out from camping and hiking for a while since my wife is pregnant. I took my time to find a similar product which I can buy, then I can use it after our new member born. Does anyone have any idea about one of the comfortable one?

  • Henry Silva

    That is really up to the fabric and the feel for your baby.

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