Whether you are going on a hike, headed to the park or just out for a walk with the dog, why not make it a complete family affair with the best hiking infant carrier you can find for the little one? During any kind of outdoor adventure, carrying your child on your back in a safe and supportive way gives both you and your child a shared perspective of your surroundings and enables you to stay out longer and go farther while keeping everyone comfortable and happy.
The type of carrier you need depends on the age of your child and how you plan to use it. When your child is an infant, for example, a soft chest carrier will be more appropriate than a fully-featured frame backpack-style carrier. Ands while the main goal of any baby hiking carrier is the safety and comfort of your child, of course, you’ll also want to focus on your own comfort while you’re wearing it.
Most baby hiking carriers go well beyond just providing a means to secure your child to your torso. Pricier models include a lot of extra features starting with a quality, an adjustable harness for both you and your child, plenty of storage options for diapers, water and snacks, and even extras such as sun shades and rain covers.
Want to pick the best one for you? Read on, and we’ll break down the best infant hiking carriers, from bomber backpacks strong enough to haul a growing toddler on multi-day hikes to lightweight models for infants or for short trips out.
Best Overall Hiking Baby Carrier
Deuter’s Kid Comfort Pro is Pricey, But Very Stable and Comfortable
The Deuter Kid Comfort Pro is a full-featured hiking baby carrier that provides a safe and comfortable ride for your little one while ensuring the pack is comfortable to carry. A supportive, adjustable back system not only supports heavy loads, but can be altered to fit almost any adult thanks to five inches of movement in the torso length and an expandable hip belt that fits waist from 24-54 inches.
An integrated aluminum frame adds a level of stability to the entire pack while also transferring the load from your back and shoulders to your hips. The mesh backpanel keeps air flowing along your torso for added comfort on long or warmer days outside.
The seat system is also fully adjustable so the carrier doesn’t need to be replaced as your child grows. The child seat is both height- and width-adjustable, the foot rests are height-adjustable and the shoulder straps move up and down. All the buckles on the pack are color-coded so you can be sure that your child is fully secure before you set off.
An audibly locking kickstand and side entry buckles make it easy for you to get a squirming child safely in or out of their seat. Two large grab handles enable you to easily maneuver the pack when getting set up. And plenty of storage space gives you room for all the essentials required on a full day out—there is a large open pocket at the back of the carrier, side water bottle pockets, large hip pockets, and a slot pocket on the back. The hiking baby carrier even comes with a daypack to store all the extras both you and your child might need on a day out.
Other features include an integrated sunroof, a rearview mirror to keep an eye on your little one and a washable, removable chin pad for snacks or naps.
Best For Fitting The Entire Family
Osprey Features a Ton of Storage and a Built-In Sun Shade
Osprey is known for designing the most comfortable and adjustable backpacks around, and the Poco Plus does nothing to tarnish that rep. The infant hiking carrier comes equipped with the same suspended mesh back system as the brand’s hiking and backpacking packs. A full seven inches of adjustability in the harness offers both shorter and taller adults the most comfortable wearing experience, while the hipbelt can be made longer or shorter to fit waists from 26 to 49 inches. For the safety and comfort of your child, the safety harness, seat, and foot stirrups are all adjustable to fit a wide range of sizes, shapes and weights.
The lightweight aluminum frame folds down for easy storage and snaps into place so you know it’s secure when setting down the carrier to load or unload your child. Dual grab handles make it easy to move the pack around and add an extra level of security when removing the pack with your child in tow.
The hiking baby carrier gives you plenty of storage options with zippered hipbelt pockets, easy access side mesh pockets, a top zippered pocket for items like keys and a wallet, as well as a large bottom storage compartment big enough to fit a diaper pad plus additional gear or layers for you or your child.
A built-in sun shade stores easily and deploys quickly for added UV protection. There is even an integrated rain cover for when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Additional features include a removable and washable drool pad, toy attachment points, and an external sleeve for carrying a hydration reservoir.
Best For Hiking With Newborns Or Infants
Three Carry Modes Mean Ergobaby Can Safely Accommodate All Ages
Soft, cozy and comfortable, the Ergobaby Embrace is the best way to carry an infant. There is no complicated wrapping or tying—just a few easy buckles secure your child in a natural position against your chest.
The soft, frameless hiking baby carrier can be used in three modes: infant mode (best for newborns up to 23 inches or two months), baby-facing-in mode and baby-facing-out mode once your child hits five to six months with strong head and neck control.
The carrier is easily adjusted to fit a wide range of adult body sizes from XS to XXL. Reviewers rave about the all-day comfort and lack of back pain thanks to a supportive waist belt and spreadable shoulder straps. Compact and lightweight, the Embrace easily folds up to fit in a diaper bag and is machine washable should there be any spills or spit up incidents.
Best For Giving Your Child A Safe Piggyback
Piggyback Rider Scout Gives Your Kid the Best View in Town
Heading to an event and want to give your child a little extra boost to see properly? Or spending the day sightseeing with the family and want to give your child a break from all that walking? In place of a bulky stroller or fully-featured backpack, this baby hiking carrier takes a fun, lightweight, and packable approach to carrying toddlers or youngsters up to 50 pounds—piggyback style.
The Piggyback Rider Scout features a harness system for both you and your child. The two harnesses are tethered together with six points of contact for added safety. At the base of the adult harness, a sturdy, non-slip aluminum bar platform enables your child to stand and look over your shoulder, with child-size hand holds on both shoulder straps for extra stability.
The harness is fully adjustable to fit most adults and distributes your child’s weight across your shoulders and off your back. For children weighing more than 25 pounds or for added comfort, you can purchase a hipbelt accessory to transfer some of the weight from your shoulders to your hips.
Best For Occasional Use Or Short Trips
ClevrPlus is Value Priced But Delivers Premium Features
For shorter trips or occasional use, there is no need to fork out hundreds of dollars on a pack loaded up with all the bells and whistles. This basic yet study and full safety-certified hiking baby carrier will keep you and your child comfortable on quick trips out up to a few hours. The carrier is built on a metal frame that folds flat for easy storage and when open, creates a sturdy platform for loading and unloading thanks to the kickstand design.
The included sun canopy and rain cover unit keep your baby dry, cool, and protected regardless the weather—it can be fully removed or simply folded back out of the way when not in use. Likewise, the adjustable seat and foot stirrups grow with your child from nine to 48 months or up to a maximum of 33 pounds. Multiple pockets, including two water bottle pockets and a large back pocket for diaper storage, enable you to bring the essentials for an afternoon out exploring with your baby.
Best Long Days Out On The Trail
Kelty’s Integrated Roll Cage Makes This a Super-Safe Ride
Reviewers continually rave about the comfort of the Journey PerfectFIT Elite for both adults and children alike. Mesh padding on the backpanel, hipbelt, and shoulder straps ensure they don’t dig in or leave hotspots as you hike, while a wide seat and adjustable foot stirrups ensure the comfort of and give proper support to you child during the journey. To accommodate all the adults in your family, the hiking baby carrier’s torso adjustment system lets you dial in the fit for a wide range of sizes.
A kickstand pops out to keep everything balanced while you load or unload your child and dual grab handles add stability as you lift or remove that pack from your back. The child’s harness features five points of contact and sits within a protective roll cage to keep even the wiggliest of children safely in place. An integrated sun shade offers protection from UV rays and light rain, while the soft drool pad is both removable and washable for easy clean up after every outing.
As hiking with your kid probably means carrying lots of stuff, the hiking baby carrier comes with plenty of storage space, including a large zippered dirty compartment that easily wipes clean for all those inevitable messes.
Best For Adding On Accessories As You Go
Thule Sapling Is the Go-To Carrier For Modular Add-Ons
The Thule Sapling hiking baby carrier is built like an external frame backpack with the child seat and pack storage elements integrated separately from each other on the frame. Similar to other frame backpack style carriers, the Sapling can carry up to 48 pounds including child and gear.
The mesh child seat not only keeps your child cool in warmer weather but both it and the drool pad are fully removable for easy washing. The ergonomically designed seat is suspended within the frame to distribute your child’s weight and offers plenty of inner leg support to keep your child comfortable for a full day’s outing.
The sturdy kickstand design, along with both side and top loading options, make it easy to get your child in and out of the carrier. On sunny warm days, a retractable UPF 50 sunshade protects your child’s sensitive skin and keeps them cool.
A 22-liter pack sits at the base of the frame to store all the gear you and your family might need on a day out. Side zips on the pack mean it’s accessible while wearing so you can grab toys or snacks for your child on the go. The backpanel and hipbelt can be adjusted on the fly, meaning you can transfer the pack between adults mid-hike.
As with any Thule product, the hiking baby carrier features a modular design so you can add on accessories at a later date such as a rain cover, additional sling pack for storage, or even a hydration reservoir.