Best Toddler Carriers for Hiking

10 Best Toddler Carriers for Hiking in 2023 – Buyer’s Guide

(Last Updated On: February 2, 2023)

It’s difficult to beat a toddler carrier backpack when going hiking with a baby or toddler. Their friendly features make for a comfortable and safe journey, and we spent countless hours hiking with a happy child as well as an adult. These backpacks can be expensive because of their great feature builds like quality harnesses, padding, and suspension systems.

The perfect pack is the one that combines the unique size and shape of your body with the right fit for exploring the great outdoors easily with a baby on your back. The rule of thumb is that you can use baby hiking carriers until your baby has reached six months and has outstanding head and neck control; most of them last well into their toddler stage. Do you need a backpack for your toddler as well? Check out our guide on the best toddler backpacks.

In a Hurry? The test winners after 10 hrs of research

Osprey Poco AG Toddler Carrier

Osprey Poco AG Toddler Carrier – Premium Pick

Why is it better?

  • This pack is exceedingly comfortable and easily and highly adjustable
  • The stirrups are great
  • The hip belt is engineered like a dream, making the 25 lb child feel light
  • No irritating, unmanageable straps

ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking

ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking – Best Value

Why is it better?

  • The sunshade is easy to slide on or off
  • Thick padding is all around as well as nice sturdy straps
  • There is a nice big storage compartment attached to the back underneath the child
  • Kickstand allows you to set it on the ground to get baby/toddler strapped in

Best Toddler Carriers for Hiking – Overview

We’ve filtered through hundreds of customer reviews to highlight the top-rated toddler carrier backpacks for hiking to help you choose which toddler carrier backpack is right for you. Caregiver and kid-approved, companies like Osprey, Deuter, and Kelty come out on top of the stack for their convenience, reliability, and durability.

Toddler Carriers for Hiking Reviews

1. Osprey Poco AG Toddler Carrier – Premium Pick

Osprey Poco AG Toddler Carrier

To keep your back, shoulders, and hips from aching when you take your little one for a walk, Osprey incorporated their award-winning AG (Anti-Gravity) backpacking suspension system into the Osprey Poco AG Toddler Carrier. Lightweight aluminum stays provide load stability and the mesh shoulder harness and backpanel combination keeps you comfortable for the long haul. The child cockpit is fully framed and padded and the butterfly harness is fleece-covered.

The adjustable stirrups offer deluxe padding and leg support prevents circulation deprivation. A large lower zippered compartment offers storage for diapers and other items. Small cord loops located in and around the child cockpit allow toy and pacifier attachment within the child’s reach. The removable drool pad at the front of the cockpit is soft to the touch and comfortably padded for the child. The adjustable Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt offers 5-inch/13 centimeters of extension on each side for a comfortable ventilated custom fit and superior load support. Don’t forget to also check our guide to the best Osprey backpacks.

Key Features:

  • Padded framing around the child provides additional comfort and protection
  • Removable drool pad is washable so you can always keep the comfortable
  • Side mesh pockets to quickly store things when in a rush
  • Integrated sunshade is easily collapsible and stows away when not in use
  • Torso length adjustment offers a comfortable and custom fit


  • Brand: Osprey
  • Capacity: 20L
  • Dimensions: 29″ H x 15″ W x 16.5″ D
  • Weight: 6 lbs
  • This pack is exceedingly comfortable and easily and highly adjustable
  • The stirrups are great
  • The hip belt is engineered like a dream, making the 25 lb child feel light
  • No irritating, unmanageable straps
  • The padded portions of the pack (hips and shoulders) are a bit stiff out of the box but soften up very nicely with use, while still being very cushiony

2. Deuter Kid Comfort Toddler Carrier

Deuter Kid Comfort Toddler Carrier

Mountain adventures become much more pleasant with the new, ingenious Aircomfort Sensic Vario mesh backsystem. The weight of the load is transferred perfectly and the child carrier fits securely while the wearer’s back is fully ventilated. Exterior pockets and a zippered bottom compartment keep essentials on hand.

The Deuter Kid Comfort Toddler Carrier offers a comfy ride for passengers with its height-adjustable seat and footrests and a plush wraparound chin pad. The pillowy chin pad gently braces a tired child‘s head – even in the corners of the pack. The step-in side entry and easy to use harness system deliver both safety and convenience.

Key Features:

  • Precise back length adjustment system
  • Energy-efficient carrying system
  • Fully ventilated back and shoulder straps
  • Color-coded buckles for ease of use
  • Step-in side access
  • Hydration compatible (3L)


  • Brand: Deuter
  • Weight: 7 lbs
  • Easy to get your child in and of
  • There is a spot for a hydration bladder
  • It’s very comfortable to wear as the carrier and has lots of built in support
  • There’s enough storage for some snacks and diaper changing supplies for a short few hour hike
  • The sun flap has to be forced into the pocket but that’s a minor gripe

3. ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking – Best Value

ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking

The ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking is made of strong and lightweight metal frame and 600d oxford cloth, it can withstand the elements of daily use. Featuring multiple pockets, thick padded shoulder pads, padded waist strap, and two side water bottle holders. Extra-large back pocket for diapers and necessities, which also features a safety reflective strip across the back pocket. Sun/Rain canopy can be easily removed at any time.

The child carrier features an easy adjustment system to provide a comfortable fit for you and your child. Metal stands allow it to sit upright on a flat surface and can be quickly folded in when on the go. Folds flat for easy storage and portability. Ideal for children up to 48 months.

Key Features:

  • Multiple pockets including two water bottle pockets
  • Thick padded shoulder pads and bolsters
  • Easily stands on the table with kickstand
  • Canopy can be easily removed or folded back out of the way
  • Maximum Child Weight: 33 pounds (Total Max Weight 40 Lbs)
  • Ideal for Children Between 9 – 48 months old


  • Brand: ClevrPlus
  • Dimensions: 30″ H x 16″ W x 10″ D
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • The sunshade is easy to slide on or off
  • Thick padding is all around as well as nice sturdy straps
  • There is a nice big storage compartment attached to the back underneath the child
  • Kickstand allows you to set it on the ground to get baby/toddler strapped in
  • A little harder to mount up solo, but the stand helps

4. phil&teds Escape Child Carrier Frame Backpack

phil&teds Escape Child Carrier Frame Backpack

With more features than you could ever imagine and more customized comfort than a first-class airline seat, the phil&teds Escape Child Carrier Frame Backpack is the ultimate way to escape to the back and beyond! The escape baby carrier comes equipped with sturdy Base Loading Technology, a sun hood with removable wind and rain cover, durable and washable fabric, a padded change mat, and a lightweight aluminum frame that’s suitable for toting tots from 3 months to 3 years. This baby backpack is designed for maximum child and parent comfort for all-day trekking.

The Ergo-Fit Lumbar Control belt is ultra-padded to support your back and hips, and the Body-Tech Fit and Slide Adjust Harness systems provide breathable adjustability through the back and shoulder straps. Baby will be ultra-comfortable too with the insanely adjustable 5-point safety harness and seat, and the moldable head and neck support. The escape also features kiddies foot stirrups for improved blood circulation. For your convenience, the storage compartment zips off and can be carried as a day pack so you can share the load with your fellow trekker. Keep everyone hydrated throughout the day with the water bladder compatible sleeve and dual access pockets provide easy access for mid-afternoon snacking.

Key Features:

  • Adjustable torso length
  • Hydration Pouch
  • Foot stirrups
  • Packs flat
  • Base loading technology


  • Brand: phil&teds
  • Capacity: 30L
  • Dimensions: 27.6″ H x 12.6″ W x 5.9″ D
  • Weight: 6.6 lbs
  • The straps are extremely comfortable and wide
  • Changing pad with zippable pocket for dirty diapers
  • Sun/rain shade; though it would allow rain to fall down your baby’s back, but maybe all of them would
  • Foot stirrups
  • The kick stand is inside of the storage area of the pack, so you would have to unload everything to use it

5. LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Baby Carrier

LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Baby Carrier

Putting your baby’s safety and your comfort first. Safe for baby’s hips and acknowledged as a HIP HEALTHY carrier by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. The LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons Baby Carrier has adjustable seat and leg openings facilitate proper hip support, frog-leg seating, and curved C-spine position. LILLEbaby’s baby carriers offer superior comfort thanks to the unique lumbar support. This included accessory provides stability, relieves lower back pressure & allows baby’s weight to be evenly distributed for a more comfy ride.

An adjustable back panel grows with your child and provides support for the baby’s neck and head. Endlessly adjustable straps and waist belt for a completely customized fit form petite to tall parents and make for an exceptionally comfortable child carrier. Straps have dual adjustments and allow for both H-style or X-style. The streamlined and thoughtful design provides ideal support & comfort for your little one every step of the way (7-45 lbs).

Key Features:

  • Six carrying options
  • Temperature control panel
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Extendable soft waist belt
  • 3d breathable mesh lining
  • Lumbar support


  • Brand: LÍLLÉbaby
  • Dimensions: 14″ H x 11″ W x 4″ D
  • Weight: 1.6 lbs
  • 6 different positions is amazing- from baby to big is wonderful
  • The option to make it more breathable with the front panel unzipped is great
  • The lumbar pad is such a great added piece
  • It is incredibly easy to put on. In just a few clicks you can have baby in and be ready to go
  • It advertises that you can breastfeed in it- but this complete seasons doesn’t have much/any side boob coverage

6. Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL (Women’s Fit) – Child Carrier Backpacks

Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL (Women's Fit) - Child Carrier Backpacks

The compact ventilated Lite Aircontact backsystem makes the Deuter Kid Comfort Active SL (Women’s Fit) – Child Carrier Backpacks as lightweight as possible. Despite its minimalistic, athletic build, the Kid Comfort Active child carrier’s seating area is an absolute comfort-zone. The height-adjustable seat and footrests ensure a healthy sitting position. A plush chin pad with removable, machine-washable cover gives your little one a cozy place to rest their head.

For the first time, the Kid Comfort lineup includes a women’s specific SL-version. The carrying system of the Kid Comfort Active SL is specially adapted to the female anatomy. Its slimmer shoulder straps and conically shaped hip fins have been designed for mothers looking for a child carrier that fits them perfectly.

Key Features:

  • Quick back length adjustment system
  • Padded hip belt
  • Ventilated shoulder straps
  • Locking, stable kickstand
  • Step-in side access
  • Folds for transport


  • Brand: Deuter
  • Dimensions: 31″ H x 12.7″ W x 7.2″ D
  • Weight: 5 lbs
  • Very easy to get baby situated in seat before lading on yourself
  • Many adjustments that are easy to use and make all secure
  • Weight was very evenly distributed
  • Sturdy and good quality
  • The shoulder straps are too narrow and not padded enough for long hikes

7. BABYBJÖRN New Baby Carrier

BABYBJÖRN New Baby Carrier

BABYBJÖRN New Baby Carrier in airy 3D mesh is designed to make babywearing much more comfortable. The cool mesh fabric has many popular qualities. It’s soft and breathable, but it’s also durable and dries quickly after washing. It’s easy for you to switch between several front and back babywearing positions. You can use this to carry your child from birth and up to approx. the age of three.

The seat width is fully adjustable by a zipper and ensures an ergonomically correct position for your child’s hips. The head support is easily adjustable and gives the right support to your baby’s head. The super-soft 3D mesh makes Baby Carrier One Air feel even more comfortable against your baby’s delicate skin.

Key Features:

  • Ergonomic leg position
  • Adjustable head support
  • Hip-friendly baby carrier
  • 4 different carrying positions: newborn, front facing in, front facing out, and back carrying


  • Brand: BabyBjörn
  • Dimensions: 22.8″ H x 11.4″ W x 0.4″ D
  • Weight: 2.81 lbs
  • This entire carrier is made of mesh so it’s extremely cool and dries easily
  • Easy to use zippers make sure you achieve the ideal ergonomic position for your little one, be it inward or outward facing
  • The air version has such a nice, breathable mesh fabric, which is perfect for our scorching summers
  • The back-wearing mode makes carrying a larger child that much more possible
  • Not enough storage or resting head space

8. Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack comes standard with a removable backpack, roomy hipbelt pockets, a child viewing mirror and also effortlessly transitions between parents with simple torso and hipbelt adjustments. Fully adjustable back panel and hipbelt provide a perfect fit and comfortable carry and make the transition between parents quick and easy. Load stabilizer straps allow on-the-go adjustments to the backpack’s center of gravity by pulling the child closer to the parent for a more comfortable carry.

Plush, height adjustable, ergonomic seat efficiently distributes the child’s weight by providing inner thigh support. Mesh pockets, hydration reservoir sleeve, a removable backpack, and a large zippered compartment store water, diapers, clothes, rain gear, and other essentials. Deployable sunshade keeps your child cool and protected from the harsh sun. Removable stirrups let your little one rest their legs and readjust themselves on the trail.

Key Features:

  • Fully adjustable back panel and hip belt create the perfect fit
  • Quick and easy transition between parents with simple fit adjustments
  • Removable backpack and large zippered compartment provide ample storage
  • Two quick-access pockets on the hip belt keep toys and snacks within reach
  • Child must be able to sit upright without assistance and weigh at least 16 lbs


  • Brand: Thule
  • Dimensions: 28.75″ H x 12.25″ W x 13.75″ D
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs
  • It is very comfortable to wear
  • The pack is well made, sturdy, has lots of storage, and securely fastens your child in the seat
  • Easy to use
  • Child feels secured in backpack (not flimsy)
  • No side pocket for a water bottle

9. Ergobaby Carrier Omni 360 All Carry Positions

Ergobaby Carrier Omni 360 All Carry Positions

The Ergobaby Carrier Omni 360 All Carry Positions adapts to your growing baby from newborn to toddler (7-45lbs and fits babies from 0-48 Months). No separate infant insert required. All carry positions included, face baby in or out, wear on the hip or back. This carrier includes UPF 50+ tuckaway baby hood for sun and wind protection, privacy and easy breastfeeding.

The lumbar support waist belt has double adjusters for easy tightening ensuring maximum comfort by providing the support you need to prevent lower back pain. The carrier’s padded shoulder straps allow for a crisscross option, great for a snug fit or for those who prefer easy buckling on the front. The carrier ensures your baby is always seated in an “M” shape position.

Key Features:

  • Detachable storage pouch
  • Adjustable for everyone
  • Lumbar support
  • Crossable shoulder straps


  • Brand: Ergobaby
  • Dimensions: 10.4″ H x 9.1″ W x 6.1″ D
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Super comfy for wearer
  • Buckles at waist instead of velcro
  • Built in hood for sun shade
  • Storage compartment for keys, phone, etc.
  • Can be a bit hard to get on

10. Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Signature Series Child Carrier

Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Signature Series Child Carrier

Enjoy the great outdoors with your child on your back in this comfortable child carrier from Kelty. The Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Signature Series Child Carrier is made from durable poly and features a unique design with a five-point adjustable child’s harness, a plush seat that can be easily adjusted, and an integrated quick-connect sun shade.

It’s detailed with a washable and removable drool pad, load lifter straps, adjustable stirrups, and an under-seat storage pocket to hold a few essentials. A padded aluminum roll cage offers added protection, making it perfect for a day hike, a sightseeing trip, or any kind of outdoor adventure. Large zippered pocket with internal stretch pockets that store extra layers, toys and anything else you may need. Zippered hip belt pockets keep water, snacks, and phone readily accessible.

Key Features:

  • Integrated sunshade, just in case you forget the sunscreen. Body Fabric – Poly 420D Small Back Stafford
  • 5-point safety harness and padded aluminum roll cage for no-worries trekking on any terrain
  • Wide seat base and adjustable foot stirrups mirror your kiddos natural rest state
  • Multiple grab handles to carefully lift, shift and set down the child carrier


  • Brand: Kelty
  • Capacity: 26L
  • Dimensions: 28″ H x 22″ W x 15.5″ D
  • Weight: 7.13 lbs
  • Plenty of compartments for all your items
  • The shoulders are cushioned and the back has the waist support band that helps distribute the waist
  • It is comfortable for both the carrier and child
  • The foot straps are clutch
  • No water bottle holder

Types of Baby Carriers


Basically these are a large piece of fabric. Many first-time parents are overwhelmed by the need to put the wrap around but with experience, it becomes an easy operation. This is a great alternative for small kids, but for older children or longer hikes, a wrap isn’t the right choice.

Frameless, Soft-Structured Carriers

They have reinforced straps, which adapt like a backpack quickly. Your b Baby should be held on the front-facing in or out and on the rear-facing back, depending on the specific carrier. Also, these carriers are a perfect choice for older toddlers who prefers to walk a lot of the hike but will need to be held elsewhere. They will sit safely on the back, and the carrier is small enough just in case to bring along.

Backpack Child Carrier

Backpack carriers have much of the same construction attributes as backpack bags. They are designed outdoors for long days and make it easier to hold more weight and clothes. With an adjustable torso length, flexible waist belt, and plenty of room, these are a fantastic hiking and backpacking choice for toddlers.

Buying Guide

Hydration Pocket

Having water storage is an important consideration for a baby carrier, as with any pack that is used for hiking. Because of the room the child seat takes up, you will not have an assortment of mesh side pockets to suit something as large as a Nalgene bottle. Luckily, most child carriers over $200 are fitted with a hydration sleeve, so you can slip in a water reservoir and drink water on the go.

Harness and Cockpit

A sturdy harness keeps your child safe throughout each hike. Search for harness systems for their legs, shoulders, and arms that are adjustable and comfortable. The cockpit is the place inside the carrier where the baby lies. You want a well-designed cockpit that provides sufficient protection to the neck, head, and back, as well as cushioned comfort in the front in case the baby nods off during the adventure.


Stirrups on either side of the child seat are another notable feature on luxury carriers. These are designed for toddlers or older babies to get them to a decent sitting position, or to take some of the pressure off sleeping for hours at a time in the child’s seat.

Extra Storage

The thing about hiking with a baby/toddler is they come with extra baggage such as diapers, bottles, and snacks. Consider the number and size of pockets for storage and search for spaces to hold other essential items such as water, extra clothes, and your camera.

Age Recommendation

Most toddler carrier backpacks provide a recommended age range to use. If you are eager to take out a newborn, be confident that the carrier you are using is providing the right protection for the neck and head. A baby may usually not be able to ride in a backpack until they are able to hold their own head and neck.

Weight Recommendation

Toddler carriers, along with age, with a recommended weight. This is vital for you and your little one since you want to make sure that the hiking carrier you are using will support the weight of your baby. Consider how long the backpack will last you as your baby grows up.


We hope this guide was helpful for finding the best toddler carriers for hiking as well as our guide on features to look for in a toddler carrier for hiking. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this guide, feel free to let us know in the comments section.