Woman with a child carrier hiking backpack

Best Child Carrier Hiking Backpacks

Welcome to ThinkVail – we hope you find this article about the best child carrier hiking backpacks helpful.

Nothing is more fun than hitting the trail with your little ones. The key is to find the best child carrier hiking backpack to guarantee that your family adventures are safe, easy and comfortable. In order to find the right carrier for you and your child you will need to identify what type you need. By identifying what features you want and what type of pack you need, you will ensure lots of fun on the trail with the whole family.


Types of Child Carrier Hiking Backpacks

Framed Carriersthe ideal choice when hiking long distances. They are sturdy and more comfortable for both the tot and the parent who is wearing the pack. They also provide storage for essential baby care products as well as other supplies like snacks and water.

Non Framed CarriersFrameless carriers tend to be less expensive, and are not as supportive or structured, however, they are usually much lighter and can be more versatile.


Type of Hiking

If you’re a serious hiker who wants to roam on long hikes up big mountains, you’ll need a larger, framed carrier with lots of storage. For hikes on easy trails, a day at Disney World or just walking around town then a lightweight frameless carrier will be perfect.


Ventilation

You want good ventilation that keeps your baby cool and comfortable but you also want good airflow through the carrier’s back panel to allow sweat to evaporate for the parent carrying the pack.


Sun & Rain Protection

You should always put sunscreen on your child as well as a hat and sunglasses to protect them from the harsh rays of the sun (especially here, in Vail, Colorado) but many of these carriers include a sun and rain roof that protects your baby from the elements.


Adjustable Straps

Adjustable straps are key for the active family. That way Mom & Dad can trade off carrying the child with just a quick adjustment of straps. Look for wide, nicely padded shoulder straps for comfort.


Storage Pockets

Your child carrier will also double as a backpack, so if your going on long trips make sure you have plenty of storage for diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks and water.


See Also: Year’s Best Lightweight Hiking Gear


Best Child Carrier Hiking Backpacks


Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier

For more than 40 years Osprey has been creating comfortable, durable, high quality packs to help people enjoy hiking and the outdoors. With lots of innovative features Osprey has achieved the same thing with its child carrier hiking backpack. You and your kids will love this pack.

  • Lightweight aluminum frame with a durable nylon material pack.
  • Frame fully supports the load and provides a stable platform for setting the carrier down.
  • Built-in sunshade deploys quickly and easily from a zippered pocket.
  • The adjustable Fit-On-The-fly hip belt offers 5 inches of extension on each side for superior load support and comfort.
  • Padded, adjustable shoulder straps with sliding sternum strap for excellent load management.
  • “AG” (anti-gravity) distributes the child’s weight better and makes it easier to carry, especially on long hikes
  • Improved ventilation system features contoured, seamless mesh from the shoulder blades to the lumbar region offers excellent airflow to keep you cooler while wearing the pack.
  • Hydration compatible sleeve behind the back panel offers convenient storage of water.
  • Adjustable double halo harness and child seat is surrounded by a fully framed and padded cockpit for safety and comfort
  • Adjustable padded stirrups offer leg support.
  • Removable drool pad is washable.
  • Toy attachment loops keep kids entertained.
  • Side mesh pockets stores essentials.
  • Spacious lower compartment with zip opening offers storage for bulky items and extra gear.
  • Lifetime Guarantee
  • Capacity: 1587 cu in / 26 liters
  • Max Load: 48.5 pounds
  • Available in Blue, Black & Green

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Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite Child Carrier Kelty Journey ProElite Child Carrier

Kelty offers a range of durably built child carrier hiking backpacks so your family can adventure together. Hauling your precious little cargo on the trail or around town is a breeze while keeping them (and you) ultra-safe and super-comfortable. Kelty has been a leader in innovative, durable packs for the trail for years.

  • Lightweight aluminum frame with a durable 420D nylon pack
  • The Kelty PerfectFIT Suspension System easily adjusts to fit both mom and dad. Fits torsos ranging from 15.5 – 21 inches.
  • Padded shoulder pads with sternum strap
  • Adjustable belt to help stabilize weight
  • Integrated sunshade, keeps the sun off baby’s face
  • 5-point safety harness and padded aluminum roll cage
  • Wide seat base and adjustable foot stirrups
  • Reservoir pocket can easily accommodate a 2-liter hydration bladder. (bladder not included)
  • Exterior zippered pockets for storing snacks, toys, and wipes
  • Multi-point grab handles for confident carry
  • No sunshade included
  • Available in Blue, Green and Black
  • Capacity/Size: 26 liters
  • Maximum Weight Load: 48.5 lbs.

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Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier Backpack Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

Thule helps you transport anything you care for safely, easily and in style and that includes your kids. Thule is the perfect choice for outdoor enthusiasts who spend their weekends hiking. Even though this carrier is sturdy, rugged, and durable for its size, the Thule Sapling Elite is one of the lightest framed models on the list.

  • Framed carrier is made of 210D Cordura Nylon and 420D Nylon
  • Fully adjustable back panel and hip belt for the perfect fit for either parent.
  • 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.
  • Removable backpack and large zippered compartment provide lots of storage and can be used to house a hydration bladder (not included)
  • Breathable back panel offers great airflow and ventilation
  • Two quick-access, mesh pockets on the hip belt keep toys and snacks handy.
  • Height adjustable seat grows with your kids.
  • Included sunshade protects kids from the sun’s harsh rays.
  • Mirror include so you can monitor your kiddo while on the trail.
  • Dual access loading allows you to load your child from the top or side of the carrier
  • Removable stirrups let your little one rest their legs.
  • Pack weighs 7.9 lb
  • Limited lifetime warranty.
  • Maximum Weight Load: 48lbs
  • Rain cover is not included but is available

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Phil & Teds Escape Backpack Carrier Phil & Teds Escape Backpack kid Carrier

Phil & Teds is an award-winning company from New Zealand that makes awesome juvenile products for active families and their adventures. They have been making kids stuff for over 20 years and are always pushing the envelope to help you get out and explore with your kiddos.

  • Sturdy, lightweight internal aluminum frame and low profile pack allows weight to be evenly distributed.
  • Ergonomic lumbar support and ultra padded belt for your back & hips
  • Integrated and moldable child head & neck support and snug shoulder cradle and stirrups keeps kids safe, secure and comfortable.
  • Roomy, zip-off day pack, large side pockets, bottle and key pockets keeps everything organized and close at hand.
  • Pack weight: 6.6lbs/3kg
  • Hood protects baby from the elements
  • Removable PVC wind & rain cover
  • Included padded change mat,
  • Included mirror to keep an eye on your child
  • Carrier folds away and becomes flat for easy storage
  • Wipe-clean, waterproof high-grade fabrics are easy to care for.
  • Padded, air-tech ventilated mesh panels keep you cool.
  • Pop in-and-out stand makes setting down this carrier safe and stable.
  • Twin carry handles make lifting a breeze
  • Specialized hydration station for your water bladder (water bladder not included)
  • Capacity/Size: 30 liters
  • Maximum Weight Load: 39.7lbs/18kg
  • Available in Red and Grey

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Deuter Comfort Pro Child Carrier Deuter Comfort Pro Child Carrier

This is the trekking backpack for your mountain adventures that you’ve been searching for. With tons of smart features this premium child carrier hiking backpack won’t let you down. Check out all that it offers.

  • Flexible spring steel frame and 210 denier nylon pack.
  • Color-coded buckles makes it easy to load your kiddo
  • Locking kickstand and step-in side entry lets bigger kids get in by themselves
  • VariSlide precise back length adjustment system makes it easy to fit either parent.
  • VariFlex hip belt provides great load distribution
  • Aircomfort system delivers unparalleled ventilation with a mesh net between the child’s seat and the parent’s back lets air flow freely
  • Pull-Forward construction and Tri Glide buckles allow you to fine tune carry comfort.
  • Adjustable sternum strap
  • Height-adjustable seat and adjustable foot rests allows the carrier to grow with your child.
  • Plush wraparound chin pad is machine washable.
  • Integrated headrest
  • Included mirror for a rear-view of the rider.
  • Integrated, fold-out sun roof
  • Detachable 10 liter daypack can be attach to the chest strap, stored in the carrier’s bottom or removed when needed.
  • Large external stretch pockets, integrated key holder, and 2 zippered hip fin pockets provide tons of storage;
  • Folding frame for easy transport
  • Pack weighs 8 lbs 4 oz
  • Capacity/Size: 22 liters

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LÍLLÉbaby 3 in 1 CarryOn Carrier Lillebaby 3 in 1 Child Carrier

LÍLLÉbaby is a scandinavian company on a mission to empower families with comfortable, innovative products that inspire adventures and nurture the bond between parents and their children. Their innovative designs are smart and make hauling your kids around town a breeze

  • Frameless carrier is not for long treks in the mountains but it is perfect for an afternoon at the farmer’s market, a day at Disney World or sightseeing in a new town. Offering 3 ways to carry your kiddos; on the back, on the front or on the hip.
  • Ideal for growing toddlers.
  • Features a wider and taller torso than most carriers.
  • Comfortably carry little ones up to 60 lbs.
  • Adjustable side panels widen & narrow the seat for comfortable hip positioning.
  • Superior comfort and stability thanks to the unique lumbar support that relieves lower back pressure and distributes weight evenly.
  • Breathable mesh fabric provides maximum airflow to keep your child comfortable and cool
  • Removable sun hood
  • Two pockets to hold baby’s essentials
  • Padded adjustable 2-way straps for a comfortable fit
  • Maximum Weight Load: 60lbs
  • Available in a variety of colors

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Clevr Cross Country Child Carrier Clevr Premium Child Carries

If you’re looking for an affordable child carrier hiking backpack this is a great option. Not nearly as expensive as some of the other premium name-brand packs on the list this kid hauler still packs a punch. Clevr carriers are thoughtfully designed for comfort, safety, and adventure in mind.

  • Lightweight, aluminum frame with 600d oxford cloth pack
  • Carrier weighs 5.5 lbs
  • Comfortable, padded shoulder straps and hip belt with energy-absorbing lumbar padding.
  • Extra large back pocket for baby’s essentials, and two water bottle pockets/holders
  • Safety reflective strip across the back pocket keeps you visible in low light conditions.
  • Sun/Rain canopy can be removed or folded out of the way.
  • Metal stands allow it to sit upright on a flat surface
  • Foldable metal stand folds flat for easy storage & portability.
  • Capacity/Size:
  • Maximum Weight Load: 40lbs
  • 1 year limited warranty

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MiaMily Hipster Plus 3D Child Carrier MiaMily Hipster Plus Baby Carrier

Boasting 9 carry positions, the HIPSTER™ PLUS 3D baby carrier is the most versatile frameless carrier on the market. Created by MiaMily, an award-winning- swiss based company who launched the Hipster as a successful KickStarter product.

  • Frameless Child carrier is SUPER Versatile offering 9 different ways to carry your child including front facing, back and on the hip.
  • Featuring natural fabrics & materials
  • Self-locking YKK zippers and Duaflex buckles.
  • Shoulder strip 3-way lock buckle for extra security and adjustable system, to easily adjust the fit from front and back.
  • Ergonomic pack fits all shapes and sizes
  • Built in ergonomic hip seat, allows weight to be evenly distribute between the wearer’s hips and shoulders and allows baby to be in a natural sitting position at all times.
  • Allows you to carry your child longer, more comfortably and effortlessly.
  • Innovative design avoids hip-dysplasia and provide proper seat
  • Big, zippered pocket for all baby’s needs Their is also a pocket on the belt for cell phones.
  • Breathable mesh keeps baby cool and comfortable
  • Simple system is designed for easy on/off
  • Maximum Weight Load: 44lbs

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See Also: Best Hiking Trails for Kids in Vail, CO


Comments Woman with a child carrier hiking backpack

We hope you found this article about the best child carrier hiking backpacks helpful. What is you favorite child carrier and why. What is your favorite, must-have features on a child carrier hiking backpack. How does using a child carrier enhance your family adventures? We would love to hear your stories, comments or thoughts. Thanks for reading.

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14 Comments

  • drinkteahub

    What a well-researched and thoroughly informative article about child carrier hiking backpacks. I’ll second the advice about frameless carriers: I once made the mistake of trying to last a whole day in Disneyland with my two-year old nephew in a frameless backpack carrier and by the end of it we were both very unhappy indeed. There wasn’t enough storage space and by the end of the day I was really sore. To be honest, I don’t think you notice the extra weight of the framed carriers, especially because they are so much more comfortable.

    • ThinkVail

      Thank you for your kind comments about the article “Best Child Carrier Hiking Backpacks” you are absolutely right, if you are hiking all day or if your little one is actually a bigger kid then you are absolutely going to have to get a framed carrier, your back will thank you. They are of course, usually more expensive but well worth the cost. My favorite framed child carrier on the list is Osprey Poco AG Plus Child Carrier.  It is a great backpack that will allow you to hike long distances and both you and your kiddo will  be comfortable while holding all your essentials. 

  • Henderson

    Thank you for this article about the best child carriers, my sister  just had a baby this summer. She and her husband are huge hikers and I am sure in a few years so will this little tyke but in the meantime they will need to carry him on their hikes.  I also think personally that this is a great way to get your kids comfortable hiking and familiar with what hiking is and how much fun it can be.  I am going to give her a child carrier backpack for Christmas and I can’t wait because she is going to LOVE it! I am going to purchase the Kelty Journey PerfectFit carrier because she has other Kelty products and raves about that brand, so this is a no-brainer.  Thanks again for the great info.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Henderson, so happy you found this article about the best child carrier hiking backpacks helpful. That is a great gift idea, I think your sister will love the Kelty Journey PerfectFit kid carrier especially if she is already a Kelty fan.  This backpack is strong, durable, comfortable with big pockets and can hold a hydration bladder. (2-liter hydration bladder might be a nice stocking stuffer too.) This is a wonderful way to introduce young ones to the joys of hiking. This child carrier will create some beautiful memories for your sister and her new family.

  • Rodarrick

    Wow! Since she has given birth, this is the first time that I and my wife would be going on a hiking and we wish to buy a child carrier that can go through the hurdles of the trail, rather than leaving our son at home. These are great suggestions and I’m glad that I came across this post. I will take advantage of all this information. I wish to buy the Deuter Child Carrier Backpack. It looks so great and I like it the most. Thanks

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Rodarrick, I am so happy that you found the article about the best child carrier backpacks for hiking useful.  I think you have made an excellent choice with the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Child Carrier Backpack. This is a lightweight framed backpack child carrier that has a lot of useful features. Perfect for babies and younger, smaller kids, you will get years of use from this pack.  

  • Emmanuel

    This article was really helpful to me. Personally. I love hiking the trail with my young children  it’s an experience I love with every fiber of my being. I was away from my 2-year old child for 3 months after he was born. When I returned back I knew I had a lot of catching up to do with him so I would go out with him every morning using a child carrier. Its an awesome father-son experience. I have used a lot of child carriers but my favorite is the Clevr Cross County Child Carrier largely because it so comfortable and has a padded shoulder strap. I just have a personal bias for it.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Emmanuel, thank you so much with sharing your experiences with your child carrier. I agree, hiking with your kiddo is an amazing opportunity to bond with them and to introduce them to the wonders of nature whether it’s on a trail through the woods or just around the neighborhood. I am sure that this this shared activity will bring you both closer as time goes on. Enjoy those young years, they go by so quickly!
      Also thank you for sharing your personal favorite child carrier. The Clevr Cross Country Child Carrier is a great choice, it is more affordable than most carriers but still has a lot of the features that make hiking with kids easy and convenient.

  • Delroy Maynard

    Thank you for such a detailed article about best child carrier hiking backpacks. I had no idea that there are so many types of carriers when I started researching to buy one for my wife. I Appreciate your article helping us to be aware of what to look for when choosing which type of carrier to go for.
    I also really liked the photos and the videos giving us plenty of choices. Good job!

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Delroy, thank you for your kind comments about best child carrier hiking backpacks and I am so happy you found this article helpful. I hope that whichever child carrier you choose, that you, your wife and new baby have many many miles of fun hiking and carrying your little one along on adventures!

  • MazieD

    This is an interesting review of child carrier hiking backpacks.I like that you have outlined the various features of the hiking backpacks and given safety tips as well. What I like most is your recommendation on particular brands and giving a brief history on the longevity of each brands so shoppers will look at them and be able to make an informed decision based on their preference. Thanks for sharing.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Mazie, thank you so much for your nice comments about the Best Child Carrier Hiking Backpack article, I am so happy you enjoyed it and found it useful.  Thank you for reading and for commenting!

  • Dane

    Awesome review about the best child carrier hiking backpacks. My wife and I are taking our 3 year old twins to Disneyworld for 3 days of fun (I hope) at the park.  We know the park is huge so we want to get baby carriers so that we can carry them a good amount of time or when we are waiting and waiting and waiting in line. I think the Lillebaby Carrier seems perfect as it can hold up to 60lbs which seems more than most and I love the soft profile of the frameless carrier.  Once we are finished using it I can hand it down to my sister who is is pregnant with her first child now.

    I am really excited to show this find to my wife, thanks for sharing this info, it has made choosing a child carrier so much easier.

    • ThinkVail

      Hi Dane so happy the article about the best child carrier hiking backpacks was useful for you.  Yes Disney World is the perfect place for a child carrier.  Keep in mind that framed carriers are usually  more comfortable if your going the whole day but many people love the Lillebaby Carrier and they have been recommended for just this experience, so have it, son!  Also if your back gets tired you can move the pack to your front or to your hip for some relief. No matter what, any child carrier should make life better than a tired, cranky kid on the edge of a meltdown who has no child carrier to retire to. Enjoy Disney World and don’t forget to reserve your Fast Passes!

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