baby appliances

3 Best Hiking Baby Carriers Outdoor Adventures with the Whole Family

For us, hiking is like therapy — it’s a natural escape from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind. And just because you’ve welcomed a new member into the family does NOT mean you have to stop getting outside — just think of them as a new adventure partner, after all, the best way to do that is to start ’em young.

And since you’ll need a way to carry your child around with you, a hiking baby carrier is a necessary investment — especially when you’re hiking on rugged, uneven terrain. A hiking backpack-style baby carrier is designed to comfortably tote around your tot for long periods of time. These carriers evenly disperse your child’s weight, are easy to adjust for a comfortable fit, and allow your young one to enjoy the same sights that you see.


Hiking baby carriers range from heavy and full-featured to lightweight and minimalist. When choosing one of these packs, we recommend considering the weight, comfort of the straps and back panel, ease of loading, and additional storage capacity.

  • Weight: When you’re carrying a baby, every ounce counts. Lightweight packs that carry a child but have minimal additional features weigh as little as five pounds, while heavier packs weigh upwards of nine pounds.
  • Comfort: Some packs have fancy suspension systems that raise the pack off your back to improve airflow while also evenly dispersing weight, while simpler options have classic padded straps.
  • Loading: The bigger and squirmier the child, the more difficult they are to load. Most packs are top-loaders. Some are side-loaders. And some have both options. And they all have a “kickstand” that allows the pack to sit upright independently so one parent can manage it on their own.
  • Storage: Some packs just provide a more efficient way to carry your child, while others have tons of extra storage capacity to carry snacks, cameras, diapers, and even a water reservoir.


We grew up hiking with our families on quick weekends, annual camping trips, and National Park road trips. Our parents always found a way to get us from point A to point B, and though they didn’t have one of these fancy hiking baby carriers, it’s surely a piece of gear that they wish existed back in the day. And it’s something our parent editors swear by.

To help you decide which hiking baby carrier is best for your family, we’ve scoured the trails for years, talked with families from Washington state to Maine, surveyed user reviews online, and even tried a few ourselves. And we’re excited to share with you the best hiking baby carriers — the one piece of gear that allows us to go on outdoor adventures just as often as before we had kids, if not more.

Cross Country Lightweight Hiking Carrier

Key Specs

  • Weight: 5.5 pounds
  • Comfort: Extremely breathable, soft material everywhere that comes in contact with my skin
  • Loading: Easy, set-down bar
  • Storage: Multiple large storage options

For budget-conscious or occasionally outdoorsy parents, a simpler baby carrier will do the job just fine. The ClevrPlus Cross Country Hiking Carrier is designed to keep up with the family that likes to spend most of their weekends on the trails, rain or shine.

Don’t let a little drizzle in the forecast get between your family and some time in the mountains. Made of 600D Oxford fabric, this carrier is built to last through rain, sleet, hail, and snow. The removable rain and sun canopy helps keep your little one cool and dry, even when rain is falling sideways.

Plus, the padded waist and shoulder straps ensure your comfort while toting your sweetie around.


Escape Child Carrier Frame Backpack

Key Specs

  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Comfort: Comfortable headrest for baby, ventilated side, footrests
  • Loading: Smaller relief bar
  • Storage: Not much bigger than a fanny pack

Made with a lightweight frame, the Escape baby hiking carrier comes equipped with super comfy padding for the most relaxing ride for both you and your baby.

The five-point harness keeps your tot safe and in place as you hike up your favorite trail. The removable storage compartments can store diapers, wipes, snacks, and water. Plush padding from the shoulder to the back prevents back strain, while the adjustable chest strap allows you to create the just-right fit.

And because hiking is dirty enough as is (without a baby), its washable fabric is a selling point — especially for muddy days when you, your child, and the pack are extra messy.


SmartSupport Backpack Carrier

Key Specs

  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Comfort: Extra padding on straps and waist
  • Loading: Wide relief bar, easy adjustability
  • Storage: Minimal storage

From your tiny newborn to your toddler on the brink of adolescence, the Chicco SmartSupport carrier will allow your family more freedom on the next nature-based family vacation.

Its helpful infant insert keeps your tiniest tot in place so that they don’t shuffle around in the extra space. With three adjustable settings designed to grow with your baby, this carrier will be comfortable all the way up to 3 years old.

The extra padding on the straps and lumbar area helps support your shoulders and prevent excessive strain, so you can roll around in the grass with your kids when you get back to camp and still be able to get back up on your own.

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