Canada is home to some of the most beautiful hiking locations in the world. As many parents know, it can be difficult to take your baby or toddler hiking with you since they simply don’t have enough endurance or long of legs to keep up the pace. With a hiking baby carrier, you can take your child on longer hikes without asking too much of them.
Because of where you will be using a hiking baby carrier, it’s important to find the best model to ensure both you and your child are comfortable and safe on the adventure. The last thing you want is to select a bad model that ruins the trip or injures your child.
So that you can enjoy your next hike with your child safely in tow, we analyzed 15 products and 429 consumer reviews over 22 hours.
From this research, we determined that the Osprey Poco Child Carrier is the best hiking baby carrier in Canada since it is highly safe and comfortable for all parties, all while being fairly priced.
Table of Contents
- Hiking Baby Carrier Comparative Table
- Our Pick for The Best Hiking Baby Carrier
- Our Upgrade Pick for a Hiking Baby Carrier
- Our Budget Pick for a Hiking Baby Carrier
- Alternative Products to Consider
- Why Should You Trust Us?
- Things to Know Before Buying a Hiking Baby Carrier
- How to Properly Choose Your Hiking Baby Carrier
Hiking Baby Carrier Comparative Table
|Osprey Poco Child Carrier||
||9.6/10||See price on Amazon|
|Thule Sapling Child Carrier
||9.8/10||See price on Altitude Sport|
|McKinley Juno Child Carrier
||9.5/10||See price on Sports Experts|
Our Pick for The Best Hiking Baby Carrier
The Best Overall
The best overall hiking baby carrier in Canada in 2021 is the Osprey Poco Child Carrier. Despite having an affordable price tag, the pack is comfortable and offers enhanced safety features for your baby. Almost everyone loves this product.
Osprey Poco Child Carrier Video Review
What We Think of The Osprey Poco Child Carrier
In order to determine the best overall hiking baby carrier, we looked at reviews, features, and price so that the product is great from all fronts. Based on these factors, the Osprey Poco Child Carrier is our favorite hiking baby carrier on this list, and we would recommend it to most parents.
The Osprey Poco Child Carrier has a back and hip orientation and can handle children up to 48.5 pounds. The dual orientation means that most parents can use this pack comfortably for nearly all children, babies and toddlers included.
This hiking baby carrier is comfortable and safe for your child. It has a double Halo child harness with adjustable foot stirrups. These features keep the child secured without adding too much pressure. The carrier even comes with additional baby features, such as a washable drool pad. For further protection, it is equipped with a sunshade that offers 50+UV sun protection.
The Osprey Poco Child Carrier is highly convenient too. It comes with a snack hip belt pocket, an external hydration sleeve, and adjustable straps for both the baby and parent.
All the while, the baby carrier is relatively affordable. Even though it isn’t as cheap as our budget pick, its price is reasonable considering its features, though some may find it slightly pricey. Most parents are more than happy to pay the price for this carrier without thinking twice.
I purchased a cheap alternative but was desperate for a good backpack. This pack is comfortable and comes with everything I need. I highly recommend and would buy this over and over again. We love our weekly hikes, and my baby does too. Worth every penny!
There are virtually no complaints about this carrier on nearly every site we looked at. It simply is the best for a reason: it has next to no negative reviews and features.
Because of how awesome the Osprey Poco Child Carrier is, it is the best hiking baby carrier in Canada in 2021. We recommend this product to any parent willing to splurge just a bit on a completely safe, comfortable, and convenient baby carrier.
Osprey Poco Child Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Osprey
- Material: Nylon
- Orientation: Back, hip
- Strap Type: Removable, adjustable
- Max Weight: 48.5 lbs.
- Color: Blue sky
Osprey Poco Child Carrier Pros and Cons
- Highly comfortable for parent and baby
- Numerous safety features
- Several additional features for convenience
- Reasonably priced
- Only one color option
Our Final Opinion about the Osprey Poco Child Carrier[usrlist Quality:4.8 Effectiveness:4.9 Design:4.8 Price:4.6]
Get the Osprey Poco Child Carrier for the best hiking baby carrier. Because of its phenomenal features, it is the right product for nearly any parent.
Our Upgrade Pick for a Hiking Baby Carrier
The High Performance Pick
The Thule Sapling Child Carrier is our upgrade pick because it is specifically designed for serious hikers that need an ultra-lightweight and durable carrier. Although expensive, this is the ideal carrier for serious hikers that want to take their child along for the ride.
Thule Sapling Child Carrier Video Review
What We Think of The Thule Sapling Child Carrier
Even though the Osprey is our best overall child carrier, the Thule Sapling Child Carrier offers a bit more durability and convenience, making it perfect for serious hikers that go on long journeys. Because of its slimmed down design, this carrier offers many convenient features without weighing you down.
Most importantly, the Thule Sapling Child Carrier is equipped with a light design, hydration sleeve, cargo space, padded 5 point harness, sun hood, and removable stirrups. These numerous features make the carrier an effective backpack and child support system, all in one.
At the same time, the pack itself is only about 7 pounds, making it lightweight and suitable for more serious hikers. The carrier is even made from durable materials so that it can withstand the rugged conditions it may face on your adventures.
More impressively, the Thule Sapling Child Carrier has one of the most effective suspension systems. Its load stabilizer straps ensure that the center of gravity is exactly where you need it to be for a comfortable and safe journey.
Some features to keep your child comfortable and supported include a drool pad, removable child seat, five point harness, and dual access loading. All of these features keep the child comfortable on your back while making it easier for you to carry your child around.
We just started using this and are very happy. The backpack is safe and secure which is very important. My son seems happy and it’s comfortable for me to wear. There are tons of pockets, which I like.
In terms of durability and performance, customers report nearly a perfect experience with this baby carrier. The only drawback we could find is its price, which is a bit more expensive than the other products. For serious hikers that need the most durable and efficient carrier, the price may be worth it.
All around, the Thule Sapling Child Carrier is our high performance pick because it offers impressive features, safety, and durability that is matched by no other product. Because it is expensive, it is ideal for serious hikers that intend to use the carrier very frequently.
Thule Sapling Child Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Thule
- Material: Nylon, polyester
- Orientation: Back
- Strap Type: 5-point harness, stabilizer strap, adjustable
- Max Weight: 48.5 lbs.
- Color: Agave
Thule Sapling Child Carrier Pros and Cons
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Topnotch safety features
- Many pockets and convenience features
- Highly durable
Our Final Opinion About the Thule Sapling Child Carrier[usrlist Quality:5.0 Effectiveness:5.0 Design:4.8 Price:4.2]
The Thule Sapling Child Carrier is an ideal choice if you are a serious hiker. It comes with the best features and durability of the carriers on this list, but it is slightly expensive.
Our Budget Pick for a Hiking Baby Carrier
The Budget Pick
If you are on a budget, the McKinley Juno Child Carrier is a great product. Although affordable, it still offers numerous features and enhanced safety to create an all-around enjoyable hiking experience for the whole family.
What We Think of the McKinley Juno Child Carrier
When it comes to baby carriers, you need to be cautious when purchasing cheap products. Because your child’s safety is on the line, you never want to purchase a product that is cheap due to faulty manufacturing or materials.
The McKinley Juno Child Carrier is an affordable carrier, but it is far from being cheap. It is made from 600D polyester that is durable, lightweight, and supportive. For further support and safety, the carrier comes with adjustable straps, storage, and seat height. These features ensure that the carrier is comfortable and safe, despite its affordable price tag.
The McKinley Juno Child Carrier comes with a removable sunshade too. A sunshade is a feature that is normally only offered on expensive models, yet it offers protection from the sun. The addition of this sunshade increases the value of this carrier dramatically.
Just as effective as many of the other more expensive child carriers at a much better price. Highly recommend.
In comparison to the two previous child carriers, the McKinley Juno Child Carrier doesn’t have as much storage or pocket features, though it still has under seat storage that your child sits on. This provides some storage to keep water bottles and other items safe.
The only drawback of this model is its lack of additional features. As mentioned above, it doesn’t have as many storage or convenient features that more expensive models have.
Despite not being the best hiking baby carrier based on convenience, the McKinley Juno Child Carrier is a great option for those on the budget. Because of its numerous safety features and great price tag, it’s the perfect option for those on a budget.
McKinley Juno Child Carrier Specifications
- Brand: McKinley
- Material: Polyester
- Orientation: Back
- Strap Type: Padded, ventilated, adjustable
- Max Weight: Not listed
- Color: Red and black
McKinley Juno Child Carrier Pros and Cons
- Highly affordable
- Comfort features for baby and parent
- Comes with a sunshade
- Doesn’t have many conveniences or storage options
Our Final Opinion About the McKinley Juno Child Carrier[usrlist Quality:4.7 Effectiveness:4.5 Design:4.6 Price:5]
If you are on a budget, check out the McKinley Juno Child Carrier. It might not have as much storage as some of the other options, but it’s just as safe and comfortable, which are the two most important features of a hiking baby carrier to begin with.
Alternative Products to Consider
Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier Review
The Summer Pick
The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier is an ultra-lightweight carrier that is perfect for the summer months. Although highly expensive, it may be a great choice if you frequently hike in hot areas.
Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier Video Review
What We Think of the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier
One downside of many hiking baby carriers is that they’re super hot, especially in the summer. Hiking alone is enough to get hot, but hiking with a baby strapped to your back can make the adventure downright unbearable.
With the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier, you don’t have to worry about too much excess heat. This model is made from a lightweight frame and nylon and mesh materials. The mesh lining is especially helpful because it keeps both you and your baby cool.
The lightweight design is good for more than just temperature. It also means that you don’t have to carry around excess weight. Instead, you only have to carry around as little as possible to make the journey a bit more enjoyable.
Even though this model is lightweight, it still comes with all of the features needed to keep your baby safe. For example, it comes with a plush cockpit, grab handles, and adjustable straps.
Easy to carry and lightweight. Highly recommend.
Between these features and its lightweight design, the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier is a good summer pick, but you will need to save up for it. This model is very expensive, even more expensive than our high performance pick.
Aside from the outrageously high price tag, the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier a is a great carrier. Especially if you hike in hot climates, you will likely be excited about the lightweight and mesh design of this carrier.
Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Kelty
- Material: Nylon
- Orientation: Back
- Strap Type: Adjustable
- Max Weight: Not listed
- Color: Insignia blue
Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier Pros and Cons
- Stays cool in the summer
- Many safety features
Our Final Opinion About the Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier[usrlist Quality:4.6 Effectiveness:4.6 Design:4.6 Price:4.0]
The Kelty Journey Perfectfit Child Carrier is a good product for people who get hot, but it is expensive. Only purchase this expensive model if you know that you overheat easily and want the lightest and coolest carrier possible.
Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier Review
The Insulated Pick
The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier comes with insulated pockets to keep your baby’s bottle cool. Although it isn’t the most durable product, many parents recommend this for light usage.
Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier Video Review
What We Think of The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier
There’s nothing worse than getting to the top of the hike only to find that your water and drinks have all turned hot. With the Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier, you don’t have to worry about this happening ever again.
Unlike other carriers that only offer regular pockets, this model comes with insulated pockets, in addition to the normal pockets. This insulation will keep your baby’s bottle cool. This cool hydration ensures that your child gets the hydration they need.
The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier comes with other features too. For example, it comes with heavily padded straps, mesh pockets on outer surfaces, and a special pocket on your waist belt for your phone and keys. It even comes with a diaper changing pad for ultimate convenience.
Good pack for the price. I like the built in cooler. There are a few things I would change like the strap and buckle. All in all, it’s a good pack for the price.
The price of this carrier is about the same as our best overall pick, making the pack recently priced. That being said, the price isn’t as impressive on this model as it was on our best overall pick because there are more downsides to this carrier. For example, there are complaints about the durability of the carrier. Several users report the stitching coming loose after only a couple of uses.
Because there are some durability issues of the model, we only recommend the Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier to individuals who don’t need it too frequently. At least it will keep your baby’s bottle cold.
Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Luvdbaby
- Material: Polyester
- Orientation: Back
- Strap Type: Waist, adjustable
- Max Weight: 48.5 lbs.
- Color: Green and grey
Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier Pros and Cons
- Insulation for baby bottles
- A lot of storage and pockets
- Comes with a diaper changing pad
- Slightly expensive
- Not very durable
Our Final Opinion About the Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier[usrlist Quality:4.3 Effectiveness:4.4 Design:4.6 Price:4.4]
The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier comes with a unique insulated design that can keep your baby’s water or milk cool. Unless you specifically want this insulated feature, we recommend going with the best overall pick since it is the same price and offers better durability.
Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier Review
The Multi-Wear Pick
Phil & Ted’s
The Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier can be worn on your front, back, or hip for ultimate convenience. Although it isn’t durable or super comfortable, it might be great for everyday adventures where the carrier changes.
Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier Video Review
What We Think of the Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier
Most hiking baby carriers only have one or two orientations at most. The Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier, in comparison, has three. You can either wear it on your front, back, or hip. This three orientation design makes it perfect for families that intend on switching out the baby.
During the journey, your baby is held in place with the five point safety harness and adjustable head support. These two features offer optimal protection for your baby.
There are a lot of good features on this, but it’s uncomfortable and not durable. Ours only lasted about 12 uses.
More so, the carrier comes with a changing pad, sun hood, raincoat, H2O pouch, and foot straps. These numerous features ensure that you and your baby are taken care of throughout the entire journey.
Unfortunately, there are some serious downsides to this model. Most importantly, multiple parents report it not being comfortable for both baby and parents. Likewise, it isn’t very durable and breaks after just a few uses.
Because of these serious drawbacks, we recommend going with the budget pick unless you specifically need a carrier with multiple carrying orientations. Its three wear design is a major plus, but the durability and comfortability issues are major concerns for most parents.
Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier Specifications
- Brand: Phil & Ted’s
- Material: Not listed
- Orientation: Front, back, and hip
- Strap Type: 5 point harness, buckle
- Max Weight: 40 lbs.
- Color: Red and charcoal
Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier Pros and Cons
- Can be worn three ways
- Very safe for child
- Comes with convenience features for baby
- Highly affordable
- Not durable
- Not comfortable
Our Final Opinion About the Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier[usrlist Quality:4.0 Effectiveness:4.3 Design:4.7 Price:4.7]
Get the Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier only if you know you need a carrier that can be worn in many ways. Because of its numerous drawbacks, we recommend the budget pick over this one simply because it will last longer and be more comfortable.
OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler Review
The Dad Pick
The OE Hiking Carrier is our dad picked because of its unique design. It places the child almost over the wearer’s shoulders, which makes it more suitable for individuals with broad shoulders, such as men. Because of its design, it isn’t as suitable for moms or individuals with smaller frames.
OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler Video Review
What We Think of The OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler
Most of the carriers we looked at have the same design in which the baby’s head almost ends up being directly behind the wearer’s. If you want your child to have complete visibility, you might like the OE Hiking Carrier. This carrier is different because the child sits much higher up on the seat, and their legs drape over the wearer’s shoulders.
This unique design offers child maximum visibility. Plus, it means the entire backside of the harness acts as a natural backpack. In this regard, the OE Hiking Carrier has some of the most storage space. Plus, the carrier is very affordable too. Most users report great experiences with the durability and functionality of the model.
Awesome carrier. What I was looking for. Little guy loves being able to see everything but he’s secure and my hands are free. We love this thing.
However, the design makes the carrier less suitable for a wide range of babies and wearers. For starters, individuals with a small frame will likely find the carrier too top heavy. At the same time, this carrier is not good for young children or toddlers. Instead, it’s more ideal for toddlers that have complete control over their upper body, neck, and overall movements.
If you specifically want a carrier that places the child on your shoulders, the OE Hiking Carrier is one of the best options. Just keep in mind that this carrier has a completely unique design that isn’t as suited for all wearers and children.
OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler Specifications
- Brand: OE
- Material: Polyester
- Orientation: Back
- Strap Type: Shoulder strap
- Max Weight: 45 lbs.
- Color: Grey and yellow
OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler Pros and Cons
- Child has complete visibility
- A lot of storage
- Frees up hands
- Not ideal for wearers with smaller frames
- Not ideal for babies or young toddlers
Our Final Opinion About the OE Hiking Carrier For Child and Toddler[usrlist Quality:4.7 Effectiveness:4.9 Design:4.6 Price:4.9]
The OE Hiking Carrier is the perfect dad pick because it lets your child sit on top of your shoulders, freeing up your hands and offering a lot of storage, but its design isn’t suitable for those with smaller frames or children who don’t have complete control over their body yet.
Why Should You Trust Us?
All our recommendations on The Good Choice are the result of many weeks or months of research, comparisons, analyses of user’s ratings and if need be, interviews with experts and scientists. You will quickly notice that the products we suggest here are not the most expensive or the most trendy: they are those that will best perform their daily tasks, passing all security, reliability and efficiency tests while having an appealing price-quality ratio for everyone.
In the end, the products we recommend are those we would have wanted to buy, or those we will choose for our friends and family.
Things to Know Before Buying a Hiking Baby Carrier
How old should my child be to use a hiking baby carrier?
Child motor function, size, and capabilities are more important than your child’s age when it comes to using a hiking baby carrier. It’s important that the child is around 16 pounds, can sit up on their own, and have complete neck control.
Most children meet these requirements around the age of six months old. If you are unsure whether or not your child can use a hiking baby carrier yet, you can talk to your pediatrician to determine if your child is a good candidate.
When should I use a hiking baby carrier?
Baby carriers are a great tool to use during a variety of activities, including hiking, backpacking, traveling, and long walking. A carrier may be a bit of a hassle if you’re only taking a quick walk outside, but you can use a carrier in this situation if you prefer.
When should I not use a hiking baby carrier?
Although hiking baby carriers are advantageous for certain activities, you should not wear a baby in a carrier in the following scenarios:
- Trail running
- Skiing or snowboarding
- Hiking on loose terrain
- High speed activities
Wearing a hiking baby carrier in these scenarios is highly dangerous. Each one of these activities include high risk of falling. If you were to fall on your baby while it is inside the carrier, the baby could get seriously injured or even killed.
Even certain hiking activities, such as hiking on loose terrain, are dangerous because it is easy to accidentally slip and fall. With this in mind, only use a hiking baby carrier if you know the trail you are walking on is relatively secure and stable.
How do I fit a hiking carrier for my baby?
Hiking baby carriers are only safe when the child fits safely and snuggly inside. Follow the steps below to fit the hiking carrier to your child for safety:
- Loosen all straps and extend the kickstand.
- Put child into the carrier and allow the legs to slip through the openings.
- Tighten and buckle all straps included. Some straps your baby carrier may have include a hip belt, shoulder straps, sternum straps, and leg straps.
- If applicable, tighten the carrier’s side compression straps.
- Adjust the seat height so that your child’s chin is level with the chin pad.
- Double check to make sure that your child’s shoulders and legs fit comfortably through the straps.
How should I fit the hiking baby carrier for me?
Just as the baby carrier should fit your child, it should fit you as well so that you are comfortable during the trip. Here are the steps for fitting a carrier on yourself:
- Adjust carrier suspension system so that it fits your torso. The hip straps should rest directly on your hipbones and the shoulder straps on your shoulders.
- Pull the hip belt so tight that around 80% of the carrier’s weight is placed on your hips.
- The remaining 20% of the weight should be on your shoulders. Tighten the shoulder straps so that the weight is stabilized here.
- Tighten the carrier’s load lifter straps so that they are at approximately a 45 degree angle.
- Adjust the carrier’s sternum strap so you can breathe freely.
Adjust the carrier’s fit for your body before putting your child inside the carrier. Simply fit the carrier to yourself, then put your baby inside the carrier. Finally, fit the carrier to your child and put it on your back or body.
How to Properly Choose Your Hiking Baby Carrier
It’s imperative to choose the right hiking baby carrier for both you and the child. Only by picking the right model can you ensure that the hiking carrier feels comfortable on you and is safe for your child to ride in. There are four main factors to consider when properly choosing your hiking baby carrier: parent comfort, child comfort, child safety, and additional features.
These four factors not only ensure that your child is safe during the hike, but they also ensure that the hiking experience is comfortable, fun, and convenient for everyone involved, including you. Here’s a closer look at each one of these factors:
The first thing you should consider when purchasing a hiking baby carrier is how it feels on your back and shoulders. If the carrier is not comfortable for you, you likely will not use it, no matter how comfortable and safe it is for the child.
It’s important that you select a carrier that fits your torso, waist, and shoulders properly. There should be a lot of padding so that the straps and features don’t cut into your body either. If you have an unusual body size or shape, you should look for packs specifically designed for you.
Don’t forget about the suspension system. The suspension system is what allows the carrier to not feel too heavy on your back whenever you are hiking with your child. It’s important that the suspension system creates a well distributed load so that you don’t feel uncomfortable or get injured during the hike.
In addition to your comfort, you want the child to be comfortable too. If your child is not comfortable, the hike is going to be a nightmare for everyone involved. Often, carriers with five point harnesses are most comfortable for the child because it feels almost like a car seat harness.
Something else that impact your child’s comfort is correct fit. Make sure that the carrier properly fits your child and that the straps are all fitted properly to ensure your child is neither too loose nor too tight inside the carrier.
The safety of your child obviously should be considered too. Often, child comfort and safety go hand in hand. For example, five point harnesses are often the most comfortable, but they are the safest for children since it’s much more difficult for a child to slip out of these types of harnesses.
Proper fit relates to your child safety. If the carrier is too loose, your child can slip out and get injured during the fall. In contrast, too tight of a harness can construct movement and prevent circulation. Looking for a carrier that has many adjustable features, you can best fit your child to the harness.
If you read any reviews about serious safety issues, opt for a different carrier instead. Likewise, don’t put your child inside a carrier with compromised buckles, straps, and features.
Hiking baby carriers can come with many additional features. Opt for features that you know you will use without adding too much weight to your back.
One of the most important features to look for is additional storage. One of the benefits of hiking baby carriers is that they have extra room for storage. This storage will come in handy for packing water, bottles, and items for both you and your child.
You can check out other features too. Some hiking baby carriers will come with sunshades, toy attachment loops, rain covers, and more. These features won’t make or break a carrier, but they can make a carrier more convenient for you and the child.
Once you think you’ve found a baby carrier that suits your fancy, see if you can try it out in some way. By testing the carrier, you don’t have to waste your money on a carrier that potentially doesn’t work for you and your child. You can try out the carrier by seeing if a friend will loan you their carrier or going to a store and walking around with your baby inside.
We do our best to provide you with a comparative guide of hiking baby carriers allowing you to choose the best product possible. If we are missing information or new models, do not hesitate to leave a comment below or to send us a message.