Best Toddler Hiking Carrier for Outdoor Adventurers

best toddler hiking carrier

Are you an avid outdoor adventurer wondering how to take your toddler hiking with you? Or are you a babywearer that wants to go on outdoor adventures where no stroller can go? Let us help you find the best toddler hiking carrier!

When you look for a toddler carrier for hiking, your decision will ultimately come down to price and comfort. There are all different toddler baby carriers for hiking with different features and accessories, but when wearing your child outdoors for long hikes, you want to make sure you and your toddler are comfortable and happy. 

The Best Toddler Hiking Carrier for Outdoor Adventurers

Here are 5 options for the best carrier for toddler outdoor adventures:

1. Clevr Baby Backpack Cross Country Carrier

The Clevr Baby toddler hiking carrier is a hard shell carrier (which means it has a metal frame supporting the shape) that is a simplified version of the more high-end hard shell carriers. It has helpful features such as a rain/sun hood and a kickstand to use your carrier as a seat for your child when it is on the ground.

Features:

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     Aluminum frame (weighs 5.1 lbs)
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     Retractable canopy for sun/rain protection
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     Padded straps and hip belt
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     Lumbar support
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     Suitable for children 6 months-4 years old
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     Multiple pockets
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     2 water bottle holders
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     Freestanding with kickstand

This is a great carrier for families looking to go on day hikes in various weather conditions. If you have young children, you can look forward to using this carrier for at least a few years, if not more!

Pros:

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    Hard shell frame provides support
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    Retractable canopy
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    Pockets
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    Freestanding
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    Sharable between partners

Cons:

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    Not as comfortable as higher-end models
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    May need additional accessories such as “rearview”mirror and a cup holder that your child can access
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    Large pocket is not reachable by yourself (would need a partner to reach it)
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    Not suitable for errands or short trips


We love that this carrier gives you many of the features of more expensive carriers at a more affordable price. 

Clevr Baby Backpack Cross Country Carrier

2. phil&teds Parade Lightweight Backpack Carrier

This carrier is a lightweight version of hard shell carrier on the market. It’s much more compact and conveniently folds for easy storage.

Features:

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     Aluminum frame (weighs 4.4 lbs)
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     Suitable for children up to 40 lbs
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     Freestanding with kickstand
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     Padded shoulder and hip belts
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     Mesh fabric for breathability
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     Washable & waterproof
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     Detachable backpack for kids
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     2 water bottle holders
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     Pocket for keys, etc.

When we see this child carrier, we envision city hikes, festivals, and other adventures where a stroller would not be ideal due to large crowds. The seat in this carrier is an actual seat, so it may be less pressure on their legs than soft structured or other types of carriers.

Pros:

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    Freestanding
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    Compact
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    Lightweight
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    More support than soft carriers
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    Less expensive
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    Bottle holders are accessible for child and adult

Cons:

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    No rain/sun hood
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    Not for young babies (child must be able to sit unassisted)


Even though this may not be the most ideal carrier for long outdoor hikes, it’s awesome for parades, city treks, farmer’s markets, etc. It gives a bit more support than your typical soft structured carrier at a generally lower price point. 

phil&teds Parade Lightweight Backpack Carrier

3. Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

The Ergobaby 360 is not designed specifically for hiking, however, it’s great for younger babies, short trips, and can easily be used even around the house.

Features:

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     Several carrying positions (for babies who can support their head)
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     Breathable mesh fabric
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     Sun/rain/nursing hood (UPF 50+)
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     Padded straps
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     Easily adjustable
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     Suitable for babies 12-33 lbs (infant insert necessary for babies under 12 lbs)

If you are looking for a carrier for toddler and younger baby that’s also simple enough to wear around the house, the Ergobaby 360 is a quality choice. It’s also nice to have the mesh fabric for summer (or warm climates).

Pros:

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    Compact (compared to hard shell carriers)
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    Lightweight
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    Breathable mesh fabric
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    Fits younger babies
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    Number of carrying positions
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    Simple enough to use around the house or for short errands

Cons:

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    No hard shell frame to distribute weight for long hikes
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    No exterior pockets
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    Rear carry (ideal for hiking) is only possible after baby has head control


The Ergobaby is a really awesome carrier for daily use, especially in warm climates, but may not be supportive enough for hiking families. However, if you have a young baby and are desperate to get back on the trails, or you are already wanting to purchase a soft structured carrier, then this may be perfect for you! 

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

4. Deuter Kid Comfort 3

Awarded Best Hiking Carrier by Outside Magazine, this is a top of the line toddler hiking carrier for serious outdoor adventurers.

Features:

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     Fully adjustable without removing your child
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     Step-in side access
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     Chin pad for when your child wants to rest
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     Height-adjustable footrests
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     Aluminum frame
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     Maximum ventilation design
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     Freestanding with kickstand
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     2 grab handles to lift pack
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     Many storage pockets/compartments
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     Collapsible sunroof
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     5 point safety harness
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     VariFit system for maximum comfort and support
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     Suitable for children 16-40 lbs
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     Compatible with hydration systems

This premium toddler carrier is pretty amazing in terms of design for long hikes. However, it may be overkill for shorter trips or families looking for something simple.

Pros:

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    Extremely comfortable for adult and baby, even for long trips
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    Convenient storage pockets (even on the hip belt!)
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    Highly ventilated
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    Convenient chin pad for naps
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    Side access is easier to load child, especially for older children
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    Can add hydration system

Cons:

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    Expensive
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    Not suitable for errands or very short trips
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    Bulky to store
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    Not for younger babies


If you are looking to do some serious hiking or traveling with your toddler, this carrier is incredible. It has all the bells and whistles to make for a very comfortable experience for you and your child. 

Deuter Kid Comfort 3

5. Kelty Journey 2.0 Child Carrier

For smaller-framed people or someone who wants a toddler hiking carrier that is supportive but not overpowering, the Kelty Journey 2.0 is an excellent choice.

Features:

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     Adjustable suspension system
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     5 point harness for child
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     Underseat storage
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     Chin pad for resting
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     Sun hood
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     Kickstand
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     Suitable for children 16-40 lbs

If you like the idea of a hard shell carrier but some of them seem too big or too involved, then this may be a great choice for you.

Pros:

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    Medium size fits most parents comfortably
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    Comes with chin pad
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    Plenty of storage space
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    Freestanding with kickstand
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    Less expensive than Deuter Kid Comfort

Cons:

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    Not for errands or short trips
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    Not for younger babies
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    Bulky to store


While it may not have all the features of more expensive toddler hiking carriers, this carrier is still premium quality and may even be a better fit for some parents.

Kelty Journey 2.0 Child Carrier

Conclusion

We hope this article was helpful in your search for the best toddler hiking carrier! See if you can try some on and let us know what you think in the comments. We wish you the best of luck on your adventures! Be sure to check out our Babywearing Ultimate Guide for more information on all things babywearing.


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