An adventure in the countryside sounds all well and good, until your little ones get tired and you end up having to carry them in your arms the whole way. Cue grumpy child and grumpy grown up.
That’s where the baby backpack carrier comes in to save the day. Cosy and safe for children and easy-to-use and comfortable for adults, it’s the perfect way to have fun exploring together.
So we’ve found the best baby backpack carriers to make sure you all get to enjoy your time outdoors.
What to look for in a baby backpack carrier
There’s a few decisions to make before you buy a baby backpack carrier, as this will help you to find the best one to suit your needs.
Of course, first and foremost will be the safety of your child. All of the baby backpack carriers we feature in this round-up have adjustable secure harnesses and seats to make sure your little one is always safe.
The next thing to think about is when you’re planning to use it most. Will it be for long hikes or day-to-day wear for things like shopping and the school run? Do you intend to travel with it and how much space does it take up when stored at home?
Each of these factors may affect the backpack carrier you go for. For example, if it’s for walks in the countryside, size probably won’t be an issue, but you might not want to carry a large backpack around the supermarket. Likewise, if you’re going to travel with it, you may want something more compact, which is easier to transport.
Other things to consider are the weight of the backpack and who will be wearing it. Most backpack carriers are designed to be adapted to fit different sized bodies, but they do differ quite a bit in weight, so you need to ensure you feel comfortable carrying it, along with the added weight of your child.
The backpack’s storage is another consideration. If you’re only planning to take the backpack carrier on your next hike, you need to ensure it has enough room for everything you’ll need during the day.
Once you’ve decided on a style you like, have a look at what is included with it. Does it come with a sunshade, raincover and carry bag, or do they need to be bought separately?
To help you decide, whether you’re looking for a comfortable backpack carrier to be used on hikes for the next few years or a budget option for your next holiday, we’ve discovered the best baby backpack carriers below.
Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Signature child carrier
If you’re looking for a child carrier that’s going to be great for trekking on any terrain, the Kelty Journey PerfectFIT ticks many boxes.
We felt our little one was very secure in the carrier, thanks to the five-point safety harness and padded aluminium roll cage. The wide seat base and adjustable foot stirrups also mean it is a super comfortable ride.
One of the features that we really liked about this backpack was the number of handles it has to lift it by, which makes it very easy to manouevre, both when folded and open. We also felt the kick-out stand at the back made it very stable when placed on the ground.
The Kelty Journey PerfectFIT can be easily adjusted to fit both mum and dad, and the padded straps and waistband are very comfortable. It includes an integrated sunshade and dribble guard.
Another plus point for us was the amount of storage it has. Its 26L capacity includes a large zippered pocket on the back, plus four exterior pockets, including two easy-access ones in the waistband.
This carrier is 2.99 kg and is suitable for children weighing 7.25kg to 18kg.
Buy now £399.17, Amazon
LittleLife Adventurer S2 Child Carrier
The LittleLife Adventurer S2 Child Carrier is a good pick-up-and-go option. Weighing just 1.9kg, it feels nice and streamlined when on your back.
It includes an X-buckle and five-point harness to keep your little one secure and a fully adjustable back system to suit whoever is carrying it.
The kick-out leg offers stability when on the ground and an added advantage is that it folds quite flat, making it easy to transport and store at home.
It has a capacity of 12L, including a storage area underneath the seat and two stretchy side pockets, which are great for bottles of water and emergency snacks.
It also includes a soft face pad, with cute little animal characters on it, which our little one enjoyed chatting to. We felt that this was a really robust carrier for the price point.
It is suitable for ages 6 months to 3 years and has a maximum load of 20kg.
Buy now £144.99, Mamas & Papas
If you’re looking for a stylish carrier which provides maximum support for your little traveller, the Swedish-designed Thule Sapling is the perfect option.
Its ErgoRide child cockpit provides a great amount of under leg support to ensure the child’s weight is equally dispersed for extra comfort. Handily, the seat and drool pad are removable and machine washable, which is great for any snack-related mishaps.
The sides and the back of the Thule Sapling are mesh to keep your child cool on hot days and it also comes with a UPF 50 sunshade. Plus a ventilated back panel keeps parents comfortable and cool, too.
Children up to 18kg can be safely strapped in with the harness and the dual access allows you to load your child from the top or the side panel opening. This is useful if your little one tends to be a bit wriggly getting in and out.
The well-placed side zippers in the 22L gear compartment can be accessed while wearing the pack – a feature that made accessing the essentials during hikes and walks that extra bit more convenient.
The carrier weighs 3.2kg and has a fully adjustable torso and hip belt for parents.
Buy now £300.00, Amazon
Osprey Poco LT
If you’re looking for an easy travel baby backpack carrier then the Poco LT is a great choice.
Weighing in at 2.3kg, it packs down smaller than most framed child carriers, making it a great option where space is at a premium.
The zip-away harness and hip belt stashes the straps tidily away and helps to prevent them from being snagged in car boots or on airport conveyor belts.
The large zippered lower compartment is accessed from behind, but there is also a zippered hipbelt pocket on one side and an easy-access stretch-mesh pocket on the other to keep essentials close to hand.
You can be sure that your little one stays protected from the sun with a pull-out UPF 50+ sunshade. Plus it has mesh side panels to allow air to circulate through the pack.
The Poco LT can be used for children weighing between 7.25kg and 18 kg.
Buy now £275.00, Osprey
LittleLife Traveller S4 Child Carrier
A great option for flying, the LittleLife Traveller S4 can be classed as hand luggage on most flights.
It can be carried like a normal backpack if your little one feels like walking, then, when their legs get tired, you can unzip the main compartment and pop them in.
It includes a five-point harness to secure your little one in and a fully padded backsystem to ensure your comfort. This is particularly well suited people with a petite frame due to its compact size.
Weighing 2kg, it has a 16L capacity and can carry children up to 15kg.
Buy now £129.99, LittleLife
Phil & Teds parade
If you’re looking for a no-fuss carrier that can be used on a quick trip to the shops, or packed in your suitcase for a holiday, then Phil & Teds parade would be a good choice.
The lightweight, compact design is a great space saver as it can be folded completely flat to pack or store at home.
It has adjustable straps for adults with breathable mesh in the hip belt, shoulders and lumbar support, which is particularly useful in hot climates.
It also includes a secure four-point child harness and kick-out stand for stability and side-access. It can carry children up to 18kg.
For a small carrier, it packs multiple storage options, with a large lower storage pocket, smaller side panels and front belt pockets. Small but mighty, it has a total storage of 12.5L. Plus, it includes a cute little detachable mini backpack for your child to carry if they wish, which holds an additional 2.3L.
This baby backpack carrier also meets carry-on requirements on most airlines.
Buy now £109.00, Baby Planet Online
Osprey Poco Plus
The Osprey Poco Plus is a baby backpack carrier which comes with all of the bells and whistles, which means you don’t have to buy any additional extras.
With a sunshade, raincover and toy loops, your little adventurer will stay safe and entertained in all weathers.
The 26L backpack comes with the same mesh backsystem as some of Osprey’s other hiking packs, to ensure you’ll both stay comfortable on your adventures. It also includes a Fit-on-the-Fly adjustable hip belt and torso to make switching between adults super easy.
The child safety harness, seat and foot stirrups are adjustable to fit a wide range of child sizes, shapes and weights.
As well as the main zipped compartment underneath the child seat, it includes mesh side pockets and zipped hipbelt pockets for snacks and other essentials.
It also comes with a rapid deploy sunshade, with an UPF 50+ rating and an integrated raincover.
The drool pad is removable and washable and there is a removable mirror too.
It has an aluminum frame, weighs 3.6kg and can carry children up to 22kg.
Buy now £385.00, Osprey
deuter Kid Comfort
If you’re serious about hiking, the deuter Kid Comfort was designed for you and any mountain adventures.
Weighing 3.23kg, it includes a mesh backsystem to ensure the carrier’s back remains fully ventilated and the hip fins have been designed to evenly distribute the pack’s weight.
The Kid Comfort seat is height-adjustable and has varying cushion widths which can be changed according to age for a healthy seating position. It also includes height-adjustable foot rests.
It even boasts a soft pillow that extends to the corners of the pack, so that naps will be comfortable anywhere and everywhere that you go.
With a 14L capacity, it includes storage underneath the seat, as well as two stretchy side pockets, which can be accessed by the child, so are great for storing toys and snacks.
Buy now £250.00, Amazon
Phil & Teds escape
The Phil & Teds escape is a baby backpack carrier with a huge variety in features at a good price point.
It’s ergonomically designed, with a five-point harness for your child and an adjustable harness for the carrier. It also has breathable mesh in the hip belt, shoulders and lumbar support to ensure you stay cool in warmer weather.
It includes an integrated kick-out stand and can be accessed from both sides, allowing your little one to climb in and out independently if required.
The carrier also has a moldable headrest and chin pad for those mid-walk naps. Plus it comes with a sunhood and PVC wind and rain cover.
We were also pleasantly surprised at how flat this carrier can fold, making it a travel friendly option and handy if storage space is a squeeze.
Also, if you’d rather share the load on trips, it comes with a detachable daypack which can be carried by someone else.
The escape weighs 3kg and can carry children up to 18kg.
Buy now £199.00, Uber Kids
For a baby backpack carrier that ticks all the boxes, opt for the Kelty Journey PerfectFIT which feels really secure for both the parents and your little one and comes with plenty of storage for a day of exploring. However, if you’re looking for a holiday option that’s easy to pack and take on flights, go for the compact Osprey Poco LT, which will take the stress out of travel.