When you live an active lifestyle and want your child to benefit from that lifestyle as well, you are probably looking for a decent toddler carrier. Naturally, not all toddler carriers are suitable for travel and hiking, so you must consider your decision carefully. Fortunately, we have created this guide with the best toddler carriers for travel and hiking below.
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7 Best Toddler Carriers: Our Choices
1) Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier
Whether you will be hiking or travelling, you are probably looking for something that does not weigh too much but does not compromise in sturdiness. If you are searching for a toddler carrier like this, our first recommendation would be the Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier.
The Osprey child carrier is made from a lightweight aluminum material, ensuring it does not get too heavy or cumbersome while you are out and about. Of course, aluminum is still strong despite its lower weight, so it does provide the sturdy construction you are looking for too.
One of the additional benefits of the Osprey child carrier is the fact it can be adjusted. As you already know, not all toddlers will fit perfectly in a standard toddler carrier. Your toddler being secure and comfortable is extremely important, so being able to adjust a carrier is a must for many.
To provide additional protection for the toddler, the Osprey child carrier also includes the popular double halo harness and the seat of the carrier is surrounded to prevent the toddler from falling out. In conclusion, when you choose the Osprey child carrier, you choose comfort, safety, and durability.
2) BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One
While the Osprey is one of the stronger constructions out there, some parents may find that some of the aluminum components get in the way during a hike. If this is the case, you might require something a little more flexible like the BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One.
The BABYBJORN carrier is designed for children between 0 and 36 months. It is made from a breathable cotton fabric, which ensures your toddler does not get too warm while being in the carrier. Of course, the cotton fabric also ensures that the carrier remains remarkably light as well as flexible.
In addition to being comfortable for the toddler, the manufacturer of this child carrier has also considered the comfort of the parents. When you choose the BABYBJORN, you can count on a carrier with comfortable padded shoulder straps as well as a custom-fit waist belt.
The BABYBJORN carrier is available in various colors and materials, so you will find some variations on the basic design online. Naturally, some of the more expensive versions can come with additional convenience features, so depending on your budget, it can be a good idea to check the other versions too.
3) Baby Tula Explore Toddler Carrier
If you prefer something with a little more style, you could choose the Baby Tula Explore Toddler Carrier. The Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier comes in a variety of designs and colors, so you are bound to find something to meet your personal preferences.
Of course, the Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier is not only nice to look at, it is also remarkably functional. The unique design of the carrier allows your toddler to be carried in several positions; this includes front facing out, facing in, and even the popular back carry; the latter is one of the favorites for hikes.
Much like other toddler carriers out there, the Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier comes with a unique body panel that can be customized. There are three width settings, which ensures your toddler will fit even if you have bought the carrier several weeks before your hiking trip.
If your child is still quite young, you always want a carrier that can provide some neck support. With the Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier, you do not have to worry about that, as it includes customizable neck support for babies; this also allows your baby to sleep while you are hiking.
The material used for the Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier was also chosen with comfort in mind, since the carrier is made from a lightweight cotton fabric. Naturally, this means the carrier comes with the benefits of such a cotton material; this includes breathability, softness, and easy maintenance.
Another thing that is important while you are hiking or travelling with a toddler is sun protection. With the Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier, you can use the removable hood. When required, simply attach the hood to provide added protection against the sun or give the baby some privacy during his or her sleep.
4) LILLEBABY Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier
When versatility is important, then another option for travel or hiking is the LILLEBABY Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier. As the winner of the “Most Comfortable Carrier Crisbie Award”, this option will not disappoint.
The LILLEBABY Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier has several key features parents should know about. Firstly, the carrier allows you to carry your toddler in six different carrying positions; this makes it an extremely versatile option when you are travelling or hiking.
Comfort is one of the main features of the LILLEBABY; this includes comfort for the parents as well as the toddler. For the parents, the LILLEBABY carrier comes with padded shoulder straps and an extendable waist belt. For the toddler, the carrier contains additional lumbar support, adjustable straps, and breathable mesh lining, which makes this carrier more suitable for warmer outdoor temperatures.
The LILLEBABY carrier is designed for babies as well as toddlers. It is suitable for children weighing between 7 and 45 pounds, which gives this toddler carrier a considerable lifespan.
We must mention that the LILLEBABY Ergonomic Baby & Child Carriers come in different versions. For example, you could get a carrier that is suitable for all seasons, one for improved airflow, an embossed version, or even one made from organic materials.
However, the number of carrying positions possible with each of the versions remains the same. The materials used for the baby carrier can vary on the version. So, in addition to cotton, this carrier can also contain materials such as 3D mesh, faux suede microfiber and sateen cotton.
5) Clevr Premium Cross-Country Backpack Hiking Child Carrier
If you are looking for a toddler carrier that is specifically made for hiking, the Clevr Premium Cross-Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier could be the best option for you. The Clevr child carrier provides a bunch of features that make it the ideal hiking carrier, so it is certainly worth checking out.
One of the features of the Clevr child carrier is the fact the construction only weighs 5.5 pounds. The carrier is made from a lightweight metal, which has received special coating during the production process, giving it additional resistance against the weather elements.
Despite its low weight, the Clevr child carrier does have lots of functional pockets. There are several small pockets included across the exterior of the carrier, but there is also a large pocket at the back that can be used for diaper storage. The sides of the carrier also provide room for two water bottles; this enables you to carry less on your own backpack and use the carrier as your own during the hiking trip.
A Clevr child carrier can be adjusted to meet the comfort needs of yourself and the toddler. It comes with its own patented adjustment system, so you can alter the straps to make them most comfortable for you as well as your toddler.
Since the Clevr child carrier comes with a metal stand, it is possible to leave the carrier in an upright position on a flat surface. The stand can be folded up as well when it is not in use, allowing for easier storage when you aren’t hiking.
Please note that the Clevr Premium Cross Child Carrier can be obtained in a variety of colors. Upgrades to the basic system are also available for parents who would like to invest a little more.
6) Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier
If you do not mind spending a little more on a good child carrier for travelling or hiking, you should certainly consider one of the best-known child carriers out there: The Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier. Packed with features and providing top comfort, this toddler carrier is hard to ignore.
The Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier provides you with almost limitless storage. The design allows you to store water bottles, diapers, and even clothes. Therefore, this kind of carrier can double as a backpack during a hiking trip too. There are also two side-pockets on hip height; this provides you with storage for essentials you need to get to quickly.
A Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier also includes a deployable sunshade. Whether you are hiking or travelling, there is always a need to protect your toddler against direct sunlight. With the deployable sunshade, you can provide your little one with all the protection he or she requires.
One of the problems many parents experience with a child carrier is that they cannot see their child if they carry on the back. Fortunately, this is no longer a problem with the Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier, as it comes with its own viewing mirror. Simply use the mirror to check on your little one while you are walking or travelling.
Easy access to a child carrier is important too, especially when you are travelling and rushing around. With the Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier, you can take advantage of a system that allows you to put your child in from the top or the side of the carrier; this can make it a lot easier on parents on the go.
The Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier also includes a set of removable stirrups. When installed, they allow your toddler to rest their legs or readjust their position during a hike or a walk. Naturally, this is quite a unique feature that is not present with all toddler carriers out there.
7) Deuter Kid Comfort 3 Toddler Carrier
Before we elaborate on this toddler carrier, we must mention that there are various versions of the Deuter Kid Comfort 3. For this review, we focus on the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 Framed Child Carrier, designed for hiking.
The Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is one of the safest child carriers for hiking. The construction is JPMA certified, an independent testing facility who ensures the child carrier meets the federal safety guidelines.
To provide optimal safety during a hike, the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 comes with its own 5-point safety harness. The harness has several functions. Firstly, it allows you to adjust the child carrier to match your child’s overall size and height. The harness is also designed with the assistance of a pediatric specialist, which ensures your toddler sits in an optimal position while you are hiking.
At the back of the Deuter Kid Comfort 3, you will find a specially designed kickstand. When placed in the open position, the child carrier can be placed upright on a flat surface. The kickstand is made extra wide too; this provides additional stability for the carrier when it is required.
Another great feature of the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is its ventilation abilities. When you hike, you can encounter warmer temperatures, so ventilation is certainly a feature a lot of parents will look for in their child carrier.
To ensure optimal ventilation, the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is equipped with the patented AirContact back system; this system fits perfectly around the body of your little one, while remaining breathable and cool in warmer temperatures.
The AirContact pads, which are a part of the ventilation system, are equipped with large open pores; these pores have a specific purpose, as they cause a pump effect, evacuating warm and moisture away from the toddler’s body. Compared to other body-contour carriers without this system, the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 causes 15% less perspiration.
As one comes to expect from the Deuter brand, the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 comes with a bunch of comfort and convenience features. One of the features is the dual access system, which allows you to gain easier access to the carrier when you need to place your child in it.
Still, one of the most important features of the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 is its versatility. The child carrier is equipped with the VariFit system; this allows you to change the length of the carrier to match the size of your back. The system also includes so-called VariFlex hip wings; these allow an increased range of movement on uneven or steep terrains. Naturally, this is another feature that makes this a great child carrier for hiking.
Best Toddler Carrier: Buying Guide
We have reviewed and discussed some of the best toddler carriers out there, but you may have noticed that some of the advanced features can be considerably different. Therefore, the child carrier you choose will depend heavily on its intended purpose.
For parents who need a child carrier for travelling, we recommend prioritizing easy access and flexibility. If you need to hurry for a train or rush to get your bus on time, such features will become more important than anything.
Anyone who needs a child carrier for hiking should look at different things. Firstly, there is the weight of the carrier. Too much weight could impede on your hike, so the lighter the construction, the better it will be for your hike. Of course, weight is not the only thing to consider. Also look at the overall construction and if it could limit your movement during a hike. For example, some carrier with a metal construction could impede on movement on uneven terrain.
Another important feature for hikers is the ability to store essentials such as water bottles and diapers in the child carrier. There are several child carriers we mentioned that contain such features and they are often made with hikers in mind.
Must have features in your toddler carrier
Whether you are looking for a hiking carrier or travel carrier, in either case you should look at options for sun protection. Fortunately, most carriers include this feature; this is often an addition that can be added or removed as necessary.
Another important characteristic that is important for all carriers is the ability to adjust it. Remember, if you wear this carrier on your person for a longer period of time, its comfort will be vital. So, it is often a good idea to invest in a carrier that has such features, even if they cost a little more.
Finally, the last thing to take into consideration is your own budget. It is important to remember that the most expensive child carrier is not necessarily the best for you. So, it can be a good idea to compare the available features and determine which of those features are considered as essentials for you.