Skip to Content

The 6 Best Baby Carriers for Hiking

We’ve been lifelong hikers, so we wasted no time getting our newborn out onto a hiking trail. We started hiking with a baby early and we just kept going, including baby #2. Over the years, we came to appreciate the many benefits of hiking with a baby carrier. We’ve personally tried many of the best baby carriers for hiking and are happy to share our experiences with you.

Benefits of Hiking with a Baby

As parents who started hiking with a baby when our first child was only 6 – 8 weeks old, we can say with confidence that getting out in nature with your baby makes for wonderful experiences. Not only do you get the benefits of being out in the fresh air and in nature, but there are so many more reasons why you should be out hiking with your baby.

As a new mom, staying at home all day is not the best option. Getting out gives you confidence in your ability to do more things with your baby. Plus, the fresh air and exercise that hiking with your baby provides is just so good for your mental well-being.

a mom is hiking with her baby in Sedona, Arizona. She carries her baby in an Ergo baby carrier for hiking.
Hiking with our 2-month old in Sedona – using an Ergo carrier.

Hiking with a newborn is a great time to start, since newborns are most happy when they are cuddled up on you. They are quick to sleep while you are enjoying your hike. Also, if you use a baby carrier for hiking, they will quickly get used to being in a carrier, which you can reap benefits from well into those toddlers years.

In our experience, the best way to get out hiking with an infant or baby is to have a good hiking carrier for baby (and for you).

This post contains compensated links.

How do you Choose the Best Baby Carrier for Hiking?

The best hiking baby carrier will be the one that is most comfortable for you and your baby. We’ve learned there are several considerations for finding the best baby carrier for hiking for you:

1. Climate is a big consideration when choosing which baby carrier is best for hiking. We used our original Ergobaby carrier with an infant insert when we first started hiking with a newborn. In our Canadian summers, the Ergobaby was a good choice, but when we traveled to a warmer climate, we found the infant insert was quite hot.

In warm climates, a hiking baby carrier with some airflow and mesh is the best option.

hiking with ergo baby carrier
The Ergobaby carrier was perfect for the cool mornings in Sedona.

2. Also, depending on the age of your baby, you’ll want to consider a baby carrier for hiking that gives you multiple ways of wearing it. For newborns, infants and young babies, front carrying is the best way to use your carrier. Then, once your child is old enough, back carrying your baby during a hike is easier since you can see where you are stepping.

By choosing a good quality, versatile hiking carrier, you’ll get plenty of use out of it not only hiking with a baby but hiking with toddlers too. Just make sure you practice using your carrier around the house and in your neighborhood before heading out on your first family adventure!

If you are hiking with a toddler too, make sure to check out all our favorite toddler hiking gear.

a mom goes hiking with a baby in new mexico. Her baby is in a front carrying Ergobaby carrier for hiking.
Our daughter loved being carried in the Ergobaby carrier for hiking as well.

What about Hiking Backpack Baby Carriers?

We LOVE hiking backpack carriers! In fact, we’ve owned two Deuter Kid Comfort backpack carriers and are huge proponents of these types of hiking carriers for babies.

a father carries his daughter in a Deuter Kid Comfort hiking backpack baby carrier.
We got a TON of use from our Deuter Kid Comfort backpack carriers for hiking (and travel too)!

Some people will claim that a soft structured baby carrier is all you need for hiking, but while we like having that option, a hiking backpack baby carrier has many added benefits. If you plan on hiking often and/or doing longer family hikes, we recommend going with one of these hiking backpack carriers for babies.

9 Benefits of a Baby Backpack Carrier

Why do I love backpack carriers for hiking so much? Here are 9 good reasons why:

  • Rain cover: A good rain cover will help keep your baby warm and dry if you get caught hiking in the rain. The rain covers pack small enough so you can just leave it in your backpack carrier for the times when you need it.

  • Sun protection: If you’re going to be out hiking for hours, ensuring your baby has good sun protection is key. Having a canopy is a great way to keep your baby out of the sun.

  • Added storage: If you are front carrying your baby while hiking, then it’s easy enough to carry extra baby hiking essentials on your back. If you happen to be hiking on your own and you have your baby on your back then you are left to figure out how to carry diapers, wipes, etc. Backpack carriers will often have a storage compartment that’s perfect for carrying an extra layer and other baby hiking essentials.

  • Room for a water bladder: In addition to the storage compartment, often you’ll find a spot for a water bladder. This is a much better alternative to carrying water bottles since your water is much more accessible. I found that once our babies learned to drink from our water bladders, they found it so much fun that they’d want to drink water all the time. It was an easy way to keep them entertained and hydrated.

  • Adjustable fit for both parents: While you can adjust most carriers to fit both parents, a well constructed framed backpack carrier will have more ways to adjust to get the perfect fit for both parents.

  • Less heat and sweat transfer: As nice as it is to front carry your baby and enjoy snuggles while hiking, having your child right next to you gets hot. And when you get hot, you get sweaty – and so does your baby. If your baby gets wet from your sweat, they may then get chilly in damp clothes.

    A backpack carrier for hiking eliminates the sweat transfer issue, but you may wish to dress your baby extra warm since she’s not getting your body heat.

  • Visibility for baby: My babies just loved to watch the world go by while sitting contently in their backpack carrier for hiking. Depending on your baby, you might get to enjoy more time hiking if your baby is content looking around from the carrier as you hike.

  • Pillow for sleeping: Most good backpack carriers will have a pillow for your baby to rest her head on when she falls asleep.

  • Travel with a baby backpack carrier: While we didn’t purchase our backpack carriers specifically for travel, we found them to be a must-have baby and toddler travel product for us. We even used it to travel with a baby in Europe where the cobblestone was difficult to maneuver with a stroller.
a mom traveling in Japan has her two children in Deuter Kid Comfort backpack carriers.
It was so nice using our Deuter backpack carriers in the busy cities of Japan!

Best Baby Carriers for Hiking

Based on our many years of experience hiking with newborns, babies, toddlers and preschoolers, with experience using several different carriers over the years, these are our recommended hiking baby carriers:

Making a Final Decision on the Best Baby Hiking Carrier

How do you know which baby carrier for hiking to choose? Choosing the best baby carrier comes down the right fit for you and your baby. This means, you need to try them on.

You can find all of our recommended models in this Best Baby Carriers for Hiking Amazon Shopping List. We recommend you either purchase several and return the ones that you don’t like or find a local babywearing lending library where you can try on different options.

Other Baby Hiking Gear

Hiking with a baby is so easy and enjoyable. You don’t need much baby hiking gear to get out on the trails, but we recommend you bring these accessories when hiking with a baby:

  • For soft structured carriers, this Ergo Fleece Lined Cover is great for when the weather gets chilly. For wet climates, the Ergo also has a rain cover.

  • A wide brimmed baby sun hat is a must, even if you have your child in a backpack carrier. I love these sun hats by Sunday Afternoon, the sun protection is excellent and our kids have happily worn them for years.

  • If they are old enough to use it, further protect your baby from the sun with sunscreen.

  • For hiking with a newborn, don’t forget the infant insert if your baby carrier requires it for children that small.

For all my Baby Hiking Gear Recommendations see our convenient shopping list on Amazon or in our Hiking with a Baby post.

Not finding what you are looking for? I also recommend checking here for hiking backpack carriers.

Where to Get Out Hiking with a Baby

If you are traveling internationally with a baby, see these best hikes with a baby or toddler around the world or these best hikes with toddlers and babies in the USA.

If you love the idea of hiking with a baby, but don’t want to do it solo, talk to fellow moms in your new mom group or look into a local chapter of Hike It Baby to find a community of hikers!

Pin It For Later!

The Best Baby Carriers for Hiking

This post was written & edited by:

Celine is the owner of Baby Can Travel. Not only does she have years of experience traveling with babies & toddlers, but she's been helping new parents travel with their babies and toddlers for over a decade.

Celine also writes about family travel on the site, which she co-owns with her husband. Being from the Canadian Rockies, she shares her passion about her home and travel to Banff National Park and area on their site