Just because you have a new baby or young child doesn’t mean you have to take a break from hiking. With a good carrier backpack and the right child carrier backpack accessories you can start enjoying nature again in no time!
They do come with a price tag, but think of it as an investment in you and your child. An investment that will allow you to spend more time outdoors with your son or daughter, away from TVs, smartphones and computers.
This time is limited and you have to make the most of it.
What makes a carrier backpack so great?
Using a carrier backpack made specifically for hiking is one of the best ways to get back out on the trails with a small child. There are a host of options out there but this is one purchase where you don’t want to skimp out and be too frugal.
You and your little one need something that is not only comfortable for the both of you but also has some extra features to make your hikes more enjoyable.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article… child carrier backpack accessories that will make hiking with small kids as enjoyable as possible.
Which child carrier backpack is the best?
As with all things, it’s going to be a matter of opinion as to what the actual best hiking carrier is. Below are some solid options with great reviews on Amazon that you can see for yourself.
Any of the 4 below could work well for you and your baby or toddler, just be sure to check out the specs for each like max weight, accessories included vs what needs to be purchased separately, warranty if any, and the all important customer reviews.
Here are some more options on another hiking carrier article I did, broken down by age group.
Alternatively you may want to think about a hiking stroller, you are just more limited as to where you can go. Obviously steps of any kind pose a problem and we know that many hiking trails have natural or man-made steps.
Some of these carriers come with great accessories included, take a look.
Osprey is probably my personal favorite brand of backpacks, everything thing they make is very high quality and they have an amazing warranty that really gives you that extra peace of mind when buying a premium product like theirs.
This is a quote from the Osprey website: “Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge – whether it was purchased in 1974 or yesterday.”
Meaning if anything breaks on your carrier backpack, for any reason, all you have to do is contact Osprey and they will repair it free of charge. If it can’t be repaired they’ll send you a new pack!
I own several Osprey backpacks myself and can attest to their build quality.
Like the Deuter below the max weight is right around 48 lbs which is plenty for any small child, even most 3-4 year olds.
And there’s plenty of storage so you’re covered there.
- Collapsible sunshade
- Adjustable stirrups
- Drool pad
- Toy attachment loops
- Fit-on-the-fly hip belt
It used to be the Kid Comfort, Kid Comfort 2, and Kid Comfort 3. I guess in the interest of simplifying things they switched things up. Regardless, the quality from one of the largest, and oldest (since 1898), hiking backpack manufacturers in the world is still there.
The Kid Comfort Pro is the flagship hiking carrier and has all the bells and whistles, including the free daypack which is a great accessory for an already amazing product.
The max weight for the Pro is about 48 lbs. This includes the child’s weight and the weight of any gear and supplies you might carry with you.
This is by far one of, if not THE most luxurious and quality made hiking carriers on the market.
- Fold out sun roof
- Bonus daypack (only one that has this accessory)
- Tons of storage pockets
- Integrated key holder
Deuter’s full hiking carrier lineup consists of:
More inexpensive options…
Great for kids 9 months to 4 years, or up to the recommended weight limit of 33 lbs, this hiking carrier by Clevr is super lightweight at only 5.5 lbs.
it has a foldable metal frame, tons of pockets for storage, and a kickstand for when you need to set it down. It’s the most inexpensive option on this list by far and is still a quality product with great reviews.
If you don’t want to spend a ton of money but still want something nice, this is definitely one to consider.
- Sun AND rain canopy
- 3-Way adjustable child seat
- Adjustable foot stirrups
- Washable drool pad
- Extra storage pockets
The Luvd Backpack Carrier has a max weight of 40 lbs making it ideal for older toddler age kids and below. It’s a really nice child hiking carrier that comes with a bunch of accessories that you wouldn’t need to buy like the sun shade and the rain cover saving you even more money.
On top of that, it’s priced significantly cheaper than both the Osprey and the Deuter.
As with many things, name brands are usually higher quality and if you want the absolute best hiking carrier then you’ll still want to go with either the Deuter or the Osprey, it’ll just cost you a bit more.
However, this is a really solid alternative that purchasers are happy with. Just check out all of the positive reviews!
- Attachable mesh sunshade
- Rain cover
- Baby stirrups for their feet
- Changing pad
- Extra pockets for storage, one is insulated
Best child carrier backpack accessories for hiking
When it comes to some accessories, like rain covers and sunshades, they’re usually made by the manufacturer for their carriers. So there aren’t any universal ones that I know of.
If you don’t already own one, I highly recommend buying one on of the 4 listed above, they have plenty of accessories you can buy and some included with the purchase.
The sun can be brutal on a hike to anyone. We’ve probably all gotten some sunburn on our face or even the tops of our heads when out hiking, especially if it a shaded hike in the woods.
A simple sunshade attachment for your carrier is a godsend when it comes to hiking with your child. They’ll still need sunscreen but it drastically lowers the chances of their delicate little skin getting burned, and a sun shade is included with all 4 of the carriers above!
If you don’t want to bother with the sunshade attachment or your particular does offer one then consider a simple sun hat like this one on Amazon.
Like the sunshade this one doesn’t much explaining, it’ll keep baby dry. Pop up showers can occur out of no where, especially in the spring and summer when people are out hiking.
Some rain covers may double as a sunshade and sometimes you may need a separate one. The only two on this list that don’t come with rain covers are the Osprey and the Deuter but you can get them on Amazon:
Wonder what he/she is doing back there? Of course you do, but it’s a pain to get that giant pack off on the trail just to find out that they were sound asleep.
A little clip on mirror like this one is perfect and will allow you to take a quick peek at what your child is doing at any point on your hike. This is a must have accessory for anyone using a child hiking carrier, and it’s super inexpensive!
Sippy cup holder
A sippy cup is just one more thing to hold on to when you’re hiking and with a carrier backpack full of a baby, well space may be limited.
With a sippy cup holder with a strap like this one on Amazon you could hook it right on to the backpack and let the child hold it. If they drop it, no big deal. It’ll never hit the ground and you won’t lose a stride.
Hydration bladders are awesome, especially for longer hikes on hot days. When using a hiking carrier that means you now have to thirsty humans making an internal bladder even more useful.
Luckily some manufacturers thought if this and built their carriers with that in mind. You can use regular bladders, you don’t have to buy a bladder that was made specifically for a hiking carrier.
Of the 4 carriers on this list I can tell you that the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro and the Osprey Poco AG Plus are the only two that have compartments big enough for bladders. You may be able to squeeze small ones in the Clevr and Luvd but it’ll be tight.
Hydration bladders for hiking carriers:
Let’s face it, these things can be big and bulky and not easy to travel with, making a nice carrying case a great hiking carrier accessory to have.
Unfortunately most don’t come with one or even offer one to as an extra purchase. They might break down or flatten which is probably fine for most people, but a nice case with handles for carrying might just be worth the extra money for you.
If you have the Osprey Poco, the Osprey Poco Carrying Case is definitely a great accessory to consider.
For other carriers you might have to just empty it and flatten it for transport when it goes in the car.
Hiking with kids is a great bonding activity for parents and children and a carrier backpack is a great tool that allows us to do that. Little kids get tired easily, they get whiny and hungry. Anything more than a mile for a toddler is pushing it, especially if the hike is on rough terrain.
That’s why I recommend these carriers, they allow you to strap your youngster in, put the sun shade up, give them a snack and a drink, and go at your own pace. They’ll even nap if you’re lucky and you’ll get great exercise.
I hope this article helps you make an informed decision on your purchase and leads to a more pleasant hike with your child!