It’s difficult to beat a baby carrier pack for hitting the trail with a little one in tow. Their supportive designs permit for a comfortable and safe ride, and we’ve spent countless hours hiking with both a happy child and an adult. Because of their amazing feature-rich builds, including quality harnesses, padding, and suspension systems, these backpacks can be costly, but there are deals to be had.
In this article, we break down the top osprey hiking backpack baby 2021, which ranges from substantial packs that are strong enough for hauling a growing toddler to lightweight, frameless models for an amazing short trip.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Osprey Hiking Backpack Baby
- Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier
- Deuter’s Kid Comfort
- Ergobaby 360 All-Position
- Kelty Journey perfect fit
- Thule Elite Sapling Child Carrier
- Deuter Kid Comfort Active Carrier
- Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Carrier
- LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons
- ClevrPlus Cross
- Deuter Climber Kid’s Hiking Backpack
1. Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier
From day hiking to backpacking, Osprey makes some of our amazing favorite packs. Their popular Poco line has been a mainstay in this article for years, and they gave it an important revamp last year. Mainly, they addressed our primary complaint with the old model by increasing the padding on the hip belt (the mesh-heavy design could dig into our hips when fully loaded down, but no more).
Additionally, Osprey Poco is the best hiking backpack baby and reworked the harness—it now buckles easily behind your child’s shoulders—and incorporated blue sign-approved nylon on the pack body. There are two Pocos to select from, but we prefer the high-end Plus for its more adjustable hip belt and increased storage. At 26 liters, the Plus is a standout in the market and is amazed-equipped for everything from long day hikes to overnight treks with the family (if you can divvy up gear).
The main thing is here, What keeps the Osprey from taking our top spot? In testing the pack, we’ve search; it can’t match the Deuter in overall comfort. Especially, there’s a large and stiff grab handle that occasionally pushes against the back of your neck when you look up the trail (it’s mostly an issue on inclines).
It would help if you left the kickstand extended to utilize the bottom storage compartment, making the pack a bit large and unwieldy when loaded down. In the end, the Poco Plus is not a great value at full price: the Kid Comfort above costs $30 less, matches it in standard quality, and contains extras like the toddler side entry. Unless you need the added storage capacity, we think the Deuter is the perfect design.
- High-quality build
- Great storage
- Perfect design
2. Deuter’s Kid Comfort
Deuter’s Kid Comfort is our top pick for 2021 by combining a high standard of comfort and safety, premium build quality, and organization. Deuter packs are famous for their quality suspension systems. The latest model is a standout: it has a durable metal frame that easily handles a growing (and active) child. The padded hip belt and mesh back panel mix support and ventilation very nicely.
Further, we think Deuter has one of the Best Overall baby carrier designs out there. The buckling process isn’t Is so simple, but the main five-point harness is very secure and easy to adjust. Additionally, the tall back, supportive sides, and plush, washable front pad make for great mid-hike naps (and easy cleanup after).
As the mid-range design in the Kid Comfort lineup, the pack comes well-appointed. The sunshade deploys fastly and has a dedicated pocket behind your back, there’s enough storage for most day trips (Poco Plus in this respect), and the side entry selection is useful for toddlers that want to load and unload on their own.
The main challenge is price, and at $300, it’s a large investment for those who plan on occasional use. We also don’t like that the sunshade doesn’t offer very much safety along the sides, which can be a problem on windy days. But overall, the Kid Comfort is a perfect match for families who get outside a lot with durable, high-standard quality materials and class-leading comfort for both baby and adult.
- Perfect match for families
- Very comfortable for both baby and adult
3. Ergobaby 360 All-Position
The design above is dedicated to hiking packs, but a simple baby carrier can be perfect for cold weather or with a small baby. The Ergobaby 360 is the best baby carrier for hiking classic selection with a comfortable waistband and several carrying options for a child. For hiking purposes—and when they are old enough to hold up their head—the rear backpack-style position is what we’ve to search to be most comfortable on the trail.
Another plus of the Ergobaby is its compact size, making it much convenient to haul around than a typical child carrier. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are several downsides to the Ergobaby 360. To start, the carrier doesn’t have any frame system, so it’s less enjoyable over long distances and doesn’t have any exterior pockets.
And by keeping the kid close to you, you aren’t able to move as freely, and it’s easy to get very sweaty when working hard (the mesh construction helps. but it still runs much warmer than the style above). We’ve searched the Ergobaby to be a nice compliment to a true child carrier, but it’s not the single answer for most hiking families.
- Perfect for cold weather
- Comfort size
- It’s Superlight and packable
- Its Frameless design is limited to hiking.
- It doesn’t have any exterior pockets
4. Kelty Journey perfect fit
It is especially for shorter hikes or if you’re willing to compromise a little on comfort, Kelty’s Journey’s perfect fit is a great budget baby carrier. What immediately stuck out with the tour is how well the child harness and interior compares to the more expensive models above. Its seat is easily adjusted, nicely padded, and an all-around comfortable place to be. As a bonus, the Journey PerfectFIT secures you over 2 pounds compared with the packs above and has a similar maximum weight capacity.
As mentioned already, the biggest compromise with the Journey is felt on longer trails days. The padding is soft and supportive for short tours, but the longer you’re out—and the heavier your baby gets—the pack becomes less and less comfortable. The minimal features can also be an issue here.
We particularly miss having a hydration-compatible sleeve, zippered hip belt pockets (there is one mesh pocket), and better organization from the pack body’s one main pocket. But at $110 less than the Osprey above, it’s convenient to forgive the Kelty for falling a little short, and it is a perfect option for families that won’t be out every weekend.
- Good price
- Hydration compatible sleeve
- Well-designed child harness
- Low on features and not as comfortable as the packs above
5. Thule Elite Sapling Child Carrier
Thule is best popular for their car carrier systems, but they’ve made significant inroads in the pack market in the past years. The Sapling Elite is their top-of-the-line baby carrier and contains just about every bell and whistle you could dream up. Additionally to a strong suspension and highly adjustable shoulder straps and hip belt, the Elite has a zip-off daypack, sunshade, stirrups, and two very large hip belt pockets.
Further, it attributes a similar side-access design as Deuter, making it easier to get older children in and out of the seat. Furthermore, the Thule is a great premium alternative to our favorite packs from Osprey and Deuter. So here is a question: Why is the Sapling Elite #6 on our top list? We think the back panel design isn’t as comfortable compared to the high-end Osprey and Deuter designs.
The padding along the upper back feels a little stiff and doesn’t permit a close fit. We’re also not completely sold that all of the extras are worthwhile—the mirror that’s give is one example, as it’s just a simple handheld mirror that stows in a sleeve in the hip belt pocket. Thule does offer a trimmed-down version of the Sapling ($300) that forgoes the mirror, removable daypack and trades the very large hip belt pockets for a smaller size.
- Highly adjustable shoulder straps
- Hip belt
- Removable backpack
- Two very large hip belt pockets
6. Deuter Kid Comfort Active Carrier
Like the Kid Comfort above, Deuter’s Active design (previously the Comfort Air) got a revamp last year. Its lightweight and minimalist design, haven’t changed dramatically, and there’s still a strong emphasis on ventilation with extensive use of mesh around the back panel and baby’s seating area. And Deuter didn’t skimp for the most part on the rest of the pack: the Active has the same side entry as the Comfort, a well structured, designed five-point harness system, and an easily adjustable suspension with a 48.5-pound rating.
The great point is that it is also the first baby carrier to be offered in a women’s-specific “SL” version, which fits smaller torso sizes and includes narrower shoulder straps and an ergonomically shaped hip belt. The ventilated Deuter Kid comfort is the best hiking backpack choice for those who hike in warm environments, but we think the standard Comfort above is the better all-rounder. Considering the focus on staying cool, it’s odd that Deuter didn’t contain a sunshade (it can be purchased as a $35 accessory).
Moreover, you lose the extra-thick front drool pad and hydration reservoir compatibility, plus the trimmed-down suspension doesn’t carry a heavy load (or toddler) as well. Despite the complaints, if you need a women’s specific fit or prioritize a lightweight and airy build, the Comfort Active remains a perfect option.
- Offered in a women’s-specific
- Not as comfortable
- It doesn’t include a sunshade
7. Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Carrier
The third variety of Deuter’s popular Kid Comfort series to make our list is their top-of-the-line Pro model. Coming in at $330, you get the same super-quality to-carry system and padding as the standard Kid Comfort above, along with upgrades like an integrated sunshade and removable daypack. We like the sunshade especially, which is built into the back of the child seat (the standard Kid Comfort’s shade has to be removed and stored), so it deploys much faster and gives more coverage along the sides.
For mid-summer hikes is the best hiking backpack for kids, or when the sun is low, we’ve searched for the added protection to be extremely valuable. What’s why pushes the Pro down in our rankings—and below the other Kid Comfort options—are a few questionable design choices. For starters, as we don’t like that the bottom storage compartment doesn’t include a zipper. The open-top design is far less secure for storing valuables, and its plastic clip can be finicky to use.
Also, the removable daypack is quite simple and doesn’t carry a load very well, and unlike the Thule above, it can’t be attached to the pack. It’s designed to be worn separately, stored in the open-top compartment (which takes up valuable space), or secured at the front (which is awkward while hiking). The Pro’s sunshade is indeed more user-friendly, and it’s hard to knock the quality and Comfort, but we think you’re good off saving with the mid-range $300 model.
- Super quality
- Removable backpack
- Integrated sunshade
- The bottom compartment isn’t zippered
- The removable daypack has questionable value
8. LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons
Like the Ergobaby 360 above, Lillebaby’s Complete All Seasons Carrier is the best backpack for hiking. Its different features consist of a lightweight, frameless pack intended for a short family Tour. The versatile design contains a small pocket and zippered panel that permit you to adjust ventilation depending on the conditions—on warm days. If you and the baby are starting to overheat, you can unzip the solid fabric along the front to expose the mesh lining underneath.
While it’s still not as perfect as the Ergobaby, and we wouldn’t recommend it for strenuous summer hikes, the All Seasons excels in mild climates and snowshoeing in winter. So, how does the Lillebaby Complete compare with Ergobaby’s popular 360 Cool Air Mesh? Both contain a sun cover and offer various carrying positions (front, side, and back), but the Lillebaby has a wider size and weight range.
Out of the box, the All Seasons is the perfect set up to accommodate newborns down to 7 pounds, while the 360 Cool Air requires a separate infant insert for babies younger than approximately four months. We can say that, as we touched on above, the Ergobaby has a clear edge in ventilation for summertime hiking, which is arguably its most important function. If you’ll be spending a lot of time in hot weather and like the Lillebaby Complete style, check out their all-mesh Airflow model.
- Variety of design
- Adjustable ventilation
- it works with newborns up to 45 pounds without add-ons
- It runs warmer than the Ergobaby 360.
9. ClevrPlus Cross
The name and generic styling may not make a strong first impression, but the ClevrPlus Cross is the best Child Carrier for hiking is our favorite sub-$150 baby carrier pack. Most impressive is the number of extras you get at this price—it includes a sunshade that also provides decent rain protection with its clear plastic sides, a stable kickstand, and a good array of pockets.
The pack won’t blow you away with the materials’ standard, but you’re not sacrificing as much as you’d think for a $125-ish (the price varies some on Amazon) baby carrier. When we talk about its disadvantages, its Comfort and finicky sizing adjustments are what hurt the ClevrPlus Cross Country on our list. The padded hip belt and shoulder straps are noticeably cheaper than our top-rated models, and the pack isn’t comfortable on anything more than a short hike.
Therefore, for those who share carrying duties, the ClevrPlus doesn’t have the same fit customization level and can feel unwieldy for shorter adults. The good news is that these complaints don’t matter very much if you are on the series for short stretches. For the occasional hour-or-two family hike, the ClevrPlus Cross Country is a perfect budget option.
- Stable kickstand
- Good array of pockets
- Perfect budget option
- It includes extras like a sunshade
- Cheaply made with a noticeable drop in comfortable
10. Deuter Climber Kid’s Hiking Backpack
This is one of the best hiking backpacks for kids, a robust yet comfortable tool suitable for ski touring, climbing, or taking on day hikes up high. It comes with a suspension system perfect for carrying medium loads in alpine terrain, and the design applied here is what they call the Alpine Back System. It keeps the load close to the body’s center of gravity, and it includes the Softstripe pads, which adapt to the wearer’s back with every movement for a close and reliable fit.
The channel between the pads achieves ventilation, so you have an amazing effect in place here. There are two side pockets for a water bottle, one zippered pocket is on the lid, and yet another is underneath the lid. The adjustable sternum strap is with an emergency whistle, and you also have load lifters straps. The pack is hydration compatible, so you have a sleeve in the main chambers and Velcro loops on the right shoulder harness for fixing the hose.
Numerous attachment elements are also available here, so you have 4 D-rings on the lid, many attachment loops are on the front, and at the bottom, you have dual loops for trekking poles plus a loop for ice ax, and these are paired with bungee loops on the front. On the hip belt, you have two thick loops for carabiners and similar materials. There is also a compression strap on each side of the pack. The pack has attachment loops on the front for an amazing climbing helmet.
- Proper ventilation system
- Adjustable sternum strap
- Some time its compression strap caused the issue
I don’t know which of these backpacks is the perfect option for your kid? Just go with one of our top selections, and it should be the perfect fit! But in this article, I have listed the 10 top osprey hiking backpack babies.
All of the packs I showed you are great, but my absolute favorite for day hikes is the Osprey Jet. It is made entirely from recycled materials, and it’s never too early to teach your kid how to be environmentally conscious! The backpack is very comfortable to wear thanks to the AirScape back panel and adjustable shoulder straps. And your sweet ones can fit plenty of gear in the spacious main compartment and all the pack’s extra pockets.