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Best Child Carrier Backpacks for 2023

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5 Best Child Carrier Backpacks

If you want to start hiking with your young children, you’ll need some type of child carrier backpack to help you out. Even though it seems like they have boundless amounts of energy, their little legs can’t always keep up. That’s when you need one of the best child carrier backpacks.

But there are so many options out there? How do you know which one to choose? We used our experience hiking with our young son to put together this list of the best child carrier backpacks.

Each backpack offers something different, so you should be able to find the one that suits your needs.

Related: The Best Hiking Backpack for Every Hiker

1. Deuter Kid Comfort

Deuter Kid Comfort

  • Carrier Weight: 7 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Max Weight: 48 lbs. 8 oz.

If you’re looking for one of the most versatile child carrier backpacks out there, Deuter Kid Comfort is the one. You’ll appreciate the VariSlide adjustment system and VariFlex hip belt that makes it incredibly easy to get the exact fit you need.

To give your kid a more comfortable trail experience, the child carrier has a height-adjustable seat, adjustable foot rests, plush chin pad, integrated headrest, and fold-out sun roof.

For a little extra comfort, you can also get a rain cover that can provide wind protection and extra UV protection on sunny days.

Related: How to Stay Dry Hiking in the Rain

Plus, you’ll both appreciate the mesh net that sits between their seat and your back and lets air flow freely between the two of you.

In addition to these great features, the Deuter Kid Comfort provides ample storage with large external pockets, two zippered hip pockets, and an integrated key holder.

2. Osprey Poco Plus

Osprey Poco Plus

  • Carrier Weight: 7 lbs. 14.4 oz.
  • Max Weight: 49 lbs. 8 oz.

The Osprey Poco Plus makes carting a kid around on your back a little easier. The child carrier backpack features a comfortable AirSpeed suspension that helps you support heavy loads with ease. Plus, the back panel adjusts up to 6 inches, which makes it easy for you and your hiking partner to trade off child-carrying duties on long hauls.

You’ll find plenty of places to store all of your hiking gear essentials, including a zippered main compartment, stretch side pockets, zippered hip pockets, and an extra-large bottom pocket.

To keep your little one comfortable on the trail, the Osprey Poco Plus includes a padded cockpit, a removable and washable chin pad, adjustable and removable stirrups, ventilated side panels, and a breathable mesh back panel.

Most importantly, it includes a built-in sunshade that easily deploys for 50+ UPF sun protection and then neatly tucks away when not in use.

Related: Important Tips for Hiking in the Heat

3. Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite

Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite

  • Carrier Weight: 7 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Max Weight: 48.5 lbs.

The Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite is one of the best child carrier backpacks because it offers everything you need to take a hike with your kid.

We all know that kids are messy, and hiking with kids can sometimes get even messier. Fortunately, Kelty kept this in mind and designed a zippered waste compartment that seals away stench and wipes clean when you’re done.

The carrier’s PerfectFit suspension system makes it easy to get an accurate fit that won’t hurt your back when you’re on the trail. Plus, not only is the child cockpit incredibly plush and comfortable, but it’s also reassuringly secure thanks to its five-point safety harness and padded aluminum roll cage.

While all of these features are nice, the two aspects that I love the most about this child carrier backpack are the built-in reservoir sleeve where you can tuck in a horizontal bladder for easy hydration and an integrated sunshade.

Related: The Best Water Filters for Hiking

4. Thule Sapling Elite

Thule Sapling Elite

  • Carrier Weight: 7 lbs. 14.4 oz.
  • Max Weight: 48 lbs.

One of the great things about the Thule Sapling Elite is that kids sit up a little higher in it, which gives them a great view of what’s going on around them. This is also rated one of the best child carrier backpacks because it has so many great features.

The fully adjustable back panel and hip belt make it easy to get the perfect fit. Additionally, the load stabilizer straps allow for quick on-the-go adjustments.

The child carrier offers dual access spots so you can load your child from the top or the side. Plus, the two-legged kickstand makes the carrier incredibly stable — even on rugged ground.

Whether you’re packing snacks or toys, you’ll find plenty of storage compartments to hold everything you need on the trail, including two quick access pockets on the hip belt and a removable backpack.

You can also get a rain cover that has clear side windows that lets your kid enjoy the view while still protecting them from the elements.

5. LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn All Seasons 3-in-1

Lillebaby CarryOn All Seasons 3-in-1

All of the previously mentioned best child carrier backpacks are framed backpacks. While framed backpacks are popular, they’re not the only option available. You can also consider a soft carrier.

Soft carriers and framed backpacks both have pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your needs when deciding which one is right for you.

If you think a soft carrier would work better, go with the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn All Seasons 3-in-1. This carrier offers three carrying positions (front, hip, and back).

The carrier has adjustable buckles that make it possible for it to grow with your child.

It evenly distributes your child’s weight to help alleviate any lower back pressure you might feel. It also features a temperature-control panel that you can zip up if you need it warm or zip down if you need it cool.

Related: Must-Know Tips for Hiking in the Winter

Other convenient features of this machine washable carrier include a removable hood and two pockets.

The Best Child Carrier Backpacks

Just because you have a young child, that doesn’t mean you can’t get out there and explore the trails. In fact, one of the best times to introduce your kids to the wonders of nature is when they’re still young.

Fortunately, when you choose one of these best child carrier backpacks, you’ll discover it’s incredibly easy to head outside and do some hiking with your children.

More Excellent Hiking Tips

Now that you know which one of these best child carrier backpacks is right for you, are you ready to get hiking? Then be sure to check out some of these other popular posts so you can get started planning your next hiking trip.

Mom wearing child carrier backpack text overlay 5 Best Child Carrier Backpacks for Hiking
Mom pointing to mountain while holding child text overlay 5 Child Carrier Backpacks You'll Love