10 Best Baby Backpacks | March 2017
- front zip pocket for storage
- spacious floor compartment
- extra padded hip wings
- canopy can be removed or folded back
- reflective strip for easy visibility
- stylish green and grey design
- safe no pinch hinges
- sliding waistbelt fits most sizes
- kickstand makes loading the child easy
- water bottle holder
- integrated sun and rain shield
- seat provides a relaxing posture
- wide platform for maximum stability
- multiple storage options
- strong durable nylon construction
- energy-absorbing lumbar padding
- folds flat for easy transport
- for use with children from 17 - 40 lbs.
- breathable back panel keeps it cool
- removable stirrups for your child
- load stabilizer straps adjust on the go
Bringing Youngsters Along For The Ride
For as long as human beings have been alive, we have been looking for the ideal way to safely and comfortably carry our babies along with us when we are on the move. This began with our earliest ancestors making their way across the African landscape in search of food and shelter or evading fire or predators, and it endures today as the modern man or woman makes his or her way along a hiking trail, or through a busy airport.
The relatively massive size of the adult human's fully developed brain necessitates birth occur well before the brain has fully developed. While many animals emerge from the womb almost ready to achieve self sufficiency, human newborns are almost entirely helpless, a state which essentially endures well into the toddler years. A healthy adult can easily carry a smaller infant in their arms, but as a child grows, they rapidly become too heavy for many people too easily hold for extended periods of time. Holding a child in the arms is also often impractical.
A brief survey of various cultures, both ancient and extant, reveals a variety of clever ways people have devised to carry children securely and with reduced effort for the adult. One of the most iconic images of "babywearing" (as the practice is indeed sometimes called) is of the Amuati, the fur parka worn by Inuit mothers of the frigid Arctic region. The Amuati is a large parka with a dedicated scoop shaped pocket in the back designed to hold a child from shortly after birth through their second year. It helped keep the child warm even in the Arctic chill.
Many Native American tribes adopted the use of a device known as the Cradleboard, which involved a frame made of wood overplayed with soft fibers that formed a safe, supportive slot for a child. The cradleboard could be carried over an adult's back or laid down when the parents were not on the move.
Peoples from myriad cultures adopted sling style carriers, with fabric wrappings used to support babies among the Hmong, in Indonesia, Ethiopia, and beyond.
The modern parent has considerably more baby and/or toddler carrying options at his or her disposal. Many popular child carriers of today are modeled directly on their ancient forebears, including wraps that consist of nothing more than bands of fabric. There are also decidedly more advanced options, including carriers that can hold a baby face out or face in on a parent's front and on their back.
But for ideal weight distribution for the adult and for long term comfort of a baby or toddler who is coming along for a long trek, a baby backpack is the ideal child transport solution.
Choosing The Right Baby Backpack
Different baby backpacks can accommodate different sizes of children. Thus the size of your child (or the baby or toddler in your care) can help to dictate which baby backpacks you can even consider. If your child is too small or too heavy for a given backpacks stated weight rating, don't even consider the pack.
Once you have identified a few viable options given your child's size, consider the packs accessories. A sun shield is a must; a child's sensitive skin should be kept out of the sunlight as much as possible. Some packs also have canopies and even "windows" that can repel rain, and these are great features for areas prone to inclement weather. Just make sure to fold the side panels out of the way when they are not needed so your child gets plenty of fresh air.
All good baby backpacks should feature padded shoulder straps and a broad waist strap, all of which must be easily adjustable. Also look for a slender chest strap that can help distribute the burden from the shoulder harness. If any of these elements are not present, you should move on to another pack. Note that when properly arranged, it is your hips that should carry the bulk of the weight of the pack, so make sure the padding in this area is ample.
Finally, consider the extra pockets and pouches in the pack. If you and your child will be traveling alone, it's essential that you have enough space for the water, food, first aid gear, and likely some fresh clothes you or the baby might need. You don't need to fill every pocket to capacity, but a baby backpack must offer plenty of capacity for the essentials you need.
Tips For A Safe Enjoyable Outing
Remember that even though you are doing most of the work when carrying your child, extended jostling about in a backpack can be a rigorous experience for a youngster. Make sure you give your child plenty of fluids during a hike or an afternoon spent traveling the city so they stay hydrated, and watch out for signs that they are being effected by the heat, the sun, the cold, or whatever other elements are present.
Never keep your child in a backpack for more than an hour at a time; ideally you can get him or her out even more frequently to help prevent the development of a rash, a limb falling "asleep" or any stiffness or soreness.
And don't overwork yourself, either. If you are carrying your child, try to pass of as much additional weight as possible to another adult traveling with you. The less fatigued you grow, you more easily and safely you will be able to tote the youngster in your charge. The secret to a safe, enjoyable outing is simple enough: just take it easy enough to where you're always feeling fine and in control.