The 10 Best Baby Backpacks

Updated April 20, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Baby Backpacks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Wherever your baby-wearing adventures take you, these backpacks will provide comfortable, secure seating for your little one without tiring out your arms. From structured fabric models suitable for a newborn to heavy-duty framed versions fit for taking a toddler and their gear along on wilderness excursions, these ergonomic carriers have got you covered. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best baby backpack on Amazon.

10. Osprey Packs Poco AG

The premium price of the Osprey Packs Poco AG buys you a state-of-the-art contoured suspension system and breathable material to reduce the discomfort and sweatiness of adding a small person's weight to your back. It also has a kickstand for easy-peasy loading and removal.
  • on-the-fly-adjustable fit
  • built-in shade and removable daypack
  • chest strap is not well designed
Brand Osprey
Model 10000117
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Thule Sapling Elite

Gear up for epic adventures with the Thule Sapling Elite, featuring a hydration sleeve for holding up to 3L of water, 2 generous hip pockets for easy access to essentials, load stabilizer straps for quick adjustments, and a mirror for monitoring your precious cargo.
  • breathable back panel keeps you cool
  • removable stirrups for your child
  • expensive and rather bulky
Brand Thule
Model 210105
Weight 8.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Beco Gemini

The versatile Beco Gemini offers 4 carrying positions with padded shoulder harnesses that can be worn straight or crisscrossed for the best fit. It's available in a variety of colors and designs to suit your unique style, and can be used from birth on.
  • stay-tight adjustment buckles
  • cushioned headrest and hip support
  • maximum capacity of 35 lbs
Brand Beco Baby Carrier
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Onya Baby Outback

The Onya Baby Outback pairs the lightweight versatility and comfort of a structured fabric carrier with the durability of ripstop nylon canvas that holds up to intensive wear and tear. It has multiple storage compartments and conveniently doubles as a highchair insert.
  • integrated spf-50 sun shade
  • crossable shoulder straps
  • no outward-facing front carry option
Brand Onya Baby
Model Outback
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Clevr Cross Country

The compact and portable Clevr Cross Country is made of a sturdy but lightweight metal frame and weather-resistant 600d Oxford cloth. Weighing only 5 pounds, it has a removable mini-backpack and extra storage space for diapers and other necessities.
  • canopy can be removed or folded back
  • reflective strip for good visibility
  • 2 side pockets for water bottles
Brand Clevr
Model 20212
Weight 7.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Deuter Kid Comfort III

Providing stability and comfort for growing youngsters and the adults who heft them, the Deuter Kid Comfort III has a wide platform and ergonomically designed adjustable hip belt to distribute the rider's weight evenly, and a kickstand for easier onboarding and offloading.
  • 5-point harness
  • a large chin pad
  • breathable canvas back support
Brand Deuter
Model 46534
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Kelty Transit 3.0

The travel-friendly Kelty Transit 3.0 is great for families on the go. It has accessible adjustments for a customizable fit, dedicated pockets for hydration and snacks, and is easily stored in an overhead compartment, trunk, or back seat.
  • auto-deploying pinch-free kickstand
  • has sternum straps
  • includes a sunshade
Brand Kelty
Model 727880844776
Weight 5.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. Boba 4G Carrier

With a snug-fitting infant inlay, a removable head cover and built-in footrests, you can take your youngster anywhere in the Boba 4G Carrier from infancy through toddlerhood. Easy adjustments and handy storage pockets make it ideal for growing babies and busy parents.
  • adjustable chest strap
  • durable broad waistband
  • integrated handbag harness
Brand Boba
Model BC4-017-Peak
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Ergobaby 360

The Ergobaby 360 has a structured bucket seat for keeping your little one properly positioned to prevent strain on the hips and legs. An extendable back panel and an integrated hood provide additional protection for the head and neck, and offer privacy for breastfeeding.
  • multiple carrying options
  • super-lightweight at only 2 lbs
  • hook-and-loop and button adjustments
Brand Ergobaby
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Tula Ergonomic Carrier

The sturdily designed Tula Ergonomic Carrier is handmade from Oeko-Tex certified cotton fabric with extra shoulder padding and cushioned leg openings for an extraordinarily comfortable ride. Simple, accessible adjustments make for a custom fit and exceptional ease of use.
  • machine washable material
  • healthy m-shaped seating position
  • choice of various colors or patterns
Brand Baby Tula
Model pending
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Bringing Youngsters Along For The Ride

Throughout the existence of Homo sapiens, we've been looking for the ideal way to safely and comfortably carry our babies along with us when we're on the move – from our earliest ancestors making their way across wild, primitive landscapes, searching for food and seeking protection from the elements and predators, to modern parents making their way through busy airports, navigating crowded streets, and hiking rugged trails with offspring in tow.

While other mammals emerge from the womb mere heartbeats away from self-sufficiency, newborn humans are almost entirely helpless, a state which essentially endures well into the toddler years. Healthy adults can easily carry smaller infants in their arms, but as children grow, they rapidly become too heavy to be carried for extended periods of time. And – since cradling a squirming child renders the arms effectively useless otherwise – it's hardly conducive to any other activity besides ferrying offspring and getting a good upper body workout.

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 often described) 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, keeping 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 overlaid with soft fibers that formed a safe, supportive slot for a child. The cradleboard could be carried on 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.

Modern parents have considerably more baby and/or toddler carrying options at their disposal. Many popular child carriers of today are modeled directly on their ancient forebears, including wraps that consist of nothing more than sturdy bands of fabric. There are also decidedly more advanced options, including adjustable carriers that can hold a baby in various ergonomic positions throughout the first two years.

But for ideal weight distribution for the adult trekker – and for long-term comfort of a baby or toddler coming along for an extended ride – 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) generally dictates which carriers you can even consider. If your child's weight exceeds the range of a backpack's stated weight rating, it's not even worth considering.

Once you've identified a few viable options for your child's size, consider the pack's accessories. A sun shield is often a must; children's delicate skin should be protected from excessive sun exposure. Some packs also have full canopies with "windows" to repel rain – great features for areas prone to inclement weather. Just make sure to fold the side panels out of the way when they're 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. Another useful element is a slender chest strap to help alleviate pressure on the shoulders. Without any of these key features, the pack may be too difficult or even unsafe to use. Note that when properly adjusted, a well-designed backpack distributes the load evenly and shifts the bulk of the pack's weight to your hips, so look for ample padding in this area.

Finally, consider the extra pockets and pouches in the pack. If you and your precious cargo 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 storage space for essentials. Even better is accessible storage that you can reach without completely removing the pack – or being a contortionist.

Tips For A Safe Enjoyable Outing

Remember that – although you're 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 and your child both get plenty of fluids during a hike or an afternoon spent traveling the city to stay hydrated, and watch out for signs that excessive heat, cold, sunlight, or other elements may be having adverse effects on your passenger.

Never keep your child in a backpack for more than an hour at a time; frequent breaks are ideal for preventing rashes, stiffness or soreness of the limbs, and other discomforts along the way.

And don't overwork yourself, either. Anytime you're carrying a child, try to pass off as much additional weight as possible to another adult traveling with you. The less fatigued you grow, you more easily and safely you'll be able to tote the youngster in your charge. Knowing your own strengths and limitations – and respecting those of the child traveling with you – can help ensure many a safe and pleasant outing for both of you.

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Last updated on April 20, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.

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