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Hiking with baby: which carrier to choose?

Jul 06, 2021

Their are two two main options for carrying your babe on hikes. 

A soft carrier like Omni 360 Ergo Baby or a structured hiking backpack like the Thule Sapling Elite.

Soft Carriers:

Front carrying is great for walks/hikes when baby is still small (<25lbs).Its perfect for walks and hikes on smooth paths. It's hard to see your feet when baby gets bigger, so keep that in mind when choosing terrain.

Back carrying in the soft carrier is great when your baby is a bit heavier (25-35lbs) for walks and short hikes. Its great if you're not using it the whole hike and your toddler is getting out and walking much of the trail. 

Structured Hiking Backpack: Best for longer walks & hikes (>30mins) 

7 things to keep in mind when choosing which to use:

Safety- When you wear baby in the Ergo on the front, it’s hard to see your feet and tripping becomes a hazard. The structured carrier also some protection if you were to slip and fall. Your baby needs to be able to sit up and have good control of their head before they go into the structured backpack usually around 6 months.

Comfort- The soft carrier is only comfortable for so long its not designed to distribute the load between your shoulders and hips as well as the structured carrier. The structured carrier is far more comfortable with a heavier baby. Your back, neck and hips will thank you! If you are using a soft carrier, make sure you get one that the straps can cross on your back, this prevents your shoulder from being pulled forward.

Keeping cool- Having your kid right up against you might feel cozy at first, but not when you’re both really hot and you’re working hard climbing up a mountain. A Structured carriers allow for more air flow and keeps you cooler. The Ergo does have a mesh carrier that is a cooler option as well. 

Sun shade/ rain cover/ bug net - Sunshade is essential for hikes in the alpine, not found on the soft carries. Rain cover allow them to be protected and still enjoy the hike. 

Storage - Structured ones have loads of storage options, some even come with a mini backpack that can clip on and off. You're going to need room for all the snack on long hikes and other essentials to be prepared. . 

Better views & experience- Your baby can see so much more up high. the front carrier is great, but in the back its hard for them to see and take it all in. 

Hydration- Structured carries have a spot for a water bladder to sit, easy access to water keeps you well hydrated. 

Getting up into the alpine and frolicking in the flower makes every step worth it!

Have FUN out there!

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