Whether you want to climb hills or just keep your hands free on the high street, a baby carrier backpack lets you leave your baby’s buggy behind.
A back carrier is similar to a rucksack, but it has a seat where your baby or toddler sits. As well as two shoulder straps, there’s a belt that goes around your waist to spread their weight onto your hips, easing the burden on your back.
Why buy a baby carrier backpack?
It means you can carry your little one easily, and leave the pushchair at home, which is really useful if you’re heading to a place where the terrain is unsuitable for wheels, or there will be so many people that manoeuvring a buggy becomes difficult. Many parents also find them good for holidays, as they’re more practical for airports or sightseeing. They’re also handy for public transport.
How old does your baby need to be before you use a back carrier?
Back carriers are typically for use from six months of age, when they can sit up sufficiently well, to three years, when they’ll get too heavy.
How often will you use a baby carrier backpack?
There’s a real balance to be struck between how comfortable the carrier is for you and your youngster, and how bulky it is. Those with more features might be great for longer hikes or if you want to carry your youngster for more than a few hours at a festival, but their dimensions can make them a big piece of kit to store. If you’re only going to be using it to pop to the shops or on holiday, a more compact model might be better for you.
How much will a baby carrier backpack weigh?
Another consideration is the weight of the carrier. You might think that all those extra features are great, but they all add weight to the carrier, on top of the load of your increasingly heavy toddler. So, think carefully about what features you really want, and whether they’re worth the extra weight.
Where would you use a baby carrier backpack?
Some baby carriers stick out further behind you than others. If you’ll be using the carrier on peaceful countryside tracks, then this isn’t a problem and you may appreciate the extra storage it gives you. But if you’ll use it mainly in crowded shops, then a more slimline design means you won’t knock anything – or anyone – over when you turn around!
Test it out in the shop
If you speak to parents of older children, the biggest reason they didn’t get their money’s worth from a carrier was because it proved too tricky to get their child into it, and then lift them on to and off their back. So, this is a piece of baby gear that’s worth trying out, to make sure it suits your needs.
Will you and your partner both use it?
Some carriers are more adjustable than others, so if you and your partner are different heights and/or builds, then you’ll need one that adapts easily to fit you both. If you’re likely to switch wearer frequently, for example mid-walk, then you’ll want straps that you can adjust without getting your youngster out of the carrier.
Best baby carrier backpack
When it comes to good design, value for money and comfort - the LittleLife Ranger S2 Child Carrier ticks all the right boxes for parents. Whether you're strolling around a museum with your child or going on your first beach trip, a baby carrier backpack is essential for any long wears.
Tried and tested by mum, Kate Gillies. She said, “The shoulder straps are good quality, plus it’s lightweight, slimline and comfortable for longer walks. One drawback – it doesn’t stand up on its own, but at the price, I can live with that.”
Read our full and detailed LittleLife Ranger S2 Baby Carrier review.
Best lightweight baby carrier backpack
As well as carrying your toddler, these backpacks should be able to store bottles, nappies and a spare change of clothes for little one. We like that this has space for all your kid's essentials as it includes a bottle-holder and pockets. That said, our favourite thing about this product is that it comes with a detachable backpack for tots to wear when walking.
Tried and tested by mum, Nikki Hunt. She said,"My favourite! There’s no headrest for naps, but it’s lightweight and compact when folded, so fab for popping in my small car boot. It’s comfortable and simple to adjust – the harness is easy to fasten.
"I can reach the support leg unaided and there’s plenty of storage space. Emmy loved being able to fill the little bag with all her ‘treasures’ too."
Read our full and detailed Phil&Teds Parade review.
Best baby carrier backpack for back pain
Do you suffer with a bad back? You don't have to rule out a baby carrier backpack thanks to this incredible option from Ergobaby. This carrier can be worn not one, but in four different positions: parent facing, on the back, on the hip and on the front facing outwards, which will ensure you and little one are comfortable at all times. We love it!
One reviewer said, "My husband and baby love this thing! My husband comes home from work and begs me to take the baby on a walk in this thing. He loves walking him with the dog, to the shop and everywhere! My husband has really bad back problems and he says this doesn’t hurt his back at all and supports it well. He says it is comfortable and my baby loves it. He falls asleep almost instantly and stays asleep the entire time he is in it. My little one is only two months so we haven’t tried the other positions yet but I’m excited to try the front facing position. I have yet to use it because I feel it is too bulky for me at the moment and prefer my ergo baby Aura wrap carrier. Right now I do have to help him get the baby in. Maybe once he can support his head fully it will be easier and maybe without the bulky jacket my husband and I will be able to use it on our own without assistance."
Best baby carrier backpack for comfort and safety
Are you heading on an adventure to one of the best family campsites in the UK? Make sure to pack the Kids Baby Carrier Deuter Comfort Plus, which boasts a ventilated back, comfortable waist belt and an adjustable seat for your child.
One reviewer said, "Bought this as a gift for my son who is 6ft and well built. He’s delighted overall with the product but said that the waist strap could be a bit more generous! Apart from that, one thing he said it’s a great product - well made and very comfortable when on."
Best baby carrier backpack to add to wishlist
Do you love hiking, strolling around your favourite park or are you going on a walking holiday in the UK? This backpack is perfect for ensuring your child can come along - without worrying if routes are buggy-friendly. Unfortunately, this outdoor backpack is currently sold out, but make sure to add it to your wishlist so that you're notified when it comes back in stock.
Tried and tested by mum, Kate Bishop. She said, "I can’t fault this one – I’m giving it top marks! Both Holly and Poppy loved the soft, removable pillow, and there’s loads of room to pop them in. There’s great storage too. The stand is brilliant – so easy to put up and down, and very stable. I didn’t overheat wearing this one. Overall, it’s lightweight, comfy for long and short walks, and really quite stylish."
Read our full and detailed Deuter Kid Comfort II review.