Baby carrier backpacks, also known as child carrier backpacks or framed carriers are designed for transporting babies and toddlers from 6 months plus. Unlike baby carriers or slings, child backpack carriers usually have an aluminium frame and extra hip support for the wearer. They're great when children get too heavy for a baby carrier or sling and when a lightweight buggy just won't cut it.
In a baby backpack carrier, children are raised slightly higher than in a baby carrier, they're seated in a 'cockpit' area and can peer out over your shoulder. Originally designed for exploring the great outdoors, these nifty backpacks are pretty handy when exploring urban areas too.
1. Best overall baby carrier backpack: Phil & Teds Parade
After weeks of walking across both town and country, we awarded Phil & Teds Parade 'Mumsnet Best Baby Carrier Backpack.'
It has an innovative design and is very compact, making it just a bit more special than your run-of-the-mill baby carrier. It’s a neat, classic-looking model that is ideal for an urban environment as well as countryside jaunts.
If you are after a baby carrier for longer treks, the Osprey Poco AG Premium might be well worth investing in, especially as it comes with all the extras that you might need – come rain or shine.
The Phil & Teds Parade is suitable from six months up to 18kg, has an aluminium frame, a padded adjustable seat and a five-point harness with chest strap.
- Super compact – fits in a plane’s cabin hold
- Easy to assemble
- Excellent storage
- Two-year guarantee
- Not as much head support as other backpacks
- No sun shade or rain-proof hood
2. Best budget baby carrier backpack: Littlelife Ranger S2
Weighing in at 1.7kg, the Littlelife Ranger S2's tubular aluminium frame is the lightest on the market.
Despite this, it's actually very sturdy meaning it feels perfectly secure for both parent and child - ideal for short to mid-length journeys.
The Littlelife Ranger S2 is a steal for what it is a basic, functional, no-frills piece of kit.
- Lightest British Standard Approved back carrier
- Newly-designed, removable, washable face pad
- Sun and rain cover cost extra
- Six-litre storage pouch not included
3. Best mid-range baby carrier backpack: Littlelife Adventurer S2
For an outdoorsy baby carrier backpack at a reasonable price, the Littlelife Adventurer S2 fits the bill. Like the Ranger S2, it is also very lightweight, weighing in at 1.9kg and suitable from six months up to three years (or 20kg).
Features we liked about the Littlelife Adventurer S2 included: the kick-out leg for extra stability, the adjustable seating area and the pivoting hip belt for comfort.
- Easy to assemble and adjust
- Storage pocket in base
- Not as comfortable for longer walks
- Extra cost for weather cover
4. Best luxury baby carrier backpack: Osprey Poco AG Premium
For a baby carrier backpack with all the extras needed on longer treks and for the smoothest of rides in all terrains, the Osprey Poco is the one.
It was our luxury winner for that reason. While the price tag is a bit steeper than others, you get what you pay for – including sunshade, rain cover, mirror, day pack, removable and washable drool pad.
The Osprey Poco AG Premium has more storage than any other carrier we tested and a very high level of comfort for both child and parent.
- Airflow mesh system
- In-built sunshade with SPF 50 rating
- Removable 11-litre daypack
- Heavy at 4.1kg
- Extra cost for water reservoir
How we tested
We scoured the Mumsnet forums, and the rest of the internet, for the most popular products on the market and looked at which ones parents were most regularly rating highly – including some of the very newest products around. From there we came up with a list of nine carriers we wanted to test.
Each baby backpack carrier was then used on a number of walks – a shorter 30 to 40 minute walk and then a much longer one of between three and five miles.
We pushed the carriers to their limits and in different circumstances – including all weather conditions as well as seeing really how easy they were to get on - and then wear for the duration of the intended journey.
All prices on this page correct at time of writing