Ready to roam? How to choose the best backpack child carrier for your family adventures.
We’re a team of parents here at LittleLife and we live and breathe our range of parenthood - simplifying products! We’ve all used our backpack child carriers and enjoyed the freedom they have given our young families. But we haven’t all agreed on the best carrier for us as individuals.
It’s clear that everyone is different. Some of us live for adventurous hikes in the mountains, others prefer a pootle around the shops. Some in the team tower over us at a whopping 6’4”, others proudly topping out at the 5’2” mark. But we’re all in agreement that being able to explore anywhere with our children, hands-free, and to share these experiences with our most precious cargo is a joy like no other.
Unlike many child carriers on the market, our child carriers are British Standard Approved. This means they’ve been rigorously tested to the highest standards required in Britain (equivalent to European TUV standards) to keep your child safe.
We’ve packed all our technical rucksack know-how into our structured back carriers to make them supremely comfortable for you to wear and for your child to ride in. Give your little one a taste for adventure that will last a lifetime.
What age can babies go in backpack carriers?
Before we begin, we’d like to answer the question we get asked most frequently - what age can I carry my baby in a back carrier? This is to do with neck strength. When your young baby can hold their head up high - usually around six months - it is safe for them to go in a rucksack-style back carrier.
What’s the best carrier for my baby?
Before this time, from three months old, we recommend our newest arrival, the Acorn front carrier. This soft-yet-structured baby carrier can be worn on your front so you can enjoy all that delicious newborn closeness (why do babies heads smell quite so wonderful?) from three months to three years. It’s super supportive for you, and has been accredited “hip-healthy” by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute. As your child grows, you can wear the Acorn on your back. We’d recommend this for a short period before moving on to a framed back carrier which will protect your back as your child gets heavier.
Our guide to picking the best child carrier for you
Lightest child carrier on the market
We were thrilled when Mumsnet voted LittleLife’s Ranger S2 their best budget carrier. It’s Europe’s lightest British Standard Approved carrier too, weighing in at only 1.7kg! Even though the design is slimline, it has two handy hip pockets and an optional extra pouch that can be clipped into the frame. Watch it in action. Get set, go!
Fly away with a hand luggage-sized child carrier
Our smallest carrier, the packaway Traveller S4 looks a lot like a rucksack and, now that flights abroad are becoming a reality again, the great news is that it qualifies as hand baggage! It zips away neatly into its own bag so it is easy to store in the car boot or under the stairs. And yet somehow, there’s a hidden frame and back support system to make this mini explorer a comfortable ride for you and your little one.
Best mid-range baby carrier
One of our best-sellers is the budget-friendly Adventurer S2 and we all agree why. Voted by Mumsnet as its best mid-range carrier, it’s light at only 1.9kg and supremely comfortable. It also has a handy kick-out leg which gives you that extra stability on the ground which makes popping your little wriggler into the carrier a breeze. There’s also a roomy pocket for all those baby essentials as you go.
Chic and streamlined
Breton stripes? Check. Huge sunnies? Check. Chic and stylish baby carrier? Check. Let’s go! Our Explorer S3 is your go-to carrier for that pale grey Scandi look that’s easy on the eye and the wallet. Your child will rest easy on an anatomically shaped seat while you explore in comfort with the fully adjustable back system making this streamlined carrier the perfect fit for you both.
Moving up a level for families wanting a longer ramble now. We point these customers towards our popular Cross Country S4. With extra padding for your back and a whopping 20 litres of space for your essentials despite its slim profile, this is our go-to carrier for days out in the countryside. It comes with a detachable sun shade and foot stirrups for your poppet’s comfort aboard.
For little and large
If you stand tall at a mighty 6’4” and your partner is a bijou 5’2”, you might think there’s no carrier that can work for you both. Think again! Our Voyager S5 is so brilliantly adjustable that people large and small can wear it in comfort with a quick and easy tweak to the back system. This king of carriers has detachable stirrups so your child can ride up high in comfort and horsey fun. You’ll love the insulated bottle pocket and removable daysack and sun shade.
Hike all day
For outdoorsy families who live for their all-day hikes, the Freedom S4 allows you to make your dreams a reality. This top end, high-spec carrier has a brilliant airflow back system so you keep your cool no matter how steep the climb. Foot stirrups and an integrated pull-out sun shade for baby; a hydration pack compatible system and tons of storage for you. The tough Vibram rubber base is waterproof and wipe-clean. Perfection with a technical edge.