From Your Trails is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more

The Right Way to Put Your Baby in a Hiking Backpack: Tips for Safety and Comfort

As an avid hiker, I couldn’t wait to share my passion for the outdoors with my newborn daughter.

I envisioned us embarking on thrilling adventures together, exploring new trails and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. So when she turned six months old, I eagerly purchased a hiking backpack carrier and set off on our first hiking adventure.

But things didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. The backpack carrier didn’t fit quite right, and I struggled to adjust it correctly.

My daughter was clearly uncomfortable and fussy, and I began to worry about her safety. At one point, she slipped down in the carrier and I had to quickly readjust her while perched on the side of a steep hill.

It was a heart-stopping moment that made me realize just how important it is to know how to properly put a baby in a hiking backpack.

After that experience, I made it my mission to learn everything I could about how to properly put a baby in a hiking backpack.

In this article, I want to share my personal experience and research with other new parents who may be planning to take their baby on a hiking adventure.

Before you start

Before you even think about putting your baby in a hiking backpack, there are a few things you need to consider.

First, make sure your baby is old enough and strong enough to be carried in a backpack.

A baby in hiking backpack

The recommended age for using a hiking backpack is usually six months or older, although this can vary depending on the baby’s size and development.

Second, make sure the hiking backpack is properly fitted to your body, and that you are comfortable carrying it for an extended period of time.

Finally, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and equipment for your hike, including enough food and water for both you and your baby.

Note: If you’re planning to travel with your baby in a hiking backpack, you may also want to check out our article on ‘Traveling with a Baby Hiking Backpack‘ for tips on how to make the most of your outdoor adventure.

And if you’re traveling by plane and wondering about checking your hiking backpack with your baby gear, be sure to read our article on ‘Can You Gate Check a Baby Hiking Backpack?‘ for helpful insights.

How to put the baby in the backpack

Now that you understand the importance of proper positioning and adjustments when putting your baby in a hiking backpack, let’s take a look at the step-by-step guide to ensure your baby’s safety and comfort on your next hiking adventure.

Step 1: Choose the Right Hiking Backpack

man with baby in hiking backpack carrier

Make sure you choose a hiking backpack that is specifically designed for carrying babies, and that it fits you properly.

Check that the weight capacity of the backpack is suitable for your baby’s weight and age.

ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier Toddler Red
  • COMFORTABLE: The backpack carrier weighs 5.5 pounds yet is sturdy enough to be comfortable for both...
  • LARGE STORAGE AREAS: Storage compartments are large enough to hold the included baby changing pad,...
  • RAIN OR SHINE: The included sun canopy and rain cover help keep your baby protected, cool, and dry...

Last update on 2023-11-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Step 2: Adjust the Hiking Backpack

Before putting your baby in the backpack, adjust the backpack’s straps and belt to fit your body. Adjust the backpack so that it sits high on your back and close to your body.

Make sure the backpack is snug and comfortable, with the weight distributed evenly across your hips and shoulders.

Check that all straps and buckles are secure.

Step 3: Position Your Baby

Carefully lift your baby into the backpack, position your baby facing inward, towards your back.

The baby’s legs should be straddling your hips, with their knees higher than their hips. This will help support their spine and hips.

Your baby’s arms should be positioned in the shoulder straps, with their hands free and not restricted.

a woman carries a baby in her hiking trip

Step 4: Support Your Baby’s Head

Make sure your baby’s head is well-supported and their airway is clear.

Adjust the backpack’s headrest or add a soft cushion (like a rolled-up blanket) to support your baby’s head.

a man carries his baby in hiking backpack through a forest

Step 5: Secure the Backpack

Check that all straps are tightened and secure, with no excess slack.

Double-check that the waist belt is tight and snugly secured around your waist. Tighten the load-lifter straps to help distribute the weight of the backpack more evenly.

Adjust the sternum strap so that the shoulder straps are held firmly in place and your baby’s weight is evenly distributed.

man buckles all the straps of his baby hiking backpack

Check that the backpack’s weight is centered on your hips, with your baby’s weight close to your body.

Finally, check that your baby is comfortable, with their airway clear and their body well-supported.

Notes to keep in mind when putting a baby in a hiking backpack:

  1. Make sure the baby is old enough: Check the age and weight restrictions on the hiking backpack carrier to make sure the baby is old enough and within the weight limit to use it safely.
  2. Adjust the carrier correctly: Proper adjustment of the hiking backpack carrier is essential for the baby’s safety and comfort. Make sure the carrier is adjusted to fit the baby snugly and securely, with the baby’s weight evenly distributed.
  3. Check the baby’s position: Make sure the baby’s head and neck are supported and in a comfortable position, and that the baby’s airway is clear.
  4. Use the waist belt: The waist belt of the hiking backpack carrier is an essential component for weight distribution and proper support. Make sure to use it correctly.
  5. Take breaks: It’s important to take frequent breaks when hiking with a baby in a carrier to give both the parent and baby a chance to rest and recharge. If you’re planning to go on a long hike with your baby, you may also be wondering whether they can sleep in the backpack. To learn more about this topic, check out our article on ‘Can Babies Sleep in a Hiking Backpack?‘ for tips and advice on how to safely let your little one nap on the trail.


Knowing how to properly put a baby in a hiking backpack is essential for any parent planning a hiking trip with their little one.

It’s important to take the time to learn how to adjust and secure the backpack carrier correctly, and to keep the baby’s safety and comfort in mind at all times.

By following the step-by-step guide and taking note of the notable tips, parents can confidently take their baby on a hiking adventure and enjoy the great outdoors together.

Always remember to check the age and weight restrictions of the backpack carrier, and to monitor the baby’s position and comfort level throughout the hike.

Hiking with a baby in a backpack can be a wonderful experience that creates lasting memories.

By taking the necessary safety precautions and properly adjusting the backpack carrier, parents can ensure that their baby is safe, comfortable, and happy throughout the journey.

Leave a Comment