Above is a picture of the carrier we use.
It has a 7 point baby safety harness. Removable daypack/nappy bag. Removable sunshade. The carrier weighs 2.4kg. Weight capacity is 15kg.
We have been using this carrier for over a year now, so this list is based on our experiences with it based on our needs. Let’s start with all the pros of this hiking carrier.
- It makes it possible for us to go on hikes with our toddler.
- The sun shade provides great protection (Can be very easily detached if we never wanted to use it). .
- The side pockets are very useful for water bottles.
- Has enough storage space for fruit and other snacks (which is extremely essential when hiking with kids).
- Has a small backpack that can be detached from the carrier (I love this bag, I keep it permanently packed with nappies, wet wipes, sunblock etc and if I use anything from this bag I quickly replace it).This bag comes everywhere with me.
- Can carry everything we need for the entire family without needing to carry additional bags.
- Older kids jackets can even fit in the storage space on the carrier.
- Multiple safety straps and harnesses so we confident our little one cannot fall out of the carrier.
- The straps are extremely easy to adjust.
- The straps that go onto your shoulders are padded making it comfortable.
- The waist band takes away the pressure and minimizes the weight of the carrier.
- The back of the carrier is also padded so it never ever hurts your back.
- The material used to make the carrier is strong and durable. Our carrier still looks brand new.
- The metal frame stand makes it very easy to put the toddler into and out of the carrier, so it’s easy to use even when you are hiking with the toddler on your own.
- I am also able to use the carrier and not just my husband. (I sometimes suffer from lower back pains) and carrying this carrier doesn’t put any strain on my lower back.
- It’s bulky making it a bit of a challenge to fit into tight spaces.
- Requires time to get used to hiking with it on your back. (First few times we used the carrier it made my husband’s shoulders very sore).
- I am only able to use it for short periods of time because I get tired while carrying it and my toddler.
- Can only be used for hiking because of how bulky it is.
- Not ideal to use in malls or while travelling.
- It’s pricey. A tip that we used to get it at half price was to purchase a voucher from Cape Union Mart using our Ebucks (Bank loyalty program in South Africa)
- It’s not ideal when a toddler falls asleep. You would need to put a jacket or something by their head to make it more comfortable.
I have nothing to compare this carrier to as this is the only carrier that we have ever used for hiking. We had tried using our Maclaren stroller on our very first ever hike, that was an epic fail. We have also used the front carrier once when my toddler was a few months old, I was not comfortable hiking with it at all. We have also carried our little one once before we had a carrier. That hike was the most uncomfortable hike ever as it was also the longest hike we have attempted thus far (over 6 hours carrying both my daughters). It was after that hike that we knew we needed to buy a hiking carrier. And now we wished we had bought it a lot earlier.
We only did a brief search before buying this carrier. So I suggest doing your research, and try out the carriers with your child in it if possible. If it feels comfortable and is easy to use, then that carrier will be your best option.