Car Camping Adventures for Families

A blog detailing the ins and outs of car camping with children throughout the Carolinas region and beyond. Learn about kid friendly campgrounds, fun camping activities and healthy, tasty camping food that your kids will love!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Baby carriers for the outdoor family

I can't believe it's only one month until we head out on our first camping trip of the season!  It will be nice to be able to write about actual "camping adventures" again.  Until that time though, we've been taking advantage of  the weather warming up and have started to spend more time outdoors hiking around the area.  And as we all know, with little ones in tow, a baby carrier is absolutely necessary if you want to go off the paved road.  So, in the spirit of upcoming spring and summer hikes, I thought it might be time to talk a bit about baby carriers.  This is a topic that's near and dear to my heart because I actually started up and ran my own baby carrier business with a friend for a short time, so I feel like I probably have more knowledge than the average Joe (or Josephine as the case may be.)

The day of the Baby Bjorn being your only choice for a baby carrier are gone.  Today there are hundreds of different types and styles to choose from.  Here are a couple of things to think about when choosing a baby carrier:

1.  Will you use it solely for hiking or will you use it for other activities as well? 

2.  Where do you feel most comfortable having the weight distibuted.  Do you prefer having it hit your shoulders, or would it work better if you had the weight on your hips? 

3.  How old is your baby?  Is he/she holding their head up yet?  Sitting up on their own?  Or are you perhaps looking for more the toddler age?

4. Do you want the ability to have him/her on your front and back or are you ok with just having him/her on your back?

5.  Are you looking for a carrier that can be operated easily by one person, or one that may require a second set of hands?

6.  How much are you looking to spend?

One of the more popular carriers for hiking is Kelty.  We have a Kelty carrier that we use solely for hiking while camping.  What I love about this carrier is that it can hold up to 50 pounds so we could easily use it up until our middle child, Alex was 3.5 years old.  It puts the weight on your hips which makes for a much more comfortable hike with the older heavier child.  The main downsides to these carriers, is that they are pretty bulky for every day use.  They also, in my opinion, require two sets of hands to get the child in proper and up on your back.  They are a bit pricey as well, unless you can pick one up second hand.  That, being said, for the older toddler, this carrier has been a necessity and a lifesaver for us.

A couple other choices that you may or may not have heard of, but that can be great for hiking and everyday use are the Ergo and Beco.  I have tried both of these carriers and like them both.  Similar to the Kelty, they place the weight of the child at your hips and not your shoulders.  The main difference you'll find with these two carriers is that there is no metal support like there is in the Kelty.  These carriers have been designed with everyday use in mind.  I prefer these carriers for the 2 year and under crowd because they can be worn on either the front or back and they are much easier for a single person to maneuver.  They are also a bit more affordable.  However, the downside to these carriers is that they don't have as much storage for diapers, drinks, snacks etc. as the Kelty has and I do think that for longer hikes and heavier children, the Kelty will support better over the long term.  Seeing as we have three children, and needed to carry two until just this year, having one of these carriers in addition to the Kelty was perfect for us.  I use this carrier other places besides hiking as well; at museums, zoos, the grocery store; you name it.  It's a wonderful way to carry a little one around when you're lacking that second set of hands and/or a smooth ride for the stroller.

This is only the tip of the iceberg with regards to carriers.  There are many other types; mei tais, buckle tais, ring slings, etc.  Some of these are ok for hiking and others are better for day to day use.  If you are interested in learning more about the different types of baby carriers available, I recommend you visit The Babywearer website.

Happy Trails!

Alex in one of my carriers; the Hapai Baby


  1. Hello, this is MelRoXx from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party Social. I'm a few days late, but so what! I found you on the Society Members page and found your blogs description very amusing, so I dropped in.

    I must recommend your blog to some of my readers with babies - your tips are worth reading. I am absolutely thrilled to find your blog. x

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by! Gotta love a tea party. :) I'm off to check out yours now.

  3. Hello! I'm just dropping in to check out your blog. I found you on the Lady Blogger's Tea Party :)
    You have very helpful tips for someone who has a child. I hope you enjoy your camping trip!

  4. Thanks Megan! I appreciate your visit!

  5. Hi! I'm visiting from Lady Blogger's Tea Party! Nice to meet you. Oh, how I love camping. I've never taken our 2 year old, but our 6 year old loves it. Maybe I'll have to give it a try this summer.

  6. You should! Our youngest was 6 months when we went for the first time and it went better than expected. Thanks so much for visiting! I checked out your blog as well and became a follower.

  7. I'm visiting from the Lady Bloggers Tea Party. What a fun blog! I'll definitely be coming back when we have kids. I think the baby carriers are a great idea for outdoor trips!

  8. Jessica,

    Thanks so much for visiting! I apologize for being slow to get back to you. I've been a bit slow with this blog because it hasn't been camping season yet, but we're getting ready to head out for our first trip of the season next weekend so I anticipate picking it back up again soon. Have a great week!

  9. Love this site and the great outdoors!

    Just wanted to add another carrier for hiking to your list. We have the Deuter Kid Comfort II. Our baby loves riding in it on longer trails. She even naps in it. I can also attest to the utility of the Ergo. I've comfortably hiked with baby in it on shorter hikes when I didn't need to bring anything like water or snacks.

  10. I love this blog... it is very useful and informative. I am actually planning to but a baby carrier for my sister’s baby. You gave me ideas to have a perfect buy. Thank you very much. I like the color combination of the baby carrier in the photo. I didn't know green and brown are great combination.

  11. Carriers are really the way to go especially with kids around. You'll have both hands free which allows you freer movement. And you've really listed great questions to consider when buying a carrier. It always depends upon what you need.


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