Every parent wants to make their life easier when they’re on the move. One of the most important travel accessories for toddlers is a decent carrier. Nobody wants to spend their vacation experiencing back problems. That’s why getting the best toddler carrier for travel is a wise investment because it will make both your life and your infants more comfortable.
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However, it’s difficult to know where to start because there are so many brands and products on the market. Meanwhile, not every toddler carrier for travel serves the same purpose. For example, you might use a different style for hiking than on a flight, or as your child grows.
If you want to find out more about other helpful baby or toddler travel essentials check out these articles about the Best Travel Bed for Toddler and Baby, or the Most Popular Travel High Chair Seat. Or what about the Best Diaper Bag for Travel, or how to pick a Lightweight Travel Stroller for Toddler or the Best Travel Car Seat for Toddler.
In this guide, we’ll look at several types of baby and toddler carriers so you can find the best travel carrier for your needs. We will discuss whether you need a toddler carrier, whether you can wear a baby carrier on a flight, and if you can use a regular baby carrier for hiking. We also found the most popular travel carriers and have reviewed the 6 Best Toddler Carriers for Travel or Hiking, so you can decide what is right for you.
Do I Need a Toddler Carrier?
A toddler carrier is an essential purchase if you plan on traveling regularly with your child or for long periods.
Soft-structured carriers are the most popular design. They’re ergonomic so they’re very comfy for your child. You can choose between wearing the carrier on your back or forward-facing. Meanwhile, they have a lot of padding so you don’t need to worry about chafing.
Many parents prefer strollers but the reality is that these aren’t always convenient in airports or large crowds of people. And strollers are certainly challenging if there are stairs. Anybody who has been in a subway or underground metro station with a stroller knows that it’s not fun!
The best idea is to have both a travel carrier and a lightweight travel stroller so that you can chop and change depending on the circumstances. There will be times when you are traveling with children that it will be easier to wear your small child in a baby or toddler carrier so that you have your hands available to do or carry something else.
Can You Wear a Baby Carrier on a Flight?
It’s perfectly acceptable to wear a baby carrier for most of your flight.
There are no problems with keeping the carrier on your lap when you’re sitting or walking up and down the aisle. Many parents feel that their infant is safer close to them. It’s probably more comfortable for you because it saves stress on your legs!
However, the cabin crew may request that you remove the travel carrier during takeoff and landing. During these times, you will be asked to use the provided loop belt attachment to secure your child.
What is the Best Toddler Carrier for Travel?
Now let’s look at some of the best toddler carriers for travel. These products have their pros and cons. We will also highlight the best hiking carrier for toddlers if your family is looking to be more active during your vacation.
Take a look!
1. MiaMily Baby Carrier
The MiaMily Baby Carrier is an excellent product with many positive reviews on Amazon. It retails for about $139. This Infant and Child Carrier with Hip Seat, Ergonomic Hipster Plus 6 in 1 Front and BackLumbar Support is for Newborn to Toddler and includes Built-in Storage.
Parents appreciate the ergonomic design that ensures a safe and comfortable position for your baby or toddler. It has a detachable hip seat and a breathable mesh lining creating a cozy and sheltered space.
When you’re looking for the Best Toddler Carrier for Travel then MiaMily wants this to be the only travel carrier you ever need to buy.
It has six different carry positions that adjust depending on your child’s size (up to 44 pounds). As your baby grows bigger you can change the straps to suit their needs. There are also a lot of storage spaces for bottles and other travel essentials for toddlers.
The full waist belt provides lumbar support so parents don’t have to worry about dealing with back pain. The load is evenly distributed so you don’t have to deal with excessive pressure on your shoulders.
There aren’t many cons but be aware that smaller children may not have as much freedom of movement. The material may also chafe over long periods but it’s fully washable.
2. Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier
Another great carrier for newborns to toddlers with lumbar support, the Ergobaby Omni 360 is popular with parents around the world.
With a weight capacity of 7-45 pounds, it’s perfect for infants and toddlers of all sizes. It’s also one of the most flexible carriers because you can use it in a range of different positions.
Choose between inward, front-outward, hip, and back-outward depending on your preferences!
Furthermore, it has a large hood that offers U.V. protection. This is crucial if you’re walking around theme parks or in tour groups in sunny cities. There’s also a useful and removable storage pouch.
Parents can rest assured that the Ergobaby Omni 360 provides padded lumbar protection. You can also adjust the straps in different ways to enhance your comfort.
The only issues are that it’s a little more expensive than the MiaMily at about $170 on Amazon. Some parents also expressed that it’s not ideal for smaller babies.
3. Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier
Maybe you’re looking for a budget option. If you know that you’re not going to get much use out of your travel carrier you may not want to spend hundreds of dollars.
The Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier may be the right choice for you. It is ergonomic, convertible, face-in, and face-out front and back carry for newborns and older babies.
Bear in mind that this carrier isn’t ideal for extended use. However, it provides many of the same features as the more expensive toddler carriers we’ve already looked at. These include an ergonomic design with adjustable shoulder straps and waist belts.
You can choose between wearing it face-in or face-out. It also has an adjustable two-position seat. Infantino designed this carrier for children between 8 and 32 pounds.
At only $25 on Amazon, it’s very cheap. However, be aware that prolonged use may cause issues with your child’s circulation and won’t be comfortable. But if you’re just going from A to B, it’s perfectly adequate.
How Do You Carry Your Toddler on a Hike?
Backpack baby carriers are ideal for hiking. Many parents forgo these types of activities because they think it’s too much hassle with an infant.
However, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the same experiences as before. All you need is the correct type of carrier.
Can I Use a Regular Baby Carrier for Hiking?
You might be able to use a regular baby carrier but they’re not designed for prolonged exposure to the elements.
On the other hand, hiking baby carriers boast specific features that make them ideal. Usually, they’re waterproof and may have inbuilt rain covers. They also have larger pockets so they can double as a backpack.
They’re a more practical option for the great outdoors!
What is the Best Hiking Carrier for Toddlers?
Now it’s time to check out some different options to find the best hiking carrier for toddlers.
4. Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier for Hiking with Kids
The Luvdbaby Premium Baby Backpack Carrier is one of the best available today.
It boasts all of the features that you’d expect from a top-of-the-range product. They’re height adjustable so both Mom and Dad can use them without problems. Meanwhile, the straps are padded and the belt is load-bearing.
There is a lot of storage space because you need it when you’re in the great outdoors. One lovely detail is an insulated pocket for your baby’s bottle. This toddler carrier for hiking has a weight limit of 40 pounds.
Furthermore, it has a removable sun visor for protection from those harmful U.V. rays. It’s also waterproof and made from robust polyester. There’s even a foldable pad so you can change your infant’s diaper.
At just under $180, it’s not cheap but it is a quality product. Some buyers didn’t like the straps but apart from that, it has positive consumer reviews.
5. LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Toddler and Child Carrier
LÍLLÉbaby offers another great travel carrier for $149 on Amazon.
The LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Toddler and Child Carrier has an impressive 60-pound capacity. But remember that it’s not suitable for smaller toddlers because it has a 25-pound minimum restriction.
This ergonomic carrier boasts breathable 3D mesh and as well as a removable hood. There’s great lumbar support and two pockets for your belongings. Furthermore, the low-profile design gives it more flexibility than a standard hiking carrier.
Parents love the way that this carrier is highly adjustable and is designed for larger infants. This LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn makes a great toddler carrier for travel. However, if you’re going out into nature for prolonged periods you may prefer a more specialized hiking carrier.
6. Osprey Poco Child Carrier
At $290, the Osprey Poco Child Carrier is about one hundred bucks more than the Luvdbaby model. But bear with us, because this is a very interesting product.
It’s pricey but it’s extremely well-made. This hiking carrier has many straps and clips for increased security. It allows for a weight range of between 16 and 47.5 pounds. The torso is also fully adjustable for the parent’s comfort.
This premium option has all the regular features like sunshades and pockets. But it also has a removable drool pad, feet stirrups, and a hydration sleeve. The latter fits a 1.5L reservoir (sold separately).
The aluminum frame is lightweight and fully foldable. Also, the elevated, ergonomic design allows for less sweating, more legroom, and airflow for the child.
This is a high-end product with no negative reviews on Amazon about its usability. The only criticism that people have is the initial cost because there is no denying it’s costly.
If you love spending time in the great outdoors or you are planning an outdoor activity vacation with hiking, then it’s probably worth the investment. You will get years of use out of this high-quality hiking carrier as the Osprey Poco will grow with your toddler through childhood.
This is the best hiking carrier for toddlers, especially if you have (or plan on) multiple children and will get many years of use from this toddler travel essential.
What is the Most Popular Toddler Carrier for Travel?
Think about the activities you will be doing with the toddler carrier. Do you plan on wearing your child in a carrier for extended periods while you travel? Will you be outdoors in the elements either sightseeing or hiking with your child? There are multiple factors that impact your decision when choosing the most popular travel carrier. As well as the size and weight of your child, the length of time you will be wearing your child, and the types of activities you will be doing.
Many of the carriers reviewed above would be a great choice for toddler travel essentials. We hope this review will help you choose the best toddler carrier for travel or hiking and find what is right for you. This will depend on the specific activity needs of your family and the size of your child.
For more about family travel check out these posts:
Best Travel Bed for Toddler and Baby
What Is The Best Age To Travel With Kids?
Lightweight Travel Stroller for Toddler
Most Popular Travel High Chair Seat
Must-Have Toddler Travel Essentials
What to Consider Before you Travel with a Car Seat