At phil&teds we’re parents too so we make products that we’d use ourselves to help you adapt&survive the parenting day
Life is a different experience with a little one in tow. If you enjoy an outdoor lifestyle, it’s likely that you won’t get as much time in nature as you’re used to with a new human. There are a few things that you can do that will allow you to get out and about. A good hiking carrier is one thing that will enable you to get out and indulge in photography, nature and the great outdoors.
phil&teds escape - Photo credit: @tinypaw_paris
Stroller design in this day in age is amazing. They’re made with your lifestyle in mind. Its mind boggling how many different types of strollers there are out there. There are modular, bassinet, umbrella, 3 wheel, 4 wheel, all terrain and many, many more. Regardless of how all terrain the brands tout themselves to be, they’re never going to be able to tackle the hurdles that a real hiking trip will present. You know the type of trail I’m talking about. I like to call them the leprechaun trails – a journey to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They’ve got that epic waterfall at the end or the majestic 4 mountain range panorama.
Unfortunately, the best sights are not accessible via gentle walking tracks. You have to expect some precarious trail activity before getting to the treat at the end. This makes them completely impassable with a stroller.
phil&teds escape - Photo credit: @janetkohel
That’s why you need a good hiking carrier!
The name is pretty self explanatory - ‘baby carrier’. There are several different kinds available and each one has its pros and cons. Today we’re going to talk specifically about baby backpacks - the hard shell type for children 6 months and older. There a few key components to hard shell baby backpacks that really make them outstanding and good for future use.
Carriers are baby transports without wheels
When you think about it, all baby carriers are going to be heavy. They are the weight of the product plus the weight of your child. In some instances, this makes them heavier than a bag of concrete! Imagine carrying around one of those bad boys for an 8-mile hike. This is why when you are purchasing your carrier you should always look for the lightest carrier possible. It could be the difference between carrying 17kgs, or 21kgs over the distance of your walk. Of course, this is going to be great for toning the bod as extra calories are burnt while you are carrying the baby. You’ll get a bit stronger too. For the health conscious, the walking will target the glutes and quads, while at the same time giving you a good cardio workout. We’ll cover the health benefits of hiking with a child in a future post.
Before we start, a note: all baby backpacks are going to be heavy!
Here are features to look for in a hiking carrier:
phil&teds escape - Photo credit: @cammurrin
You need solid, wide straps for weight distributionWeight distribution varies from person to person. All baby carriers are going to fit a 6’6” man different to a 5’9” woman. Fit could even vary for a 5’9” guy and a similar height female counterpart. This is why it’s extremely important to try before you buy. If you have good weight distribution, the load will be manageable. Well padded, good solid straps are going to make your life so much easier as they take the load to distribute it around your shoulders. Take your child into the store, pop them into the frame, pick it up and see how it feels
Good storage will save you from being a pack muleAs a parent, you know how much you need to pack to get out of the house. It can sometimes make you feel like a real life pack mule with the bag, your bag and your child hanging off of you. A good carrier is going to have enough storage to at least carry the contents of your day pack. A GREAT carrier will have enough storage for all of the contents, still be comfortable and be well balanced and just as easy to use as when it’s empty.
An easy to use kickstand to load / unload your small humanWhen you’re loading your child into a hiking carrier you need a good stable platform to work from. Once you’ve got the platform sorted, the carrier needs a good stand to keep it steady whilst you strap them in. You also want to be sure that the baby backpack is steady as you’re popping the straps over your shoulder. A good kickstand is a solution. The kickstand will stabilise the carrier while you put your child in and will make it much easier to load and unload your child. Even when there’s only one person doing it!
What makes a baby backpack a good hiking carrier then?
phil&teds escape - Photo credit: @anette.arntzen
Comfort! Your hiking carrier must be comfortable. Big wide straps and even weight distribution will help spread the load. Tonnes of storage will enable you to carry walking poles or have a spare hand ready. A good, solid, easy to use kick stand will allow you to load and unload baby easily, at any time, anywhere.