For your convenience, many of the products I link too are affiliate links which means I may earn money if you purchase a product I recommend.
I was lucky enough to get the Osprey hiking backpack as a baby shower gift from a few of my coworkers.
It was seriously one of the best gifts in the world for me.
I love this product. My husband and I were also given a Kelty carrier and an Ergo 360 pack, so at this point, I’ve tried a few different carriers.
Ella is 8 months old and has been using her carrier now for about 2 months. It was a little bit big for her at first, but we just made sure to stuff a few blankets in and synch her uptight and she was fine. I do highly recommend making sure your baby can easily hold their head up for an extended period of time before using this pack.
I’ve lost count of how many hours Ella has done in the pack, but at this point, it is probably 20-30 hours. I’ve done a lot of hiking in the last couple of months trying to get back into shape. I decided that since she helped get me out of shape carting her around is going to help me get back into shape.
Related Post: How To Start Hiking With Your Baby
Pro’s and Cons to the Osprey Baby Carrier
What I like about the Osprey Baby Hiking Backpack
- Great suspension system, that is easily adjustable to a variety of heights and body shapes. I’m 5.2 and my husband is 6.1. We can literally adjust the pack to each other’s body in 3-4 minutes. It is simple and can be done with the baby in the hiking backpack.
- Expandable shade for sun and rain protection. I use this feature all the time and it works great. It is easy to pull out and put away. The coverage is pretty substantial and Ella loves playing with the sides which keeps her occupied for hours.
- Super comfortable fit for most everyone out there (see my negative below). Everyone else that has worn it has raved about the way it fits. Even with my short, short torso, the fit works for me and I can easily do 3-4 hours without getting sore.
- Multiple pockets and space for extra supplies.
- You can’t fit enough to do a major expedition, but for 5-6 hour days, the size is perfect.
- Well built and designed.
- Pop out bottom for easy propping up of the pack. This feature is huge! It is so nice to be able to remove the pack and set it anywhere and not worry about it tipping over.
- Locking system that goes over the baby’s shoulders to hold them in place. I was picking Ella up a few days ago and overbalanced. Next thing I know the pack is literally parallel with the ground. She most likely would have fallen out if the shoulder straps weren’t in place.
- Mesh back so in theory, you don’t sweat as much. Trust me you will still sweat.
- It counts as a carry on in airplanes. If you are traveling with a baby forget the stroller, take the backpack. It will go anywhere and will save you tons of frustration.
What I don’t like about the Osprey Baby Hiking Backpack
- Although the adjustment is phenomenal, it really isn’t sized for someone of my height and small torso length. I’m in the minority so this won’t affect many people, but it is a tiny bit big for me. I can adjust it well enough to work, but would be sore after a 6-7 hour hike.
- The bladder carrier is really hard to get to and probably wouldn’t hold a super large bladder. I dread having to refill my water because I know it is going to take me forever to pull the stupid thing out and get it back in.
- The zipper on the main compartment is hard to zip properly at the top. I think the curve is just a little bit too sharp. I know it sounds like a stupid complaint, but when you have a baby and are often doing things one-handed being able to easily zip and unzip to get to a diaper is a big deal.
- Slightly heavy. I don’t know how they can reasonably decrease the weight without drastically increasing the price, but a lighter pack would be awesome. It is just under 8 pounds, so by the time you add food, water, extra clothing, diapers, bottles and all the other baby junk you need (and the baby), my pack is typically around 30 pounds and Ella only weights 15 of that. I’m not looking forward to when she gets heavier.
Overall I highly recommend the Osprey hiking backpack for babies. It has been a great pack that is super comfortable and easy to use.
Editors note: My daughter is now almost four and I’m still using my Osprey pack. I love it and more importantly, my daughter loves it. She pulls it out of the closet and asks to go hiking on a fairly regular basis.
Because we’ve done so much hiking she has no problem hanging out in the pack but has also gotten really good at hiking on her own. If you want to have an outdoor child, I highly recommend taking them hiking as soon as possible. If you need some helpful hints to get started check out this post – How to take your baby hiking.