Best Child Carriers for Travel

Recommended backpacks, slings and more for traveling

Buying tips for travelers shopping for travel-friendly child carriers:

As you travel with your child, having a comfortable carrier, wrap or sling can make a tremendous difference in your ability to sightsee and explore a variety of changing terrain. As well, wearing your child close to you can give you both confidence as you explore unfamiliar territory like crowded markets, busy train stations, and subway systems.

 

Yet which child carrier, wrap, or sling is right for you at home and as you travel may change by the destination--and by the pound as your child grows. Truth is, there are not very many carriers that work well for newborns and very small infants, and aside from the framed backpack carriers, there are few that will be comfortable to wear for long periods once your child reaches 20 lbs. Your size and stature, and your partner's who might be sharing the carrier with you, can also make a difference in what works best for you.

 

With all of these points in mind, here are some of my top-recommended child carriers for traveling parents.

 

Maya Wrap Ring Sling

 

> Supports children up to 35 lbs.

 

Why Shelly recommends it:

 

Travels from "first fussy newborn walks around the block" through "toddler treks through the airport" - where it's very easy to slip off and run through the scanner at security (or wear it through when allowed). What's more, the fully-adjustable ring sling helps mom nurse discreetly wherever she roams, and the extra fabric helps shield babies strategically from sun. What else is there to like? Option of forward-facing when wee travelers want to see where you're headed, and a pocket holds keys or cell phone.  Machine washable.

 

Find it online at: Amazon

 

 

Moby Wrap Carrier

 

> Supports children up to 35 lbs.

 

Why Shelly recommends it:

 

Versatility and security - and ease on the back. The Moby wrap can be used with a preemie, twins simultaneously(!), and toddlers - with your child facing you, facing front, or riding on your back. Cotton jersey fabric (think T-shirt) is soft and stretchy, and spreads wide across your shoulders and back to lend extra support--much appreciated by moms with big babies. I will say there is a learning curve to using the Moby Wrap (instructions included), but those who stick with it are rewarded with possibly years of use, and a variety of options during travel. Also helps shield babies from sun in harsh climates--now sold with UPF rating of 50+. Machine washable.

 

Find it online at: Amazon

 

 

Ergo Baby Multi-Position Carrier

 

> Supports children up to 40 lbs.

 

Why Shelly recommends it:

 

(Oh, look! This got long!) While the Ergo carrier costs more than most other soft child carriers and slings, it may be one of your most travel-friendly options overall. You may also be able to use it far longer than other models since you can start using it with your infant and most parents can continue to use it comfortably through 2 years. Use the Ergo to wear your child on your front or back (or side, but we found front or back preferable). Many parents who hoped to use it right away with the infant insert weren't happy with it for their newborns (be aware), but most parents find it quite comfortable to use from babyhood through toddlerhood, and some even use it beyond as a backpack carrier.

 

The padded shoulder straps and hip belt, combined with a chest strap, give the support you would want carrying a 20 lb. or 25 lb. pack on a hike, and the "kid compartment" is snug against the parent whether on the front or back (or side), with no fabric between the two. This makes it easy to gage your child's temperature--and even breastfeed on the go. We also really appreciate the straps adjusting fairly easily to accommodate two parents of very different sizes, and the extra pockets and hidden sun hood / head holder come in very handy, too.

 

The Ergo does not allow you to wear your child facing out, however (unless you get the new Ergobaby 360 4-position carrier), though many children seem to enjoy seeing the world from a "hug" position as when worn on the front or a piggy back position on the back--however, a precious few will tire of turning their necks to see everything from the side and may not ride as contently in the Ergo for extended periods of hiking and sightseeing. Getting your child onto your back also requires a little practice and is definitely easier as your child gets bigger and sturdier (and can stand on a chair while you load her), but it is doable with a baby as the video will show you. For no internal frame, it is surprisingly supportive, and it folds up small enough to travel in most diaper bags.

 

Find it online at: Amazon   Baby Earth

 

 

Deuter KangaKid Soft Backpack Carrier

 

> Supports children up to 33 lbs.

 

Why Shelly recommends it:

 

Pictured here, it looks like a child carrier. But zipped shut with the canopy folded away (sold separately) you can't distinguish the KangaKid from any regular daypack. That alone makes it a nice option for times when you may prefer to keep your child in her stroller, but want the back-up option of wearing her, as when navigating Metro or subway stations with stairs. The KangaKid may also help you get kid + carry-on in one through the airport (check your stroller or leave it at home). The built-in easy-access diaper compartment on the back, other storage compartments, and double bottle pockets also help you stay organized on the go. Great when you need a daypack that does double duty.

 

Find it online at: Amazon.com

 

 

NOMIS Piggyback Rider

 

> Supports children from 2.5 years up to 60 lbs.

 

Why Shelly recommends it:

 

When your child is almost always on his own two feet, the Piggyback Rider by NOMIS helps you shoulder the load when he isn't--without causing the wear and tear on your shoulders and neck of the traditional piggyback and shoulder rides. Kids simply stand on a sturdy aluminum non-slip bar and use their choice of four hand-holds while you continue the hike or head down the crowded sidewalk. A convenient cell phone pocket and comfy foam cushioning also help to ease your outings. Weighs just 3 lbs. For ages 2.5 years up to 60 lbs.

 

Find it online at:  Amazon.com

 

 

 

You might also like:   Best Car Seats for Travel      Infant Car Seats      Safety Boosters

 

Car Seat Travel Accessories         Best Strollers for Travel      Back to Top