To buy or not to buy a child carrier backpack for 4 year old?
That is the question… all credit to William Shakespeare. Back to our topic now, if you are a first-time parent to a 4 year old, you must be wondering a few things.
One of them is whether you would need to carry a 4 year old when you go hiking. Well, if experienced parents heard you asking this, they would just wink at each other.
That wink would mean… you will find out in due time. At 3, 4 or 5 years old, you just want to pack the kids hiking backpack for them and start hiking. But matters parenting are never that simple.
Believe it or not, your 4 year old will need some carrying. Heck… even a 5-year old will need some carrying.
The reason is simple… at this age, 5 years and below, children still have not been weaned off their naps.
Thus, come napping time when you are hiking on those idyllic easy trails in Sedona, unless you want to stop and wait for junior to nap, you will need to carry him. Or her!
To carry such weight, you will need the best hiking baby carrier. You had better have one. Thankfully, you can buy hiking carriers for 4 year old on amazon.com.
Why you need a baby carrier backpack for hiking
All hassles of carrying your kid on your back considered, nothing can be more satisfying than hiking with your kids. It is the best way of introducing them to the beauty and fun of the outdoors.
Bring that hiking baby carrier. You will need it. A child carrier distributes the weight of the kid on your back. Thus, you feel that the burden is lighter. This is unlike when you carry a kid on your bare back. That will be quite a load.
Kids less than six years old are not able to handle too much walking. At some point, they get weary. But you may not want to stop hiking for them to rest or to sleep.
If your kid is 4 years, you need a good child carrier backpack for 4-year old to make things easier during the hike.
A good hiking baby carrier distributes your baby’s weight evenly across your back, shoulders and hips. This way you can stay active for longer.
It can be hard to find the best hiking baby carrier for heavier, older babies. However, with the tips outlined for you below, you should get one alright.
How to choose the best toddler carrier backpack
Age rating for a child carrier backpack
A 4-year old toddler should not be carried in a child carrier backpack for 2-year old. Well, some can be used for a range of ages, say, 2 to 4 years, 3 to 5 years and so on.
If you buy a toddler hiking carrier rated for a smaller age and size, it won’t support the kid’s weight or accommodate their size.
When buying a child carrier backpack for 4-year old, it is very important to check the age rating on the carrier.
Baby carrier backpacks usually come with recommended age and weight range, which you should seriously consider.
Choosing a carrier that is suitable for your baby’s age not only protects you and your baby, but it also protects the warranty from becoming void.
Weight-rating for a child carrier backpack
The other crucial thing you should consider is the weight rating on the hiking child carrier. The carrier should be strong enough to handle your kid’s weight.
You cannot carry your 4-year old toddler in a child carrier backpack for 2-year old. Obviously, the straps could snap since they cannot handle too much weight.
It is not just about the warranty, it is also about the safety of your baby at risk.
On average, a normal 4 years old toddler weighs about 40 pounds. Therefore, a baby carrier for a 4-year old toddler should accommodate the weight and spare some strength too.
Always check on the carrier’s weight rating before you order one online.
Watch the video below to see the joys of hiking with your toddler:
Is the toddler hiking backpack carrier adjustable?
A good toddler carrier backpack should come with very adjustable fitting features. Such features enhance your comfort. They also make the hiking backpack carrier easier to be used by many members of your family.
Adjustability contributes to the safety of your baby. You also enjoy peace of mind, know that the baby carrier is secure.
Some of the parts that you should check for adjustability include:
The shoulder straps
Good shoulder straps should be firm, wide and well padded. They should also come with a buckle system that allows for adjustability.
Properly fitting shoulder straps should stay securely on your shoulders. They should not dig under your arms or into your neck causing your skin to chaff.
The buckles should allow for adjustability even when carrying the baby. In addition, they should be sturdy in order to hold the straps tightly. This ensures the straps do not get loose while in use.
Again, they should be strong enough to make it difficult for the kid to unfasten. 4 year olds can be a handful you know!
The chest and the hip straps
The chest and hip straps too should be properly padded and adjustable. These straps do a great job of distributing your baby weight on your body, preventing strain.
The chest strap should fit snugly so it is able to distribute some of the weight from your shoulders preventing strain on your upper back.
Similarly, the hip strap should be flexible enough for a comfortable fit. It should not be too high or too low on your waist. This way, it will help to distribute some of your kid’s weight to your hip area. This is very important for preventing straining your lower back.
A toddler carrier backpack should have fully flexible leg openings. Make sure they can be adjusted to different sizes. This will protect the kid from slipping out of the carrier.
In addition, they should be adjustable enough to fit comfortably around your toddler’s legs as they grow.
Seats and seat belts
A good hiking child carrier must have an adjustable seat and seat belts. Ensure the seat adjusts well to allow the kid to sit high enough.
You sure do want him/her to see the above your shoulders. However, you should not set it too high because the baby can easily tip over your head.
Other features in a hiking child carrier backpack for 4 year old
Apart from the aforementioned features, a good hiking child carrier backpack should have most of the following crucial accessories.
Your 4 years old baby’s skin is very sensitive and you should ensure that it is well protected from the harmful UV rays.
Buy a hiking baby carrier with a sunshade accessory. You do not want your baby to suffer from sunburns.
Remember to also apply some sunscreen on your baby’s face, ears and any other exposed body parts such as the hands, arms and legs.
A rain cover
A toddler carrier backpack should be adaptable to various kinds of weather. Sometimes, you will experience an unexpected drizzle or downpour.
At other times, the weather will be humid, and so on. Expect anything while you are out there on the hiking trails, or on the dry camping adventure. Just as your camping tent has a rainfly, so should the carrier protect the baby from rain.
Look for a baby carrier that is roomy enough for all the essentials that you need to bring along.
A carrier must have various pouches where you can put the baby’s diapers. You also want to bring along your traveling coffee mug. There should be assorted pockets for clothes, bottles, food your personal items like mobile phones. You may also want to take a flashlight, and a travel electric toothbrush for everyone.
However, note that the hiking backpack-style baby carrier is not a regular back pack. Thus, items like your hatchet for backpacking, lightweight water filter and other items should go into the regular hiking backpack.
The pockets should be zippered or have secure bungee cords to ensure that you do not lose your items in the woods. To keep your 4-years old entertained, look for a carrier that has loops where you can attach some toys. When packing, ensure that you do not pack beyond the recommended weight of the carrier.
Diaper changing pads
From time to time during the hike, you will need to change your baby’s diaper to keep the kid comfortable.
A hiking baby carrier that comes with diaper changing pads would offer you more convenience while out there in the jungle.
If you will bring your backpack for mom and baby, you may overlook this feature.
Some child carriers come with a mirror attachment. This is a good addition since it helps you to know what your baby is up to back there.
You can easily know when he has fallen asleep and whether he is properly positioned.
Note: Not all baby carriers have all the above accessories. Some will come with most of them others with just a few. You may have to stretch your budget a bit to get a baby carrier backpack.
Packing and storage
When shopping for your hiking child carrier, consider how you will be packing and storing it when it is not in use.
A baby carrier that can fold up to a more compact size would be better. Remember that before you start hiking, you need to reach to your destination first. Thus, it requires to be packed for easier transportation.
If you are using your car, the hiking baby carrier should take as less room as possible. The same applies when going by air. It should be able to fold up neatly in order to be allowed by the airline as a carry-on luggage.
A good baby carrier should come with a bag that keeps it safe and secure when it is not in use.
Your comfort and that of your baby
Your toddler carrier backpack should offer maximum comfort to you and your baby. Certain areas of the carrier must have proper padding for comfort and safety.
Such parts include the shoulder straps, chest strap, waist strap, the seat and the metal frame that is near the baby’s face.
The carrier should also provide enough support to protect your baby from slipping out and to protect you from straining.
A good child carrier backpack is not a cheap investment. It should serve you for a long time. Look for a well-constructed carrier by checking the stitching and the material used to make it.
The thread count should be high. This ensures that it does not become flimsy when subjected to the weight of your baby.
The locking mechanism of the kickstand
The baby carrier’s kickstand should be equipped with a mechanism that allows it to lock firmly in an open position. Its hinges should also have spacers that protect your fingers from being pinched.
The kickstand should close when you are carrying the baby so that it does not hinder your walking. When the carrier is standing on its own, the kickstand should ensure that your baby does not tip over.
After the baby’s backpack carrier is delivered, you should test whether it is stable enough. Put your child inside the carrier.
Sit it on the floor to check how stable it is. The carrier will stand on its own without tipping over. If it does not, perhaps you should return it.
The same way that you break your new hiking boots is the same that you break a new baby carrier.
Well-fitting safety harness
One of the major indicators of a safe backpack carrier is a flexible five-point harness for the baby. They include two shoulder straps, a crotch strap and two thigh straps.
Don’t settle for baby carrier backpacks whose lap straps are separate from the crotch and shoulder straps. Such leave openings on the side that your baby can slip through.
Your baby’s safety is most certainly your number one priority. It is easy to know whether a baby carrier backpack will ensure safety for your baby.
Just find out whether it is certified by the relevant authorities.
A good baby carrier backpack should comply with the standards issued by the Consumer Safety Commission. In addition, it should be JPMA-certified.
JPMA is an acronym of the Juvenile Products Manufactures Association, which provides stringent safety measures for baby products.
Ease of maintenance
Buying a baby carrier backpack for hiking means you will be walking long trails with it. In the process, it can get dirty easily. Thus, you should buy one that is super easy to clean and maintain.
For easier maintenance, some backpack carriers are made with a fabric that can be detached and washed on its own. This is an awesome bonus.
Price of the child carrier backpack for 4 year old
The amount of cash that you are willing to part with for your baby’s backpack carrier is an important consideration.
Obviously, backpack carriers with more features cost more than the ones with standard features only.
Typically, a hiking baby backpack carrier will cost you between $150 and $350. The price will depend on the features and the brand name.
When you prioritize the safety and comfort of your kid and yourself, you will be able to choose a carrier with features that suit your needs. A very pricey baby carrier backpack does not necessarily make it the best.
If you are a parent, you cannot go wrong by following the above tips when buying a hiking child carrier backpack for 4 year old. The recommendations in this buyer’s guide have shown you everything you should know when buying a hiking baby carrier.