It seems that my adventures (hiking through the mountains, exploring a city, walking through a park, etc.) all have something in common – a LOT of walking. Something babies can’t do? Walk. At some point children can walk through their own adventures without assistance, but we’re talking several years down the road here.
I knew all of this before having children (of course), but I don’t think I really comprehended the extent to which my daughter (now 17 months) would be off the ground. Even though she is walking (running!) now, she still spends quite a bit of time off the ground – she gets tired easily, she wants to be at my eye level (I am 5’10”!), or she just wants some snuggles! The point is, I need lots of baby transporting devices to meet my adventuring needs! Strollers and carriers and hiking packs, oh my!
Here are my favorites for getting out and exploring world!
Boba 3G Baby Carrier – Kangaroo – We have been using this soft structured carrier (SSC) since Boo was 5 days old (she weighed about 8.5 lbs). This is my wear-all-the-time carrier and was our only carrier until my mom bought us a hiking pack. It is fantastic for wearing around the house, but also great for hanging out around the campground, light hikes, and road tripping solo (Check out these 5 Tips for Traveling Solo (with Kids)). This carrier allows you to front or back carry and it is super easy to adjust. I used this video when I was first learning to back carry. (Note: There is a newer version of this carrier – Boba 4G Carrier – and I hear the improvements are awesome, but I cannot speak from personal experience.)
Osprey Packs Poco Plus Child Carrier – This is our hiking pack. I used to think hiking packs were huge and awkward, but having used one for a fairly difficult hike (The Ammonoosuc Trail up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire), I am sold! These are awesome because they are designed like backpacking packs, so the weight is on your hips rather than your shoulders. There is also some space in between you and your child, so neither of you gets too sweaty from body contact. Furthermore, the baby is situated higher up than with an SSC, so they can enjoy all the sights and sounds! This particular pack is great because it has lots of storage pockets, a place to hold a water bladder, and a built in sun/rain shade. It is also really easy to adjust between different hikers without having to remove the baby from the pack. It does take some getting used to because of the weight disbursement, so if you are planning on doing something difficult (like a fairly vertical rock scramble up Mt. Washington), you might want to invest in hiking poles.
Bumbleride Flite Lightweight Travel Stroller, Aquamarine – I absolutely love this stroller…mostly because it is the only stroller I will ever need. What makes this stroller so amazing? It has an attachment to hold an infant carrier. It adjusts anywhere from a full recline to sitting straight up (without having to remove the child!). That means when Boo falls asleep on the go, I simply slide the clip in the back and it is just like she is in her crib! The foot panel folds down for larger children (My 5 year old nephew can go for a ride!).
When folded, this stroller is maybe a little bit bigger than an umbrella stroller, but it fits easily in the trunk of my Jetta! I could go on and on! Really the only downfall is the wheels – these are smaller wheels that are not designed to handle rough terrain. So maybe it takes a little more effort to push the stroller, but fitting in my trunk makes it worth it! We have taken this stroller through grass, sand, and most recently through the cobblestone streets of Old Quebec without too much difficulty. (Note: Bumbleride makes a comparable stroller with bigger wheels, the Indie 4 Stroller, but again I cannot speak from personal experience.)
Well those are my top picks! To be honest, I really haven’t tried out many options. A lot of research went into these before purchasing and I absolutely love them! I think Boo agrees!
Do you have any can’t-live-without favorites? Comment and tell me what makes your picks so fantastic!