Our testers have carried children up Old Rag in Virginia, Sugarloaf Mountain in Maryland, and snowshoed up Peak Nine in Breckenridge with nearly every infant carrier on the market, and for small children none have gained as much praise as this frameless ERGObaby carrier. It’s super-versatile, with carrying options for the front, back, or hip, and let the baby be supported and cradled while leaving mom’s hands free.
And while life with an infant can seem to be all about the baby, let’s not forget about Mom! Wide, thick shoulder straps are comfortable for long periods, and a supportive waistbelt takes the load off her back and carries the baby in the best ergonomic position. The Performance carrier is made of lightweight breathable fabric that dries quickly, whether it’s from a sweaty hike or a spilled bottle.
When the baby falls asleep there’s an attached sleeping hood to keep things dark, a small pouch to hold essentials, and the sternum strap easily adjusts for multiple heights. The entire carrier folds down to the size of a thick paperback novel to easily fit in a diaper bag. It holds kids from 12 to 45 pounds, and for under 12 pounds, an infant insert is available. $120; 1 lb. 4 oz.; ergobabycarriers.com