BabyBjorn Baby Carrier Active
This frontpack is our pick for infants because it holds them securely with no wobbling, has excellent support and padded straps so parents stay comfortable on long hikes, and is a snap to get the baby in and out of. Plus, you can wear it with a backpack on long treks.
Contact: (800) 593-5522; www.babybjorn.com.
Kelty Back Country
When babies get big enough to hold their heads and bodies upright, we switch to a backpack. This model is a favorite because it has a stiff, supportive suspension that enables us to comfortably carry kids who weigh as much as 40 pounds, but isn't too bulky for daily use around home. A removable daypack holds baby paraphernalia, and a cover protects from sun and rain.
Contact: (800) 423-2320; www.kelty.com.
BOB Sport Utility Stroller Deluxe
The hardest stage for hiking parents is when kids are too big to carry, yet too young to hike far. Solution: This all-terrain stroller, which has 3 inches of suspension for a cushy ride even on rough terrain (just like your mountain bike). The knobby tires also bite on slick trails; there's plenty of cargo capacity; and the stroller folds quickly for easy stowing.
Contact: (800) 893-2447; www.bobgear.com.