Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Welcome to our big back carrier test 2022. Here we present all the back carriers that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best back carrier for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a back carrier.




Summary

  • With the help of back carriers, you can transport your child safely and comfortably from A to B on your back.
  • You can choose between slings, baby carriers or harnesses.
  • Kraxes are particularly suitable for hiking. They are very well padded, offer plenty of space for the child and additional storage space.

The Best Backpack: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a back carrier

What is a back carrier?

A back carrier is an easy and safe way to carry your child from A to B on your back.

The term is usually associated with a carrying backpack, also called a Kraxe. It is particularly suitable for hiking. However, there are other variants such as the sling or the baby carrier.

Children love to be carried. That is why they feel particularly comfortable in a baby carrier.

In addition, the closeness to the parent has a very calming effect. Older children also have an unobstructed view of the surroundings, as they can see everything from above.

Thanks to the back carrier, your child sits safely and comfortably on your back. So you can take your darling with you wherever you go. (Image source: pexels.com / Josh Willink)

Compared to a front carrier, the back carrier is easier on the shoulders, hips and back. In addition, you have an unrestricted view to the front and to possible obstacles in front of you.

Another big advantage is that your hands are free and you can work or do other activities at the same time.

Nevertheless, you have to carry your child, which can be quite exhausting in the long run. You need a certain amount of strength and stamina. Larger children in particular are not so easy to carry.

Please also make sure that you adjust the back carrier correctly. Otherwise this can lead to back problems. You will find more information on this below.

Who is a back carrier suitable for?

The back carrier is particularly suitable for active, adventurous families who are on the move a lot. Whether it’s a hiking trip or a city break, your darling is always close at hand.

The back carriers are also suitable for daily use, during chores or longer walks.

The biggest advantage of a back carrier in the city is probably that you don’t have to supervise your child. He or she is always close to you and in complete safety.

A back carrier is also great for travelling by public transport. You don’t need as much space as with a pram and you can hold on tight.

Be sure to check out the differences between the various back carriers. Some are more suitable for hiking, some are more suitable for everyday use!

What age is a back carrier suitable for?

Your child should be able to hold its own head before you carry it on your back. This protects the sensitive vertebrae from injury.

Depending on the development of the child, transport on the back is recommended from about three months. However, this also depends on the type of carrying system.

Type age
Sling from about 3 months to 2 years
Baby carrier from about 6 months to 3.5 years
Kraxe from about 9 months to 5 years

Babies from the age of about three months can already be carried in a sling on the back. You tie the baby very tightly to your back. The sling is suitable for children up to about 2 years of age.

For children from about 6 months, a baby carrier is also suitable for transporting on the back. Most of them can be attached to the back as well as to the chest.

The baby carrier is more stable than a sling and has different straps. It can be used for about three years.

The Kraxe is intended for children who can already sit independently. This is the case after about 9 months. The carrier is integrated into a backpack and is therefore ideal for longer hikes.

You can even use this system until your child is four or five years old.

You can find detailed information about the advantages and disadvantages of each type in the decision section below.

How much does a back carrier cost?

Depending on the type and features of the back carrier for children, the price ranges from about 20 to 280 euros.

The cheapest version with a price range of 20 to 80 euros is the baby sling. The baby carrier comes in second place with a price range of about 28 to 180 euros. For a Kraxe you spend between 60 and 280 euros.

Type price range
Sling approx. 20 – 80 euros
Baby carrier approx. 25 – 180 euros
Kraxe approx. 60 – 280 euros

Are back carriers also available second-hand?

Yes, back carriers are also available second-hand. However, you should take a closer look at used carriers.

With used products, there is a possibility that the stretcher is no longer completely functional or safe. In addition, there are no additional services such as a guarantee or a return option.

However, used carriers are usually cheaper. If the previous owner took good care of their carrier, you can get a real bargain.

Can I borrow a back stretcher?

You can mainly rent backpacks. This is possible with various outdoor providers.

You can usually put together your equipment on the internet and it will be sent to you by post. After the agreed period of time, you send the products back. Rental prices start at a few euros per day.

You can find more information about renting on the following websites:

  • outdoorverleih.com
  • rent-out.com
  • child-carrier-lending.com
  • mami-poppins.com

Are there back carriers for children with physical and mental disabilities?

This depends very much on the type and degree of disability.

In principle, however, every child can be transported in a back carrier as long as it can hold its head independently. The head and neck muscles must therefore be correspondingly strong.

If the child cannot hold its head on its own, the head of your child can be stabilised with the help of a splint or ruff. This would make it possible to transport the child in a back carrier.

As long as your child can lift and hold its head independently, you can transport it on your back. (Image source: pixabay.com / MarjonBesteman)

But before you buy a carrier or go on a hike, be sure to talk to your doctor and get advice.

Are there back carriers for twins?

No. There are no back carriers for twins in this sense.

However, you can use the sling to carry your baby at the breast. As soon as the newborns are about three months old and their head and neck muscles are stable, you can put one on your back and one on your chest.

There are also baby carriers that are designed for twins or siblings of different ages. In this case, however, you also put one child on your back and the other on your chest. There are no pure back carriers with two seats.

Of course, it also depends on how strong the person carrying the child is. After all, two children mean twice the weight! That is why many parents choose two back carriers. This way, each parent can carry one child.

Are back carriers suitable for pregnant women?

In principle, it is also possible for pregnant women to use the back carrier.

Especially baby carriers and harnesses that are heavily padded and distribute the weight well are suitable for this.

However, you should always talk to your midwife or doctor. Every body is different and can take different loads.

What alternatives are there to back carriers?

In addition to carrying your baby on your back, you can of course also carry your baby on your chest or sideways.

Both slings and baby carriers are used for this. Depending on how you tie the sling or attach the baby carrier, you can carry your child at the front, side or back.

As an alternative to carrying, you can simply push your baby in the pram. This has the advantage that it is not as strenuous as carrying the child.

In addition, the pram usually has a large integrated shopping basket and you have enough storage space for nappies etc. On the other hand, you can’t get everywhere with the pram and the child lacks physical closeness.

Decision: What types of back carriers are there and which is the right one for you?

There are many types of back carriers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. So it is not always easy to find your way around.

In this section, we would like to take a closer look at the different back carriers to make your decision easier.

We have identified these types of back carriers and would like to explain them in more detail:

  • Baby sling
  • Baby carrier
  • Kraxe

What is a sling and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The baby sling is not directly a back carrier, but it is still a good way to transport children on your back. For this reason it is listed here.

A sling is about four to five metres long and is best suited for newborns and toddlers. It is made of tightly woven or elastic material and is tied around the child and the wearer using various tying techniques. Please make sure that you tie the sling correctly, otherwise you may cause back and hip problems for the baby carrier or hip problems for the child.

The biggest advantage of the sling is that the child rests directly on the body of the person wearing it. This calms and soothes. In addition, the fabric adapts ideally to the shape and size of the child. The sling can be tied in different carrying positions. It can be used in the prone position from birth onwards. The sling is very reasonably priced.

However, putting on and tying the sling is much more time-consuming and complicated than with a baby sling or a baby carrier. Tying should be practised before use. It is also not suitable for older, heavier children. Some people find it unsafe to carry a baby in a sling, even though there is no danger when it is tied correctly.

One form of sling is the ring sling. It is made of the same material as a normal sling, but with rings sewn into it. This has the advantage that tying is easier and quicker. However, it puts a strain on the wearer on one side.

Advantages
  • Physical closeness
  • Fabric adapts to the child and grows with it
  • Different carrying positions possible
  • Small and easy to stow away
  • Good value
Disadvantages
  • More complicated to put on
  • Tying requires practice
  • Not suitable for older infants
  • Often feels unsafe to wear

What is a baby carrier and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The baby carrier, also called a comfort carrier, is another way of transporting the child safely and comfortably on the back. It is a prefabricated carrying system with hip and abdominal straps. The seat is made to automatically support the child’s ideal sitting position. A baby carrier is perfect for everyday use.

A great advantage of the baby carrier is that it is easy to put on. In addition, the straps can be easily adjusted to the proportions of each baby carrier. The baby carrier can also be used in different positions. The hip and abdominal straps also support the back because they distribute the child’s weight ideally.

Newborns usually need their own baby insert. However, the baby carrier is ideal for slightly older and heavier children. Sometimes, if the straps are not adjusted properly, they can be uncomfortable for both child and carrier. In addition, the baby carrier does not offer any extra storage space for nappies or shopping.

A variation of the baby carrier is the mei tai. It is a mixture of a sling and a baby carrier. Like the baby carrier, it has shoulder and hip straps and provides a lot of stability. However, the seat shell is made of a sling, which adapts ideally to the child’s body.

Advantages
  • Physical closeness
  • Easy to put on
  • Supports correct sitting position of the child
  • Ideal weight distribution due to hip and abdominal straps
  • Different carrying positions possible
Disadvantages
  • No storage space
  • Restricted view and freedom of movement for the child
  • Only suitable for newborns with extra insert
  • Can be uncomfortable

What is a Kraxe and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The Kraxe is particularly suitable for activities such as hiking or city trips. It is also called a carrying backpack. This is because the large fixed frame is worn on the back like a large backpack. It offers the child a lot of space, additional storage space and is very well padded.

The padding makes this back carrier very suitable for longer trips. It distributes the child’s weight very well. In addition, the child sits very high up and can therefore see over the area. Due to the extras such as sun and rain protection, the harness is ideal for outdoor activities.

However, the backpack is not ergonomically ideal. It doesn’t support the baby’s hock position and is therefore not as comfortable as a sling or baby carrier. In addition, the backrest is very straight and does not ensure any curvature. It is therefore not advisable to use the Kraxe on a daily basis.

In addition, unlike the sling and the baby carrier, there is no direct body contact. In addition, the back carrier is much heavier, larger and bulkier than a baby carrier because of the iron frame and the additional storage space. The back carrier can only be used from sitting age and is much more expensive compared to the other back carriers.

Advantages
  • Plenty of space for the child
  • Easy to put down
  • Additional storage space
  • Well padded
  • Extras such as rain and sun protection
  • Good visibility
Disadvantages
  • Ergonomically not ideal
  • No direct body contact
  • Large and bulky
  • High weight
  • Expensive purchase
  • Use only from sitting age

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate back carriers based on these factors

Safety

The most important thing when carrying children is the correct sitting position.

It is imperative that the child sits in the squat-splay position. This is a frog-like position where the little legs are curled up at 90 degrees and the thighs are spread.

If the baby is carried incorrectly, the hips can become misaligned.

In order to ensure that the baby is carried in a crouching/splaying position, the width of the bar of the carrier must be large and as flexible as possible.

Kraxes should also have stirrups, as the legs of these back carriers often tend to hang down. When using a sling, you have to pay attention to the correct tying technique.

It is also very important that the child’s head and neck are supported. With a sling, you support the head and neck with the right tying technique.

However, make sure that the sling is not too tight around the mouth and nose, otherwise there is a risk of suffocation. Baby carriers and harnesses should always have integrated head and neck supports.

Also pay attention to the safety of your child’s back and spine. The child should be able to round the back in a c-shape. With slings and mei teis, this is always the case when tied correctly, as they adapt to the child’s body.

Baby carriers should have a flexible carrying bag. A c-shaped rounding is usually not possible with harnesses.

The smaller and younger your child is, the more important these safety precautions are! This is because the muscles and joints of small babies are still weak, unstable and undeveloped.

Comfort

Comfort should be provided for both the child and the wearer. Basically, the comfort of a back carrier varies from person to person. It is therefore worth trying out and testing different back carriers.

One criterion for high comfort in baby carriers and harnesses is, for example, the shoulder straps. This is because most of the weight rests on the shoulders and upper back.

It can be said that wide, well-padded shoulder straps contribute to greater comfort.

The hip belt is also crucial for high comfort. Ideally, it distributes the child’s weight evenly.

Also make sure that the hip belt fits your body shape. Again, the wider and better padded the hip belt, the greater the comfort.

If the back carrier is worn by more than one person, you should also pay attention to the closure system.

Are there buckles only on the hips or on the hip and shoulder straps? The more buckles there are, the more flexible you are.

Of course, you also want your child to sit comfortably. That’s why you should always check the padding of the seat of a Kraxe and a baby carrier. The elasticity of the fabric and the freedom of movement of the child also contribute to comfort.

Safety harnesses are a must for a harness. A 4- or 5-point safety system is best here. The seat should also be adjustable in height.
Material

You can choose between woven and elastic slings. While woven slings are very stable and therefore also suitable for older children, elastic slings are ideal for newborns. They are very soft and adapt perfectly to the baby’s shape.

With baby carriers and harnesses, it is important that breathable materials such as cotton or 3D mesh have been used. Especially if you are on the move a lot and are also active in sports, you should pay attention to this so that you and the child do not sweat excessively.

Tip: When buying slings and baby carriers, look for materials that are easy to wash, such as cotton! This will save you a lot of cleaning work!

Equipment

The equipment plays an important role, especially with baby carriers. Accessories such as rain and sun protection, adjustable footrests, a functional foot stand for parking and sufficient storage space should not be missing.

Some of these back carriers even offer additional things like a picnic or swaddling blanket, a mirror, a chin pad or a drinking system for the wearer.

With rain and sun protection, your child will sit safely and comfortably on your back in any weather. (Image source: unsplash.com / Jens Johnsson)

Facts worth knowing about back carriers

How do you clean a back carrier?

Cleaning slings and baby carriers is relatively easy. These back carriers are usually made of cotton or other washable materials.

So you can usually wash them with your other clothes in the washing machine at 60 degrees. However, avoid detergents with bleach or brighteners.

If other materials such as wool, cashmere or silk have been used in their manufacture, look at the washing and ironing instructions on the product. It will tell you how many degrees you can wash it at or whether you need to wash it by hand.

It is worthwhile to look for washable materials when buying.

A Kraxe, on the other hand, is not suitable for the washing machine. The best way to clean the outside is with a damp cloth or a soft brush. You can also use a little washing-up liquid, preferably natural soap.

This is gentle on the surfaces, and removable fabric parts such as the seat cushion or chin guard can also be washed in the washing machine.

When you clean your back carrier, you can also check it at the same time. This way you will always know that your child is safe. Check zips, buckles and seams.

How do you adjust a back carrier?

This question is very important, but it depends on the type of back carrier. If you have a sling, it is essential that you tie it correctly.

It is important that you always secure your child and lift it onto your back with the correct grip from front to back. Also make sure that your child is sitting in the correct position!

There are two different ways of putting your child on your back in a baby carrier.

Variant 1: Close the hip belt and bring the beanbag to the front. Put your child inside and take both shoulder loops in one hand. Then gently rock your child into a sideways position. There you slip through the first shoulder strap. Continue rocking until the child is sitting on its back and slip through the second shoulder strap. Free the trapped arms and close all the buckles.

Variation 2: Place your baby carrier on a soft surface, such as a couch or beanbag. Put your child in it. Crouch down, close the hip belt and slip into the shoulder straps. Always secure your child with one hand. Stand up, centre your child and close all the buckles.

The procedure for the Kraxe is similar to that for the baby carrier. First you adjust the carrying system to the carrier, then to the child.

  1. Attach empty carrier to back
  2. Adjust back length to fit back
  3. Centre the hip belt on the pelvic bone and tighten
  4. Tighten shoulder straps. The main weight should still be carried by the hip belt
  5. Tighten the adjustment straps – the weight of the carrier should be closer to the body
  6. Put the stretcher down and place the child in the harness
  7. Close and tighten the child’s chest strap
  8. Adjust the seat height – the child’s chin should be at the height of the carrier’s neck
  9. Close and tighten the safety harness
  10. Adjust the footrests – Wrapped legs desirable – Straddle-hook position
  11. Put the child on your back in the carrier
  12. Tighten the straps – let’s go!

Where can I find spare parts for a back carrier?

If you have a branded product, you can get all spare parts from the manufacturer. Other small parts such as buckles, zips or straps can also be purchased at a clothing shop or hardware store.

Can I take a back carrier on the plane?

Slings and baby carriers can easily be taken on the plane because of their size. If necessary, you can also stow them in your hand luggage.

At most airports, a baby carrier counts like a pram or a car seat. It usually has to be handed in directly at the aircraft.

If you are planning a flight with a back carrier, it is best to check the baggage regulations with your airline beforehand.

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