Choosing the Best Child Carrier for You - A Little Trekkers' Guide

As gear specialists in everything for children and the outdoors, we are asked many times a day for more information on child carriers. You often want to know which one is the best. It's a tough question as what is best for one person's needs may not be best for another. We have therefore come up with our quick reference guide to be used alongside the individual child carrier specifications that are available on our website.

Your reassurance is that we only stock the best child and baby carriers that are available on the market. We thoroughly assess them ourselves for key important features and also listen to the feedback that we get back from our customers. If you can't find it at Little Trekkers, it may be worth checking the specification very carefully. On the other hand, if you find a great baby carrier that you think should be available at Little Trekkers, please let us know so that we can put it to the test!

Buying from us gives you reassurance – call us after you buy if you have any problems and we'll know what you're talking about. We've many, many years of experience in fitting child carriers and our customers travel from all over the UK just to buy from us – we've got the largest range available with all the best ones ready and waiting for you to try. We also have very long-standing relationships with the manufacturers – any problems and we get it solved.

Little Trekkers' Child Carrier Rating System


"I want to go anywhere and do everything all day long, and I want the best that's available to do it!"

Up to all day hikes with no problems. Normally top end carriers with all the storage that you would need and often a zip-off or removable bag for versatile storage options (i.e. easy to nip for a pub lunch without having to empty all of your baby's gear from the bottom pocket!). Additional comfort features on the harness for the wearer to ensure a comfortable fit.


"I want to go anywhere and do everything all day long, but I don't want to pay extra for bells and whistles!"

May lack some of the additional harness comfort features but still up to all day hikes. Plenty of storage, but lacking the versatility of zip-off or removeable bags.


"I want to use it regularly but for no more than a few hours walking the dog or taking the children to school"

Still a very good harness system for a great level of comfort but, as there's not much need for it, some of the storage space and maybe some other extra features have been removed.


"I want to travel or I want a carrier that's small, lightweight and simple!"

Great for travelling and sometimes come with a specially designed bag to put the carrier in. However, they still offer a good level of comfort and are very popular with customers who want a smaller lightweight carrier with little fussiness about it. Normally best for customers who fall within the average height range of 5'4" to 6', but there are some exceptions (see individual model information).


"I need something small and compact for quick walks, travelling and sporadic use" or "I'm going on holiday and probably won't ever use it again after that!"

These carriers are what they are – ideal for short walks, trips around town, or holidays where space is a premium. They often have limited, if any, storage and usually have no size adjustability. Therefore, those at the taller end of the height spectrum may find it more difficult to get a good fit.

Bush Baby Pinnacle Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it’s great for?
Pinnacle has been designed using Bush Baby's patented suspension system and is their top of the range child carrier. The wearer's comfort is enhanced by spring absorption in the frame, removing the excess stress from the spine. Therefore, the Pinnacle is ideal for extended trips on rougher terrain and daily use. Comes with the sun/shower canopy and a full length rain cover. The BIGEYE multi-position back system means that it is really quick and easy to adjust between wearers once you know your setting.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The obvious one – it costs more! A pricey package, but a great buy if you will use it often for long days out. No removable bags.

Bush Baby Premier Child Carrier

img src="/images/stories/HelpStuff/c1_off.gif" border="0" alt="C1" /> C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for?
A good all-round carrier which still has a very good back system at a more competitive price. Comes complete with a sun/shower canopy and stirrups. The BIGEYE multi-position back system means that it is really quick and easy to adjust between wearers once you know your setting.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
No zip-off bag and the full length rain cover needs to be bought as an extra accessory if required.

Bush Baby Lite Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
For a lighter weight, mid-price range child carrier it still has reasonable adjustability between wearers with a BIGEYE 3-position back system.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Less storage than the Bush Baby Elite and Premier child carriers, and no Zip-off bag for added versatility. The sunshade, full length rain cover and stirrups need to be purchased as an additional extra if required.

Littlelife Voyager S4 Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Great variety of adjustability on a sliding mechanism to fine tune your fit, and especially good for taller customers up to 6'4". Littlelife's top of the range carrier which comes complete with a sun/light shower canopy, full raincover, neck support foot stirrups and viewing mirror. Even though it's not free-standing it has a nifty little anchor point to firmly ground the carrier with your foot for safe loading and unloading of your child. The little zip-off bag is a real bonus for easy trips into the nappy changing facilities when you are out and about. Height range: 5'2" – 6'4" so great adjustability!

Any trade-offs or compromises?
It's a top of the range model and therefore not really – unless you only want a small and compact carrier.

Littlelife Freedom S4 Child Carrier

C1C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Great for whole days out with a Comfort Airflow system that’s ideal for those long warm summer days out and about. Comes complete with an Easy-Pull sun shade, neck support, foot stirrups and a rear view mirror so that you can keep watch of your little one. Height range: 5'2" – 6'2" so great adjustability!

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Not as much storage as the Voyager S4 carrier as this model does not have a removeable daysack

Littlelife Cross Country S4 Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
This is an excellent mid-range price child carrier where you still get a very good harness system and plenty of storage space, but it is stripped down of some of the 'bells and whistles' of other models. Lighter in weight but as strong as a bull, this carrier is perfect for getting out and about in the city, but is still up to all day hikes. Comes complete with sun/ shower canopy. Height range: 5'2" – 6'4" so great adjustability!

Any trade-offs or compromises?
No zip-off bag and the full rain cover needs to be purchased as an additional extra if required.

Littlelife Traveller S3 Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
This compact carrier has been designed to save on space when traveling, yet it retains many of the features of much higher specification models. Comes with its own transporter case and the frame is slightly smaller than the other Littlelife carriers to make it useful as carry-on luggage on a flight. Height range: 5'2" – 6'0" and still has a good range of adjustability in the back system, especially for a traveling model where the back systems are often fixed.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
A little less padding and adjustability in the harness system than the higher specification models offer. The sun/rain canopy, full length raincover and comfort pack need to be purchased as additional extras if required.

Littlelife Adventurer

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Great for urban use, dog walkers and shorter days out. It’s lighter weight, and smaller than others in the range but still has a good amount of storage. The Adventurer is Littlelife’s only free standing carrier. Height range: 5' 2" – 6' 2" with adjustable straps and back system.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Less adjustability in the harness system than the higher specification models. All accessories need to be purchased as additional extras if required.

Littlelife Ranger

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
This minimalist child carrier is ideal for shorter walks and where a more compact and lightweight design is required. Comes with an adjustable back system and pivoting hip belt with two handy pockets. Height range: 5' 2" – 6' 2" with adjustable straps and back system.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Less adjustability in the harness system than the higher specification models, and no storage space (but there is a 6L ranger pouch that can be purchased as an additional accessory). All accessories need to be purchased as additional extras if required.

Osprey Poco Premium Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What It's Great For
The Poco Premium is Ospreys top of the range deluxe child carrier. It features a strong and lightweight framing system, and comes complete with a built in sunshade, detachable daypack, full length raincover, extending hip belts and a padded lightweight changing pad. It boasts a large 34 litre storage capacity and room for use with a hydration pack ensuring plenty of room for everything you will need for a full days adventuring. The recommended torso range on all Poco styles is 39.5cm – 54.5cm.

Any trade offs or compromises
It's top of the range and therefore not really – unless you only want a smaller or more compact/ lightweight carrier or something with better neck support.

Osprey Poco Plus Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
The Poco Plus still has all the features you would need for a full days outing but without the changing pad or detachable daypack that is included in the Poco Premium. There's a large stretch mesh pocket and large zippered pocket on the back and comes complete with a built in sun shade and full length raincover. The recommended torso range on all Poco styles is 39.5cm – 54.5cm.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The Poco Plus has slightly less storage space that the Poco Premium.

Osprey Poco Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
The Poco provides all the basics needed in a child carrier. It is suitable for regular use over longer periods of time but is more suited for people wanting to travel light. It features a fixed, non-adjustable hip belt, a mesh pocket with small zippered pouch. The recommended torso range on all Poco styles is 39.5cm – 54.5cm.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The Poco carrier is the most basic model of carrier that Osprey have to available and therefore offers minimal storage and a limited amount of storage.

Vaude Shuttle Premium Child Carrier

C1C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Vaude's all new and improved top of the range child carrier. This model comes complete with sunshade, neck support and super soft froggy face pad so offers plenty of comfort and support for both the child and parent. The shuttle Premium is a freestanding child carrier so is stable when on the ground which makes it perfect for pit stops and refuelling hungry tots.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Not really, this is Vaude's top of the range carrier and has all the comfort features necessary for a full days trek although at 27 litres there is slightly less storage than other brands top of the range child carriers have The raincover is also an optional extra and not included as standard.

Vaude Shuttle Comfort Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
The Shuttle Comfort child carrier is perfect for all day trips and treks. It's a free standing child carrier so is stable when on the ground which makes it great for quick pit stops and refuelling hungry tots.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The Shuttle Comfort child carrier is a scaled back version of the Shuttle Premium. The fit and style are very similar but a few of the comfort features and accessories have been removed but are available separately.

Vaude Wallaby Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for?
The Wallaby is one of the lightest in it's class and boasts a free standing base that can be easily used whilst you are wearing the carrier, just pull the release cord and in it pops! This is especially useful if you are planning to use the carrier on your own. It is a great all round carrier but is more suited to shorter to mid length walks. The Wallaby is also great for events such as music festivals as it’s very lightweight and not very bulky.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The Wallaby has slightly less padding and comfort features than other carriers. Also the maximum child weight is 14kgs which is approx 6kg less than other models.

Macpac Vamoose S2 Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
US Airways Magazine called this model "a veritable cadillac of a carrier". The top of the range Vamoose child carrier's sturdy construction and classic design will take you into the hills and over rough terrain with confidence. Great for all day adventure purposes due to the free standing fold away frame and it’s spacious 25-litre base pocket and a zip-off 15-litre day pack. Comes complete with a sun canopy and full length rain cover. The Vamoose is available in two different sizes, with the Vamoose S2 being most suitable for back lengths – men 37-44cm, women 34-42cm

Any trade-offs or compromises?
It's top of the range and therefore not really – unless you only want a small and compact carrier.

Macpac Vamoose S2 Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
US Airways Magazine called this model "a veritable cadillac of a carrier". The top of the range Vamoose child carrier's sturdy construction and classic design will take you into the hills and over rough terrain with confidence. Great for all day adventure purposes due to the free standing fold away frame and it’s spacious 25-litre base pocket and a zip-off 15-litre day pack. Comes complete with a sun canopy and full length rain cover. The Vamoose is available in two different sizes, The Size 3 Vamoose is suitable for persons of height 1.73m (5 ft 09 in) to 1.93m (6 ft 04 in)

Any trade-offs or compromises?
It's top of the range and therefore not really – unless you only want a small and compact carrier.

Macpac Possum Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Macpac's award-winning Possum child carrier lets you get off the beaten track for full day hikes. Like the Vamoose, it has plenty of great features and load-carrying comfort for both parent and child and has a generous 25ltr base pocket for gear storage as well as a 10lt zipped fixed pocket.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Sombrero sun shade and rainbow rain cover need to be purchased as additional extras if required.

Macpac Koala Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
The Koala is Macpac's most compact child carrier and is a popular choice for customers who still want a technical pack, but without the bulk of the larger models. It still has a generous 25lt base pocket for gear storage, and an air-supply harness for comfort.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
Less storage capability than other Macpac models. Sombrero sunshade and Rainbow rain cover need to be purchased as additional extras if required.

Deuter Kid Comfort III Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
The Comfort III has a breathable foam back and pivoting hip fins for ultimate comfort and maximum freedom of movement whilst carrying loads up to 21.9kg. It has a free-standing leg support for easy loading and unloading. A sun/shower canopy is cleverly integrated into the body of the carrier, so it won't get lost and it is quick to deploy in the event of a sudden rain shower or, well you never know … some sunshine! Oh ... and you get a free little teddy too! Comes complete with KC Deluxe rain cover

Any trade-offs or compromises?
The Streamer 2.0 hydration system needs to be purchased as an additional extra if required and there's no detachable daysack.

Deuter Kid Comfort II Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
With pivoting Vari-flex hip wings and straplesss Vari Fit back length adjustment, this more compact Deuter model is up to all day hikes. It has a free-standing leg support for easy loading and unloading. Just like its big brother it is suitable for both Mountain climbing and long treks. Oh ... and you get a free little teddy too! Comes complete with sun and shower cover.

Any trade-offs or compromises?
KC Deluxe rain cover, sun roof and streamer 2.0 hydration system need to be purchased as additional extras if required, and there may be trouble if you lose your teddy!

Deuter Kid Comfort Air Child Carrier

C1 C2 C3 C4 C5

What it's great for
Nice and compact design so great for out around town but still has the typical high performance features for a good level of comfort for both child and adult. It has a free-standing leg support for easy loading and unloading. Affordable and versatile with a well ventilated back system and child seating area. You still get your teddy too!

Any trade-offs or compromises?
KC Deluxe rain cover, sun roof and streamer 2.0 hydration system need to be purchased as additional extras if required. A little less storage than some but can still hold up to 14 litres.



Still undecided about which carrier to choose? Well if you take a trip to our showroom at the Millhouse Green, near Penistone, all our carriers are available to try on and our friendly staff there can answer all your questions to help you pick the one that's right for you.

Guidance Notes

Please note, this key is a usage guide and not a judgement on quality – i.e. a 'C5' does not mean it's rubbish – we don't stock rubbish! A 'C5', for example, is a category for a very lightweight and compact carrier – perfect if this is what you need. Please also read the specification on the product pages for full information about each carrier. If you are still stuck on which model to opt for, please give us a call on 01226 767321, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit us at our shop.

©Little Trekkers Limited 2005. Revised and updated 2017. Information compiled from manufacturer recommendations and the experience of Little Trekkers' staff. No liability can be accepted by Little Trekkers Limited.