Are backpacks for babies “over”?

When my dad wore my baby sister in a framed backpack in the 80s, it was the hot new thing. In 2005, I wore my own son in a cool German backpack I borrowed from a friend. He loved being up high with me and looking out.

When the friend needed the backpack returned for a new baby in her own family, I asked my mom to buy us a Kelty backpack for our second baby, who was on the way.

It seemed that by the time my daughter was big enough for the backpack, I had no use for it. The Ergo carrier was now big on the scene and I borrowed one of those. It was so easy to toss in the car or throw under the stroller, that I stopped thinking about using the backpack, and soon years passed.

My friend Karen is expecting her first baby, and as I listed out the things in my garage she might want to inherit, I started to wonder if the backpack has become passe. What do you think? Do you have a framed pack for your baby or toddler? Does it get much use?


Get the {510} Families weekend planner in your inbox. It's free!

* indicates required

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Anonymous says

    I just got one (a kelty) for my almost-two year old. I thought it would be fun and good for places where a stroller doesn’t work (hiking, crowded places, etc.) My daughter likes it fine, but it seems like more work than its worth sometimes. We’ve used it on hikes, but that’s about it so far. In the end, not sure we needed it….

  2. Anonymous says

    I too thought it would be a nice to have. I’m glad I bought a pretty much unused one on Craigslist for $20 as it’s gotten little use. We think it will be great to bring along, but it just ends up feeling like too much trouble. Although, I struggle with wearing my son on my back in the ergo. Need to get better at that!

  3. says

    I have one in our foyer now that I’ve been wondering who I could give it to. It’s a really nice pack. We used it when we went to DC (for Obama’s inauguration) but we haven’t used it once since. The ergo and similar products are just easier to pack and carry.

  4. says

    I think I might have a bias…but HELL NO backpacks aren’t over.


    My backpack is still the best baby purchase I ever made. I don’t use a metal exterior frame backpack, and never have, preferring the backpacks that are soft-sided and work as diaper bags/hiking packs too. But you need a lot of upper-body strength to keep that load comfortable for a long enough period of time to make the backpack worth it over a front-carrier or stroller. My son is 2 1/2 now, and my daughter is 4 1/2, which means I’ve had a kid in the backpack consistently for 4 years.

    As more dads take on stay at home roles, earlier on in their kids’ lives, backpacks will be everywhere. Maybe they’re over for moms.

  5. Anonymous says

    With all due respect to Backpacking Dad, I think they ARE over. At least the framed ones. I love, love, love wearing my son on my back though, and the Ergo is the best thing we ever bought for baby. He’s now (an admittedly skinny) almost 2 year old and it is still the best option for walks, airports, and even clingy times at home when I’ve got something to do. I’m 8 months pregnant and still feel comfortable with him on my back, but did use a stroller over the brutal Texas summer. Felt so dumb though.

  6. Anonymous says

    I love ours, it was a hand me down, but honestly living in Montclair it is the only way I can walk the dogs and take the baby with me. Plus it is an excellent workout for these hills…an hour with a 20pd baby on your back makes for an amazing workout! My daughter hates the Ergo because she prefers to look around rather than face me…plus she doesn’t get so hot being separate from me. It is much easier on your back as well given it rests on your hips. I wear it to the farmers market, downtown Montclair. and everywhere.

  7. Baby Juice says

    I don’t think framed backpacks are out. I’ve been seeing them around alot lately. I don’t prefer to wear one myself, but I think they are still legit.

Get the {510} Families weekend planner in your inbox. It's free!

* indicates required