Serendip Sanctuary is one of many great family-friendly hikes west of Melbourne

Why all parents should have a baby backpack carrier, not just hikers

I’m a hiker, so it makes sense that I would buy a baby backpack carrier for my little guy. But I didn’t expect the many other benefits and uses it would bring in places other than on the trails.

My little guy is almost two and regularly does a Houdini in his pram, easily escaping its straps and jumping out, stationary or not. In a cafe, escape is followed by me apprehending him when he tries to steal teaspoons and sugar from neighbouring tables. When we’re in the supermarket, escape is followed by me madly replacing every item he takes off the shelf while I try to catch him and futilely stuff him and his arched back into the pram again. I end up having to carry him and push the pram, too.

Sitting him in a trolley results in the much the same action and if I take my eyes off him for a few seconds, he manages to sneak something into my trolley that I don’t discover until we get to the checkout. Sorry, I say to the checkout person. I don’t need this or that or these other things, either. How did he get to be so sneaky?

He’ll happily stand inside the trolley, but too many people don’t understand basic supermarket etiquette and it leads to sudden stops and direction changes that catapult him from one side of the trolley to the other. In other words, it’s just not safe.

While musing over how comfortable, content and still he remains in the baby backpack carrier during our walks, I thought why not try him in it at the supermarket?

Two words: life changing.

shopping with a baby backpack carrier 05Putting him in the baby backpack carrier (the Osprey Poco Premium Baby Backpack Carrier) makes him so happy that it makes taking him anywhere in it so easy. Maybe it’s being so high up that he can see everything. I’m not sure why he loves it so much, but that’s less important than the fact that he loves it so much.

In a supermarket, I don’t have to chase and catch and try and re-stuff a screaming toddler back into a pram, I don’t have to clean up his selection of groceries randomly pulled from the shelves and I don’t have to worry about weird things ending up in my trolley. Plus I always have two hands free. Bonus, bonus, bonus.

shopping with a baby backpack carrier 06We draw some amused and ‘hey crazy lady’ stares from people when we take the little guy in the baby backpack carrier into an urban environment such as a shopping centre. But when I watch parents struggle with toddler wrangling, I accept that I look weird but enjoy having a stress-free shop. OK… I feel a bit smug 🙂

Walking the dog is so much easier with him in the baby backpack carrier than in the pram. Two hands free!

On a recent trip to Bali, we opted for a cheap stroller to get us through the airport etc. He was out of it before we’d even checked in and had to carry him through immigration and all the way to the gate. At least the stroller became a pseudo cart for our hand luggage.  We missed the baby backpack carrier. On our next trip we took it and other than having to take him out for the security scan, he stayed in it happily all the way onto the plane.

Even if you’re not a hiker, I highly recommend stuffing your toddler into one while you do your grocery run. And who knows, maybe it will inspire you to head for the hills with your family.

If you’re interested in buying a baby backpack carrier, check out my review of the Poco Premium. You can buy this backpack (shown in the pictures on this post) in Australia from Wild Earth. You can buy it outside Australia through Amazon.

Click here for the latest price from Amazon.

shopping with a baby backpack carrier 01shopping with a baby backpack carrier 04Would you or do you shop with your little one in a baby backpack carrier?

This post contains some affiliate links, which means that if you find this post helpful and click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission from the seller at no extra cost to you. You can read my full disclosure here.


  1. I don’t have children but this looks like a great problem-solving experience for you. I sympathise with parents trying to shop when they are distracted or don’t have their hands free.

  2. Hi Sandra,
    How old was Alex when you first had him in the backpack? I’m considering getting the poco for my baby who is 9 months old. Did you have to slowly build up his tolerance for sitting in the pack? Also was Alex able to sleep in the poco?


  3. Hi Cathy, he was about six months old. We took it on our first overseas holiday when he was 7 months old. He was able to stand up at that age (holding onto something) so we had no worry about him being able to support himself in the pack.

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