Toddler Hiking Gear for your Little One


toddler hiking gear

The best way to keep a toddler happy on the trail is to make sure they are well fed, hydrated, warm and have enough breaks. To make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, here we’ve included all our favorite toddler hiking gear.

1. Toddler Hiking Boots

Can’t your toddler just wear running shoes? Yes, absolutely, but they may struggle with traction. The benefits of toddler hiking shoes or boots is that they give some added traction for climbing rocks or over tree roots.

We really like the Keen waterproof hiking boots for toddlers. While they won’t keep feet completely dry if fully immersed in a puddle, they do a great job in small puddles or a light rain.

2. Toddler Hiking Sandals

For those summer toddler hikes, we like Keen toddler sandals. Our kids often wore sandals for hiking in the summer. We recommend bringing a pair of socks just in case of blisters, etc.

3. Toddler Hiking Backpack

A little boy sitting at a table in front of a cake

Having your toddler carry her own backpack will help get them excited about going out in nature. Make sure it’s a small backpack and don’t let your toddler pack too much. Keep it to 1-2 small toys, a snack and maybe your toddlers water bottle.

You’ll likely end up carrying your toddlers backpack, at least for a portion of the time. Bring some carabiners to attach it to yours (which also work for attaching toys).

4. Toddler Carrier or Toddler Backpack Carrier

Probably one of the most important toddler hiking gear items is a toddler hiking carrier. Sure, there are going to be hikes when your toddler hikes the entire way. There will also be hikes when your toddler just doesn’t make it back to the car.

Hiking with a baby and a toddler? We have plenty of tips for hiking with a baby and the best baby carrier for hiking.

A person holding a baby

When we wanted to encourage our toddler to hike more, we’d pack the toddler carrier in our backpack and only pull it out when needed. If we were planning a longer hike, we’d bring the backpack for carrying toddlers.

These are the two we’d recommend for a hiking carrier for toddlers:

  • For a soft structure hiking carrier that we could pack away, the LILLEBaby CarryOn Toddler was amazing! It was comfortable for both parent and toddler.
  • Of the backpack carriers for toddlers, we had the Deuter Kid Comfort 3 which is now called the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro. It has all the features you’d want in a backpack carrier for toddlers.

Get the most use out of your hiking backpack carrier by traveling with it. We give all the details on travel plus flying with a hiking backpack carrier from doing it several times with our Deuter Kid Comfort 3 backpack carriers.

Don’t forget the rain cover for your hiking carrier. It will provide good protection from the rain and wind. Find your best toddler carrier for hiking in this post that has all the best hiking backpack carrier options.

5. Toddler Rain Suit

Rain isn’t likely to bother your toddler all that much, in fact they might like it even more! A toddler rain suit is a great way to keep your toddler warm and dry! They pack pretty small too, so throw it in your backpack if the forecast is threatening rain.

These are some essential toddler hiking gear you will need.

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