Baby Registry for Outdoor Parents

Baby Registry for Outdoor Parents


As first time parents it’s hard to know what items to put on your baby registry, especially for outdoor families. Parents want the best gear to help them take their littles out safely and comfortably on adventures. Below I list the top outdoor baby items to have on your baby registry.

1. Stroller - Thule Chariot Multi-Sport Trailer

Thule Chariot Multi-Sport Trailer

A stroller is a big purchase. Often parents are looking for a stroller that that is multi-functional.

For outdoor families I would HIGHLY recommend not just a multi-functional stroller, but something that is multi-sport like the Thule Chariot Cross.

Traditionally, multi-sport trailers are seen as more of bike trailers, but they are in fact strollers too. And you can easily use a multi-sport trailer as your primary stroller! It can function as a stroller, a jogger with the jogging wheel attachment, a bike trailer (kit included) and ski trailer with the ski kit attachment.

You will quickly find that this piece of gear is pricey. However, first time parents are often planning on spending a good amount on a new stroller or family and friends are helping parents get a stroller. I wish I could catch more parents in their initial stroller buying phase to help them see the benefits of buying a multi-sport trailer as their primary stroller. It’s easeir to justify the price at this time versus down the road.

Most outdoor families will eventually want a jogger, a bike trailer and even a ski trailer. Make the investment up front for all those sports and you won’t be disappointed.

I would highly recommend both the Thule Chariot Cross and Thule Chariot Lite. If you would like to upgrade to the Sport (recently made available for purchase in the US) then it has a few more bells and whistles like a braking system.

If you do plan to make a Thule Chariot multi-sport trailer your primary stroller you will need to purchase the Thule Infant Sling. The infant sling is for babies 1 - 10 months. The Thule Chariot will not be compatible with car seats. You can also check out Burley’s multi-sport trailers. However, Burley’s multi-sport trailers do not support young infnats well. Likely you would need an additional stroller for those first several months.

I believe the Thule Chariot makes for the best stroller if this piece of gear is really going to be your primary and only stroller.

Should you buy a SINGLE or a DOUBLE? As a first time parent I would highly recommend buying a single first. Then later upgrading to a double. That was a regrett I made with my first baby. No need to haul the extra space / weight when you only have one little one.

Other accessories for your Thule Chariot:

Thule Infant Sling: Thule Infant Sling for babies 1 - 10 months

Thule Multi-Sport Trailer Jogging Kit:

Thule jogging kit

Thule Multi-Sport Trailer Ski Kit: Thule ski kit

2. Soft Structured Carrier

Best Soft Structured Hiking Carrier for Babies

I would recommend a good soft structured carrier for all parents. I see this as a MUST HAVE item. These carriers are extremely versatile - baby wearing around the house, errands and then of course hiking, backpacking, traveling, etc.

Your baby won’t be ready for a structured or framed hiking carrier until they can sit up on their own (around 6 - 7 months). Until that time you will be using some type of soft carrier or baby wrap.

My preferred soft structured carrier is the Lillebaby Complete Airflow. This carrier has 360 baby wearing options and inward / outward facing options (based on age). This carrier can handle toddlers up to 45 lbs.

When using this carrier with a newborn I use the infant insert pillow to ensure proper positioning.

Infant insert pillow for soft structured carriers

If using your soft carrier for hiking I would recommend finding a carrier with ventilation and maximum airflow for you and your baby. Other popular carriers are Ergobaby, Tula, Baby Bjorn or Boba.

You could make a soft structured carrier your primary hiking carrier and skip a strucutred or framed hiking carrier. You will miss out on some benefits of a framed carrier, but you will save some money!

3. Structured (framed) Hiking Carrier

Best Child Hiking Carrier - Deuter Kid Comfort Pro Child Hiking Carrier Often outdoor parents already have a structured or framed hiking carrier on their list of must haves. It is a very essential piece of gear for outdoor families. The carrier you pick is very personal to you and your family’s needs. Here are some things to consider:

How much will you be using your hiking carrier? If you plan to hike hundred’s of miles then I would definitely invest in a higher end hiking carrier that has all the bells and whistles. But if not you may consider a cheaper option. Buying used is another great option for hiking carriers.

Some other considerations:

How much storage do you need? How accessible are the pockets? Will you be backpacking with your hiking carrier? What is the sunshade like on the carrier you are considering? How does the pack fit your body? Will you need to share a hiking carrier with your partner? Will you need a women specific carrier? Do you need a carrier that folds down more compact?

I went with the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro. It was more comfortable for my body compared to the beloved Osprey Poco. Here is a small overview on some of the popular child hiking carriers.

Deuter Hiking Carriers:

Top of the Line: Deuter Kid Comfort Pro

Deuter carriers are often known for their comfort. They also have one of the best carrier solutions for petite moms - Deuter Kid Comfort SL. However, their sunshades on the lower end carriers are not as functional as other carriers and sometimes their open storage solutions are not as convienent.

Osprey Hiking Carriers:

Top of the Line: Osprey Poco Plus

The Osprey Poco is the beloved hiking carrier and has a lot of great features like storage capacity and their sunshades. However, many find their waist belt uncomfortable and even cause bruising. Some shorter parents also complain of the handle digging into the back of their head.

Kelty Hiking Carriers:

Top of the Line: Kelty Journey PerfectFIT Elite

An underrated hiking carrier especially for the price and comfort it provides! It is disappointing that there is no rain cover for this hiking carrier. Rain covers can make a big difference in bad weather, in the winter & when backpacking. But it’s hard to have too much bad to say for the price.

Thule Hiking Carriers:

Top of the Line: Thule Sapling

This hiking carrier recently got a new design that many families love. It has the best seat design of all the carriers in my opinon. However, some common complaints are no specific spot for a water bladder and this carrier is the most expensive of all the other carriers at $430!

Other accessories to consider with your framed hiking carrier is a rain cover. Rain covers are not only helpful in rain, but in the winter with snow, wind or any cold temps. The rain cover helps protect your baby from the elements and trap in heat. Each carrier has a seperately sold rain cover except for Kelty hiking carriers.

Rain covers for child hiking carriers

4. Baby Wool Base Layers

Baby wool base layers for outdoor adventures If you plan on doing any outdoor activities with your baby, I would consider getting some good wool base layers. Wool base layers are a staple all year long and will help your baby regulate temperature, stay dry and protect their skin from sun exposure etc.

I would highly consider wool base layers if you plan to camp or backpack with your babies early on. These wool sets plus an infant specific sleeping bag would be my top recommendation!

Woolly Tots (DISCOUNT CODE: lauren10), Iksplor Base Layers (DISCOUNT CODE: lauren) and Wee Woolies all have wool sets for your infants.

Wool sets are expensive. However I would argue these wool sets could also be an everyday clothing item as well. Babies really don’t need much clothing so why not make the clothing they do have multi-functional.

Iksplor has a great outlet shop, used shop or gives customers the ability to sell their used wool items. I recommend checking out.

Other must have wool items I would consider for your infant / newborn:

Wool Beanie from Iksplor:

newborn and infant beanies

Wool Patches from Iksplor:

wool patches for wool clothing

Wool Socks from Wee Woolies:

newborn and baby wool socks

5. Cold Weather Bunting

Baby bunting for cold weather

Buntings are essentail for any outdoor activity in colder temps with babies. I prefer having a fleece bunting as a mid-layer and then either a down bunting or insulated waterproof bunting for an outer-layer.

Mid-layer fleece buntings: North Face Fleece

Out-layer insulated buntings: Reima (shown above). This Reima suit is my number one pick. It is insulated with down, but is also waterproof and can handle mositure. It also converts to a sleeping bag!

Patagonia Hi-Loft Down Bunting. This Patagonia bunting is extremely warm, but can only handle light mositure.

Patagonia also has some of the best outer layers for newborns or small babies.

6. Baby Sunglasses

Best baby sunglasses for outdoor adventures

Even babies need good eye protection. I would especially consider if going out in the winter and with snow glares.

I standby IZIPIZI baby sunglasses. They have sunglasses for babies as young as 0 - 9 months old. Their sunglasses are ultra-flexible making for a comfortable fit for babies and helps them stay on. They also come with a removable silicon strap to secure glasses on their heads. Make sure the sunglasses you choose have UV protection. IZIPIZI sunglasses do have UV protection, but you would be surprised to find that many sunglasses dont.

7. Baby Sun Hat

Sun hats for babies

Adventuring with a baby in the outdoors is a lot of trying to keep them protected from the sun, which is why a baby sun hat is also a staple or must have. We love using Sunday Afternoon infant and baby hats with extended coverage in the back.

8. Morrison Sleeping Bag

Best sleeping bags for babies

If you want to camp or backpack with your little one then you will want to check out Morrison sleeping bags (DISCOUNT CODE: lauren10). They are rated for babies 6+ months and are a game changer when your ready for the camping adventures. They have a 40 F bag and a 20 F bag. They also have a toddler and preschooler sized bag.

Their sleeping bags meet all the AAP-recommended guidelines for safe infant sleep. They have no hoods or drawstrings and the snug, soft collar is designed to prevent babies form potentially slipping inside.

You can also checkout their used sleeping bags or sleeping bag trade in program.

Other sleeping bag options for babies less than 6 months include:

Milk and Honey Ultralight Down Sleeping Bag (3 months - 3 years old)

baby sleeping bags

We pair our Milk and Honeysleeping bag with a Patagonia baby puffy for temps below 40 F.

Baby Deedee Outdoor Sleep Sack (0 - 6 months):

baby sleeping bag sleep sack

This sleep sack has a 3.5 TOG rating, meaning it is the warmest rating for sleep sacks, but in terms of outdoor use is best for around 50 F.

9. Baby Camping / Backpacking Sleeping Pads

Backpacking sleep set-ups for babies

Baby camping and backpacking sleep set-ups are tricky. Babies shouldn’t be on inflated sleeping pads until around 1 year of age. Closed cell foam pads (pictured above) are going to be one of your best sleeping pad options. Typically the R-Value of a closed cell foam pad is 2, but if you fold the pad in half then you can have an R-Value of 4 for your baby.

9. Kid Co Products

Camping, Backpacking baby bed

Kidco Peapod is another great product for camping and backpacking with a baby. This portable travel bed keeps babies safe with their own designated sleep area. It weighs about 2 pounds and is extremely packable. I would still recommend putting a close cell foam pad underneath or some reflectix to help insulate your baby from the ground and prevent them from losing too much heat when camping or backpacking.

This product is also great for outdoor days when trying to keep baby out of the sun or protected from bugs.

I also love their affordable travel bouncer:

Baby travel bouncer for camping

It’s lightweight (3 lbs) and compact. You could even make this your primary bouncer at home as well, make it multi-functional.

The GoPod Travel Activity Seat could also prove to be useful for car camping, especially when you need to be able to set your baby down and complete camp chores.

9. Portable High Chair

Camping Highchair

Is another useful piece of gear for traveling and camping with a baby. It doesn’t need to be fancy just something compact like this one on Amazon.

9. Portable Sound Machine

Portable Sound Machine for Babies for camping A portable sound machine is worth its weight in gold whether for naps on the go, car rides, camping, backpacking or traveling. Again it doesn’t need to be fancy, just portable for when you are on the go.

9. Baby Bike Helmet

Best baby bike helmet

Baby bike helmets aren’t always a top priority for new parents, but the time comes sooner than you think. There are helmets small enough to fit kids around 9 months old, but you want to be sure your baby’s head is ready to support a helmet. Consult your pedictrain. Some front mounted bike seats allow for babies as young as 9 months, but again be sure your baby is developmentally ready, many experts still recommend 12 months. Also at 12 months it is deemed safe to be pull babies in bike trailers. Babies in child bike seats and bike trailers should be wearing helmets.

My top recommendation for baby bike helmets would be the Giro Scamp with MIPS (better protection). The XS Giro Scamp is the smallest bike helmet on the market and fits the smallest of heads. Bike helmets would be one area I would not recommend buying used for safety purposes. Also remember that bike helmets expire and should be replaced every 5 years. Buy new instead of using your neighbors 10 year old helmet that went through 4 kids.

10. Baby Bike Seat

Baby bike seats

Several front mounted bike seats are rated for kids as young as 9 months old. However, be sure your kid is developmentally ready. Many recommend starting closer to 12 months vs 9 months.

My favorite front mounted bike seat for younger children is the Thule Yepp Next. You can find my full review on this bike seat here.

I also love the Burley Dash for a rear mounted bike seat. This seat is rated for kids 12 months - 5 years old.

With bike seats you will want to ensure compatibility with the bike you intend on using.

If you are wanting to use a child mountain bike seat like the Mac-Ride or Kids Ride Shotgun then you may want to wait and put your money towards those seats vs. buying one of these temporary front mounted bike seats.

child mountain bike seats

Child mountain bike seats are intended for kids 2 - 5, but some parents start younger.

Also keep in mind that Mac Ride is coming out with a NEW MOUNTAIN BIKE SEAT that will work with younger babies. Hoping it will be available end of 2024!

mountain biking with your baby

Outdoor gear isn’t cheap and baby / kid outdoor gear is no exception. Kickstart your adventures by listing these items on your baby registry. Likely, you will use many of these items more or in a more meaningful way than many of the “MUST HAVE” baby items.

11. Early Ride on Toys for Mountain Biking Obsessed Families!

Infant insert pillow for soft structured carriers

Most parents have heard of balance bikes or “strider” bikes. These bikes take place of training wheels and get little kids shredding early on!

But to prepare your toddler for a balance bike use a ride on toy starting around 10 months.

Early Rider - an incredible mountain biking family focused company - makes a great early ride on toy called the Super Velio or Bella Velio.

The Velio is designed to build balance, coordination and confidence so your baby can basically ride before they even walk!

Their Velio bikes also feature Active Balance Control which allows you to adjust the level of steering according to your child’s development. It also comes with a tiller, so you can support your child when needed.

After your little one masters their Velio I highly recommend Early Rider for balance bikes or your kiddos first mountain bike.

At the end of the day Outdoor gear isn’t cheap and baby / kid outdoor gear is no exception. Kickstart your adventures by listing these items on your baby registry. Likely, you will use many of these items more or in a more meaningful way than many of the “MUST HAVE” baby items.