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Thule Sapling Child Carrier Review

Adrianna hikes with her infant son on her back in a Thule carrier.

There are so many child carrier options available when it comes to finding your next hiking pack. We've partnered with Thule to share our Thule Sapling Child Carrier Review. You'll find the technical stats, pros & cons, and community reviews on this Thule Child Carrier.


Thule Sapling Child Carrier Review

A mom and her infant son sit near their Thule carrier.

I have been exploring the Canadian Rockies and beyond for over two years (and forever ago before that) with my baby and now toddler. I am brand new to the Thule Sapling and have been very eager to give this pack a try. I am a huge fan of the of the Chariot Sport 2 by Thule and know that they bring quality into their products.

I have hiked many trails with my kids and appreciate high-quality gear. This pack was generously gifted to the Kids Who Explore community so that other parents can give this pack a try at meet-ups and community events too. I feel so honoured to be able to review this pack.

Many families and friends in the Kids Who Explore community hike with the Thule carrier, and it has a few unique features that make it stand out. Nash and I were at the top of Tunnel Mountain in Banff for a solo hike.

The Thule Sapling Stats

An infant baby sits in a Thule carrier.

I opted for the agave colour as I love how it blends in with nature and is light for the hot summer days and sticky baby fingers. This carrier will grow with your baby from six months up until they're around 3 years old.

Price: $529.95

Weight: 7lbs

Capacity: 48.5lbs (40lb max child weight)/22L Storage

What I like: Ease of getting baby/toddler in and out, belt pocket holding cellphone, easy access to the pack, cockpit and drool pad can be removed for washing, mesh siding, adult padding for comfort, ergo seat for babies comfort, child lock safety harness to keep baby safe in the seat.

What I dislike: Back bar pinches hand if closed wrong, high value accessories, not enough storage without accessories, and no water bottle holder on the pack for my babies bottle.

Click here to visit Thule's site to see more details on the carrier.

I tested this child carrier in the Canadian Rockies in the winter...

The Thule is built with quality in mind, so if you buy one, you can expect to pass it down in the family or be able to resell it once your babies have outgrown it (very sad, I know). Although, I am brand new to the Thule Sapling, I do love the Thule products a lot.

I went on a solo hike with my baby in Banff, and he slept almost the entire hike in the pack! We did a lot of local parks with it, a few toddler-paced trails, and we packed it along on some of our trips, too. We experienced this pack in the snowy mountains, around the rural parts of Alberta, in the city, and shopping in mountain towns.

The Thule Sapling will help you build magical memories with your baby and carry the baby essentials on your adventures. You can use this carrier beyond hiking. Today, I am sharing this review to help you decide which baby hiking carrier is best for you. As with all reviews, I want to share what I loved and didn't love as much. Find out below if there were any deal-breakers for us.

Pros & Cons of the Thule Sapling Child Carrier

Adri holds her young son, taking a break from carrying him in a Thule carrier.

Let's start with the Cons! With love, though, as you will see my 5 stars below.

Three things frustrate me about the Thule Sapling: first, the bar pinches my hand when closing it incorrectly (once you learn how to close it, this will not happen).

Second, there isn't a water bottle pocket, as I need it for my baby's bottle. However, it did creatively fit in the front pocket because the pocket is a great size!

Third, the accessories are something that I absolutely need when hiking. I hike in all weather, so I need the rain cover, and my day trips need ample storage. It can carry 22L, but that isn't enough for me. You can buy additional storage to go on the back of the pack. So it's great that you can add these items, but when they aren't included, it does drive up the cost factor for the pack.

To add, it's pricey, yes, as most quality gear is. You can find this pack listed on Facebook Marketplace. Just set your search, so that when one comes up, you can snag it right away.

Okay, now the pros!

So the pros are amazing!

Three things that I love about my Thule Sapling are to start, the ease of getting my kids in and out of the pack. So I can unclip the sides of the pack and let my toddler get in without having to remove his boots to get in. The seat is ergo-fitting (the only pack on the market with this kind of seat) and super comfortable for babies and toddlers. The cockpit seat also can be removed and washed along with the drool pad. This is a huge win because outdoor adventures can get very messy with kids. The buckling system is great on this pack as it has a three way safety harness so that toddlers cannot get out themselves. The mesh siding also allows for breathability and keeps the baby cool for warmer weather. The side panels are also awesome for those trail naps. The seat is very quick to adjust between toddler and baby riders.

Next, the oversized belt pockets that actually fit my cell phone! I love having quick access to my phone to capture the memories on the trail.

Lastly, I love the ability to reach into the pack and grab the items you need without ever having to remove the pack from your back. This is super handy and makes my hikes a lot easier because I find it hard to load and unload frequently. The pack is super comfy on the adult as well. The padded belt makes a difference on my hips and the pack is wider for my husband to also fit too. It is very easy to adjust the carrier between users. Whether you need to adjust the height, hip belt, or straps, it's super quick on the trail.

Spoiler alert! There were no deal breakers.

5 Star Review

Thule Sapling Carrier Review

I am an avid hiker and take my baby out on all kinds of trails in the Canadian Rockies. Overall, the Thule Sapling carrier is going to allow you to hike and adventure off the beaten path with your kids. I do give it 4.8 which rounds up to 5 stars at Kids Who Explore because of the quality and safety of this pack. If I had the additional accessories, my rating would have shown that. I use the rain cover to protect from wind, too, and we get a lot of wind here in the Rockies. Plus, extra storage for me would've set this pack over the top.

The Thule Sapling is a great pack choice, and although I have some frustration, I do have to give this hiking carrier a 5-star rating.

The Thule Sapling has been gifted to Kids Who Explore for moms to try out at our community events. Thank you, Thule, for helping get more moms and babies in the outdoors safely.

Thule Sapling Child Carrier Reviews from our Community

  1. "We have the older version of the Sapling but we absolutely LOVE it !! Very adjustable for child but also easily adjustable for mom and dad. It has lots of storage. Very comfortable. And I love that it has the stirrups for the child to put their feet in. 5/5"

  2. "We have a Thule Sapling, and have been using it for about 6 months. It was an upgrade for hiking from our Ergo. All I can say is: why didn't we buy it earlier! It's so adjustable and easy. Halfway through a hike, my partner and I can switch who's carrying our daughter in a few minutes. The compartment holds all our snacks, a diaper or two, water, extra mitts, all the things. It's nice to not also need a backpack for hikes. We also love the kickstand feature - it's easy to release while wearing the carrier which I love. The two hip pouches are great too - phones, dog treats or emergency snacks all fit! We'd give it a 5/5!"

  3. "10/10 would recommend. It's amazing and we loved everything about it. Super adjustable, lots of pockets for all-of-the-things and both my husband and I could wear it."

  4. "We also have the older version of the Sapling elite and love it! As mentioned above it’s easily adjustable for different people to use, large compartment, and has the attachable backpack. I was able to fit everything I needed to go solo backpacking with my toddler in it. And I believe it has one of the largest hip belt pockets when compared to other packs. Easy access to phone, keys, snacks ect! 5/5"


Thank you for taking the time to read our collaborative post with Thule on our Thule Sapling Child Carrier Review. What pack do you want to see us review next?

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