Recently, I was looking for a child carrier backpack since I was interested to bring our child closer to nature. Carrying a child in a backpack feels more convenient than cruising with a stroller in the nature and you can more easily access places off the beaten track. This is a first short review about the Thule Sampling Elite Child Carrier Backpack which I got provided by Thule to test it here in Finland. I will add more details to this review over the time.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

Field Testing

I was carrying the Thule Sampling Elite mainly in the forests around our neighborhood and in the outskirts of Turku nearby the sea where I was walking on narrow trails in the forest. The Thule Sampling Elite is also very comfortable to carry when you walk up a hill and the child (14 kg) did not feel that heavy on the back either. The Child Carrier also comes with an additional small backpack which you can attach to it. This could be useful to share the load between two or if you only want to walk a shorter distance without the child carrier and to carry the most essential items with you.

Of course it is quite hard to see what your child is doing in the back while you are walking along the trail. Thule was thinking ahead and added a mirror in one of the hip belt pockets which you can take out to monitor your child. My child felt also more comfortable when she saw me smiling to her from time to time so this is a simple but really great feature.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

When there is a lot of sun you can keep your child happy by unfolding the sunshade over your childs head. The sun shade is stored at the inner backside of the backpack and should be deployed when your child is already sitting in the seat of the child carrier.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

Here you can see how the sun shade is stored in the Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

The Sampling Elite has a fully adjustable back panel and hip belt so you can fully adjust it to your needs. The load stabilizer straps allow on-the-go adjustments to the backpack’s center of gravity.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

On the lower backside of the backpack there is also a bag with a zipper where I stored items which I could need during the trip like diapers, jackets, baby clothes, backpack rain cover or snacks. Moreover, there are also 2 zippered hip belt pockets where you can store for example snacks, keys or your phone. If you plan to go on a longer trip then you can also store a water hydration bag in the backpack.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

Talking about the seat on the backpack. You can load your child either from the top or the side into the seat. The Sapling Elite has also removable stirrups so the child can rest it’s legs and readjust.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier

Thule is also selling the Thule Sapling Rain Cover to protect your backpack and your child from rain.

Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier


The Thule Sapling Elite Child carrier was comfortable to carry thanks to the padded shoulder straps, waist belt and the fully adjustable suspension system.

I also stored a rain cover in the bag of the backpack which I could easily access in case it would start raining.

My child also asked me a couple of times if I could carry her around in the backpack so I assume that she liked the child carrier backpack as well.

More testing is needed to test the durability of the backpack but my first impressions are quite positive.

The only negative point I could think of is that the backpack could fall forward with the child if it stands with the stand on the ground but this is probably also the case with other child carrier backpacks.

You can get the Thule Sapling Elite Child Carrier on Amazon.

And if you have some time ...
➽ Visit us on Instagram.
➽ See our gear recommendations.

Advertising Disclosure: This content uses affiliate links. Read for more info.