Skandika Sherpa baby backpack carrier

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In a nutshell

Comfortable and adjustable back carrier that can take a little one up to 18kg and includes plenty of storage and a sunshade and rain cover

  • Pros

    Easy to use, light, durable, good that it's on the back and not the front

  • Cons

    Not many instructions

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Our review

Key features of the Skandika Sherpa baby carrier:

  • Age suitability: 6 months until 3/4 years (18kg)
  • Weight: 3.7 kg
  • Features: Retractable sunshade; storage pockets; adjustable adult height; ergonomic hip belt
  • Accessories: Rain cover (included)
  • Total cost: £229.99 

When exploring the great outdoors there comes a point where even the hardiest buggy will not travel.

If you are the type of parent that wants to explore further then you need a different option, and preferably not one that involves your little one clinging to your waist - in comes outdoor specialist Skandika's Sherpa back carrier.

Launched in April 2017, the Sherpa is a child-carrier that you wear on your back. It's built to offer the wearer maximum mobility, and is adjustable to your body size.

As my nickname amongst my partner's friends is the Sherpa, I felt well-equipped to try it out.

Competing with baby back carriers such as the Littlelife Voyager S4 carrier (£209.99), or its slightly cheaper sister, the Freedom S4 (£189.99), the Skandika Sherpa is also up against those in the £200+ bracket including the Thule Sapling Elite (£259.99), and Osprey Poco AG (£240).

Buyer’s guide to baby carriers

You can buy the Skandika Sherpa back carrier from Amazon.

Watch 5 things you need to know about the Skandika Sherpa carrier

Is it good value for money?

If you want your little ones to experience the great outdoors, and you like a long hike, then you'll want to invest in something comfy. So while £229 is not a price to be sniffed at, your back and shoulders may thank you for it in the end. 

The Sherpa is comfortable, supported well and seems like it'll last years of off-track excursions. I think it's worth the price.

Does it allow your child to sit in the M position?

The M position is the ideal position for your little one's legs, which aids their hip development. Their knees should be higher than their bum and spread apart.

The Sherpa doesn't seem to strictly allow your little one to be carried in this position, but the leg holes are positioned on either side and can be adjusted.

Skandika Sherpa foot holes are adjustable

How easy is if to put on and take off?

It's easy to put on, just like putting on a big rucksack used for travelling. Just slide it over your shoulders and secure the straps.

Can you put it on and take it off by yourself?

You can - it has a metal stand at the bottom which unfolds and lets it freestand. You can put your tiny traveller in while it's standing and, once they're strapped in, you can pick up the bag and strap yourself in.

Sherpa is freestanding

However, this depends if you're comfortable picking up the Sherpa and putting it on your back with your youngster on board. You may well feel more confident letting someone else put it on your back.

How many seating options does it have?

One. Your child sits in the carrier and faces forwards against the wearer’s back.

Front or back carrier – which should I choose?

How is the weight of the carrier?

At 3.7kg it's pretty light. It's certainly easy on the shoulders and back when it's empty.

Does one size fit all?

It has a few settings to accommodate all. You just need to adjust the straps.

Skandika Sherpa is adjustable

Is it easy to clean?

Yes, it requires only a sponge clean.

Is it comfortable for your little one?

I tried both my little ones in it (they both wanted a ride!), and they said it was very comfy. It's got lots of padding and is well shaped.

Skandika Sherpa has comfy padding

Is it comfortable for you?

Very much so. I've had travellers' rucksacks before which really put strain on my neck and shoulders, but the Sherpa, even with child inside felt really comfy. It sounds silly but you hardly notice the weight, especially compared to carrying your little ones on your front or shoulders.

How does it compare to other carriers you have used?

I've only really used a BabyBjorn, with my baby on the front. I found it a bit confusing to put on and uncomfortable having a child strapped to my front. I much prefer them on my back!

7 of the best back carriers for babies and toddlers

What do you think of the design?

It's simple but attractive. I'd definitely be drawn to it in a shop.

Is the storage pocket big enough to carry all your essentials?

Skandika Sherpa has a large storage pocket

It's got 5 litres of storage space, which on paper means nothing to me, but after seeing what I could fit in there I found it is quite roomy. Enough for some trail mix and Tracker bars, or, if your like me, a pack of Jaffa cakes, fruit yo yos and a big lunchbox of cheese sandwiches, with space to spare.

What do you think of the shoulder straps and hip belt?

They're very paddy and comfy. It's well worth checking these out in a shop before you buy, if you can, as sometimes these can really rub. The padding on the Sherpa is really comfortable though.

Would you recommend the carrier to someone with a child of a particular age?

I think parents of a 2 to 3 year old would be well suited. The children would be big enough to get a good view (very important, otherwise they'll be pulling at your hair or slapping your head in boredom). 

How robust/durable does it seem?

It seems very well made. All of the straps and clips feel strong and the material durable too. It's a well made product.

Is it compact and easy to store?

It doesn't fold up into a neat little package unfortunately. It stays full length but folds pretty flat, so is easy to store.

How effective is the sun shade?

The integrated sun shade could have more coverage, for those scorching hot days.

Is it suitable in all weathers?

Skandika Sherpa has a rain cover

It does come with a rain cover, but I think I'd stick to sunny days, as I don't think it'd offer enough protection for a full-on hike.

What's in the box?

  • Skandika Sherpa baby back carrier
  • Rain cover
  • Instructions

Is it easy to set up the product?

It doesn't need any setting up! It's ready to use out of the box. All it needs is a few strap adjustments to suit you and your little one.

The instructions are very scant, I guess because the Sherpa is so easy to use. I would have liked a little more info though, recommendations for safe use such as whether it's recommended to put it on yourself, or how to put on the rain cover.

What would you have wanted to know before you bought the product?

Whether it's safe to put it on yourself or if two people are needed.

Who would the product be most useful for?

Parents who want to get out into the wilderness without their little ones complaining of tired legs!

MadeForMums verdict:

I was really impressed with the Sherpa. It's not cheap, but it's well made, strong and dependable - all essential for anyone serious about the great outdoors.

Looking for more ways to carry your little one?

MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.