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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 standout. Nash and I were at the top of Tunnel Mountain in Banff for a solo hike.
The Thule Sapling
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 CAD
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 be passing it down in the family or being 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 with deciding which baby hiking carrier is best for you. With all reviews, I want to share what I love and didn't love as much. Find out below if there was any deal breakers for us.
Pros and Cons
Let's start with the Cons! With love as you will see my 5 stars below.
Three things that frustrate me about the Thule Sapling are first, the bar pinching my hand when closing it incorrectly (once you learn how to close it then this will not happen).
Second, there isn't a water bottle pocket as I need it for my babies bottle. It did however, creatively fit in the front pocket because the pocket is a great size!
Third, the accessories are something that I absolutely need when hiking as 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 that cost factor for the pack.
To add. Pricey, yes, as most quality gear often is. You can find this pack listed on fb marketplace, just set your search so when one comes up then 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 me 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 comortable 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 breathabitlity and keeping 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 user. 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.
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.
Please let me know below in the comments which points that you agree on. Perhaps you love another carrier, would love to hear what you love about your carrier.
The Thule Sapling has been gifted to Kids Who Explore for moms to come and try out at our community events. Thank you, Thule for helping get more moms and babies in the outdoors safely.