Top 25 The Best Baby Carrier – 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
Before you buy and choose the best baby carrier, read on this list first to determine which is the perfect fit for you.
What I love most about babywearing is its flexibility and the wide array of choices. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ although there are designs which can accommodate everyone – tall or short mums, small or large build dads.
And based on my personal experience, I can attest how useful and handy it is. As a breastfeeding mother, I needed my hands free whether we’re out travelling or even why I just need to finish some chores at home.
One time, we were out of town, and my husband was carrying our little boy using a carrier in front with a big backpack behind him.
If you choose something that’s good quality, you wouldn’t need to worry about sore and aching shoulders because it should distribute the baby’s weight evenly.
There’s not one best baby carrier because it depends on your preference and needs. Here, I scoured the internet for some of the bestselling and top rated products parents swear by.
- Best Carrier for Plus Size Moms
- Best Baby Carrier for Dad
- Best Carrier for Tall Dad
- Best Baby Carrier for Large Dad
- Best Baby Carrier For Petite Mom
- Best Baby Carrier for Bad Back
- Best Baby Carrier for Hot Weather or Summer
- Best Carrier for Breastfeeding
- Best Baby Carrier for Newborn
- Best Baby Carrier for Hiking
- Best Baby Carrier for Toddler
- Best Baby Carrier for Twins
In any type of carrier, we all want two things: safety and comfort for both the wearer and the precious cargo. And the same thing goes for plus size mums.
You want to go for something that’s a good fit for you – one that you can quickly adjust even when you’re alone, and that will fit your curves.
Also, especially if you’re going to use it for hours, you’d want something with support for your back otherwise you’ll end up with a backache at the end of the day.
An example would be a wide waistband which, with the right material, would feel comfortable after extended use.
Another is a well or thickly padded shoulder strap – no red marks or that feeling of cutting through your skin which is quite common for carriers with thin and flimsy straps.
Most of these products are lightweight but sturdy and durable.
They’ll keep the baby safe and secured.
Although some products will fit well for both mums and dads, it can be a bit of a challenge if parents don’t have similar height and build. You may be able to adjust some carriers, but it can pose as an inconvenience or hassle if you need to readjust after every wear.
Don’t worry though because each of you can have your own because there are carriers which are perfect for fathers. The thing is, it’s not just about functionality because in general, they don’t like vibrant prints and bold colours – my husband is part of this group.
They probably wouldn’t mind walking around carrying your baby, but they would want something that looks masculine like a gender neutral design.
Most guys sweat quickly, so the best material for them is one that’s breathable and if possible, made of mesh. Also, you need a durable and well-structured carrier because let’s face it; dads aren’t exactly known for being gentle on stuff like this.
Best Carrier for Tall Dad
It wouldn’t be an issue unless your spouse is seriously tall because there are carriers which can accommodate up to 6’5” or 6’3” only. The biggest problem if you buy one that doesn’t fit him like a glove is a discomfort.
The straps might start digging into his shoulder after a time because the waistband isn’t where it’s supposed to be or maybe the strap that goes across the chest is a tad too small.
Some of the best options here would be a Mei Tai or a wrap because those two are flexible and easily adjustable.
Woven wraps offer plenty of options – it can be worn by mums and dads and allows you to position the baby in the most comfortable way for both of you. It may require some practice, but it ensures a custom fit for the wearer.
Mei Tai, on the other hand, is similar to the wrap regarding customization. Unlike the former which is a long fabric, this one has straps at the bottom and top corners.
This carrier is made of 100% cotton and is free from dyes or any harmful chemical which makes it ideal even for babies with sensitive skin.
The dad can use it as a front or back carrier and can even accommodate kids from infancy to toddlerhood.
- Long belt – perfect for fathers beyond six feet tall
- For bigger wearers, there’s no need to use a waist extended unlike other similar products on the market
- Includes an integrated infant insert, so there’s no need to purchase separately
- Has a removable sleeping hood
- Little to no possibility of sore shoulders even after using it for hours
- Allows the wearer to go on hikes or long walks because of how comfortable it feels
- Easy to clean – just hand wash and let it air dry
- Ensures comfort for the baby – you know they like it if they don’t cry each time you put them in, and they fall asleep on it quickly
- Waistband is adjustable, and most of the baby’s weight is concentrated there and not on your back or shoulder
- It’s portable and doesn’t take up space – relatively easy to bring during travels
- Should not be machine washed
Best Baby Carrier for Large Dad
Just like plus size mums, large fathers need a custom fit to ensure safety and comfort for them and the babies.
It should be a lot like how you pick your clothing – not constrictive, allows you to move freely and doesn’t feel like you’re carrying a tonne because these can be common scenarios if the carrier doesn't perfectly fit your body type.
You need to pick the best product for them and also to avoid the possibility of sore shoulders and back especially when your baby is on the heavy side.
It’s not difficult to find the perfect carrier for them though because as I mentioned earlier, flexibility is a key benefit in babywearing and that includes several options for all body types.
This elegant-looking baby carrier features an ergonomic M-position seat to provide adequate support for the child. It can also accommodate kids up to 4 years old – it will grow with the little one.
It’s made by hand and has dual adjustment straps that help ensure it will allow for a perfect custom fit for the wearer.
- Easy to wash
- Comfortable to use even by large dads
- Offers protection from the sun and harsh winds with a removable hood
- Relatively easy to put on alone but it takes a while getting used to
- All the straps are easily adjustable which allows the wearer to stay comfortable even after prolonged use – there’s also minimal chance of getting red marks
- Sturdy and durable – baby won’t slip down• No pressure on the back, shoulders or neck – it distributes weight evenly
- Kids can sleep comfortably on it
- Simple design but lightweight and storage is a breeze
- Child stays asleep and undisturbed because the waistband has a buckle instead of a Velcro
- Shoulder strap doesn’t have much padding – this could be an issue when dads have to use it for hours
- Buckling the clip might require the help of another person
- Can be a bit pricey
Best Baby Carrier For Petite Mom
You’d think petite mums will find it easy to find the best-fitting carriers for them. The problem here is the length.
Take a woven wrap, for example. For ladies with small frames, what are they going to do with the extra long fabric?
Not only will it be uncomfortable but it can also pose some risks especially if it falls off.
So one of the most obvious choices would have to be choosing something with short straps or basically anything that’s just enough to keep the baby secured. You don’t want them hanging too low, or even have the waistband so loose.
Another thing, it should provide ample support, especially for the back. It is to keep you comfortable and avoid sores and aches even with a growing baby.
Beyond its unique and lovely designs is the functionality. It also features water resistant prints so you wouldn’t have to worry about fading patterns even with regular washing.
The soft fabric is comfortable for the baby and also helps reduce the strain on your back so that it won’t be painful even after long periods of use.
- Comes with a fabric sack which can fit in a diaper bag, doesn’t take up too much space thus making it easy to bring along during travels
- Feels snug and gives you the peace of mind that your child is secured
- Very cheap compared to other similar wraps
- Stretchy, sturdy and durable material
- Fabric is thick but ultra soft and breathable
- Takes a while to master the wrap but as long as you follow the directions thoroughly, it’s all good – instructions are easy to follow and pretty much foolproof
- Doesn’t cause back pain
- Wide, doesn’t slip over time and high quality
- Flexible and versatile – can fit tall dads and small mothers
- Stylish designs
- It might get hot for the baby so constantly check – it’s ideal for cold weather because the fabric is warm
Best Baby Carrier for Bad Back
Even if you don’t have a history of having a bad back, mums who recently gave birth are prone to this problem.
I never actually experienced it before but even more than two years after my son was born, I end up waking in the morning barely able to get up from the bed because of the pain. It’s not a constant thing though, but it’s fairly common.
Some mothers are sceptical and hesitant to try carriers because of that particular issue. But you don’t have to worry because some products are stretchy enough to feel secure and still provide you with enough support to avoid a backache.
The Ergobaby allows for three carry positions – front, back and hip. And most of the baby’s weight is distributed not on your back but the hips and shoulders.
Both the shoulder straps and waistband and sufficiently padded to avoid soreness after using. The design also ensures optimal hip placement because it puts the baby in a natural sitting position.
- Easy to clean although you can just spot-clean for quick removal of stains
- Child’s weight isn’t focused on your mid back thus lessening strain and pain even if you’re carrying a heavier kid
- Adjusting takes only a minute
- Can fit both parents
- Sturdy material – not flimsy and won’t rip easily
- Easier to put by yourself compared to similar products – snapping it together is difficult at first, and it will take some practice
- Waistband is thick and serves as an additional support for your back
- Looks stylish and adorable
- Cannot position the baby front facing forward
- Infant insert is a bit bulky
- May not be too comfortable for taller people
- Fabric isn’t breathable
- The whole wrap thing might not work during summer since it keeps the baby warm
Best Baby Carrier for Hot Weather or Summer
I once had a carrier so thick my baby, and I would start to sweat a few minutes after wearing it. It’s thickly padded, and while it’s a decent product, my only complaint was how hot it could get.
Although to be fair, it wasn’t the company’s fault if it didn’t match our city’s weather.
That’s why if you live in a place with four seasons, it’s best to buy one for the cold weather and a different carrier during summer. It compromises the comfort for you and the child.
Bear in mind; it’s an essential factor in picking the right gear.
With a 3D mesh construction, it allows adequate ventilation and also temperature control for both the parent and the baby. It offers six positions to let you choose which is the most comfortable for the child.
Additional features include a hood, headrest, zippered pocket, dual adjustable straps and lumbar support.
- Makes breastfeeding easier because of the adjustments
- Ideal for all types of weather
- Breathable material – no excessive sweating and doesn’t get too hot
- Easy to use and versatile – you can put on and take off by yourself
- Mesh fabric is soft and provides plenty of airflow
- No need to purchase an infant insert separately
- Keeps the baby cool even during trips and walks – relatively cooler compared to similar carriers
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Straps at the waist are easy to adjust but those on the shoulders, not so much
- Weight is well-distributed– won’t hurt your back or shoulders
- It has pockets to store small items like phone and keys
- Great support for wearer and child – even for those prone to a backache
- Instructions aren’t too clear
- A bit bulky and heavy and not the easiest thing to pack during travels
Best Carrier for Breastfeeding
One of the greatest perks of babywearing is how convenient and easy it is to breastfeed. Especially when it comes to wraps and ring slings, you don’t even need to buy a separate nursing cover.
It is ideal when you’re going to mall, park or even travelling by land or air. Think about it; you can keep the little one close, do whatever chores or work you need to do, and when it’s time for feeding, you don’t have to take him out of the carrier.
It’s a massive win-win situation for any busy mum.
But not every carrier is suitable for breastfeeding so I will list here the best product for this purpose.
Like every other baby wrap, this one has numerous benefits. Aside from having your hands free to work at home or do quick errands, you get to bond with your child at the same time.
And when it’s feeding time, it’s easy and convenient even in public places – no need to purchase a nursing cover.
- Has a 30-day money back guarantee so if you’re not satisfied with the product, you can ask for a refund
- Can be converted into a sling – it can accommodate whatever suits your needs
- When nursing, you can breastfeed while wearing the baby OR you can use it as a cover
- Provides support to your abdominal muscles as a postpartum belt
- Best for breastfeeding smaller babies because you can just nurse them as they lie horizontally
- Stretchy, breathable and comfortable – the fabric is soft but durable
- It may sound a bit confusing at first, and it will require a few practices
- Baby doesn’t slip down and feels secure
- Not bulky and easy to pack
- A bit long – may pose a challenge to petite and shorter parents
- Can get hot during summer or warmer weather
Best Baby Carrier for Newborn
There are carriers which require the use of an insert (you might need to purchase it separately), and for some, it’s already incorporated. One of the crucial information you need to know is whether it can provide adequate support for the neck and back because newborn babies cannot do it on their own yet.
Also, it should not affect the hip development.
Most wraps and ring slings fit the criteria perfectly, but for those who prefer carriers which are quick and easy to use, there are other options especially because some people don’t like the hassle of tying the fabric.
It doesn’t just look sleek and sophisticated, but it provides support for the little one. Unlike wraps and slings, all it takes is a few clicks to put it on and off.
It wouldn’t take up too much of your time, and you don’t even have to disturb the baby when transferring them from the carrier to the bed. There’s no noisy Velcro too.
- No need for an infant insert
- User-friendly and doesn’t need to have too many adjustments
- Ensures optimal support for head, neck, and back
- Legs and hips are in a pediatrician-recommended ergonomically correct position
- Easy to take the baby out of the carrier – no need to wake them up since all you have to do is unbuckle the side clips
- Secure and comfortable
- Lets you put it on and off by yourself
- Shoulder straps are thickly padded
- Thick fabric and doesn’t feel flimsy and cheap
- Well-constructed design and durable
- Comfortable enough to move around
- No waistband, weight is distributed on the back and shoulders – might cause soreness and pain for heavier babies
- Can get hot
- For bigger parents, the straps might dig into the shoulder
Best Baby Carrier for Hiking
Carriers don't just keep your hands free; they also allow you to do things you like such as going on long walks or hiking. I’ve seen a few friends make these nature trips with their little ones tagging along.
It looks fun and also a great way for the family to bond – no cellphones and WiFi. It's a lot like a digital detoxification which also lets you somehow reboot and bust your stress.
You don’t have to worry about not being able to hike because the right carrier is sturdy and reliable enough to keep the baby secured while you go on this activity.
Talk about heavy duty carrier! From the get-go, you’ll understand why this is a hundred bucks more expensive that similar products.
From the lightweight aluminum frame to the well-padded hip belts, they didn’t skimp out on the materials. The height adjustable seat can accommodate infants and toddlers.
It has undergone and passed safety tests conducted.
- You can adjust the seat even when the child is already sitting on the carrier
- The hip belt allows for adequate lumbar support while relieving pressure on the back and shoulders
- Breathable material and doesn’t get hot easily
- Includes a five-point safety harness and large chin pad to ensure maximum comfort and safety
- Fits anyone whether they have a small or large build
- Plenty of pockets
- The kickstand is a great addition, doesn’t pose any hassle
- Weight is evenly-spread
- Roomy enough to fit diapers and other baby essentials
- Instructions are easy to follow and understand
- Features foot stirrups to avoid the discomfort of hanging legs
- Thick padding but doesn’t warm the child
- Well-built and good quality
- Adjusting, even while wearing it, is quick and easy
- On the expensive side
- No canopy or cover included
Best Baby Carrier for Toddler
Baby-wearing your toddler is tricky business. For one, this is the time when you find yourself running or chasing after them because they have this sense of newfound freedom (e.g. they can now walk and run).
But especially when you’re out on trips, whether it’s for quick errands at the mall or a special out of town vacation, they will eventually get tired.
In many cases, strollers are good. But sometimes, you need something that’s easy to pack and use – enter the carrier.
Because they’re undoubtedly bigger and heavier, you will need one that’s sturdy and extremely durable which can withstand some beating.
This sleek and stylish carrier allows three positions for the child – facing in, backpack and sling position. It can hold kids up to 25 lbs, and it evenly spreads the weight because of the wide shoulder straps and lumbar belt.
It also works to relieve unnecessary pressure on the shoulders.
- Has a removable sleeping hood to protect child from the sun and harsh wind
- Includes a snap-on cloth to wipe the drool quickly
- The zippered pocket lets you store wipes and diapers
- If you zip it down, you can see a vented centre mesh panel which allows for airflow to keep the toddler from getting hot
- The fabric is breathable thus letting you use it for all types of weather
- Buckles and straps are durable – will keep the child safe and secured
- Not as bulky and cumbersome as similar carriers
- Comfy enough to put baby to sleep
- Relatively inexpensive – almost half the price of other carriers
- Straps don’t dig into your skin even after hours of use
- Easy enough to adjust even while wearing it
- Quick to put on and take off
- Might not be best for smaller toddlers
Best Baby Carrier for Twins
Mums of multiples understand the struggle of taking care of twins while simultaneously doing chores and other work. But even that particular need has an answer.
It isn’t like the other carriers on this list because it helps you keep your twins close. Sometimes though, I can’t help but be amazed at the companies who went through so much research and testing to deliver something like this.
It’s impressive, to say the least. And while there are also other factors to consider, we still go back to the most essential: comfort and safety.
They should be durable, reliable and not flimsy.
From the upfront, it kind of looks weird. Keep in mind, however, that functionality trumps fashion every single time.
It has an ergonomic design that includes sleeping hoods, base and attachment carriers. It also collapses so you can easily tuck it in the pocket and pack for travels. It doesn’t take up much space.
- Includes roomy pockets for storing nappies and other baby essentials
- Adequate head and neck support for newborn babies
- Breastfeeding is easy and convenient
- Takes a while to get used to and get the hang of but after a few practices, it becomes easier
- Material is soft
- Feels comfortable even after long walks or hikes
- Sturdy and gives you the peace of mind that your babies are safe and secure
- Easy to get the kids in and out of the carrier
- A practical alternative to using a stroller
- Doesn’t feel bulky or heavy
- Distributes weight evenly so that you won’t end up with sore shoulders and backache
- Baby on front carrier cannot face forward
- A bit pricey
- There are no toddler extensions included; you should purchase them separately
So you see, no matter what your needs and preferences are, carriers answer most of those problems. It might be a bit confusing at first because of so many products available on the market.
The important thing here is to determine what your priorities are – aesthetics, budget, versatility or additional features.
But before you buy, you should never compromise anything such as your personal comfort. Especially when you’re planning to go on a hike, you don’t want to start feeling the pressure on your shoulders or pain on your mid-back.
At the end of the day, comfort and safety should be both ways.