10 Best Baby Carrier Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

This post contains affiliate links. If you click and buy we may make a commission, at no additional charge to you. Please see our disclosure policy for more details.

Sharing is Caring!

A good baby carrier can be an absolute gamechanger when you’re navigating life with a newborn or small toddler. They allow you to keep both hands free while your little one snuggles and snoozes close against your chest. 

Baby carriers are considered a must-have baby purchase by many parents. They’re perfect for carrying out tasks around the house, navigating crowded public spaces, or even hiking in the great outdoors. 

Babywearing is a practice that’s existed for centuries, but parents today are faced with an infinite choice of carriers on the market. With so many brands, styles, designs, and materials out there, choosing the right carrier can seem like a minefield. 

That’s why we’ve put together this handy buyer’s guide to help you find the best carrier to suit you and your baby’s needs. We’ve also included our top 10 picks on the market in 2020, to help you narrow down your options.

Types of Baby Carriers

Baby carriers come in all shapes, styles, and sizes. Here are the most common types of carriers available on the market today. 

  • Buckle carriers

Buckle carriers are the most popular babywearing device among parents in the West.

Their super supportive and comfortable design makes them wearable for hours at a time. The even distribution and seat placement are perfect for children’s legs and hips. 

Buckle carriers also feature supportive adjustable straps and lumbar pads. If you’re worried about your back and posture, these are one of the best options out there.

One of the major benefits of a buckle carrier is its adjustability. Most brands allow you to position your baby in a variety of ways making them great for all sorts of situations. Many even allow you to flip the carrier to your back, so you can wear your child like a backpack. 

  • Backpack carriers

Speaking of backpacks, there’s a wide range of fixed backpack style carriers out there. Many parents swear by these for hiking and walking long distances since they put less strain on the lower back. 

Best Baby Carrier

Most models tend to have waist clips and sturdy adjustable straps to help distribute your child’s weight evenly.  Though they might look complicated, most backpack carriers are easy to take down, fold and adjust. 

Important note: Never use a backpack carrier before the age of 6 months. Your child should be able to sit up unassisted and have full control of their head and neck before they ride in this type of carrier. 

  • Wrap Carriers

Fabric wrap carriers have been used by mothers around the world for centuries.  These super versatile carriers can be worn in a variety of different ways to suit both newborns and toddlers. 

They come in all kinds of materials, but we recommend beginners try cotton and knit wraps. These are perfect for newbies as they’re easier to tie. Hemp and linen are also popular choices. They’re breathable in hot weather and provide extra support as your child grows heavier. 

The only downside to wrap carriers is that they take some practice to learn how to put on. Once you’ve got the hang of it though, they can be a really practical addition to your parenting arsenal.

  • Sling Carriers

Traditional sling carriers are similar to wraps but with a much simpler design. Sling carriers are just a simple fabric loop that‘s worn over one shoulder. They’re made specifically for newborns, so there’s no padded shoulder strap or buckle reinforcements. 

Just like wrap carriers, they come in a wide variety of materials. Stretchier fabrics are more common since they are comfy and flexible, but silk and other woven materials are popular too. 

Many mothers swear by sling carriers while they’re breastfeeding. The loop can be adjusted so your baby sits comfortably against your chest while they feed. The fabric also provides a little extra privacy for those who prefer it.

  • Mei-dai Carriers

Mei Dai carriers (also known as Mei Tais) are a simple type of fabric carrier that’s been used for centuries. They’re particularly popular in Asian counties, but in recent years they’ve taken the West by storm thanks to their practical and comfortable design. 

They work by having two large straps around the shoulders and one around the waist. There are no buckles or plastic attachments so they’re super comfy for both parent and child. These can be easily adjusted as your baby grows. 

The most common position used with this type of carrier is the M position; the child sits facing the parent with their legs parted on either side. They’re pretty versatile and can be easily adjusted for hip or back carrying too.

What Features Should I Look for in a Baby Carrier?

Baby carriers of all kinds come with a variety of features and components. Before you jump in and make a purchase, consider which ones are important to you and your baby’s needs. 

Comfort and Support for Baby

This is the most important thing to consider when choosing a carrier. 

A bad baby carrier or a poorly tied sling or wrap can put your baby in an uncomfortable position. In the worst-case scenario, it can even lead to problems like hip dysplasia and shoulder dislocation

Check arm and leg positions – If a baby’s arms or legs are forced into a straight position, there’s a real danger of permanent damage. Arms and legs should always have a gentle bend when strapped into the carrier. 

Head support is key – If you’re carrying an infant younger than 6 months, a padded headrest is essential. 

Uncomfortable attachments – Watch out for things like protruding buckles or clasps which can dig into your child.

Fabric type– If you live in a warm climate, make sure you choose a light breathable fabric to keep your baby cool.

Comfort and Support for You

If you plan to practice babywearing regularly, make sure you choose a comfortable carrier with plenty of support. Most baby carriers are designed with support in mind, but they all distribute weight to different areas of the body. 

Lumbar Support – Lots of carriers come with additional lumbar support. Look out for extra padding and cushioning on the waist belt where it meets your lower back. 

Adjustability – A good baby carrier should have adjustable components to keep you and your child comfy and supported. If you suffer from back pain, it’s even more important to choose a carrier that you can alter to suit your needs. A slightly higher or lower position is sometimes all it takes to relieve an aching back. 

Try before you buy – Whichever style you choose, it’s best to try on several different carriers before you decide on the one for you. 

A note about sling carriers. Although these are perfect for short outings and sitting down to breastfeed, they can easily strain your back and shoulders.  Your baby’s weight is resting on one side of your body instead of being evenly displaced.

Best Baby Carrier

Strong, quality fasteners

Most reputable brands have tested their fasteners extensively. With that being said, it’s still something to look out for when scouring through reviews online. It’s especially important when shopping for buckle, backpack, or Mei-Dai style carriers. Some lower quality or knock-off brands have faulty components that can put your child at risk.  

Reputable safety benchmarks. There are multitudes of benchmarks and safety checks for baby carriers. When buying a baby carrier in the US, look out for is a CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) testing certification. It’s not just for baby carriers; all products for children under 12 should be tested by a CPSC accredited laboratory to ensure their safety.

Endorsements from the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI). IHDI approved carriers allow the hips to spread apart avoiding strain on your baby’s joints.

T.I.C.K.S – The Rules for Safe Babywearing

If you’re new to the world of babywearing you might not know about T.I.C.K.S. This simple acronym is designed to help parents learn the safety guidelines for using a baby carrier.

T.I.C.K.S stands for:

  • Tight
  • In view at all times
  • Close enough to kiss
  • Keep chin off the chest
  • Supported back

Tight 

Harnesses, slings, and wraps should be tight enough to hug your baby close so that is comfortable for you both. If your carrier is too loose your baby can end up slipping down. This can cause unnecessary back pain for you and even obstruct your child’s breathing. 

In view at all times

Never let the fabric of the carrier obstruct your view of your baby. You should always be able to see your child’s face when you look down. This makes sure their airways are clear at all times. 

Close enough to kiss 

With front-facing positions, you should always be able to glance down and kiss your baby on the head. 

Keep chin off the chest 

Your baby should never have their chin pushed down against their chest because this can obstruct their breathing. A good rule of thumb is to have a finger width of space under your baby’s chin at all times. 

Supported back

When carrying your baby in the upright position, they should be as close to you as is comfortable. This helps to properly support their back. 

To test if you have the right fit, press your hand gently against your baby’s back. If it’s a good fit they’ll stay put. If it’s too loose they’ll move closer into you and uncurl.

These guidelines apply mostly to front-facing carriers and are aimed specifically at newborns or young babies. 

Important note: It’s recommended that you don’t switch to your baby to face outward until they’re around 6 months old. After this age, they have more control over their neck and head.  

Be Safe

When you place your baby in a carrier, always have a quick check using the T.I.C.K.S method. This way you can be sure your baby is safe and it’s a comfortable experience for you both. 

The Best Baby Carriers Available in 2020

#1 LilleBaby Complete All Seasons- Six Position Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Six different carry styles to choose from
  • Zip down front with breathable mesh for warmer weather
  • Two-way straps for front carry and backpack carry
  • Extendable torso and adjustable side panels 
  • Removable sleeping hood
  • A handy storage pocket
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons has strong straps, comfortable positioning, and breathable material. 

It’s super versatile with six different carrying positions and is adaptable in all types of weather. It also adjusts to your baby’s growing size, making it the only carrier you’ll ever need to buy. 

The LÍLLÉbaby is also a great choice for those with back troubles. It features lumbar pads for additional support where you need it most, as well as a strong and sturdy back panel.

Pros

  • Adjustable as your baby grows
  • Various carry positions
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Size runs large; may not be suitable for newborns
  • Limited colors and patterns available

Overall Thoughts

The LÍLLÉbaby Complete All Seasons is accessible, versatile, and super comfortable. It’s simple to use so it’s particularly suited to babywearing newbies. It’s also a solid choice for those struggling to decide on what features they need; this all-purpose carrier has it all. 

#2 Nalakai Luxury Ring Sling Baby Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Super soft eco-friendly fabric made from a custom blend of bamboo and linen
  • Cool and breathable in warm weather
  • Tail fabric doubles as a handy nursing cover for breastfeeding on the go
  • 20 colors to choose from
  • 5% of your purchase goes to CEPIA, a charity supporting low-income families in Costa Rica
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The Nalakai Luxury Ring Sling keeps your baby snuggled close with a strong, sturdy, and breathable bamboo fabric. While some baby carriers are made from harsher materials, this super-soft cloth is kind and gentle on your baby’s skin. 

The sling is easy to wash and compact, making it perfect for parents on the go. Plus, the wide variety of colors means you and your baby can get around in style. 

The Nalakai’s biggest selling point is its ease of use. The simple design is great for new parents who are just getting the hang of babywearing. 

Pros

  • Super soft material
  • Easy to use
  • Wide range of colours available

Cons

  • Sling design can strain your back and shoulders
  • Not suitable for babies under 8lbs

Overall Thoughts

Nalakai Luxury Ring Sling’s simple yet effective design makes it perfect for outside and inside the home. Both you and your baby will love the soft bamboo-based fabric and the wide variety of both muted and vibrant colors.

The cherry on the cake is the company’s eco-friendly ethos and commitment to sustainability.  

#3 Ergobaby Omni Carrier 

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Adaptable for all babies and toddlers, from 0- 48 months
  • Multiple carry positions, including face-in, face-out, hip carry, and backpack style.
  • Handy large storage pouch
  • UPF 50+ fold up babyhood protects against sun and wind
  • Designed for discreet and easy breastfeeding
  • 100% pure premium cotton
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

Similar to the LÍLLÉbaby, the Ergobaby is a good all-rounder that provides versatility, comfort, and support. The ergonomic design adapts as your baby grows, so there’s no need for expensive replacements after 6 months or 1 year. 

Despite the many positioning options, the Ergobaby Omni Carrier is simple to use; especially handy for parents new to babywearing. It’s also perfect for those with back issues, thanks to its reinforced lumbar support strap and adjustable waistband.

This carrier makes breastfeeding a breeze, and the handy screen is great if you’re looking for a little extra privacy. 

Pros

  • Adjustable as your baby grows
  • Easy to use
  • Gentle on your back

Cons

  • Bulkier than many other buckle carriers
  • Not suitable for wearers under 5ft3

Overall Thoughts

For the price point, this carrier packs in a lot of great features. It’s sturdy, comfortable, and versatile and great for breastfeeding moms. 

It’s also durable. With the right kind of care and maintenance, it should last through to your child’s toddler years. 

#4 ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Lightweight yet sturdy frame 
  • Shock absorbing lumbar padding 
  • Multiple storage compartments 
  • Built-in sun canopy and rain cover
  • Safety belt and foot syrups
  • Adapts as your baby grows up to 48 months

Things We Love About It!

The ClevrPlus is a cross country backpack carrier suitable for children 9 months and up. It’s an affordable option that makes long walks, treks, or camping with small kids so much easier. 

At around 5.5lbs, it’s lightweight and easy to maneuver but doesn’t compromise on structural integrity. It also has great back support, with solid lumbar padding and a sturdy waistband to distribute weight evenly. 

The adjustable safety belt and foot stirrups keep your child sitting securely on your back, high enough that they can take in the view. There’s also a sun and rain canopy which protects your little one from the elements. 

Parents particularly love the storage options in the ClevrPlus; there’s room for changing mats, diapers, water bottles, phone, keys…you name it. 

Like many others on our list, this carrier adapts as your baby grows. It can accommodate a toddler up to the age of 4.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Plenty of Storage
  • Perfect for outdoor activities

Cons

  • Not suitable for children under 9 months
  • No front facing option

Overall Thoughts

Although it’s not our first choice for everyday use, this sturdy backpack carrier is perfect for outdoor adventures with your little one. It’s the ultimate in practicality, with the best storage options we’ve seen in a carrier. It’s also adaptable and durable enough to see your child through their early years. 

#5 Baby K’tan Baby Wrap Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Five different positioning options
  • 100% natural cotton
  • Simple buckle-free design
  • Machine washable and dryer safe
  • No wrapping necessary
  • Available in a variety of colors, patterns, and sizes
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The Baby K’tan is a super simple way of keeping you and your baby close. Unlike many wrap carrier options, there’s no need to master complex instructions. This is designed to slip over your head just like a T-shirt. 

Despite the basic design, there are 5 different babywearing options to choose from. The fabric is super soft 100% cotton which is kind to your baby’s skin. It’s also machine and dryer safe, so it’s easy to keep clean. 

The Baby K’tan comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns so you and your little one can get around in style. These wrap carriers also come in a variety of sizes to fit you, the parent, rather than your child. Whichever size you go for, your little one will be perfectly safe, secure, and snuggled close to your chest. 

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Various carry positions
  • Soft cotton material

Cons

  • Not ‘one size fits all’
  • No lumbar support

Overall Thoughts

As far as Mei-Tai and wrap style carriers go, there are few as good as this one. It’s a no-fuss, easy to use carrier with all the bonuses of a wrap, without the added frustration. You’re also bound to find a design you love with all the options available.

#6 Boppy ComfyChic Baby Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • 4 carrying positions to choose from
  • Easy to adjust underarm straps
  • Cooling mesh panels for hot weather
  • Compact ‘Stash n’ Go Pouch’ for easy transportation
  • Machine washable
  • Elegant details like vegan-leather trims, and yoga-inspired fabric.
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The Boppy ComfyChic Carrier is another great all-rounder. With its simple design and snug fit, it’s a comfortable and easy way to keep your baby close.

There are four different position options; newborn front face-in, 6-month + front face-in, front face-out & side-hip carry. It’s also easy to adjust straps so sharing between parents and other caregivers isn’t a problem.

Unlike some bulkier carriers, the Boppy ComfyChic is entirely machine washable, making it a practical everyday option. It’s also perfect for travel since it zips up into its ‘Stash n’ Go’ pouch when it’s not in use. 

Pros

  • Easy to adjust
  • Great for hot weather
  • Simple design

Cons

  • Not suitable for toddlers
  • Only available in black

Overall Thoughts

The Boppy ComfyChic is a great pick if you’re looking for an easy to use all-purpose carrier. It’s simple yet versatile, and the small details and delicate fabrics make this one of the most stylish carriers on our list!

#7 Baby Tula Explore Baby Carrier 7

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Suitable for newborns to toddlers
  • Wide variety of carrying positions to choose from
  • 100% lightweight and breathable cotton
  • Easy to adjust design that grows with your baby
  • Padded shoulder straps, waistband, and lumbar support
  • Machine washable
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The Baby Toula Explore adapts to your child’s needs. The adjustable seat expands easily to provide a perfect fit for your little one. It can be used from the moment they’re born all the way up to 4 years old.

This carrier has a lot of bells and whistles, but it’s simple to use and practical for sharing between caregivers. It has adjustable head and neck support, and the padded leg openings make this one of the comfiest carriers on the market. 

Similar to other modern buckle style carriers, this one works for both front and back facing positions. The backpack adjustment is perfect for outdoor adventures as they get older.

Pros

  • Can be used from newborn to 4 years
  • Super comfy
  • Front and back carry positions

Cons

  • More expensive
  • Bulky shoulder straps

Overall Thoughts

As far as buckle carriers go, this is a fantastic option. It’s safe, supportive, and super comfortable and will last your child for years. There are also some great designs and colors to choose from.

#8 Boba Wrap Baby Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • One size fits all simple wrap design
  • Soft, stretchy fabric made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex
  • Great for breastfeeding with a built-in privacy shield
  • Creates an ergonomic seat for your baby
  • Machine washable
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

This is everything you want in a classic wrap carrier. With stretchy and soft material, it’s one of the comfiest ways to keep your newborn or young baby close to your chest.

It’s also a favorite for breastfeeding moms. If you prefer to be discreet while feeding in public, the wrap’s material acts as a handy privacy screen.

Some people shy away from wrap carriers thinking they’re too complex. Luckily the Boba Wrap Carrier is super simple to use, with easy step by step instructions. After your first time, you’ll feel like a pro. 

Once tied, you create a comfortable custom seat for your baby and comfortable, ergonomic weight distribution for you. There are also tons of colors and patterns to choose from. Who says babywearing can’t be stylish?

Pros

  • Great for breastfeeding
  • Easy to use
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns available

Cons

  • Not suitable for toddlers
  • Wearers under 5ft 2 may find this wrap too long

Overall Thoughts

Wrap carriers are an excellent way to bond with your newborn, and the Boba Wrap Carrier is one of the best on the market. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require much practice to get the hang of it. The ergonomic seat is also a big draw for us, giving your baby a comfortable ride every time. 

#9 BabyBjorn One Air

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features

  • Suitable for children aged 0-36 months
  • Four carrying positions to choose from
  • Adapts as your baby grows
  • Soft lightweight mesh fabric
  • Machine washable
  • Comfortable padded shoulder straps and waist belt
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

BabyBjorn are arguably the king of baby carriers, and their latest offering, the BabyBjorn One Air, does not disappoint. 

The amazingly breathable fabric is soft on your baby’s skin and stays cool even in hot weather.

Like many of the carriers on our list, the One Air adapts and grows with your baby. It’s suitable for use right from newborn up until 36 months, so it’s a worthwhile investment for those who want longevity. 

It also features four carrying positions; newborn, facing-in, facing-out, and backpack carry. Thankfully, switching between babywearing positions is a breeze compared with many buckle carriers on the market. 

With excellent design, the all-new BabyBjorn One Air carrier is lightweight, durable, and as safe as can be. The buckles, zips, and straps are non-intrusive, making it super comfortable for both baby and parent. 

Pros

  • Suitable from newborn to 36 months
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • More expensive
  • No storage pouch

Overall Thoughts

There is a reason BabyBjorn receives raving reviews. Despite the higher price point, the BabyBjorn One Air is one of the best baby carriers on the market. It’s incredibly durable, super comfy, and easy to use. The lightweight breathable mesh also makes it the perfect choice if you live in a warm climate.

#10 TBG – Tactical Baby Carrier

Best Baby Carrier
View Latest Price on Amazon

Features 

  • Lightweight, minimalist design 
  • Adapts as your baby grows
  • Extra-wide bottom to support your baby’s hips
  • Adaptable for other TBG accessories like compatible pouches, carabiners, and the TBG tactical diaperbag. 
  • Removable washable liner
  • Front and backward positioning options
  • Certified Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute

Things We Love About It!

The most modern on all our list, this adaptable carrier is aimed at modern Dads keen to enter the world of babywearing. Despite making your child look like a paratrooper, the military design is incredibly durable and works for babies and toddlers from 8 to 33 lbs.

As your baby grows, the TBG Tactical Baby Carrier grows with them. Both front and back facing positions are possible, as well as backpack-style carry. It’s easy to adapt and has plenty of scope for additional add-on’s. The carrier is designed to work well with carabiner clips and TGB handy accessories. 

Unlike any other carrier we’ve seen, this one uses MOLLE technology. For the uninitiated (like us), that’s an acronym for’ Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment’. It’s the latest in weight-bearing technology, even used by NATO and the US Army! 

Without a doubt, this backpack is designed to be one of the most comfortable, lightweight yet sturdy carrying options on the market. 

It also makes both dads and moms feel like an action hero.

Pros

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Adaptable for additional accessories
  • Adjustable as your baby grows

Cons

  • Only available in black
  • Not suitable for babies under 8lbs

Overall Thoughts

This is one of the few carriers on the market aimed towards dads, but moms love it too. 

Its durable military-grade design is still super soft and comfy for your little one. While the materials are solid, it’s lightweight and efficient, making it practical for outdoor adventures with your little one. 

 Its tactical pockets also mean it has great storage options so it works well for long days out.

Best Baby Carrier

Final Thoughts on the Best Baby Carriers

Baby carriers are such a lifesaver for parents. It allows you to still get things done while holding your little one. The great thing about baby carriers is that they last a long time. I still have my baby carrier from 5 years ago that my friends and I continue to pass among each other. It is an investment worth making! 

Check out these great posts!

10 Best Baby Monitor Reviews and Buyers Guide10 Best Baby Bath Tub Reviews & Buyer’s Guide9 Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies
10 Best Baby Carrier Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

Sharing is Caring!

Leave a Comment