by Anna Karsten

Best Baby Carriers (as tested by 2 babies + cat!)

Your kid probably loves being wrapped in your arms all day. But it’s difficult to carry your baby or toddler around while attending to tasks, or working in the kitchen, or even shopping for groceries.

To solve this, baby carriers are the perfect answer!

You can put your newborn or toddler in the baby carrier and bring them along while you do your chores or even go for a walk. Baby carriers also take the stress out of managing a stroller (although I still prefer a travel stroller over carrier, especially in hot weather).

Here are 8 popular baby carriers we have shortlisted after looking at their weight, capacity, ease of use and other features.

NOTE: These are baby carriers, not slings. I feel like slings are a completely different topic and personally slings are surely not for me unless you’re around the house (and even so I’m not convinced). If you’re looking for hiking backpacks (for longer adventures), then check out my child carrier backpacks.

In case you’re wondering… our cat always tests everything himself before he allows any baby inside xD

Most Versatile Baby Carrier – Ergonomic Hatchlet Caress 6-in-1 Baby Carrier

Dimensions: 10.59 x 10.12 x 7.91 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 32 lbs

Carrier Weight: 2.14 lbs

The hatchtlet has a unique design that allows you to carry your baby in front-inward, front-outward, back, hip, or sling-style positions.

It’s perfect for outdoor adventures and hikes, or just for use at home while doing the chores.

The breathable air mesh keeps you cool while the adjustable straps keep you comfortable.

The belt of the Hatchlet offers enhanced lumbar support and the ergonomic “M” seat is certified to prevent of hip dysplasia.

PROS

  • Ventilation Flap
    Detachable hood
  • Padded non-slip seat
    Infant head support
  • Large storage pockets

CONS

  • Nothing I can think of right now

Ergonomic Hatchlet Caress 6-in-1 Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices

Personal note: We switched to Hatchlet after using Ergobaby (check my review below) and you can really feel the difference. Easy to get in and out and unzip the top part when you take breaks. My little dude seems pretty confident in it and his older brother demanded to ride on the bottom part as well.


Best for Newborns – Boba Baby Carrier Classic 4Gs

Dimensions: 13.15 x 9.25 x 4.57 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 45 lbs

Carrier Weight: 2 lbs

If you have a newborn and still want to venture into the woods, this is the best backpack for the baby. It’s front-facing for newborns and as they grow older, you can convert it into a backpack for heavier and older kids.

The pack is also designed to let you nurse your baby with ease as you continue hiking. It has foot straps for extra comfort of the baby and a sleep hood that allows the baby to nap easily.

If you’re taller or plus size, the company offers free extenders – which is awesome!

PROS

Includes sleeping hood
Quick-release breastfeeding buckle
Machine washable
Extenders for waist and chest straps
Purse strap holder and multiple pockets

CONS

No forward-facing front position

Boba Baby Carrier Classic 4Gs Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices


Best for Kids that Want to Stand – Piggyback Rider Scout Standing Child Toddler Carrier

Dimensions: 18 x 4 x 4 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 50 lbs

Carrier Weight: 3 lbs

Children over 2 years might not always like to sit still outside. Instead of having them fidget, let them stand with the Piggyback Rider Scout.

Lightweight and portable, this carrier allows your toddler aged between 2 to 4 to stand and look over your shoulders at the road ahead.

The standing bar is adjustable, there are two had holds for the child, and a safety harness keeping them attached to you.

The easily detachable safety harness is easy enough to take off for those moments when the toddler wants to walk. And the weight is on your shoulders instead of your back.

PROS

6-point Safety Contact
2 Secure hand holds
Military grade buckles
Perfect for handsfree hiking
Non-skid standing bar

CONS

Only good for standing, not sitting

Piggyback Rider Scout Standing Child Toddler Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices

Best Backpack for Carrying Twins – TwinGo Carrier – Air Model

Dimensions: 12.25 x 11.5 x 4 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 45 lbs

Carrier Weight: 3.34 lbs

The TwinGo Carrier Air Model is versatile and adaptable. The mesh panels are perfect for use in warmer temperatures, while the zippable air panels work in cooler temperatures.

When the TwinGo carriers are separated, one of the carriers can be used to carry a baby on the hips, or to be carried by another parent.

And the adjustable waistband transfers more of the babies weight to your hips instead of your shoulders.

PROS

  • Perfect for twins or multiple toddlers
    Separates into two carriers
    Adjustable waist band
    Small pocket on waistband
    Sleep hoods included

CONS

  • None

TwinGo Carrier – Air Model
Check other reviews and current prices

Best Frameless Carrier – Babybjorn One Air

Dimensions: 0.39 x 11.42 x 22.83 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 33 lbs

Carrier Weight: 2.21 lbs

This is the most breathable carrier on this list. It is designed for hikers who like taking walks in the summer or in hot weather.

The mesh fabric is comfortable and the ergonomic design makes it a very lightweight pack. You can also carry your baby in multiple positions with this carrier.

PROS

  • Useful for carrying the baby in front or back, facing in or out
  • Super-soft mesh is perfect for hot weather
    Certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute for babies

CONS

  • Original cross back design replaced with tiny strap
  • Pricy

Babyjorn One Air Mesh Carrier
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Best for Dads – Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier

Dimensions: 21 x 18 x 4 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 35 lbs

Carrier Weight: 2.49 lbs

Designed for outdoor adventures, this baby carrier is perfect for hikes that are safe and secure.

Made from super-strong, durable 1000D nylon, it includes a breathable air mes, and removable liner that’s washable.

The Mission Critical Baby Carrier has been tested for all ASTM safety regulations for baby carriers, and are approved by the National Parenting Society and JPMA.

This carrier also pairs well with the Mission Critical S.01 Action Daypack.

PROS

  • Breathable air mesh
    Customizable webbing for attachments
    Removable and washable liner
    Quick snap sun shield
    Tactically inspired

CONS

  • Price

Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices

Best Looking Carrier – Infantino Cuddle Up Carrier

Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 10 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 40 lbs

Carrier Weight: 1.41 lbs

The Infantino Cuddle Up Carrier with the bear or fox-shaped canopy is perfect for those cute pictures of your toddler.

The adjustable hip belt shifts the weight to your hips making it more comfortable.

There’s also a muffler pocket to tuck your hands into a resting position in while holding your little one.

It is the best carrier for smaller babies as they can sleep comfortably in it.

PROS

  • Machine washable
    Detachable velcro hood
  • Padded shoulder straps
    Cozy muffler pockets

CONS

  • The back strap is not easy to adjust
    Elastic between armpit and hip wears quickly
    Hood doesn’t fit older children

Infantino Cuddle Up Baby Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices

Most Popular (read description) – Ergobaby 360 All-Position Baby Carrier

Dimensions: 10.5 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches

Maximum Capacity per Seat: 45 lbs

Carrier Weight: 1.54 lbs

This lightweight baby carrier is perfect for short hikes and adventures. The cool air mesh is especially perfect for summer hikes.

The 360-degree seat is designed to carry the baby in all positions and the lumbar support waistbelt ensures that your carrying child doesn’t take a toll on your back.

The backpack is designed to work for all body types from short to tall and petite to plus.

PROS

  • Good lumbar support
    Breathable mesh panels
    Comes with baby hood
    Adjustable head support
  • Padded shoulder straps

CONS

  • Buttons instead of velcro
  • Can’t get out of by yourself
  • Weird design when front-facing
  • No pockets

Ergobaby 360 All-Position Baby Carrier
Check other reviews and current prices

Personal note: Ergo was our first carrier which I ordered based on so many recommendations from parents who heard about it from someone – basically, the same thing that happens with Uppababy Vista stroller, but in reality, lots of parents who use it are actually dissatisfied.

We hated the fact that it was a mission to unstrap the top part without help of another person. We weren’t happy with front-facing position – in the photo below Dylan was about 30″ and his mouth was still stuck in velcro at times, so any smaller child would be hitting this stupid thing with their nose nonstop. He didn’t seem very comfortable in it.

Infant insert was really a gimmick. It’s just not meant for babies so small, even with an insert.


What to consider while buying the Best Baby Carriers

Does it meet safety standards?

Most countries and organizations have stringent safety regulations in place for their baby carriers. It’s important to check that the carrier has passed safety regulations.

Which way do you want the baby to face?

If your baby is a newborn, you want them facing you. But once they’re above 6 months old, you can choose from a range of options – on your back, in the front – facing you, in the front – facing forward, or on the hip.

Does it allow you to breastfeed on the go?

Carriers may have all the best features, but for younger ones, it’s also important to check if you can breastfeed without difficulty. Which means, being able to easily take a child in and out of the carrier or breastfeed or bottle feed in the carrier.

How much does the carrier weigh?

Babies are heavy. If you carry them for short intervals, they’re great. But if you carry them for hours at a time, they’ll take a toll on your shoulders or back. Is the weight of the carrier adding considerably to that, or is it truly lightweight and supportive?

Pockets!

It may not seem that important, but having pockets built into the carrier gives you somewhere to put your phone, purse, chap stick, or even some extra tissues so that your hands are free.

Some carriers such as the Mission Critical are also compatible with backpacks and can be easily attached to them.

How difficult is the carrier to wash?

Is the entire carrier washable? And if it’s not, are the drool pads and chin rests washable? You don’t want to change carriers because of the buildup of baby fluids and smells.

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