Best Baby Carriers

Best Baby Carriers for 2019

July 23, 2019
20 min read

Is there anything better than being able to keep your baby close as you go about your day — while having your hands free? That's what baby carriers provide, and why they're so popular with busy parents.

If you’re wondering which baby carrier is the best, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of the top baby carriers, based on our survey of more than 10,000 Pampers Parents, to help you choose the right one for your family.

What's in this article:

What to Consider When Choosing a Baby Carrier Top Wrap Baby Carriers Top Front Pack Baby Carriers Sling Baby Carrier Backpack Baby Carrier Men’s Baby Carrier

What to Consider When Choosing a Baby Carrier

These are some factors to consider when choosing a baby carrier:

Style

When you first think of a baby carrier, you might imagine a hand-held carrier that doubles as a car seat. This article focuses on the kind of carriers you wear on your body to carry your baby on your front, back, or hip.

These are the main styles of baby carriers:

Wrap Baby Carrier

A wrap baby carrier is a long piece of fabric that wraps around your torso. As you wrap, you create areas where you can tuck in your baby to hold him securely against your body. You then tie the loose ends.

The typical baby wrap carrier allows you to position your baby on your front, back, or hip. These kinds of carriers are quite simple to adjust for your body shape and your baby’s comfort since you control the way the material is wrapped.

Wrap baby carriers are the more traditional style of baby carrier, but they are not always the easiest to put on because of all the wrapping involved.

Some Pampers Parents said they had to watch instructional videos to get the hang of using a wrap baby carrier. Practice does make perfect, as the saying goes.

Front Pack Baby Carrier

A front pack baby carrier is just what it sounds like: a backpack that you wear on your front. When most parents think of wearable baby carriers, they envision this type.

These carriers are sometimes also called soft-structured carriers. They feature padded shoulder straps, waistbands, buckles, and other solutions for carrying your baby securely and ergonomically. You can also adjust this style of baby carrier to suit your size and what feels comfortable.

With a front pack baby carrier, your baby can face toward you or away from you.

Sling Baby Carrier

Sling baby carriers are typically made of a long length of fabric with two rings on one end. You have to feed the fabric through the rings to secure the sling.

A sling baby carrier can be worn on the front or on the hip. Unlike wraps, with slings you don’t have to tie off the loose ends, because the rings and the weight of your baby ensure the fabric doesn’t come loose.

Backpack Baby Carrier

Exactly as you would expect, a backpack carrier is meant to be worn with your baby on your back. This type of baby carrier is best for a toddler who doesn’t need too much support and has good neck control (read more on this in the support section below).

A backpack carrier typically has a padded aluminum frame in which your baby sits.

Backpack carriers are designed to be worn for extended periods of activity, which make them ideal for activities like hiking.

Safety

You might be excited to start using your baby carrier as soon as you can, but not every carrier is safe to use right out of the box or for every situation. For example, some baby carriers are only suitable to use once your baby reaches a certain weight or stage of development.

Some of the baby carriers on our list can be safely used for newborns just as they are, but others require an infant insert to be used. If you have any questions, check the manufacturer's guidelines and consult your healthcare provider.

In some cases, you should not use a baby carrier. For example, if your baby was born prematurely or if your baby was born with respiratory problems, your healthcare provider may advise against using a carrier. This is because your baby’s position in the carrier can make it harder for her to breathe. Check with your healthcare provider to find out at which point it might be OK to start using a baby carrier.

If you choose a sling carrier, there is one important thing to look out for: A sling carrier can put your baby’s body into a C-shape, which puts her at risk of breathing problems. If you decide to use a sling carrier, make sure your baby’s neck is straight and that her chin is not pressed into her chest.

No matter which style of baby carrier you use, always check that your baby’s mouth and nose are not covered or blocked by the material.

If your baby is over 5 months old, you might find that from time to time she becomes restless and tries to squirm to get out of the carrier. If the type of carrier you choose has restraining straps, it’s a good idea to use them to ensure your baby is secure.

When wearing your baby carrier, if you need to bend over, make sure to bend at the knees instead of at the waist so that your baby doesn’t tip out. Squatting to pick something up also helps to protect your back.

Support

Whichever carrier you choose, make sure your baby is seated properly. Support is key for an infant whose head, neck, and hips are still developing. Ideally your baby’s knees should be held higher than his bottom with his legs in a spread squat position, also called a frog position or “M” position. This promotes natural hip development.

baby carrier support and positioning

If you’re looking for extra advice on how to position your baby correctly in your carrier, don’t be afraid to turn to your healthcare provider.

Comfort and Fit

Comfort, both for yourself and your baby, is something that you should keep in mind. Most of the wrap and sling style carriers are one size fits all. However, some Pampers Parents found these styles didn’t fit their specific body type well.

The front pack and backpack styles of baby carrier usually offer adjustable straps, just as typical backpacks do, so they can adjust to fit many sizes and body shapes. Adjusting the straps will also help make carrying the weight of the carrier and your baby more comfortable for you.

Some baby carrier models offer different wearing options, such as allowing you to choose whether your baby will face inward or outward, and whether you want to wear the baby carrier on your front, back, or hip. You might need to play around to find out which is most comfortable for you, and which position your baby prefers.

“Being able to put weight on your hips is a game changer. It’s a must for when your baby is bigger and heavier.”

Pampers Parent

Material

You may think that the material your baby carrier is made out of is the least of your worries, but in fact it can make all the difference. Pampers Parents noted that some of the wrap-style carrier fabrics made them feel hot.

Even a natural fabric like cotton, if it’s thick or of a certain weave, can be too warm, which is especially likely if the carrier is worn during the warmer months of the year.

Some baby carriers are made out of breathable semi-synthetic or synthetic materials; one example from our list is the Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Baby Carrier. These types of fabric can help keep you and your baby cool.

Carrier Weight

Given that you will be carrying the weight of your baby, a baby carrier that is in itself light will often be more comfortable than one that is heavy.

Of course, with certain models, like the backpack baby carrier, some extra weight is unavoidable as an aluminum frame is what gives the carrier its rigidity.

The Weight of Your Baby

Carriers come with a range of weight limits. Some carriers can hold babies who weigh up to 45 pounds, but others have a maximum weight limit of 25 pounds. This means you may need to buy a new carrier as your baby grows. Check the manufacturer’s minimum and maximum weight limit before making your final decision.

Remember that some carriers are designed for use as is when your baby is a newborn, whereas others require the purchase of a separate infant insert for safe use when your baby is still very young.

Price

As with other baby gear purchases, cost is a factor to consider. On our list, you'll find some more affordable carrier styles, such as the Moby Classic, along with other, pricier options, like the Osprey Packs backpack baby carrier.

“All of the lower cost brands do a great job. You don’t have to break the bank in order to have a good, sturdy carrier that lasts all the way until the baby outgrows it.”

Pampers Parent

Top Wrap Baby Carriers

Pampers Parents chose the following wrap baby carriers as their favorites:

1. Boba Baby Wrap Carrier

Boba Baby Wrap Carrier

Why pick this one? The Boba wrap can be used as a carrier and as a privacy shield for comfortably nursing your baby. It’s available in many colors and prints, so that all moms and dads can find a design they like.

It’s "one size fits all" works for most body types. The French terry cloth fabric is 95 percent cotton and 5 percent spandex, so the Boba can stretch to your baby’s shape without losing its shape. Keep in mind that some Pampers Parents found the fabric made them feel hot.

Highlights: There’s only one way to wrap the Boba, which might make it less confusing to use than other similar wraps.

Details:

Boba Baby Wrap Carrier
Item size6 x 6 x 11.5 inches
Item weight1.76 pounds
Maximum baby weight35 pounds
Color optionsBlack, boho, dark blue, dark gray, gray, navy blue, purple, sangria, stardust, Seville

Price*: about $39.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: It’s comfortable on the shoulders and secure for your baby.

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2. Moby Classic Baby Wrap Carrier

Moby Classic Baby Wrap Carrier

Why pick this one? Fashion-forward parents will appreciate that the Moby wrap comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It’s made of thick 100 percent cotton, making it a great choice for those who prefer natural materials. Some Pampers Parents said that the fabric made them feel too hot.

Although the manufacturer claims that the wrap grows with your little one, accommodating babies weighing between 8 and 33 pounds, some Pampers Parents found the Moby Classic difficult to use with bigger babies.

Highlights: The Moby wrap carrier allows you to hold your baby in different positions so you can find the one that is most comfortable.

Details:

Moby Classic Baby Wrap Carrier
Item size5.5 x 5.5 x 11.5 inches
Item weight1.85 pounds
Baby weightFrom 8 to 33 pounds
Color optionsBlack, black/white, Caribbean, classic marina, harbor mist, Mediterranean, midnight, navy, Pacific, pear, slate

Price*: about $40.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: The wrap can be complicated to use at first, but you’ll get the hang of it by the second or third use.

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3. Baby K'tan Baby Carrier

Baby K'tan Baby Carrier

Why pick this one? With the Baby K’tan you can enjoy all the benefits of a wrap without any complicated wrapping — this carrier is ready to wear as is. To put it on, you simply slip it on like a T-shirt.

It’s made of 100 percent double-loop cotton with one-way stretch.

It can be worn five different ways, so you can find the carrying position that suits you and your baby.

Unlike the more traditional wraps that are only available in one size, the baby K’tan is available in sizes XXS to XL. Keep in mind that some Pampers Parents found choosing the right size difficult; you might want to consult the manufacturer’s sizing chart.

Highlights: The carrier comes with a matching carry bag that can convert into a sash, which can provide extra support when carrying your baby in certain positions.

Details:

Baby K'tan Baby Carrier
Item size9 x 4 x 12 inches
Item weight1.45 pounds
Baby weight From 8 to 35 pounds
Color optionsBlack, denim, eggplant, gray

Price*: about $44.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: If both you and your partner want to use this baby wrap carrier, you might want to buy two different sizes if you have different body types.

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4. Ergobaby Aura Wrap

Ergobaby Aura Wrap

Why pick this one? The Ergobaby Aura Wrap is easier to wrap than some other wrap carriers on the market as it comes with a guiding edge. This is especially handy for those new to baby carrying.

The fabric is a durable and breathable 100 percent viscose, which is made from a combination of eucalyptus wood and acacia wood. Some Pampers Parents commented on the fact that the fabric kept them feeling cool.

Highlights: The Ergobaby Aura Wrap features a built-in carrying pouch that can fold into an integrated pocket for storage, perfect for when you’re on the go with your baby.

Details:

Ergobaby Aura Wrap
Item size8 x 1.8 x 8 inches
Item weight1.25 pounds
Baby weightUp to 45 pounds
Color optionsBaby blue, coral dots, gray dots, gray stripes, indigo, sage

Price*: about $49.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll find the Ergobaby Aura Wrap lightweight and comfortable for both you and your baby.

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Top Front Pack Baby Carriers

If you’re more of a traditionalist, you may prefer a front pack baby carrier. These front pack baby carriers were chosen as favorites by Pampers Parents:

1. Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier with Lumbar Support

Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier with Lumbar Support

Why pick this one? The Ergobaby Original baby carrier offers three positioning options for carrying your baby: front, back, or hip. The carrier includes a padded waistband and shoulder straps for your own comfort, and a proper seat for your baby so that he’s seated in the correct position.

If you'd like to nurse your baby while he’s in the carrier, you can use an attached baby hood for extra sun protection and privacy.

Pampers Parents commented that the carrier itself works best for an older baby, but if you purchase the infant insert, it can be used with a newborn, too. Some Pampers Parents also said they needed help to place their baby in the carrier.

Some Pampers Parents were disappointed that you can’t have your baby facing outward in the carrier, which may be a deal breaker for you.

Highlights: The Ergobaby Original baby carrier includes a large zippered pocket for storing essentials when you’re on the go.

Details:

Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier with Lumbar Support
Item size10.6 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches
Item weight2 pounds
Baby weightFrom 7 to 45 pounds
Color optionsDowntown, galaxy gray, marine, pure black, starry sky, plaid

Price*: about $96.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: With proper adjustment, the straps can help distribute the weight of your baby and prevent stress on your shoulders and lower back.

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2. BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original

Why pick this one? If your baby weighs at least 8 pounds and not more than 25 pounds, the Babybjorn carrier may be suitable from when he’s a newborn to when he’s about 12 months old. With this carrier there’s no need for an additional infant insert.

Your baby can be placed facing inward or outward. However, if you decide to have your baby facing outward, be sure to fold down the back support; otherwise, it can obstruct your baby’s breathing.

Highlights: The Babybjorn features color-coded buckles with clicking sounds to reassure you that you’ve safely secured your baby.

Details:

BABYBJORN Baby Carrier Original
Item size11.6 x 10.3 x 3.4 inches
Item weight1.2 pounds
Baby weightFrom 8 to 25 pounds
Color optionsBlack, black/pinstripe, dark gray

Price*: about $79.99 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll find it’s easy to place your baby in and take him out of the carrier without additional help.

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2. Ergobaby Carrier, 360 All Carry Positions

Ergobaby 360

Why pick this one? The Ergobaby 360 is made from mesh polyester fabric for improved airflow, which may help make your baby feel more comfortable during the warmer months.

With the infant insert, purchased separately, the carrier is suitable for newborns and young babies who weigh 7 to 12 pounds; without the insert, it handles babies and toddlers who weigh up to 33 pounds.

The carrier also includes a baby hood for sun and wind protection or privacy if you breastfeed your little one.

The bucket seat ensures your baby sits in the correct “M” position in the carrier. The extended back panel can be folded down if you choose to have your baby face outward.

Highlights: The waistband and shoulder straps can be adjusted to fit both petite wearers and larger bodies. This way both you and your partner might be able to share the use of the carrier, and you won't have to buy two.

Details:

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Baby Carrier
Item size10.5 x 6.7 x 6.7 inches
Item weight2 pounds
Baby weightUp to 33 pounds
Color optionsCarbon gray, icy mint, onyx black

Price*: about $136.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: The baby carrier could be great for outdoor activities like hiking as the mesh fabric reduces the risk of your baby overheating.

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4. LÍLLÉbaby The Complete Original Six-Position 360° Ergonomic Baby and Child Carrier

LÍLLÉbaby The Complete Original Six-Position 360° Ergonomic Baby and Child Carrier

Why pick this one? The LÍLLÉbaby carrier offers generous padding, adjustable straps, and a waist belt to fit different sized parents securely.

The carrier features adjustable seat and leg openings so that your baby has proper hip support. The adjustable back panel helps support your little one’s head and neck. It also doubles as a shield against the sun.

The carrier can handle babies from 7 pounds to 45 pounds and does not require the use of an infant insert like some of the others carriers on the market.

Highlights: The LÍLLÉbaby carrier offers six different ways to carry your baby: fetal position, infant inward, ergonomic outward, hip, toddler inward, and on your back.

Details:

LÍLLÉbaby The Complete Original Six-Position 360° Ergonomic Baby and Child Carrier
Item size14 x 4 x 11 inches
Item weight1.2 pounds
Baby weightFrom 7 to 45 pounds
Color optionsBlack and gold, black/black, charcoal/black, gray, Sunday funnies, World of Warcraft Cute but Deadly Murloc

Price*: about $139.94 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll find this carrier very comfortable with great lumbar support.

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Sling Baby Carrier

This is the sling baby carrier Pampers Parents preferred:

1. Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling

Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling

Why pick this one? The Hip Baby carrier is made of hand-woven eco-friendly cotton that’s lightweight and easy to wrap with its quality aluminum rings. The design allows for even weight distribution whether your baby is positioned in the carrier on your front or on your hip.

Highlights: The Hip Baby carrier is also great for nursing on the go, as it can provide privacy as a nursing cover.

Details:

Hip Baby Wrap Ring Sling
Item size17.7 x 13.8 x 1.3 inches
Item weight12.8 ounces
Baby weightFrom 8 to 35 Pounds
Color optionsFern, stone, kiwi honeycomb, moon honeycomb, rainbow honeycomb, rocky mountain, summer rainbow, Mediterranean

Price*: about $39.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll appreciate the simplicity of this carrier, and it’s easy to put on and take off.

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Backpack Baby Carrier

Pampers Parents voted this backpack baby carrier as their favorite:

Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier

Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier

Why pick this one? The advantage of this backpack carrier by Osprey Packs is that its lightweight aluminum frame not only supports the load of your baby, it also makes it possible to set the carrier down with your baby in it. The frame is completely padded for safety and features a double harnessed compartment to hold your baby as well as stirrups for him to rest his legs in.

This carrier comes with a built-in sunshade that can be removed from a dedicated zippered pocket. There are also lots of extra zippered storage compartments for gear, toys, or snacks.

The backpack baby carrier features contoured mesh from the shoulder to the lumbar region to help with balance and stability. The waist adjustment allows for five inches of wiggle room to ensure a better fit. The padded and fully adjustable shoulder straps feature a sliding sternum strap so that you feel more comfortable while carrying your little one.

Highlights: The manufacturer will repair or replace any backpack baby carrier for any reason, damage, or defect free of charge.

Details

Osprey Packs Poco AG Plus Child Carrier
Item size 29 x 15 x 17 inches
Item weight 7.67 pounds

Price*: about $289.95 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll love using this backpack baby carrier for adventures with your baby, whether it’s for hiking a trail or taking a trip to the zoo.

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Men’s Baby Carrier

Dads! If you didn’t like any of the carriers mentioned above, you might want to check out a carrier that’s been designed specifically with you in mind. Although many brands offer baby carriers in unisex colors and patterns, like the Boba or the BABYBJORN, those designed especially for men often feature an army tactical bag look or use a camouflage color palette.

Mission Critical Men's Baby Carrier

Mission Critical Men's Baby Carrier

Why pick this one? This men’s baby carrier by Mission Critical is made of military-grade nylon, which means you might find it’s more durable but still lightweight. It’s designed to be very breathable, and the mesh back padding will help keep you cool.

The carrier can hold your baby facing forward or facing back. It’s easy to put on and it’s easy to figure out how to secure your little one.

The snap-in baby liner is removable and machine washable, so any mess can easily be cleaned. There’s also a sun shield for your baby.

Highlights: The MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment) webbing on the back panel of the carrier allows for the attachment of accessories such as a daypack. This helps evenly distribute the weight of your baby.

Details

Mission Critical Men's Baby Carrier
Item size 21 x 18 x 4 inches
Item weight 2.45 pounds
Baby weight From 8 to 35 pounds
Color options Black, coyote

Price*: about $279.00 on Amazon.com

Pampers Parents tip: You’ll find this carrier easy to use straight out of the box, with not a lot of confusing straps.

Buy it NOW

Baby carrying can be a great way to spend time with your baby and bond with him. It’s worth taking a look at some of the different types of baby carriers before deciding which style is best for you. You may even decide to purchase more than one style, depending on your needs.

Recall Notice

Before buying a product, always check that it’s approved and hasn’t been recalled on sites like the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

*Prices are correct at the time of writing.

How We Got These Results

We surveyed thousands of parents in the Pampers Community and asked them to choose the products they love the most, and to share their views on specific products and product categories. Based on the survey responses, we have taken the top product picks and added our own research to create this article. The aim is to help you choose the right product for you and your family. We might receive commissions on purchases made from the links in this article, but the products featured are the Pampers Community’s top choices.

See all sources
All links sources

BWI: What is baby wearing?

Little Baby Gear: Types Of Baby Carrier – Choose The Right One For You and Your Baby

Book: Caring for your baby and young child birth to age 5, Sixth Edition Paperback – November 2, 2014 by American Academy of Pediatrics (Author)

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