Baby carriers are one of the most popular baby transportation solutions. Because they are very easy to use and one of the most intimate ways to carry your baby, most parents, grandparents and babysitters prefer a baby carrier when going outdoors.
Choosing the best baby carrier implies thorough research and some trial and error. To save you valuable time, we’ve done the hard work so you can have direct access to the best choices. Before jumping to our top choices, there are some things that you need to know about these products, so you can make the best decision possible.
Throughout our guide we focused on a number of aspects that we found to be very important when choosing a baby carrier. These are: type, ease of use and versatility.
There are 3 main types of baby carriers: wrap carriers, soft carriers and backpack carriers. There’s a baby carrier for every parent, but knowing about the different types enables you to make a far better decision.
These are probably the best type of carriers if you want to cuddle your newborn. The design is very simple. It’s basically a big piece of cloth. Most are made out of organic materials. The only downside is that in order to get it right, you will have to go through a learning curve. It will be harder at the beginning, but as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Once you get the right technique you will find it easy to use. It’s probably a perfect fit for active parents that have some time on their hands to learn these things.
Soft structured baby carriers are probably the most popular type. They are the most versatile kind because you can wear most of them forwards and backwards, plus your baby can be front- and rear-facing. They don’t offer the same freedom as wrap carriers but are a lot easier to use, plus the learning curve disappears, you just put them on and you’re ready to go.
Soft structured carriers are also not as convenient for travel as wrap carriers, but they are probably a more convenient all around carrier type. Because you can safely use them facing backwards too, wearing a carrier will not put strain onto your hip.
The manliest of the carriers is definitely the hiking/backpack carrier. Dad can use one of these if he thinks the other types are too soft. But you will most probably want to choose this type if you are active and like to go hiking, camping, or generally do longer outdoor trips, as it’s the best suited kind for such activities. Most are reinforced with metal bars, have more storage space and are overall sturdier.
Hiking carriers are definitely the manliest type of carriers, but women could use most of the models without experiencing too much difficulty. A big advantage of these carriers is the fact that they can stand by their own so it’s very comfortable if you want to take a break or need to do something else and don’t want to disrupt your child’s comfort.
Ease of Use
As you can clearly see from the detailed look onto the 3 main types of carriers, some are easier to use use than others. The winner in this category is most likely the soft structured carrier. You can use them right away, without having to learn any techniques, and they are also very comfortable for both you and your kid. But again, structured carriers are probably the best option for most parents, but not the best for every parent. Depending on your lifestyle, you might not think of some disadvantages of being a deciding factor. It all comes down to your specific needs.
The final deciding factor is how versatile a carrier is. As you have seen by now, your choice will need to be based mainly on your specific expectations. But the best choice for most parents, judging by this aspect, are still soft structured carriers. They are the most versatile of carriers, because they can be worn forwards or backwards, with your child front- or rear-facing.
Recommended Baby Carriers for 2015
Best Baby Wrap
Boba Baby Wrap. This is the best-selling baby wrap available right now, and there are clear reasons for it. One of the common issues mentioned by most parents when it comes to baby wraps, is that the fabric tends to stretch around the baby after a while. This is a situation that you will not experience with the Boba Wrap.
The fabric it’s made of contains French terry knit and spandex, making it far more durable than other wraps. Its design gives you the liberty to try out any style of wrap, and most likely succeed. The flexible fabric makes it easier to use in the beginning, while you’re perfecting your wrapping technique.
Best Structured Baby Carrier
Ergobaby Original Baby Carrier. On average, this carrier has one of the highest customer ratings, which means a lot in a category with so many options. The high value for money is one of the factors that contributes to its popularity. You can use it for your baby from the day he is born until he reaches a weight of 42 pounds, which means you will not have to get another one ever again. It’s very comfortable for both parents and kids and can be used around the house, on the street, when hiking, virtually everywhere. It’s sturdy enough to take considerable wear and also comfortable enough to be worn daily. The only drawback is that, although you can use it in 3 different positions: front, hip or back, your child will have to be always facing you.
Best Hiking/Backpack Baby Carrier
Osprey Packs Poco – Plus Child Carrier. If there is a carrier that can easily be called professional, that’s the Osprey Packs Poco – Plus Child Carrier. Some of the biggest advantages of this backpack carrier are the solid frame, added storage space and superior comfort for both parents and kids. Going down the sidewalk or going down a hiking trail are both equally comfortable.
Various useful features like the phone pocket on the shoulder strap and the built-in, easily deploy-able baby sunshade make it a top rated item in its category.