Editor's Picks by TotGear

A unbiased list of our favorite baby carriers in the market.

What is the best baby carrier? A summary of the best baby carriers by category

The most frequent question we get at TotGear is: What's the best baby carrier? That question is difficult to answer, because it depends on your personal needs and preferences So the TotGear crew sat down and came up with a “best of” list by category. Here are our collective favorites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Best Overall Soft-Structured Baby Carrier (a.k.a. Buckle Carrier)

Boba 4G

If you want comfort and simplicity, the Boga 4G is tough to beat. It is one of the most comfortable baby carriers on the market, and the ability to carry a child ranging in weight from 7-45 pounds without the need to purchase additional infant insert it makes this buckle baby carrier a clear standout.

ERGOBaby

The Ergo is still one of the best child carriers on the market 10 years after it’s introduction. ERGO uses a soft cotton lining on the carrier to provide a comfortable experience for your little one. Also, most people love the comfort provided by the shoulder straps and waistbelt. There are many reasons why this carrier is considered the gold standard of baby carriers.

Tula

Made in Poland, this baby carrier has great aesthetics, a quality build, and an infant insert that connects to the shoulder straps that helps it to stay in place both when in use and when not in use. Used in conjunction with the insert for newborns (7-12 pounds), the Tula can be used for children weighing 7 to 44 pounds. For some of the TotGear crew, this became one of the go-to baby carriers in their collection.

AngelPack LX-2

Weighing only 1 pound, this fully-featured, soft-structured baby carrier found a place in our hearts. It supports children weighing 10 - 40 pounds, so it does not have as quite as wide of a weight range and some of our other favorites, but it is great regardless. There are enough things we as parents need to carry for our little ones, so if we can reduce some of the bulk as we walk out the door with our kiddos, it is definitely welcome. By the way, did we mention it was reasonably comfortable, too?

Honorable Mention: Beco Butterfly II (no longer in production)

Best Bargain Baby Carrier

Pognae

Currently priced at $90 on Amazon, the Pognae’s amazing shoulder straps and unique mesh cut-out on the body of the carrier for keeping your child cooler in warm climates make it a stand out. The sleeping hood is neatly tucked into a zippered pocket along the top of the carrier. Also, if you have a smaller frame size, this carrier will fit you much better than a number of the other carriers.

Infantino Sash

Priced at just $34.99, we had a hard time thinking of a better baby carrier when we factored in the amazingly affordable price. This is a mei tai and not a soft-structured baby carrier, so you have to tie the shoulder straps and waistbelt, but this process is relatively easy and once it’s on we found it to be comfortable for children up to about 25 pounds.

Boba Wrap

We loved this wrap, and the price point made us love it even more. The Boba Wrap starts at $38, with the organic models selling for $60. The material has 5% stretch which allows for some give, but it does not stretch out over time. For infants up to 15 pounds, this is one of our favorites regardless of price.

Action Baby Carrier

The Action Baby Carrier is regularly priced at $98. When you buy this soft-structured baby carrier, you’re getting just about everything you could ever need in a carrier.. We tested cheaper carriers, but we generally felt like we gave up comfort, style, features, etc. You give up little with the Action Baby Carrier.

Best Soft-Structured Baby Carrier for Travel

BityBean

The BittyBean is one of the most compact and lightweight carriers on the market. The material used has a bit of stretch to it, making the carrier more comfortable than products with nylon only. Our favorite feature is the ability to carry children down to 7 pounds. No other ultra light baby carrier can do that without the need of an infant insert.

Boba Air

We love the Boba Air as it is lightweight and packable. If you adore your Boba 4G, then you’ll appreciate that this carrier in many ways is a reproduction of it with only subtle differences in the cut of the design. The shoulder straps are reasonably comfortable despite the lack of padding because they are wide, dispersing your child’s weight over a larger area. The only major complaint is that it’s minimum weight is 15 pounds.

Angel Pack

While this is not as light or as packable as any of the other products on this list, it may be the best bet for a frequent traveler, especially if you only want to purchase one baby carrier that accomplishes all things well.

Best Soft-Structured Baby Carrier for Hiking / Outdoor Activities

Onya Outback

We absolutely love this carrier, regardless of whether you are in the outdoors or not. If you are hiking, the materials used on the Outback do a great job of keeping both you and your child comfortable and as cool as possible with the use of some technologically-advanced fabrics.

Ergo Performance

Guys love the look of this carrier because it looks cool and isn’t feminine at all. In practice, it is a good carrier, but the “coolmax” material is not comfortable for long periods of time if exposed directly to your shoulders (read: you can’t wear a tank top).

Lillebaby Complete Mesh

The best carrier that we know of that combines the ability to keep your little one cool, without giving up on comfort. Also, this carrier allows you to choose whether you would like your child to face you, or face out to the world.

Best Framed Baby Backpack for Hiking / Outdoor Activities

 

Littlelife S3

The Littlelife is the highest-priced framed carrier we tested, but it is worth it if you're an avid outdoors person. Comfort for parent and child alike, packability, storage and breathability make this our favorite framed carrier.

Osprey Poco Plus Premium

The things we love about this great framed carrier are the easily accessible sunshade, the fantastic stability when putting your child into the carrier, the excellent airflow and the large storage area for parental necessities. The only issue we had is it’s overall bulk, which made it a bit cumbersome.

Vaude Butterfly II

For the money, this is the best framed baby carrier on the market. You give up a more robust and easily accessible sunshade along with a removable storage back, and you gain a couple of pounds of weight. That being said, this is a fantastic framed baby carrier for the money.

Best Baby Carrier with the ability to face your child out

Ergo 360

Ergo’s newest carrier has been very well received in the market. It will allow you to face your child out in and ergonomic way, making a comfortable experience for your little one and reducing any concern about hip dysplasia. If you want to use this with your infant, you will need to purchase a separate insert. Most of our testers fell in love with this carrier.

Lillebaby Complete

This has to be the most versatile child carriers we have used. The weight range is from 7-45 pounds without the need to purchase an infant insert. Also, you have the ability to wear your child facing in toward you, on your front facing out, on your back and on your hip. We hope you like it as much as we do.

Beco Gemini

The Gemini offers a great many different wearing positions: a front-facing front carry, a back-facing front carry, a hip carry and a back carry. We did think that the weight range of the carrier was overly generous and that the “hood” straps were awkward.

Best Mei Tai Style Soft-Structured Baby Carrier

Catbird Baby Pikkilo

The nice thing about the Pikkilo Baby carrier is that you can wear it more in the style of a mei tai (straps crossing your back) or in the traditional reverse ruck carry that you have seen most people using Ergos wear. The downside is it does not come with a padded waistbelt (as we discussed above). That will cost you extra.

Moby Go

For the money, this is the best Mei Tai styled buckle carrier out there. It closely resembles a Mei Tai as it has no padding in the shoulder straps, but the wide strap disperse the weight over a large area, making it quite comfortable. This carrier is made for children 15 pounds and larger, and is limited to a front carry.

Olives and Applesauce

This is a good carrier with a built-in infant insert. It is not made to be used in the back carry position; thus it does not come with a chest strap. It comes in 3rd place, but unfortunately Olives and Applesauce announced that they are going to close their doors unless a buyer steps in to purchase the company. As of the date of this writing, that hasn’t happened.

Best Stretchy Baby Wrap

Boba Wrap

The Boba wrap is our winner for several reasons, the first being price. It is the lowest-priced stretchy wrap we tested, but it performed among the top of the list. It has 5% spandex in the wrap to allow it to “give” a little. Having spandex in a wrap is personal preference, but most of the TotGear crew liked having it.

Moby Wrap

The gold standard for stretchy wraps, the Moby is made out of the same material as a premium 100% cotton t-shirt. Because of the material, it is easier to put on, as it easily folds over on itself and lies flat across your body.

Cuddly Wrap

Peapod Creations, the company who produces the Cuddly Wrap, made a decision to only make 100% organic wraps. The cost of their wrap is higher than the standard Boba or Moby, but if you're looking specifically for an organic wrap for your child, we highly recommend this wrap.

Honorable mention: Infantino Sync Comfort Wrap

This child carrier is really a hybrid between a wrap and a soft-structured carrier. Its waistbelt is similar to that of a soft-structured carrier, but when attached, it resembles a wrap. The end result is a wrap that does a good job of transferring weight to your hips.

Best Baby Backpack (Framed Baby Carrier) Under $150

Kokopax Classic

While you likely won’t be doing a lot of hiking with the Kokopax classic framed baby carrier due to the lack of sunscreen or a storage pocket, it is the best for running errands, hands down. It’s even better than the more highly priced framed carriers for around the house and on short errands. The simplicity of the carrier and the overall style options make this a great carrier.

Chicco Smart Support Backpack

The Chicco Smart Support Backpack wins the award for most bang for your buck of all framed baby carriers. It securely holds your child, comes with a sunshade and rain shield, and has a removable storage compartment. Despite all these fantastic features for the money, the lack of torso adjustment and so-so comfort, especially in the area of the waistbelt, keep the Smart Support Backpack out of the top spot.

Best Overall Ring Sling

Sakura Bloom

The Bloom was the highest-priced ring sling we tested, and to put it bluntly, we are in love. Its comfort, performance and overall appearance make this a winner.

Maya Wrap

We enjoyed the utility of the Maya Wrap because of a pocket sewn on the tail of the carrier. The TotGear crew was able to leave behind a diaper bag because we could carry a diaper and a couple of wipes with us on our outings.

Ellaroo

We loved the padded shoulder and the design of the Ellaroo. Members of the TotGear crew who were ring sling beginners really loved this carrier because of how the design of the sling allowed them to quickly learn which end of the tail to pull through to get their desired tautness. The downside is that Ellaroo recommends that your child be 5 months old to use the ring sling.

Best Baby Carrier for Children from 15 to 45 pounds

Beco Soleil

This carrier has the ability to be worn with infants as low at 7 pounds with the use of the infant insert, however it really shines when your little one hit 15 pounds. We love that Beco gave us the ability to cross the shoulder straps to better distribute weight. The tri-lock buckles (which need two hands to release) are hit or miss depending on who is using them, but overall, we like them as they add additional security to the carrier.

Onya Outback

The Onya Outback may have been able to take the top overall pick if it supported a wider weight range. Many on the TotGear crew raved about the build quality and comfort of this carrier. The crew members who didn’t rate this as their top pick mostly wanted a different aesthetic look, and their concerns were not performance-related.

Bambaroo

The Bambaroo is also a great baby carrier. Many times, we had our testers (the little ones) specifically point to the Bambaroo and say...I want that one! It’s tough when you are trying to test so many carriers in the market. :)

Best Soft-Structured Baby Carrier for Dad

Onya Outback

If you child is over 15 pounds, then this is a great pick. The Outback resembles the outdoor equipment you already have in your closet. It’s obvious that Onya has spent an enormous amount of time perfecting this carrier, and it has translated into the quality and comfort of the Outback. It had all of the amenities we were looking for, and some we weren't. You can even use it as a child seat in a pinch !?!?

Boba 4G

If you need a baby carrier with a large size range (7-45 pounds), fantastic comfort and proper ergonomics, the Boba 4G is tough to beat. Also, they have some guy-friendly designs.

Beco Gemini

Beco makes a great carrier in a “hero” print. Yes, it’s camouflage. But most of the dads that have seen it, love it. Apparently the fact that it is “digital” camouflage makes it even cooler...who knew? Oh, need we mention that it’s also a great carrier?

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