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As your baby is growing, they will always be eager to explore everything under the sun on their own two feet. However, those little legs tend to feel worn out quickly. Well, when you come to think of it, big legs do too! If only you had a carrier that could help you when outdoors and try to wrangle your tiny adventurer that could accommodate bigger kids too.
Baby carriers or toddler carriers do just that: keep your little one around you. According to a study, carrying your child around can increase their attachment towards you (plus, you get to do the snuggles all the time). Keep on reading and who knows you might find exactly what you’re looking for!
But First, What is a Toddler/Baby Carrier?
A baby carrier is a structured and soft carrier that enables the parents to carry their little ones when beyond the initial baby stage. The toddler carrier comes with adjustable padded shoulder straps and a belt for the waist to help distribute the weight of the child evenly by reducing the strain on the shoulders, back, and neck. They also provide a wide-seat, hip-healthy position that places your kid’s legs in a frog-like position.
In most toddler carriers, you can find a hood that protects your little one’s head from the sun, as well as a storage pocket for your everyday essentials. They are best suitable from infancy through the toddler years. Read on to know if owning a toddler carrier is a necessity!
Why Do You Need a Toddler Carrier?
Most parents tend to start with a wrap or a ring sling for their newborns. This keeps them tight and close and also supports their neck. However, as your toddler grows, you’ll need more support if you want to carry them for long stretches. When you don’t want your little ones roaming free (for instance, at the airport, street festivals, or the boutique with all the breakables) or when they get tired, it is helpful both for them and for you, if you have a place where they can safely sit to rest. Yes, a stroller checks all these boxes too, however, a carrier is a better option, if you’re going to be in a small or crowded space.
Check the weight limit of a structured baby carrier with velcro or buckles (if you already have one), it might work for the initial years too. As a reference, a two-year-old is about 28 pounds, whereas a three-year-old is almost 32 pounds.
So How Do You Choose The Best Toddler Carrier?
After collecting the reviews and opinions of several families about the baby products they love the most, and the top products that they shared with us, we added our research and insight to tell you all about the best toddler carriers available. Let’s go!
Top 14 Best Toddler Carriers For You to Choose From!
1. LILLEbaby 3-in-1 CarryOn All Seasons ($149.99)
Unlike most baby carriers that can hold up to 45 pounds, this fabric carrier can hold babies weighing 20 to 60 pounds comfortably. It also lets you keep your hands free and visit places you won’t be able to with a stroller. You can use this carrier in three different styles: side, front, and back!
- This carrier comes with 3-way adjustable buckles in different places, which allows the carrier to grow with your baby.
- It has extra room for your baby’s comfort.
- A temperature control panel to ensure that your child doesn’t overheat.
- In addition to that, it has a removable hood and two pockets.
- A wide padded band around the waist provides you with lumbar support.
- The added cushion on the back prevents the straps from digging into your skin.
- Padded shoulders keep you from feeling the weight of your toddler.
- As it is made out of 100% cotton fabric, you can simply toss it in the wash for easy care, when your toddler spills apple juice or falls asleep and drools.
- With your baby’s hip development in mind, the carrier is made in such a way that it keeps your baby’s legs in an M-shape.
- It is made available in 4 colors: black, stone, dark gray, and dark coral.
Keep In Mind
Remember to use this carrier with a baby of at least 20 pounds and refrain from using it for smaller or younger babies. Moreover, the zip that allows airflow does not tuck into anything, so it can annoy you while walking around. It is a bit pricey than other brands.
2. Tula Ergonomic Carrier ($149)
One of the best toddler carriers in the market, the Tula Ergonomic Carriers are available in 18 different colors and patterns to suit everyone’s personality. Furthermore, it costs around half the price of other toddler carriers.
- You can carry it on the front or the back, although you cannot wear it on the hip like the other carriers.
- It is made out of a breathable and lightweight canvas which is 100 % Oeko-tex standard 100 certified canvas.
- This carrier can hold somewhere between 25 to 60 pounds.
- It also has the M-position which supports the proper hip development of your little one and makes it a comfortable place for your baby to rest.
- Besides, it includes adjustable dual padded shoulders to ensure comfort and support for your shoulder and neck.
- A removable hood protects your baby from the sun.
- Finally, it provides support for the mom with its wide adjustable front panel.
- Also, the band distributes your toddler’s weight evenly. It is meant for kids of up to 32 inches and up.
Keep In Mind
If a dad wants a more neutrally designed carrier, you might have to look for it. Also, it might be difficult to put on by yourself.
3. Beco Toddler Carrier ($119 - $160)
Although this toddler carrier costs a lot, it’s one of the best toddler carriers available for a child who weighs around 20 to 60 pounds. Even dads would like to carry their children around in this carrier as it comes in a cool dark gray color. If you like fun patterns you can for their two available options, which are nebula, geo teal, and white.
- The adjustable features are well-loved by parents, as you can fit extra small adults up to XXL in size.
- You can also carry it in three different ways, on your hip, front, or back.
- It has some added new features which you cannot see in other carriers, such as crossable shoulder straps and a waist belt pocket.
- A 3D mesh adds airflow into the baby carrier keeping your baby cool and cozy.
- Besides, it has a detachable sleep hood and a built-in headrest that can protect your kid from the sun.
- You can nurse in the carrier, that too hands-free! If there is a leak, you can simply toss it in the wash.
Keep In Mind
It is a bit on the pricier side which might deter a lot of customers. Otherwise, this carrier is great for any larger small children.
4. Piggyback Rider Explorer ($130)
This carrier works for moms, moreover, the camo print was made with dads kept in mind. Anyhow, your kids can stand on a metal platform attached to their parents’ backs, which makes this carrier all the more unique. It comes in two pieces:
- The first one is for parents with a back anchor where you can hold the straps together and the metal platform for your child to stand on.
- The second one holds a back anchor with straps for a child to attach to their parent, this way you can keep your kid safe from falling off the platform.
This toddler carrier is best suitable for kids around the age of 2-4 years or children weighing up to 50 pounds. Even though it can hold more, the total weight depends on the parent and the child. This setup works better for the parents’ back as the weight shifts with the child standing. Your toddler needs to stand to use this baby carrier which means their tiny hands rest on the shoulders of the parents and their feet on the platform. If your little one spends a lot of time napping, then this is not a good option.
- The straps on this carrier are adjustable and you can purchase a HIP BELT for extra comfort.
- It is so far the lightest option available as it is under three pounds.
- In an included bag, you can store the small device easily.
- Besides, it comes with a 6-point military-grade safety harness which ensures no one is injured at all times.
- Also, it has rear pockets that offer a little storage.
- The metal platform is anti-skid to keep the standing child safe from slipping.
Keep In Mind
It almost seems unfair that such a small device is so expensive. Nevertheless, with this price you are getting a tested device with premium parts meant to last for more than infant weights and works well too. Although it is a better option for parents back, it’s not that comfortable for children as they cannot rest on this device.
5. LILLEbaby Complete Baby Carrier ($99.99 - $139)
Who doesn’t like options when it comes to choosing the baby essentials? The LILLEbaby Complete series editions are designed to stay comfy no matter the weather outside. You can zip the back panel to keep warm during cold weather and keep it unzipped during warmer temperatures. The airy mesh lining underneath the panel keeps your little warm and cozy enough. The All Seasons edition of the LILLEbaby Complete series has 6 different carry positions. Here’s how the models from LILLEbaby are priced:
- Airflow DLX: $124.99
- All Seasons: $99.99
- Luxe: $129.99
- Original: $119.99
- Airflow: $124.99
- Organi-Touch: $139
Keep In Mind
The All Seasons is a taller and longer baby carrier which might not be comfortable for short people. Also, some parents found that the configuration of the carrier is a bit confusing.
6. Boba Wrap ($29 to $160)
The best toddler carrier from Boba Wrap has a weight range of up to 35 lbs, is made using cotton and spandex, and comes at an affordable price. Boba wrap baby carrier features an inexpensive wrap that is available in rainbow colors and can be used for newborns up to toddlers of 35 pounds.
This carrier is made using 95 percent of breathable cotton, has 5 percent of spandex, and is easy to stretch and hold. Available in one-size-fits-all, is best for postpartum bodies and can be for other caregivers of the family too. Here’s the breakdown of its price range:
- Boba Serenity Wraps (0 – 12 months): $49 – $65
- Boba Classic Wraps (0 – 18 months): $29 – $60
- Boba X (0 – 36 months): $160
- Boba Classic 4GS (0 – 24 months): $99.99
- Boba Air (4 – 24 months): $59.99
- Boba Mini (3+ years): $29.95
Keep in Mind
The soft wraps would need some time to master as there are multiple ways to help tie the baby in them which could get a little frustrating for a few users — especially while traveling. On the other hand, there are a few reviews that indicate its life to be fairly short despite the weight limit and could be a little uncomfortable with larger infants and toddlers.
7. Mission Critical S01 ($185)
Mission Critical S01 baby carrier comes with a weight range of 8–35 lbs, can be positioned forward, inward, and outward, and is made from nylon. This affordable baby carrier features a lightweight, durable, and removable liner. Its rugged military design from webbing makes it the best toddler carrier for hiking (plus parents can attach toys to the webbing).
8. Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh ($179)
Ergobaby Omni is a versatile baby carrier that is adjustable and can fit from petite to larger body types. It features an adjustable waist belt, that is from 26 to 52 inches with movable shoulder straps – from 28 3/4 inches to 48 3/4 inches.
Not only that, these carriers allow the baby to be carried in front, back, and hip, all thanks to the straps backpack style or crossed. They are nicely padded, are sturdy yet soft for the comfort of the baby.
Keep In Mind
There are a few reviewers that shared that decoding the usage of the carrier could get a little too hard, has a little stiffer fabric, is not breathable, and isn’t the best for short moms.
9. BabyBjörn Mini Carrier ($99.99)
BabyBjorn are the best toddler carriers made with a flexible design that can be easily adjusted to suit the comfort of the baby wearer. This mini baby carrier comes with a weight range of 7–24 lbs, is made of soft cotton, and can position the baby in front, inward, and outward, all at a super affordable price.
Keep in Mind
The carrier only fits babies who weigh up to 25 pounds, and one might need to purchase another one post the mentioned weight limit. Adding to this, some reviews state the carrier isn’t padded enough for comfortable wear for long stretches.
10. Osprey Poco ($330)
Osprey Poco baby carriers have a weight limit of 16 lbs with a minimum child weight of up to 48.5 lbs. This helps position the baby at the back, is made from durable nylon, has an aluminum frame for lightweight support, and has 6 inches of adjustment for all body types.
It also has a “halo harness” that secures the baby in the carrier, has an in-built sunshade, or is for extra privacy when napping. Looking for the best toddler carrier for hiking on the weekends? This carrier from Osprey Poco can be your perfect find.
Keep in Mind
This is an expensive baby carrier. The wearing and fit must be checked to ensure comfort, and the waist belt digs into the hip area which could cause bruises if not fit properly. Remember, use this carrier only when the baby is old enough to hold their head and sit on their own.
11. ClevrPlus Cross Country ($132)
This is one of the best toddler carriers for hiking with a weight range of up to 33 lbs, with a baby back position, and is made using oxford cloth. ClevrPlus is a budget-friendly backpack, that can carry weight up to 5 ½ pounds, has an aluminum frame, padded straps, a lumbar area, a hip belt, and many pockets to carry water bottles and diapers.
Keep in Mind
Although being comfortable and a carrier of better quality, the size just doesn’t work for most people. Also, it is observed to become squeaky after some use.
12. Baby K'tan Active ($69.95, $74.95)
Baby K’tan carrier has a weight range of up to 35 lbs, is made from polyester, and the baby can be positioned front, inwards, outward, and backward. It features a wrap that wicks the moisture away, the fabric blocks 90% of UVA and UVB rays and is super easy to wear. Its price range depends on the two types of models the brand has:
- Active Pre-wrapped Yoga Heather: $69.95
- Active Oasis: $74.95
Keep in Mind
You must make sure to pick the right size, from XS to XL for a better fit, which also means it cannot be shared between caregivers. While the others review the fabric as one that does not fit best and can be uncomfortable for small babies.
13. Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Baby Carrier ($32.98)
It has a weight range of 8–32 lbs, is convertible, and is made from polyester and cotton. The carrier is affordable and allows you to hold the baby in four different ways: inward, outward, outsider, and inside. The best part about this baby carrier is that it is super easy to wash, and comes with a “wonder cover,” and a bib to prevent spit-ups.
Keep in Mind
There are reviews about the less padded counterparts, which could be rough and uncomfortable for the baby.
14. TwinGo Carrier ($199 to $257)
TwinGo baby carrier has a weight range of 10–45 lbs, can be worn for the baby to position in front, inwards, and behind, and is made from soft cotton. It features best for twin parents as it allows them to carry two babies at once with ease, that is if under 45 pounds. The waistband of the carrier can fit anywhere from 20 inches to 99 inches. This best toddler carrier can be your ideal purchase if you have twins in the house. Its price range varies:
- Toddler/baby bundle: $241.99
- Newborn bundle: $257.99
- TwinGo Lite Model: $199.99
- TwinGo Original Model: $214.99
- TwinGo Air Model: $229.99
Keep in Mind
The carrier can only be used for babies in front and back of the body-facing inward.
Whichever carrier you end up choosing, it should be a safe and comfy resting place for your toddler. If you get a chance, head to a store and check out these carriers in person before you commit. After that, you are ready to set off on your next adventure, toddler in tow!