The 9 Best Baby Carriers of 2021

Bring baby on-the-go

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Our Top Picks
Made to work with all body types, the 360 carrier allows parents to carry baby from the front, side, or on the back.
Despite its budget-friendliness, this carrier doesn't skimp on versatility—offering four ways of usage.
Both parents and baby will feel supported thanks to the adjustable straps, and the back and neck headrest for your little one.
The unique hybrid carrier provides parents with the ease and support of a structured baby carrier and the flexibility of a wrap.
With a weight capacity to accommodate your little one from newborn to toddler age, you can use this carrier for years to come.
The perfect first carrier for newborns, it's easy to unfasten the front section of the carrier and lift out your snoozing kiddo.
Designed to be wearable for hours on end, it's complete with lumbar padding to keep hikers cool and well-supported.
Designed by dads for dads, the carrier distributes your kid’s weight evenly, taking the load off your neck and shoulders.
Excellent for warm weather, this mesh sling helps parents hold their little one close during days at the pool or beach.

Baby carriers are an extremely useful piece of baby gear. They allow parents to carry their child hands-free without the bulk of a stroller. Perfect for travel, walking around, or even wearing in the house, your baby will love being held closely and parents will appreciate the support from the carrier and having both of their hands-free.

There are lots of styles of baby carriers on the market. If possible, it’s helpful to try on a few different types to find the right fit for your frame. This guide will help you select the right one for your budget, lifestyle, and needs.

Here are the best baby carriers for your little one.

Best Overall: Ergobaby Omni 360 All-Position Baby Carrier

Pros
  • Extended weight and age limits

  • Multi-positions

Cons
  • Pricey

One carrier that does it all, this option grows with a baby, so is suitable for 7 to 45-pound kiddos. The 360 carrier allows parents to carry the baby on their front (inward and outward), side, and on their back.

Made to work for all body types, the adjustable straps work for petite, plus size, and tall parents. Thoughtfully designed, there’s a storage pouch for all your on-the-go needs and a tuck-away UPF 50+ hood for sun/wind protection or discreet breastfeeding

Weight limit: 7 to 45 pounds | Style: Structured | Positions: Four

Best Budget: Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier

Pros
  • Four wearing positions

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Limited padding

It’s hard to believe this budget-friendly choice offers so much versatility at such an affordable price point. Safe for babies from 8 to 32 pounds, this carrier can be used in four ways: facing in with a narrow seat, facing in with a wide seat, facing out, and backpack.

Some reviewers say this carrier has less padding than others, but it’s a great choice to test out baby carrier life or use occasionally.

Weight limit: 8 to 32 pounds | Style: Structured | Positions: Four

Best Support: LÍLLÉbaby Complete Airflow Six-Position Baby Carrier

Pros
  • Six wearing positions

  • Large storage pockets

  • Comfortable for wearer and infant

Cons
  • Difficult to put on

  • Hard to adjust for petite wearers

Functional and stylish, parents will appreciate the added lumbar support, generous padding, and adjustable straps. Your baby will feel supported with a special back and neck headrest along with adjustments for proper hip support.

Quite versatile, there are six ways to carry your baby and this choice is appropriate for babies from 7 to 45 pounds. There’s no insert required for infants and parents on the go will appreciate the front pocket that’s big enough to hold a phone, keys, and other small items. 

Weight limit: 7 to 45 pounds | Style: Soft Structured | Positions: Six

Best Hybrid: Boppy ComfyFit Hybrid Baby Carrier

Pros
  • Hybrid fit

  • Forward and outward facing

  • Head support

Cons
  • Non-adjustable shoulder straps

  • May be uncomfortable for plus-sized wearers

The best of both worlds, try out a unique hybrid baby carrier that provides parents with the ease and support of a structured baby carrier and the flexibility and close comfort of a wrap. Users just have to click the belt, secure the shoulder straps, and then wrap and tie the straps for a comfy fit.

Safe for 8 to 35-pound babes, this can be used forward-facing or outward-facing. Parent reviewers love how easy it is to put on, appreciate the small zippered pocket, and note how it doesn’t sag or unwrap like some more complicated wrap carriers.

Weight limit: 8 to 35 pounds | Style: Hybrid | Positions: Three

Best Organic: Helina Vines Baby Carrier

Helina Carrier
Pros
  • Organic, gentle materials

  • Comfortable for a range of body types

Cons
  • Limited wearing positions

Designed to fit a wide array of body types, this carrier can be worn as a front carrier as well as a back carrier. With a weight capacity to accommodate your little one from newborn to toddler age, you can use this single carrier for years to come. Made of a blend of undyed and vegetable-dyed organic cotton and buttons made of repurposed coconut shells, this Black-owned carrier is gentle on your sweetie's skin and the environment.

Weight limit: 8 to 40 pounds | Style: Soft | Positions: Two

Best for Newborns: BABYBJÖRN Baby Carrier Mini

Pros
  • Easy to wear

  • Ideal for newborns

Cons
  • Age limit of 12 months

Safe for babies 7 pounds up to 24 pounds, this option is a perfect first carrier for new babies. The soft carrier holds the baby up high on your chest, so you’ll both feel the closeness during the special newborn phase.

Since it’s likely your little one will be snoozing in the carrier, new parents will appreciate that it’s easy to unfasten the entire front section of the carrier and lift your sleeping newborn out. 

Weight limit: 7 to 24 pounds | Style: Soft Structured | Positions: Two

Best for Hiking: ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack Hiking Child Carrier

Pros
  • Lightweight frame

  • High maximum weight limit

  • Easy storage

Cons
  • Limited use

  • Less comfortable for long hikes

Outdoorsy families with little ones can benefit from investing in a hiking backpack. Lightweight and comfortable, this 5.5-pound carrier is made to be worn for hours on end. Quite versatile, it’s able to hold kids 9 to 48 months with a maximum weight of 33 pounds.

With padded straps and a hip belt, there’s also specially crafted lumbar padding to keep hikers cool and well-supported. Parents appreciate that this carrier folds flat for easy storage. While it’s an investment, the hiking backpack will leave you free to roam with your little one.

Weight limit: Up to 33 pounds | Style: Backpack | Positions: One

Best for Dad: Minimeis G4 Shoulder Carrier

The Minimeis G4 Shoulder Carrier
Pros
  • Folds flat

  • Extended age limit

Cons
  • One way to wear

Developed by dads, this unique carrier makes it fun, easy, and safe to carry your kiddo on dad’s shoulders for extended periods of time. Easy to put on, the carrier distributes your kid’s weight evenly through the carrier, taking the load off dad’s neck and shoulders.

Safe for kids from 6 months to 5 years, the small but mighty carrier weighs just 3.3 pounds and folds flat to the size of a laptop bag.

Weight limit: 6 months to 5 years (up to 48 pounds) | Style: Shoulder | Positions: One

Best Waterproof: Vlokup Baby Wrap Sling Carrier

Pros
  • Ideal for the water

  • Breathable

Cons
  • Less supportive than traditional slings

  • Difficult to adjust

Excellent for warm weather, this sling helps parents hold their little one close in any water-related situation like the pool, beach, shower, or even a hot summer day. Made of light and airy mesh fabric, the wrap can hold newborns and babies up to 35 pounds.

The mesh dries quickly and is machine washable. Parents appreciate that it fits into the matching drawstring bag, so it’s easy to keep this wrap in a pool or beach bag. 

Weight limit: Up to 35 pounds | Style: Wrap | Positions: Two

Final Verdict

If you’re just deciding whether a baby carrier is right, the budget-friendly Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier (view on Amazon) is an affordable option to test out life with a carrier. If you know a carrier is a piece of gear you’ll use, the LilleBaby Complete Airflow Baby Carrier view on Amazon) provides lots of support for both parents and baby, wearable versatility, and can be used for babies of all ages. 

What to Look for in a Baby Carrier 

Types of Baby Carriers

There are a few types of baby carriers on the market and knowing the styles available will help you choose the right one for your needs.

Sling or Wraps: These are usually unstructured fabric carriers that create a pouch to hold your baby. Some have rings, some are padded, and some have neither. 

Soft Structured Carriers: This is a secure carrier that often can be worn a few ways, so you can hold the baby facing front, backward, sideways, or more. The structured carrier is easy to put on and can be adjusted.

Backpack Carriers: The heaviest and most structure of the options. These are worn on the back and hold the baby high up on the adult’s back.

Weight Requirements

Depending on how long you plan on using your carrier, the weight limits and specifications are an essential part of purchasing the right one. A snug carrier that brings your baby close to you, therefore making skin-to-skin contact and discreet nursing easier, might be better for a smaller baby.

If you plan on using your carrier beyond a year, you'll want to choose a carrier that has an extended weight and age limit that can accommodate up to 45 pounds like the Ergo Baby Omni 360 (view on Amazon)

How to Use the Carrier

Depending on your lifestyle and goals, there are several ways that you can use a baby carrier. If you plan to use a carrier from newborn through toddler, you can choose an option that can accommodate extended weight limits and use in lieu of a stroller.

If using a carrier for discreet breastfeeding is your goal, you may opt for a sling or wrap and pack it in your diaper bag for outings For families that love to spend time outdoors, investing in a hiking carrier is could be useful.

FAQs

How long can a baby face forward in a carrier?

Use the weight guidelines for your particular baby carrier to ensure you are using it safely. Once your toddler begins to crawl and walk, it’s important to encourage those developmental phases and avoid carrying too much. 

When can a baby forward face in a carrier?

Your baby can safely face forward in a carrier when their neck muscles are strong enough to securely hold their own head up. This usually happens between four and six months, but each child is different. 


Why Trust Verywell Family 

Maya Polton is a former marketing manager and current freelance writer who covers food, home, and parenting. She’s also the mom of a 10-year-old son, 7-year-old son, and 3-year old daughter. Maya loved using baby carriers for all three kids. She remembers the first time she used a baby carrier with her newborn son and feeling the joy of having two hands free!

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