Kid-Carrier Reviews

    Getting your kids from here to there can be the toughest part about getting them outside and keeping the whole family active.  We strongly believe in the benefits of babywearing, and the fact that doing so simply makes your life EASIER.  We also happen to believe it is helpful in connecting kids to nature (read a post all about that here.)

    Since right now we have kids in all the “perfect” ages for testing out baby carriers (3 months, almost 3 and 5), we are taking advantage of an opportunity to really put them to the test and let you know exactly what we think.  We have some oldies but goodies, some favorites, some new favorites and ones we just are still not too crazy about.

    As always, you can be sure that the reviews will be comprehensive, honest and exactly what we tell our family and friends.  This page will be continually updated as we review different carriers and as our kids grow.

     

    Soft Carriers:

     

    Framed Carriers:

      Comments

      1. Just found your blog. What a great project. I wear my baby everyday for our walk. He is now 3 months and I love my ergo carrier. Wish I had done more research though and looked at there sport carrier with a lighter material for the summer months.

        • Thanks, Emily! And yes, summer can get hot! It’s easy to end up with a bunch of different carriers that work best for different conditions. All in the name of hands-free sanity 🙂

      2. WHAT!?! No $500 imported European woven wraps or conversions? Obviously you’re not a *REAL* babywearer- JK! I lived in my Ergo with my first and our Beco before we got the Ergo. Doing more wrapping this time around but mainly bc I don’t feel like I tried it enough with my first- never even touched a shortie woven back in those days. It’s also a little more prepper savvy since wraps can be repurposed so many ways, but SSCs can be fairly handy too. Haven’t gotten on the Tula bandwagon as I have more than enough carriers and still breaking in my Action. Except for being on the look out for another ring sling (on sale lol) I’ve pretty stashified at the moment.

        • 🙂 HA! Well I am tempted to try wrapping, but for now these carriers are all easy to get on and get me out there! 🙂 And we had a Tula before they went crazy – I can’t even believe how popular they are! 🙂

      3. Thanks for all the great reviews!

        I’m due next month and have been in debate about what carrier to get. I need something that will safely fit a newborn, and be comfortable enough to wear for extended periods. I really like the Boba 4g and the Emeibaby.. any thoughts on comparing between the two?

        • Hi Natalie – congrats on your baby! 🙂 Ok, so both are great choices and can be used with a newborn and on comfortably. The Boba will work LONGER because you can wear a larger child in them (up to 45 pounds opposed to 33 with the Emeibaby). The Emeibaby has a better fit for a newborn because it completely “hugs” and cradles the baby as you adjust the ring sling. The Emeibaby is more expensive, the Boba is a little easier to figure out right out of the box. If you have the funds and are really focused on a great fit for a newborn with just one carrier (opposed to having a wrap or something for the first few months), I think you’d love the Emeibaby. Both FEEL great for the wearer (and are very comparable.) Does that help at all??
          =) Amelia

      4. Hi Amelia & Ann,
        I jus ran across your blog and ended up here on your baby carrier review page. I got frustrated trying to keep a blanket tucked in and around the little guys and created the TrailHopper. I am wondering if you think it might be a fit for your families. Please excuse this if I have reached out to you incorrectly.
        Looks like you all enjoy getting outside, I totally get that. My 2 black labs keep me from being a slacker. ha
        cheers,
        jill

      5. Great blog!
        I am gonna order my first baby carrier this month and I really need your advice. My son is 9 months old and 32 inches tall, 23 lbs. Most of the toddler carriers have a minimum weight limit of 25 lbs. What do u suggest?
        ‘Look forward to your reply.
        Thanks in advance!

        • Hi Zoe – Thanks for reading! Since your son is on the bigger size for his age, I would go with one of the Onya carriers instead of a Toddler Carrier. 9 months is too small for a toddler carrier and then you can use it for another baby if you wanted. The Onya has a 75 pound weight limit and is a great one for bigger kids! Let me know if you have any other questions!
          ~ Amelia

      6. What a great idea! We are onto our third baby and she is strapped to me most of the time we are out and about.

      7. I’m wondering if you’ve found a good waist pouch or something similar to thread on the waist belt of one of the SSCs (I have a standard Tula) to enable an easy carry of a diaper or two, or small essentials for safety on the trails? Greetings from the other side of the mountains in Utah, by the way 😉

      8. Hi! Just read your blogs but I didn’t notice you mention which carriers are okay for breastfeeding. Is emeibaby okay for breastfeeding. My baby just turned 2 mos. and i want to buy a carrier that we could use until she reaches 3 as long as she wanted to be carried and okay for nursing as well. Any suggestion please? Thanks in advance. 🙂

        • Hi Aileen,

          I think you can nurse in most carriers – just loosen the straps to lower it and you can nurse 🙂 And yes, the Emeibaby works great for nursing 🙂 It has the extra “tail” of the carrier wrap part for covering up 🙂

          =) Amelia

      9. Hi there!
        I’m a Boba-wearing Mom. 🙂 I did a TON of research when I went on a trip with my (8 month old) daughter three years ago, and bought the Boba. I loved it then, before my daughter decided she was “too big.” Now my 8 month old boy is in it often, and I have to admit I’m having a lot of problems with it. I can’t seem to get a good fit this time around. If I have the back clip lower, the shoulder straps fall off. If I pull the back clip up, they actually hurt the vertebrae on my neck. There has to be something I’m doing wrong to make this so uncomfortable. I wondered if you had any tips, or if you think maybe I just need to try another brand? Maybe my son is just different?
        Thanks for any help you can give!
        ~Kelsey

        • Hi Kelsey – hmmmm, that is so weird! Maybe the chest strap (which I assume you are wearing on your back…so baby is on front) is too tight? How does it feel it Baby is on your back? I would tighten your shoulder straps and move the strap back to like about midway (maybe a bit on the higher end) between your shoulder blades in back. If its hitting vertibrae, it’s definitely too high. Try that and let me know!

      10. Hi! I have been researching a carrier for hiking and came across your reviews. I have a 11 month old who is close to 20 lbs. We have been carrying him in a Pikkolo for errands, etc., but are now in need of something more comfortable for longer walks and hikes. Since we live in Houston, our hiking is limited so we probably will only use it a few times (one being a trip to NM in a few weeks) and don’t want to over buy. I have looked at frame backpacks and carriers like the Onya Outback, but not sure which style fits more with what we need. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
        Jen

        • Hi Jen,
          For your situation, I would steer you towards an Onya NexStep (assuming it’s dry around there) or an Outback (if you plan to be in a wetter climate hiking, though I doubt it between NM and TX). Framed carriers are great for carrying more gear too, but something like the Onya is more versatile and can honestly handle more weight comfortably (in my opinion) because the weight is closer to your own center of gravity.
          Does that help??
          =) Amelia

      11. Larissa g says:

        Great website. My husband and I are planning some extended backpacking trips in the mountains (Appalachian and northwest mostly). Our plan is for me to carry the toddler (25lbs) and husband to carry all the gear. We are looking at the outback, but I’m wondering if I should look into a frame carrier? We’ve used a boba 2G for short hikes, and I love my WCMT but its not very practical. Frame carriers seem huge and awkward to me. Thoughts?

        • Hi Larissa, it’s really about how much gear you need to carry (you can carry extra stuff in a framed pack) and personal preference. With an Onya, you can really transfer the weight to your hips (you can’t do that with all SSC), much like you can with a framed pack or backpacking pack. Another advantage is weather protection for the child (wind or sun “roof”). I would recommend trying both and just doing what works for YOUR family….I know that’s not a black and white answer, but honestly it is a personal decision… 🙂

      12. Great site! I’m glad I stumbled across it since my husband and I are looking to buy a backpack to wear my son while doing some day hikes in the Blue Ridge Parkway (13 mo. & 24 lb). We’re still debating over whether or not to get a framed pack (he’s all for that) but I’m on the fence.

        • Thank you – and so glad you found us! If you need to carry more gear than a kid or want them (or they want themselves) a little higher, the framed packs are great!! Let me know if you have specific questions 🙂

      13. Hi Amelia,

        I’ve been following your site for quite some time now and love it. It is so refreshing to see other families enjoying the outdoors!

        My family is currently planning a trip to Mt Rainier in the spring of 2016 to do some longer day hikes. I have two boys, ages 4 years (34 lbs) and 9 months (22 lbs). At the time of our trip the boys will be 5 years and 14 months. We have been hiking with our boys since they were born and historically have used an Ergo or Tula. However, when we were doing longer hikes, we just had one child. Since the birth of our second, we’ve been doing short hikes where our 4 year old is able to keep up. The trip we are planning may result in tired legs from our thin 4 year old. We do have a Tula Toddler. My current concern is how we will be able to have both boys on our backs with necessary day hike gear (i.e. snacks, water, sunscreen, diapers, etc.). I’ve been considering the Osprey Poco Premium so we could keep the Tula in the light pack along with our other essentials. However, we’ve been so spoiled with the ease/portability of the soft carriers, I’m a little nervous about switching to a frame.

        Any advise you may have regarding hiking with 2 little ones would be welcomed!

        Thanks!

        Jill A

        • Hi Jill,

          Carrying the extra gear is definitely a perk of the framed carriers. However, the child is further away from your center of gravity, so I personally think it’s harder with heavier ones. Totally depends on YOUR core strength too! Framed carriers (when fitted right) transfer the weight to your hips, which is also a perk. IT’s what we do, so I recommend it. Another option is using a Ribz Front Pack for the necessities and using the carriers you have for your back….let me know what you decide! I always recommend going and trying on ANY carrier first from a store if you can! Does that help?

          ~Amelia

          • Amelia,

            This is very helpful! I’ve been leaning towards the frame pack for those reasons. The Ribz Front Pack is an interesting option as well. Time to do some testing! I’ll let you know what we chose and how well it works. Thanks again!

            Jill

            • Sounds great! Good luck!!!

              • Hi Amelia,

                We just got back from our trip so wanted to give an update. Spent 5 days hiking around Washington (Mt Baker, Mt Ranier) with our 5 year old and 13 month old. I went with the Poco Premium. Tried the AG first at home, but that dug into my hips. Switched to original which worked like a charm. So nice to have the detachable backpack. When our 5 year old got tired, we attached the backpack to the Poco, pulled out our Tula Toddler and continued on. With both kids on backs, we still had plenty of space for our gear. When the 5 year old was hiking independently, we’d remove the backpack attachment and the person not carrying the baby would help out.

                Thanks again for the advice! We had a great trip!

              • Hi Jill – thanks so much for checking back in!! I love to hear that! 🙂

      14. Hello Jill,
        I was directed to your sit by the lovely lady at Hike Like a Woman. My Little Man is 10 weeks and 14.4 lbs 24 inches long as of last week anyway. I am looking for a light weight cool summer carrier for hiking and being at the lake. I usually go for half day hikes, four hours or so, or I did before this guy came a long. We have gone on short walks but no real trail hiking yet.

        I currently own and use a Boba wrap. I loved it for the cold winter months and when he was tiny and would still ball up nicely. However it’s extremely hot for the both of us and isn’t entirely hands free as I feel I have to have a hand on him all the time for support. Someone gave us a snugli and I have used a couple of times at the grocery store but he doesn’t seem to be very comfortable.

        After reading all your reviews I have a head full of information and I just am not sure which direction to go. Please advise. I love your blog by the way. So glad to have been pointed your direction.
        Thank you,
        Katie

        • Hi Katie,
          Glad Rebecca sent you my way! Totally agree that a Boba wrap is WAY too hot for summer months. I couldn’t stand it either for warmer farther. For longer hikes like that, if you want a soft structured carrier, I usually recommend the Onya. It’s the best for hiking (I think) and cools pretty well. While we don’t recommend it necessary, if you need your son to forward face, the Lillebaby All-Seasons is a good option too. If you need to carry gear for hiking, go with a framed carrier….Does that help at all? Oh and I LOVE the Boba 4G….but it doesn’t breathe quite as well as the Onya will.
          Let me know if you have other questions!
          🙂 Amelia

          • Amelia,
            Thank you for taking your time to answer my post. This is very helpful information. I appreciate all the testing and excellent reviews. This will hopefully keep me from buying buying buying until I find whats right. Thanks again!
            Katie

      15. Hi,

        Great site! Very helpful info. I was reading your reviews on the Deuter Kid Carriers and in one of them you mention that they arent your go to for skiing. Just curious what is your preferred carrier for skiing?

        Thanks,

        Tara

        • Hi Tara,
          Usually our Osprey Poco. And the reasoning is the “roll bar” that prevents a kid from being crushed should we fall despite taking all precautions. The Deuter packs don’t have that.
          Hope that helps!
          =) Amelia

      16. Hi Amelia,
        Rebecca from Hike Like A Woman suggested your website a long time ago and I have been following since. I have a question for you. I have been a babywearer for over 3 years and I want to continue the tradition with baby #2, due in December! I was very happy to see that you have reviewed a lot of carriers!
        I am looking for a baby carrier for use anytime, at home and out and about, maybe tandem wearing (my daughter age 3 is size of a 4.5 yo) and that would be easy to adjust between me and my husband. We try to go out for hikes at least once a week.
        I have a toddler Tula that my daughter started using at about 1.5 year old and I cannot decide on which other one to get for my baby. I am between the Emaibaby, an Onya with an insert, Standard Tula with an insert or Lillebaby. I am no sure if I like the position of the legs on the Lillebaby for a newborn, though (do you?). I like the fit of the Emeibaby on the newborn, the versatility of the Onya, and the fit of the insert of the Tula (and we know the brand and like it).
        What do you think would be the best option? My husband has big shoulders and an Ergo will not fit (not a fan of them either!).
        Thank you in advance!
        -Gretel

        • HI Gretel – oh man – the million dollar question! So, I have LOVED my Emeibaby for a newborn and on….just wraps them so well and no insert needed (which is so hot in the summer). The Lillebaby positioning is fine…but I think the Emeibaby is just a better fit easier and cooler in the summer. Let me know what you decide!

      17. Hi Amelia,
        I googled “baby wearing in the summer” and it brought me to your page 🙂 I actually don’t hike but I would really appreciate your advice. We are going to Disney in July and my daughter will be 9 months and probably 22ish pounds. We love our boba 4g but I am actually finding it to be to hot now that it’s getting hot out. We will have a stroller as well but my son may need to use it some of the time. Which carriers would you recommend? Please let me know what you think.

        • Hi Nita – there’s a new Onya Baby coming out VERY soon that I think you may want to try 🙂 I’ll review it ASAP, but have very high hopes!

          • Hi Amelia –
            Love your site!
            Wondering if you are refering to the onya pure? Debating which one to order between the Pure and Outback?
            Emilie

            • Onya Pure review coming soon! It’s great BUT there is no hood, which I really miss when my kids want to sleep!! So, personally I would go with the Outback!

      18. Kristine says:

        How about how to carry a 50lb+ 6 year old who likes to fall asleep on my back? He has down syndrome so can’t walk too far and I usually have to carry him up hills bc he is still developing stamina and muscle tone. My other three older kids are ready to run trails and being outside is imperative for our health and well being! ha. ideas? Most websites I see have only toddlers and babies in backpacks and slings. I did this when he was younger but he’s grown out of everything. I can still carry his weight, but he’s of course, differently loaded than a backpack! help?

        • HI Kristine – check this out: http://www.piggybackpack.net
          It’s great for bigger kids….but the falling asleep thing isn’t super awesome in it.
          However, another option is a Onya with a 70 lb weight limit (and a great workout for you! ;)) or a Preschool Kindercarry Soft structured carrier.
          Let me know what you find out!!!

      19. Hi!! Thanks for this! :):)
        I am due on November and I will be purchasing my first carrier:):)
        I am actually torn between Boba 4g and the Tula from reading reviews online! Any suggestions on what is better?
        I live in the Philippines and summers are crazy hot!

        I plan on having a Baby K’tan for the first few months!

        Appreciate any input on this! Thanks! 🙂

        • Hi, to be honest for super hot weather, I would steer your towards a Kindercarry (which I need to review soon!) If you get an infant size, you can skip the K’tan (which is hot because it’s wrapped around you) and just have one carrier….

      20. I wanted to get your opinion on which carrier to get. I live in North Texas and it is always hot here. I have a Baby Ktan but I want to invest in something more supportive and cooler. I need something that is simple, easy to wear and take on and off. I always wear my baby in church along with other errands and outings and my baby likes to be held during the day so I need to be able to baby wear at home too. I like being able to put my carrier in the diaper bag but that’s not a deal breaker. I’ve been looking at Onya and Tula but I’m open to suggestions.

        • Hi Casey – for something for hot weather, I would suggest a Jublii Baby, Kinderpack mesh or Lillebaby all seasons (thought the Lillebaby is more complicated than the others). Onya makes a breathable one too, but it doesn’t have a hood and I really miss it for shade for the kiddo! Does that help?

      Trackbacks

      1. […] The Great Babywearing Project from Tales of a Mountain Mama (scroll down to Framed Carriers for reviews of the Deuter Kid Comfort II, Deuter Kid Comfort III, Deuter KangaKid, Kelty Pathfinder, and Osprey Poco Plus) […]

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