Product Reviews Child Carriers
Slings allow you to hold your baby horizontally or upright. Made of soft fabric with an adjustable strap, slings drape your baby across your body.
Need to get some fresh air? Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you can never go hiking again. Backpack manufacturers have responded to parents’ wish to find a way to take their small children with them on hikes and long walks. The good news is that most of these frame carriers are made with lightweight aluminum, high quality fabrics and well-positioned straps. Accessories abound with some models including sunshades, diaper packs that Velcro on, and adjustable seating so Junior gets a good view.
Hip carriers are a minimalist version of the sling. With less fabric to cradle baby, they generally work better for older babies (over six months). Baby is in a more upright position all the time, rather than lying horizontally. And like a sling, the hip carrier fits across your body with baby resting on your hip.
The most famous of all front carriers is the Baby Bjorn, that Scandinavian wonder worn by celeb moms among others. Front carriers like the Bjorn are basically a fabric bag worn on your chest. Your baby sort of dangles there either looking in at you (when they’re very young) or out at the world (when they gain more head control). There are also carriers known as structured soft carriers (SSC). SSC’s are only inward facing but can then be used as a back carrier when your baby is a bit older. Who Makes Front Carriers: Baby Bjorn (babybjorn.com), Britax, Baby Trekker, MaxiMom, and more. Who Makes Structured Soft Carriers: BabyHawk, Boba, Kinderpack and others.
This type of carrier is made up of fabric with straps at each corner. The bottom straps tie around your waste while the top straps go over your shoulders and attach to the carrier or are tied together.
Our Picks: Brand Recommendations
Mei tais or Asian carriers have really made inroads in the carrier market. Our top pick for this category is the BabyHawk (pictured, $90-$120). The customization options, great fabrics and ease of use made this mei tai a favorite. The Kozy Carrier ($90) mei tai is our runner-up in this category.
Click here for a PDF from our book with general advice on buying a carrier.
Balboa Baby Adjustable Sling by Dr. Sears
Mamas and Papas
New Native Baby
Stuff 4 Multiples
Walking Rock Farm
A EXCELLENT-our top pick!
B GOOD-above average quality, prices, and creativity.
C FAIR-could stand some improvement.
D POOR-yuck! Could stand some major improvement.