I absolutely LOVE my soft-structured carriers (or SSC). Don’t get me wrong, I love my ring slings and wraps just as much as the next person, but they truly can’t beat the support a SSC offers. When I go hiking or have a long day ahead filled with babywearing, a SSC is my go-to hands down. With that said, not all SSC are made equal. I’m hear to share with you some reviews of the top trending baby carriers: Tula, Lillebaby All Seasons, Lillebaby Aiflow, and Ergobaby Original. And…..here we go! 🙂
First up, TULA Baby Carrier
TULA baby carriers are definitely one of the most trendy baby carriers on the market. Moms go crazy over designs and there is a huge market for “flipping” carriers. Meaning, someone gets a highly sought after carrier and lists it for a much higher amount (some of these carriers go for hundreds of dollars, not kidding). There carriers are very unique in design and are super stylish. They have detachable hoods that are easy to access and remove when not in use.
They are very comfy and are lightweight. There is no lumbar support, which I don’t notice until I’m going long hours wearing and then I begin missing that extra padding. There is a front velcro pocket which is great unless you have shorter arms like me, making it difficult to access. They can be used from 15-45 lbs without an infant seat which is awesome for bigger babies, but means you need something for those first months until your baby can fit. If you are wanting to use it before your baby is 15 lbs, you will need to invest in an infant insert, for about $40. Overall, I think TULA is a great carrier (and gorgeous), but not the best in it’s category as far as it goes for versatility.
Next, Ergobaby Original
I had no idea a carrier could be so comfortable. For real. This is easily the comfiest carrier I have ever used. Ergobaby has been up there in the top baby carriers for a few years now, so you know you are getting a reputable carrier when you invest in one of these. There is no lumbar support for the Ergobaby, that is definitely something I feel like I need in a carrier as I do a lot of hiking with my SSC.
The Ergo Original has 3 positions: front, back, and hip carry. It can hold infants from 7-45 lbs but you will need an infant insert just like you did for the TULA for infants 7-12 lbs. I noticed that even my 10 month old who is in the 50th percentile (so average height and weight) was still being stretched too much in the carrier because of the wide seat.
It does have a hood that you can tuck into a pocket when not in use for convenience. This one also has a zipper pocket which is awesome for storage for keys, credit card, pacifier, etc… I have noticed that it is way more difficult to snap the shoulder straps on so I either needed help putting it on or a few good minutes to stretch to reach it. Overall, it’s a great carrier but isn’t as versatile as other carriers in it’s category especial for the cost.
Next up, Lillebaby Complete All Seasons
In my opinion, this is definitely the number one carrier this year on the market. The other carriers are great, but as for how much bang you get for your buck, Lillebaby takes the gold. This carrier has 6 positions: fetal, infant, outward, toddler, hip, AND back carry. It has an adjustable seat to make it wide or narrow, so no infant seat. If you feel like your newborn still needs extra support under their bum, they sell an infant pillow for $11.
It comes with a hood and pocket to tuck it into when not in use. Their is also optional neck support for your little one. The All Seasons is fantastic because it has a temperature control panel. For those hot days, you can roll down the panel to reveal a mesh lining to keep your little one cool!
It has lumbar support and a pad where the shoulder pads clip together for extra comfortability. Even with all of these amazing features, they have managed to keep it very lightweight which is an added bonus! Overall, this carrier is definitely number 1 in my list. Unlike other carriers that require you to purchase additional products to use your carrier, this one has it already in the original price AND more features than the other carriers (more positions, mesh lining, lumbar support, ease of use)
Last, Lillebaby Airflow
I fell in love with the Lillebaby All Seasons so much that I thought I would try out the Airflow. It is very similar to the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons other than the mesh airflow material. I live in the midwest and in the summer it gets. H.O.T. My All Seasons did a good job at keeping me cool but this one provides maximum ventilation and cooling. The entire panel is mesh AND the hood.
Like the All Seasons, it has 6 positions, lumbar support, adjustable seat, and neck support. It also is made to fit kids 7 lbs-45lbs. It’s a little cheaper than the All Seasons, but in the midwest we also get COLD winters, so we will be switching back to the All Seasons for those cooler days. This is a good option for a carrier if you live in a climate where it is very hot and humid most of the year.
Really, all of these carriers are fantastic. I like to think of baby carriers as pants, you need to try them on to find the right fit. For us, the Lillebaby has been our fit. It’s just good to know all of the features that come with each and decide if those are things you want in a carrier. Best of luck deciding on your carrier!
Happy Baby Wearing!
XOXO One Merry Mama
P.S. Here is a chart for my visual learners out there! 😉