5 Dads tested out 5 of the best baby carriers on the market.
Let’s quickly take a look at what a baby carrier is as there are so many options out there, it can be confusing.
What is a baby carrier?
A baby carrier is essentially a harness that allows you a way of carrying your baby, hands-free. It’s a great way to keep your baby close to you whilst you go for a walk, get things done around the house or simply calming your baby down. Plus, they’re superb for bonding.
Carriers are slightly different
Ok, let’s get into what the dads thought about the following baby carriers.
The Beco 8
Baby Fit: 7-45lbs
The carrier itself can be adjusted to carry your baby/child in a few different ways and up to a fairly good weight. You have the traditional front style where they can either face in or outwards, or the back carry, but you can also carry on your hip. Plenty of options to find what both yourself and little one find comfortable.
I was very impressed with the overall design, comfort and the construction of the Beco 8. It certainly looks well made and we were lucky enough to receive the burnt orange colour which is bright and unisex. All of the straps were wide and padded where needed most, everything seemed to have a place, even the hood cover which is super handy for the odd shower packs away into an internal pouch and looks very tidy and discreet. The carrier also seems to be very adjustable to fit well to the user. I am by no means a small guy. I am easily 18st and 6ft 5” – so I was concerned about the carrier actually fitting. But I shouldn’t of worried – with all the attachments there was plenty of length to the straps. Plus the shoulder cross over straps can be slid up and down to meet the wearer’s height. Once I was all fitted and adjusted – I found it very comfy to wear. The padded back pad was a bonus on an obvious pressure point when carrying too. Beco definitely had the wearer in mind when designing and it certainly caters for all heights, shapes and sizes.
One of the main features I loved about this carrier compared to others we have tried or owned, was the breathable mesh on the outer panel. We all know how hot and sweaty it can be for both yourself and little one when using the carrier for long periods, being under such close quarters. But the outer panel has two zips which when opened expose a breathable mesh panel. Once opened the excess material can then be hidden away in a neat zipped pocket at the bottom of the carrier. No flapping material and a perfect air vent to keep little one cool and not making them your own personal radiator!
Most importantly though – once my youngest was in and fitted snugly he seemed very comfortable. His legs were well supported and in the correct position and the back panel was high up enough to support his head a little. Although he cant communicate his opinion he certainly looked like he was enjoying the ride.
I must admit though that I did struggle with correctly fitting the carrier to myself and then getting my son into it safely with only one pair of hands. I am unsure whether it is recommended by Beco that it can be put on independently but I did need to ask the wife for help.
- The carrier is eye-catching and stylish
- The fit made for comfortable wearing with plenty of padding
- Everything is customizable and moveable to your perfect comfort
- Breathable material for both baby and wearer comfort
- Fits taller and chunkier people ☺
- The one pocket it does have is big enough for a mobile/keys
- Has a pop in insert for younger/smaller babies to heighten them
- Comes in a choice of stylish colours
- It has only one potential storage pocket
- Unable to fit on single handed – but this may come with practice.
Beco Support Page here
The Beco Gemini
Baby Fit: 7-35lbs
Have you got super long Mr Tickle arms? If so, the Beco Gemini carrier could be for you. If you have single-handed arms or you’re a bit of a bloater then you’re going to need to rope in a friend to help you get your baby in and out of this one.
The Beco Gemini looks good. Our one’s design is a starry night’s sky which looks fairly classy. It feels secure once it’s on with a wide, adjustable waist strap and two shoulder straps which cross on your back. There is a single front panel which I guess is useful for easy breastfeeding and hip carrying but felt a bit precarious trying to secure a bigger, wrigglier, forward-facing baby.
The most difficult element was securing the shoulder straps. You have to get these over your shoulders, reach behind you and then secure them to your opposite hip. If you’re LeBron James you should have no problem but if you have arm muscles or pecks (ha) or moobs (this one, obviously) then it’s a real struggle to do this whilst holding your baby secure to your chest with the other arm. Furthermore, this design means the straps are so long they dangle on the floor when you take the baby out.
All in all a comfortable carrier which looks good but a challenge to get the baby in and out which, let’s face it, is kind of important.
- Nice design
- Difficult to adjust the straps
- Needs a 2nd person to get your baby in and out
Beco Support Page here
The Boba X
Baby Fit: 7-45lbs
The Boba X is simple and easy to use. A robust carrier that should last the test of time and have you carrying from baby to toddler (7lb to 20kg). The wide waist band and padded shoulder straps make it comfortable to wear with minimum strain. Not the most flexible option on the market with only two modes of carrying (front, facing parent & piggyback style) but still a solid, no nonsense purchase.
The Boba baby carrier comes in a simple box with zero plastic packaging so we are onto a winner from the start. Upon first inspection it looks good quality and very sturdy. It’s nice and simple too, at a glance I can see this is easy to use and I won’t be needing the instructions from here on in.
As I was testing on an 18-month-old toddler I had to zip on the detachable seat extensions but you can leave these off for baby. There is also a hidden hood tucked into a pocket at the top which would be used to keep the sun or wind off. There are little press poppers on the shoulder strap that you’ll wonder what they do, well they fix the hood in position when pulled over the baby’s head.
I found the Boba very easy to wear and fit my son into, I was able to do it alone in comparison to other makes we have used which can be a two-man job. It felt very comfortable and I wouldn’t envisage too much back strain if worn over a period of 2 or 3 hours. There are two ways to carry, front carry facing you, and the piggyback method. The instructions tell you it’s a 3-way carrier but the 3rd option is front carry, facing you but you cross over the shoulder straps so I discounted that.
Despite my little guy not being in the mood to pose for photos this past week I did get a decent walk about with him in it. If you want state of the art design and materials then this won’t be for you but if you’re like me and prefer the no frills approach then this carrier does the job and seems of a high quality that will outlast your toddlers carrying needs.
- Wide cushioned waist band
- Thick padded shoulder straps
- Fully adjustable, great option for the bigger user
- Additional padded seat extensions for toddlers
- Sun & wind hood
- Key loop on shoulder straps
- 3 pockets
- Ready to unpack, adjust to size and wear
- I found the adjustment of the straps very hard. It took a big physical effort to pull the straps through, I would expect this to loosen up over time and put this down to the straps being brand new
- Only two modes of carry available
- Pockets are small, I struggled to get my Samsung Galaxy S9 and my wallet in to the waist band pocket
Boba UK Support Page here
The Beco Toddler
Baby Fit: 20-60lbs
First impressions are great! The colour, texture and the overall feel of the carrier seem good quality. The instructions are great! They’re very descriptive and accompanied by plenty of step by step photographs. The Beco features a handy pocket which is big enough for your essential items. it also has a removable rain cover that is perfectly sized to keep the rain from your little one’s head without compromising the stylish design!
I tried the Beco Toddler out with both Esmé (3) and Coco (1.5) and noticed the ease of use altered drastically with weight! I much preferred to have Coco on my front, being able to see and interactive with my son, plus using the features such as the pocket and the rain cover is so much easier. Also putting him in on my front was very easy! I did struggle to get Esmé on my back and would advise getting help to do so until you’re used to it, but once in
The natural resting positions front and back are perfect and I’m confident that my children’s comfort wasn’t compromised. All in all, I think the Beco is a good carrier and after a few practice runs and getting used to putting it on you’ll be well away.
- Well designed
- Very functional
- Caters for older / larger children
- Machine washable!
- Excellent instructions
- Takes a while to get used to placing your child in the back carry position.
Beco Support Page here
The Boba 4G
Baby Fit: 7-45lbs
We used the Boba 4G at the park with our 1-year-old boy. It was really comfortable to wear and the stirrups at the feet was a positive as other carriers we’ve used, our children’s feet swing and hit the person carrying. The padding and cushioning which made it very comfortable to wear but also warm! We found the hood to be positive as we go walking quite a bit, rain or shine, so if we get caught in a typical British rain shower the child is covered and protected to some degree.
However, when I first put the carrier on, it didn’t sit on my shoulders correctly and felt loose even though it had been tightened which lowered my confidence levels using the carrier. It took a while to adjust this to get it right.
In summary, it’s a really good product with a
- 3 carry positions
- Large, padded straps
- very light
- Breastfeeding buckle
- It took a while to adjust the straps to suit me
Boba UK Support Page here
Essential safety information for carrying your baby:
We wanted to leave you with some essential safety pointers of how to best carry your baby. There are some do’s and don’ts, so be sure to read through carefully.
- If you have a newborn baby, keep in mind that their position should be changed up frequently. Try and alternate between using a baby carrier, lying your little one on their back in a pushchair or on the floor or carrying them in your arms.
- Check out the TICKS guidelines for babywearing.
- It’s vital that your baby’s hips, head, neck and back are fully supported. If any of these are not supported, the chances are that you’re using the carrier incorrectly. Their arms and legs should move freely as well.