The Best Dad-Approved Baby Carriers: Our Top 6 Picks
Ramblers, explorers, and trekkers, your search is over. You’re here because you’re looking for the best baby carriers for dads to take their little sprogs out into the wilderness.
There are hundreds and thousands of baby carriers on the market, and it can be a minefield to figure out which is the best for you and your little one.
Different types of carriers will offer different levels of support and comfort, so deciding what you’d like to achieve with them is essential to choose one that fits your lifestyle and needs. Are you scrambling up mountains or strutting through the city? Different carriers are appropriate for various journeys.
This guide will help you determine the best baby carrier for you by looking at the best types of carriers on the market, their benefits, and the things to consider when making a decision.
The Best Dad-Approved Baby Carriers At A Glance
Types of Baby Carriers
So you want the best baby carrier but need to decide which one you want to invest in? There are different styles of carriers for different needs. Let’s go into them below.
A wrap or sling carrier is like a giant fabric hug for your baby that you wear on your body. It’s basically like swaddling your baby in a cosy burrito, but instead of munching on it, you get to strut your stuff with your little bundle of joy right there with you. The fabric can also be adjusted to fit a range of body types so that you can share the carrying duties with your partner.
In the UK, baby slings are popular for parents who want to keep their hands free for important things like sipping tea, scrolling through Instagram, or texting their friends. Plus, they’re great for getting a workout in because carrying a baby is like adding extra weight to your squats, lunges, and dance moves.
Structured carrier? More like a baby backpack with a PhD in engineering. It’s the perfect carrier for those who don’t want to mess around with yards of fabric and intricate knots. With a structured carrier, you can strap your baby in like a seasoned pro and be on your way in no time.
Structured carriers are popular among parents who want to take their babies on adventures. From hiking in the countryside to shopping in the city, a structured carrier is a simple design and can handle it all. It’s like having a trusty sidekick on all your excursions—except your sidekick is a tiny human who poops a lot.
A backpack carrier is the equivalent of strapping a little human to your back and heading out on an adventure. It’s like being a sherpa, but you’re taking your baby to the local park instead of carrying a load of gear up a mountain.
Backpack carriers are an excellent option for parents who want to explore the great outdoors with their little ones. They’re like a portable throne that you can carry around with you, and they’re perfect for when your baby’s stroller just won’t cut it.
Backpack carriers are famous for parents who want to take their baby on hikes or long walks in the countryside. They’re also great for trips to the beach, as they keep your baby high and dry while you’re walking in the surf.
Backpack carriers are generally appropriate for babies as young as six months old with good head and neck control. They’re designed to be comfortable for both the parent and the baby, with padded shoulder straps and a supportive seat.
Benefits of Baby Carriers
As a father, if I were to list all the benefits of using a baby carrier, we’d be here for a long time. The advantage of having a sling or wrap carrier for indoor use is great because it helps you bond with your child. No doubt, your other half will be tired from being a constant udder for your newborn, so bonding time is not only good for you and the baby.
When doing the chores around the house, a simple wrap will free up your hands while providing the little tyke with some comfort and giving you a strong shot of convenience and mobility. Not only that, you’re keeping that dad bod in check by lugging your baby around all day.
It’s the same for a structured carrier or backpack carrier. If you love to get out, but the terrain is relatively unfriendly, you can still get your steps in with some added weight and maintain a great fitness regime.
For babies, carriers can help them feel secure and loved when out of the house. They can also calm and soothe fussy babies.
The Best Baby Carriers on the Market in 2023
Now that we have touched on the types of carriers and the benefits of having one, let’s look at the current best baby carriers on the market and why they’re the best in their category.
Ready? Here we go, drumroll.
Best Wrap/Sling Baby Carrier #1: KeaBabies Baby Wrap Carrier
- Evenly redistributes the baby’s weight for ample back and shoulder support.
- Certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) for healthy hip development
- It is made with soft, stretchy, breathable proprietary cotton fabric technology for a snug and secure machine washable fit.
- Easy to put on and close-fitting, requiring minimal readjustment.
- Accommodates parents of all sizes, from petite to plus size.
- The versatile design can be used as a pregnancy support band, postpartum recovery wrap, or nursing cover.
- The hands-free design allows bonding with your baby while going about your day.
- Mimics a cosy environment similar to the womb, promoting crucial growth and development in the early months of your baby’s life.
We see the KeaBabies Baby Stretchy Wrap Carrier as a game-changer. It’s easy to put on, and the soft, stretchy cotton fabric is comfortable. We love how it evenly distributes the weight, giving ample back and shoulder support. Plus, it’s certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute (IHDI) for healthy hip development, which provides peace of mind.
The best part is that dads can bond with their babies hands-free and create a cosy environment that mimics the womb, making my baby feel calm and secure. You can also easily keep it clean by putting it in the washing machine. It’s a great carrier and a must-have for any new dad.
Best Wrap/Sling Baby Carrier #2: Boba Wrap Baby Carrier
- This stretchy wrap is perfect for the first three months of fatherhood, with simple, no-guess tying instructions and just one size.
- Stretchy, soft, and machine-washable fabric makes it an easy-to-clean and durable alternative to a stroller or car seat.
- Ergonomic seating and weight distribution provide knee-to-knee support for your baby while supporting your posture.
- It acts as a privacy shield for your breastfeeding partner.
- It allows for bonding with your baby while still being able to go out and about.
- It is made of 95% cotton and 5% spandex, which allows it to retain its shape and not loosen or sag, giving you and your baby the support you need.
The Boba Wrap Baby Carrier is highly recommended for dads and mums alike. It’s a comfortable and secure way to carry your baby and allows for hands-free parenting and bonding time.
The wrap is easy to use and adjust and can accommodate babies of different sizes. It’s also machine washable, a big plus for busy dads. Overall, the Boba Wrap is an excellent investment for any new parent looking for a convenient and comfortable way to carry their baby.
Best Structured Carrier #1: Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Carrier
- A 4-in-1 convertible carrier with an adjustable ergonomic seat, shoulder straps, waist belt, and Wonder Cover 2-in-1 bib.
- Facing-in and facing-out designs suit newborns and older babies (8–32 lbs (3.6–14.5 kg)).
- It offers hands-free convenience, bonding opportunities, and developmental benefits for parents while running errands or exploring parks.
- Adjustable 2-position seat, padded shoulder straps, and supportive waist belt to accommodate various body types and lifestyles.
- Age Group: Suitable for infants from birth.
- Good Value
The Infantino Flip 4 in 1 Carrier is an absolute bargain today. The adjustable seat and straps make it easy to fit your baby comfortably, and the multiple carry positions accommodate newborns and older babies. It’s also durable and supportive, allowing dads to wear their babies for extended periods without discomfort.
The Infantino Flip 4 in 1 carrier is perfect for running errands or exploring the outdoors; it is comfortable in several ways, allows baby facing in, out, and back positions, and is excellent value for the price point. It is well worth a purchase.
Best Structured Carrier #2: BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Air
- An ergonomic baby carrier made of soft and breathable 3D cool air mesh.
- It provides optimal ventilation, making it significantly cooler than traditional carriers.
- It offers the same benefits as the cotton version, including strengthening the parent-child bond.
- Securely holds your baby while keeping your hands free for other tasks.
- Fully adjustable in size, seat area, and head support to fit your growing baby and changing needs.
- From birth to age three, this carrier is appropriate for carrying your child.
- A comfortable and breathable solution for parents seeking a versatile and durable carrier.
We have been thoroughly impressed with the BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Air. The carrier is incredibly comfortable, and the 3D cool air mesh design will ensure your baby stays cosy, even in the warmest weather.
The carrier is easy to use and adjust, providing a perfect fit for both baby and dad. It’s also versatile, allowing you to carry your baby in various positions as it grows. The high-quality materials and craftsmanship that have gone into this carrier are impressive, making it a durable and reliable choice for any parent. The BabyBjörn Baby Carrier One Air has exceeded our expectations and made babywearing a breeze.
Best Backpack Baby Carrier #1: Besrey Excursion Baby Backpack Carrier
- Comfortable and practical design for short day trips
- Shoulder straps that can be adjusted to fit your body perfectly
- Thick padding for maximum comfort and to reduce strain on your shoulders.
- Foldable and easy to carry, you can pack it away when not in use.
- Multiple pockets keep your belongings organised and easily accessible.
- Large storage bag to fit all your essentials, from snacks to extra layers.
This backpack is perfect for exploring the great outdoors and attacking that rough, muddy terrain with a toddler in tow. With its ergonomic design, you’ll be able to wear it for extended periods without discomfort, thanks to the adjustable shoulder straps and thick padding, making the carry positions silky and comfortable.
The backpack has multiple pockets to store your phone, wallet, keys, and other small items and a large storage bag for more important things like water bottles, snacks, and extra layers. A durable headrest will help support your baby’s neck while scrambling and putting it away is simple thanks to its foldable design.
Best Backpack Baby Carrier #2: Dromader Hiking Baby Carrier
- The backpack has a sturdy yet lightweight frame made of oxidised aluminium and is easy to put the baby in and out of.
- Whole Package: Includes stirrups, a 3D Opti-Fit Carrying System, a changing mat, a detachable pillow, a rain cover and sun canopy, a side release system, functional fastening clasps, and a mirror to keep an eye on your child.
- Fits Everyone: The 3D Opti-Fit carrying system is available in sizes S, M, L, and XL and includes a chest strap, waist strap, and spacer mesh for ventilation.
- Lots of Space: The backpack provides lots of comfy space for your child and offers ample storage space under the seat, an upper thermal pocket, side mesh pockets, and additional pockets on the waist strap.
Dads who love hiking should take a look at this one. Having a baby carrier that can keep my little one safe and comfortable on the trail is extremely important. This backpack has a sturdy, lightweight frame, making it easy to carry while trekking through rugged terrain.
You can customise the harness to your height and ensure the weight is evenly distributed, so you can hike for extended periods without feeling fatigued. The backpack’s thick padding and multiple pockets will give your baby plenty of comfortable space and storage options for snacks, nappies, and other essentials.
The detachable rain cover and sun canopy protect your child from the elements, and the mirror allows you to watch that smile while you’re struggling over a large hill.
Overall, this backpack is the perfect hiking companion for any adventurous dad who wants to share their love for the outdoors with their little one.
Things to Consider When Buying a Baby Carrier
Before going all out and splashing the cash on your first baby carrier, there are some essential things to consider:
- Age and weight of the baby: Make sure the carrier is suitable for the age and weight of your baby. Some carriers are only eligible for infants, while others are designed to carry toddlers. Always ensure you check for the right fit and correct size.
- Comfort for the baby and the wearer: Look for a carrier with padded shoulder straps and a supportive waistband to ensure you and your baby are comfortable.
- Ergonomic design: A suitable baby carrier should have an ergonomic design that supports your baby’s hips, spine, and neck while distributing their weight evenly; This helps prevent any discomfort or pain for your baby and yourself.
- Ease of use: Look for a carrier that is easy to use and adjust, with clear instructions and minimal hassle; This is especially important if you plan on using the carrier frequently or when you’re out and about.
- Versatility: Consider if you want a carrier that can be used in multiple positions, such as front, back, and hip carry; This can be helpful as your baby grows and becomes more active, giving you variety on your walks.
- Safety features: Check for adjustable straps, sturdy buckles, and secure closures that keep your baby safe and secure while in the carrier; This shouldn’t be compromised.
- Material and care: Consider the type of material the carrier is made of and if it is machine washable. The last thing you want to do is walk around with months-old spittle on the front of your carrier.
What is TICKS
The UK Sling Consortium has developed a safety protocol called TICKS to educate parents on proper baby carrier use. Here are the key points:
- Tight: The carrier should securely hold your baby close to your chest without allowing them to slump down, which can cause breathing difficulties and discomfort for you.
- In view at all times: You should be able to see your baby’s face without obstruction by any part of the carrier, allowing you to check on them with just a glance quickly.
- Close enough to kiss: Your baby’s head should be positioned as close to your chin as possible, enabling you to promptly kiss their forehead or head by looking down slightly.
- Keep the chin off the chest: The carrier should provide adequate support to prevent your baby’s chin from touching their chest, which can restrict their breathing. Ensure at least a finger’s width between their chin and chest.
- Supported back: Your baby’s back should be fully supported in its natural position, with its chest and stomach resting against you. Insufficient support can cause them to slump and restrict their airways. If you’re using a cradle position sling, ensure your baby’s bottom is in the deepest part of the sling to avoid fabric forcing their body to fold inward.
Baby carriers have come a long way since their inception. Today’s carriers are stylish, comfortable, and designed to support your baby’s growing body. There are various types of carriers to choose from, so it’s essential to select one that meets your baby’s needs and your personal preferences. Choosing a suitable baby carrier can be challenging, with many options available. To find the best carrier for you and your baby, you must first understand the different types of carriers and their benefits. With a suitable carrier, you can keep your little one safely close while giving your arms a much-needed break.
We hope this article helped determine how frequently to change a newborn’s diaper. Please check out our blog for more straightforward, light-hearted advice on fatherhood and subscribe to our newsletter here.