The best baby carrier of 2020 & our best baby carrier reviews

Explore types of baby carriers, find the best affordable baby carrier, the best baby carrier for dads, and beyond.

How we test baby

Who carries the best baby carrier trophy?

You might wish you had four hands as a parent, and while there’s no baby carrier that can multiply appendages (yet), an awesome baby carrier means you can comfortably keep the two you already have. You’ll find literally dozens of baby carrier options are available to you, so we did a lot of research before even selecting the most popular carriers to field test. Keep reading for:

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Best Baby Carriers for 2020

Strap in, buckle up, find the best baby carrier for your needs and budget.

So, now that you know about the importance of pockets, what are the best baby carriers of 2020? Here are Fathercraft’s picks for the top baby carriers this year, across a couple of key categories.

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Overall best baby carrier—the Colugo Carrier

We think the Colugo is awesome. It’s easy to use, it features lots of pockets, magnetic buckles, and more. Plus, at just $125 it’s among the most affordable options out there, and the company also offers a 100-day in-home trial.

A baby in the Ergobaby 360 carrier being carried by a guy with a red shirt

Best baby carrier for newborns—the Ergobaby 360

We consider this the best option for newborns because it feels structured and sturdy, plus it has a well-thought out system for new babies. Also, it’s our co-founder John’s wife’s favorite overall carrier.

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Easiest baby carrier to use—the Baby Bjorn Carrier One

We actually like the Baby Bjorn a lot, the major drawback is that this sucker is heavy. Still, the grandaddy of baby carriers wins for easiest to use, because the printed-on instructions come in handy more than you’d think.

The most important features in a baby carrier

For Fathercraft’s baby carrier reviews, we evaluate carriers across a multi-point framework based on what we’ve found to be the most useful features we’ve tested and personally used over the years across four different kids in two states and a variety of conditions and activities.

For our reviews, we consider these features while we spend an extensive amount of time using each carrier — at least two months — and take detailed notes, photos, and videos along the way. Each one of our reviews consolidates our experience into a concise review and include our thoughts on what was awesome about the carrier, what we wished were different, and our final verdict.

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Comfort — yours and your baby’s

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Secureness

UI

Easy to adjust straps

Pockets

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Easy to put on

Machine Washable

The Reviews

What’s the best baby carrier for dads? Read our detailed baby carrier reviews below.

Baby Carrier Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a baby carrier?

Yes. A great baby carrier is a modern parenting essential. Wearing your baby hands free allows you to shop, clean, fold laundry, rake, hike, brew beer, you name it. Investing in a good baby carrier that works for you and your family will go a long way to helping make parenthood more manageable and enjoyable.

Are baby carriers safe for newborns? When can I carry my baby in a carrier?

To answer that question, first, always read the instructions that come with your baby carrier. This will tell you the minimum weight limit for a given baby carrier, as well as whether your carrier needs special settings or inserts to accommodate a small baby.

The second thing to note is your newborn will probably feel too small and ‘floppy’, particularly in the neck, for you to feel comfortable putting her in a carrier. If you do, you’ll need to pay extremely close attention to head and neck support. More likely, you’ll want to wait a bit. But, she’ll grow fast and soon you’ll likely get the sense she’s ready.

How much does a baby carrier cost?

Most baby carriers range from about $125 – $190. Some carriers retail for as high as $370. It’s worth noting that we’re talking about structured baby carriers here. Wraps and slings, which offer much less structure, tend to be less expensive, ranging anywhere from $25 – $65.

What are the most popular baby carrier brands?

Baby Bjorn is arguably the best known and most well-established baby carrier brand on the market, but a host of new baby carrier brands are out there now, offering parents more options than ever. At Fathercraft, we’ve reviewed the Colugo, Baby Bjorn, Ergobaby, Lilliebaby, and Beco Baby carriers. 

What’s the best baby carrier for hiking?

We haven’t personally tested a ton of baby carriers for hiking here at Fathercraft, but we do have a friend of the site who has extensively field tested and recommends Osprey brand hiking carriers.

Comfort - yours & your baby’s

Comfort for you involves a handful of things: the right padding, the right positioning of the carrier on your body, the ability to make adjustments that adjust your baby, as she grows, into a comfortable position. Also—lightweight material and good ventilation. Comfort for your baby could include comfortable positioning, how the fabric feels, and if there’s a sun shade option.

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Secureness

Your baby should be secure while in the carrier. Meaning you shouldn’t feel like your baby will pour out of it at any given moment. For the Fathercraft team, we prefer structured baby carriers because they feel more secure (to us) than slings or wraps.

UI

Easy to adjust straps

This is important because once your baby is in the carrier, adjusting anything becomes exponentially more difficult. How many straps are there? Where are they? Do you have to be a level 5 yoga instructor to reach them? You should be able to adjust the straps easily without squishing your baby.

Pockets

Some carriers have pockets, and pockets are good. Beyond simply having them, the ability to access what’s in them easily while the carrier is in use is also important. Good pockets are surprisingly uncommon among baby carriers, so they can be a differentiator.

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Easy to put on

Consider: Do you need a separate newborn insert? Where are the buckles? What kind of buckles are they? Are there 2 straps or 20? Is the carrier easy enough to put on that you’re not going to forget about your baby while you’re trying to adjust things?

Machine washable

As with all baby stuff, you will not believe how freaking dirty your carrier will get, in short order. You’re going to want a durable, machine-washable baby carrier, because sweat mixed with spit up is as disgusting as it sounds.