The Best Baby Carriers

The Best Baby Carriers

Our pick

Beco Gemini

Beco Gemini

The best baby carrier

The Gemini’s simple, versatile design can comfortably carry newborns to toddlers in more positions—on more adult body types—than most other baby carriers.

Buying Options

$105* from Backcountry
$140 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $140.

The Beco Gemini is a favorite among babywearing experts for good reason: Its crossable straps fit better on both narrow and wide shoulders and small and large frames, and they make it easier to put on and adjust than many carriers with more conventional backpack-style straps. Thanks to its minimal, streamlined design, it’s simpler to use than carriers overloaded with extra straps and padding. Its trim panel—the body of the carrier that supports your child—fits small babies and petite adults better, and it feels cooler on just about everyone than the bulkier panels of other models. Unlike most other carriers we looked at, the Gemini has an adjustable seat and panel that allow you to position your baby on your chest facing outward. It doesn’t require an unwieldy infant insert for newborns, and it fits babies under a year old—when they’re carried most frequently and longest—better than all the other models we considered. Beco carriers are the only ones we looked at that use safety buckles, too. The buckles bother some people because they require two hands to undo, but we think the added security is worth the inconvenience.

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Runner-up

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

Better for bigger kids

The Ergobaby is more comfortable than our pick for carrying larger toddlers, but its straps don’t fit slight shoulders as well, and it’s generally more complicated to use.

Buying Options

$160 from Bed Bath & Beyond
$110 from Ergobaby
$160 from Amazon

With backpack-style straps that don’t cross, the Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh doesn’t fit petite adults as well as our pick. To carry a baby under 12 pounds, you need a large, pillowy infant insert, which can be fiddly to use and feels like wearing a winter coat on your chest. As with the Beco Gemini, though, this carrier’s adjustable seat and panel allow you to carry your child on your front facing outward, unlike most carriers, which only turn the child in toward your chest. The Cool Air Mesh’s sun shade adds extra cushioning to the headrest when stowed, and its lumbar pad takes weight off your shoulders, hips, and pelvis and keeps the belt from digging into your waist. This cushioning makes the Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh the most comfortable carrier to use with a heavy toddler, but it also makes this model the bulkiest of our picks, and the wide, thickly padded panel can feel hot as it stifles airflow to your sides. The synthetic mesh exterior might help your child stay cooler, at least.

Budget pick

Lillebaby Essentials All Seasons

Lillebaby Essentials All Seasons

Less convenient, less versatile, less money

The Lillebaby has a bulky insert for infants and doesn’t let a child face outward, but its crossable straps and mesh panels are comfortable for kids and adults.

Buying Options

$100 from Amazon

At a fraction of the price, the Lillebaby Essentials All Seasons is in some ways comparable to our other picks, with crossable straps that spread the weight more evenly across your back (and fit different body types), plus mesh panels to help keep the child cool. But the Lillebaby’s wide seat and panel aren’t adjustable, so it can swallow up a smaller kid, and it requires a substantial insert for babies under 15 pounds. Unlike our other picks, this model doesn’t allow you to carry a child facing outward on your chest. But with convenient touches such as a sun shade, it’s a good value overall.

If you came to this guide for answers to a couple of important questions—“How do I wear my child safely?” and “Can I wear my child facing out?”—we’ve addressed both.

Everything we recommend

Our pick

Beco Gemini

Beco Gemini

The best baby carrier

The Gemini’s simple, versatile design can comfortably carry newborns to toddlers in more positions—on more adult body types—than most other baby carriers.

Buying Options

$105* from Backcountry
$140 from Amazon

*At the time of publishing, the price was $140.

Runner-up

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

Ergobaby 360 Cool Air Mesh

Better for bigger kids

The Ergobaby is more comfortable than our pick for carrying larger toddlers, but its straps don’t fit slight shoulders as well, and it’s generally more complicated to use.

Buying Options

$160 from Bed Bath & Beyond
$110 from Ergobaby
$160 from Amazon

Budget pick

Lillebaby Essentials All Seasons

Lillebaby Essentials All Seasons

Less convenient, less versatile, less money

The Lillebaby has a bulky insert for infants and doesn’t let a child face outward, but its crossable straps and mesh panels are comfortable for kids and adults.

Buying Options

$100 from Amazon

Source: NY Times – Wirecutter

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