The Best Baby Carriers For Dads

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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Whether you’ve just become a proud papa or have a child on the way, babywearing provides a unique opportunity to bond with your baby.

Carriers are often designed with moms in mind, which means they can be on the smaller side, featuring colors and patterns that aren’t among your own fashion choices.

If you’re hunting for a carrier that looks and feels great for dads, check out our list of what we think are the best, and our rundown of factors to consider while you shop.

Not all carriers are made equal, which means that what’s good for one parent might not work for the other. If there’s a big difference in the height and weight of both parents, sharing a carrier may prove difficult.

It’s likely that, while one parent will be comfortable in the device, the other won’t. Even a soft-structured, adjustable carrier can be frustrating to share, as users will have to change the buckles and straps every time their partner has used it.

Size may not be the only reason dad might want his own carrier. Moms who prefer feminine colors and trendy prints can rock a cute carrier and easily coordinate with accessories, but wearing that same pink chevron carrier might not hack it with dad.

Also, when twins or large families are involved, it helps if more than one person is geared up to take care of and carry the kids!.

What are some babywearing options for dads?

  • Wraps: Made of a long, wide piece of fabric, these carriers are folded and tied to create a pouch for wearing baby. They’re very adjustable by nature, and many wraps are ideal for wearers with larger frames.
  • Slings: Like a wrap, these sling carriers are made of fabric, but are a bit easier to learn to use. They create a pouch for your baby by looping a fabric tube through sturdy rings in order to secure it. They’re often available in multiple sizes.
  • Mei-tais: These carriers combine the structured seat of a soft-structured carrier with the soft comfort and knotting of a wrap, but learning to secure them is easy. Mei-tais are often great for wearers with larger frames.
  • Soft structured carriers: Great for quick babywearing, a soft-structured carrier adjusts to fit with straps and buckles and often includes a storage pocket that makes life easier when you’re on the go with your baby. Most have a wide range of adjustment, so it won’t be hard for the average dad to fit.
  • Frame-based carriers: These picks skew a bit away from the closeness facilitated by traditional babywearing, but they’re convenient for back carry when baby is old enough. They’re made out of sturdy fabric that’s stretched over a hollow metal frame, creating a safe space for your little one as well as on-the-go storage. They’re definitely the bulkiest pick here, but ideal for adventures.

Related: Baby Carriers vs. Wraps vs. Slings: An Easy yet Expert Guide

Some features for dads to check out while shopping for their carrier.

  • Color: Just like any wearer, dad might be interested in coordinating the color of his babywearing carrier to other items and accessories in his wardrobe, like belt, shoes, or jacket. There are plenty of neutral, masculine colors and patterns available, so it won’t be hard to find something that will appeal to his sense of style.
  • Type of carrier: What works for one parent and baby may not work for all, because, as we know, parenthood has no universal rules. Dads would do well to experience different types of carriers to choose their favorite, if possible. Otherwise, choosing something that’s good for your frame, on-the-go needs, and aptitude for carriers, will make your life the easiest.
  • Size: This isn’t just true for dads — a big carrier can dwarf a small wearer, while a small carrier can be unsafe or unwearable if the wearer’s frame is too large. Look at dimensions, range of adjustment, and if multiple sizes are available to make sure it comes in a suitable size.
  • Support: Although there are numerous benefits to wearing your baby, you may also find yourself stuck with back and shoulder pain if your carrier doesn’t provide adequate lumbar support. Look for something that alleviates strain on your lower back and shoulders to avoid this.
  • Price: Cost is always a consideration, especially if this is your second carrier. Prices can range from the tens to the hundreds of dollars depending on what you’re shopping for, so, if you’re looking for something budget-conscious, wraps and slings tend to be at the lower end of the price scale.

Related: Boba 4G vs Ergo Baby Carrier (2021 Comparison Guide)

Our top picks of the best baby carriers for dads

Editors choice

Our opinion

Weight limit: 7 – 45 lbs.
Carrier style: Soft-structured carrier
Color options: 15
Has storage space: Yes
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: Yes

There’s a reason this carrier tops lists and finds a place in the home of many new parents.

Ergobaby is a trusted name in baby carriers, and this soft-structured, breathable carrier is easy to adjust, comfortable to wear and allows for multi-positional carrying.

The Ergobaby Omni 360 with Cool Air Mesh (check price on Amazonconstruction keeps wearer and baby comfortable when the weather gets hot, and, at 45 lbs., it has the highest weight-limit of any carrier on our list — for many parents, that can mean an extra year of carrier use!

There’s no infant-insert needed for wear, plus plenty of storage available via a large pocket for stashing your on-the-go baby needs.

The cherry on top? 15 different color options!

What we love
  • Cool air-mesh design keeps you and baby comfortable and temperate during wear
  • Accommodates kids weighing up to 45 lbs., boasting the highest weight limit of any carrier on our list
Watch for
  • Although the mesh is breathable, it’s less soft than some other fabrics, which may be irritate sensitive babies

Upgrade choice

Our opinion

Weight limit: 16 – 40 lbs.
Carrier style: Frame-based
Color options: Black, Ivy Green, Seaside Blue
Has storage space: Yes
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: Yes

Active dads eager to bring baby along on trailblazing missions will take quickly to this frame-based carrier from Osprey Packs (check price on Amazon), which allows you to safely back carry your little one along with all your other trail essentials.

You don’t have to be a rugged outdoorsman to enjoy this carrier, as it’s highly durable and offers loads of storage space compared to other picks.

Its hollow, aluminum frame bears the brunt of the load, offering superior weight distribution.

Though it’s sturdy, it’s not ideal for newborns, as babies can only be back-carried in this pack.

You also need to account for the weight of your supplies along with your child when sticking to its maximum limit of 40 lbs.

What we love
  • Specifically designed for adventures, while putting your baby in the back-carry position plus lots of extra storage
  • The carrier’s low-weight, aluminum frame bears the brunt of the load, so it’s easy on your back
Watch for
  • Only one size available

Best budget buy

Our opinion

Weight limit: 7 – 35 lbs.
Carrier style: Soft-structured
Color options: 29
Has storage space: No
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: Yes

You don’t always have to break the bank to babywear in style!

Dads are sure to find a color or pattern they’ll like among the 29 style choices offered by the Becco Gemini (check price on Amazon), which is lightweight, but strong, and allows you to carry baby in four positions.

Wearers who’ve found past carriers to be uncomfortable on the shoulders may prefer the Gemini, which features extra padding in the shoulder area to alleviate pressure during wear.

It’s ideal for newborns and smaller babies, as you can wear your little one, starting at 7 lbs., without the need for an infant insert. It’s also easy to widen the seat for baby’s comfort as they grow, allowing knee-to-knee support.

What we love
  • The shoulder straps have a safety catch, removing the need for annoying, triple-lock buckles
  • You can carry in front, hip, and back positions with this carrier, and it’s good up till around age three, all at an affordable price
Watch for
  • The buckles are a bit bulky, making them difficult to fasten and unfasten

Best for support

Our opinion

Weight limit: 8 – 33 lbs.
Carrier style: Soft-structured
Color options: 10
Has storage space: No
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: Yes

Soft-structured carriers take a lot of frustration out of babywearing because there’s no wrapping involved and they’re easy to adjust.

BABYBJÖRN has earned its reputation as an expert in baby carriers through its durable, functional offerings — long considered an industry standard.

The BABYBJÖRN One Air (check price on Amazon) model is made of a breathable, 3D mesh that helps keep both dad and baby cool during wear — a lifesaver on hot days, as sweating can quickly become uncomfortable for both.

It’s suitable from birth to three years without infant inserts needed, and you can carry in four positions.

Finally, it comes with a handy, windproof cover that’s ideal for babywearing in cool, windy, or wet weather.

What we love
  • Ergonomically sound and adjustable, so there’s excellent lumbar support, no matter what your size
  • This carrier is very breathable, so it’s easy for you and baby to stay cool on hot days
Watch for
  • No storage pocket, so you’ll need to bring a diaper bag

Best baby wrap for dads

Our opinion

Weight limit: 8 – 35 lbs.
Carrier style: Wrap/sling hybrid
Color options: White, black, Ocean Blue, coral
Has storage space: No
Available in sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Allows back carry: No

If you’re a dad who loves the idea of a wrap but is deterred by the learning curve, the Baby K’tan Active Wrap Carrier (check price on Amazon) is for you.

It’s designed for those who want the comfort and security of wearing a baby in a wrap without the folding and tying associated with a traditional, fabric wrap.

Putting on your Baby K’Tan is, as the company suggests, as easy as putting on a T-shirt — it simply goes over your head with your arms through the holes, and you’re ready to wear the baby.

Their Active model is made from high-tech performance fabric that makes it more breathable than the traditional Baby K’tan, making it a good all-weather carrier.

Its fabric can also block 90% of UVA/UVB rays, so you’ll be able to keep your little one’s delicate skin safe (but never skip the sunblock!)

What we love
  • It has all the comfort and benefits of a wrap, without the complex learning curve of traditional long wraps
  • The soft, breathable fabric is easy to machine-wash and offers climate control for you and baby
Watch for
  • You can’t back-carry with this carrier

Best for growing with baby

Our opinion

Weight limit: 8 – 33 lbs.
Carrier style: Soft-structured
Color options: Black, Black Camo, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green
Has storage space: No
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: No

Gear-guy dads will quickly take to this rugged carrier with its military-style design, compatible with the use of carabiners and Tactical Baby Gear accessories.

The front panel hook-and-loop design of the TBG Tactical Baby Carrier (check price on Walmart) allows the wearer to customize it with pouches.

Inside, a cotton lining that can be removed for washing and drying, cushions and protects the baby.

Although there’s no storage, it leaves your back free to use the Tactical Diaper Bag, which comes separately.

Also sold separately are storage pouches which can be attached to the carrier’s front panel if needed.

What we love
  • It has a military-style design that’s compatible with TBG accessories and carabiners
  • The liner can be removed and washed
Watch for
  • There’s no storage pocket, but the open back frees you up to use the Tactical Diaper Bag backpack accessory (sold separately)

Best for newborns

Our opinion

Weight limit: 7 – 25 lbs.
Carrier style: Soft-structured
Color options: Pure Black, Heather Grey, Oxford Blue
Has storage space: No
Available in sizes: No
Allows back carry: No

Babywearing is so natural and beneficial to your little one that many pediatricians give the go-ahead to start wearing your baby from birth.

The Embrace from Ergobaby (check price on Target) is designed for newborns, offering secure support to babies starting at 7 lbs.

It’s extremely simple to adjust and wear, which makes life a little easier with a new baby in your arms.

The Embrace offers cushioned neck support for babies, allowing them to comfortably rest and sleep while being worn, and it’s just right for newborns, with no infant inserts needed.

One thing to note: This carrier is designed for newborns, and the upper weight limit of 25 lbs. means it won’t be usable long after their first year.

What we love
  • It’s ideal for newborns and smaller babies, with no need to buy an infant insert
  • The rear cross-straps can be spread out in order to achieve maximum comfort
Watch for
  • It’s designed especially for newborns, so won't accommodate babies over 25 lbs.

A carriers-for-dads FAQ

What’s the difference between a regular baby carrier and a baby carrier for dads?

There’s no real difference other than, perhaps, size and style! Baby carriers aren’t designed to be gendered but simply come in different sizes with different color/pattern options.

Dads may need larger carriers than moms, and may prefer more neutral colors, though not always! That’s the only difference.

When is it safe to start wearing a baby in a carrier?

The majority of babywearing carriers advise that it’s safe to start wearing your baby when they reach 8 lbs., which usually means from birth, or shortly after.

It’s always best to get advice from your pediatrician, especially if your baby is premature or has health issues, no matter how minor.

What baby carrier style will be best for my newborn?

Any carrier that facilitates front inward-facing carry is safe for newborns. This includes slings, Mei Tais, wraps, and soft-structured carriers.

A carrier designed for babies to be worn on the back should be reserved till they’re about a year old, as this offers them a safer level of autonomy in their carrier.

Related: The Best Ring Slings You Can Buy in 2021

And the winner is…

It’s hard to argue with the Omni 360 (check price on Amazon), which provides superior utility and comfort.

The breathable design helps reduce the discomfort and agitation that happens when babywearing on hot days, and the large storage pocket removes the need for a cumbersome diaper bag.

It lets the wearer carry in any position and is the only carrier on our list that can be used up until age 4. An easy pick for our Editor’s Choice.

Neve Spicer
Written by Neve Spicer Updated on April 19th, 2023

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