The Best Baby Carriers For Dads in 2020

Whether you’ve just become a proud papa or have a new little one on the way, babywearing provides a unique opportunity to bond with and soothe your baby. Often, carriers are designed with mom in mind, which can mean that they’re on the smaller side and may feature colors and patterns that aren’t among your first fashion choices.

On the hunt for a carrier that looks and feels great for dads? Check out our list of the best of the best, as well as a rundown of factors to consider as you shop.

Editor's Choice

The Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh

A soft-structured, breathable carrier that’s easy to adjust, comfortable to wear, and allows for multi-positional carrying.

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Not all carriers are made equal, which means that a carrier that’s great for mom might not be ideal for dad. If there’s a significant difference in the height and weight of two parents, sharing a carrier can be difficult — it’s likely that one parent will be comfortable in the device, while the other won’t truly be. Even soft-structured carriers that can be adjusted are a bit frustrating to share, as users will find themselves having to change the buckles and straps every time their partner has used the carrier.

A size-friendly pick isn’t 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 be something dad would prefer to avoid. There’s also the case of twins or large families, wherein it’s helpful for as many people to be geared up to take care of and carry babies as possible.

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 they’re ideal for adventures.

What are some features dads might be interested in checking 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 will 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 when buying your carrier in order to make sure it comes in a size you find comfortable.
  • Support: Although there are tons of benefits to wearing your baby, you may also find yourself stuck with the detriments of 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 these aches.
  • Price: Money is always a consideration, but even more so 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 in the market for something budget-conscious, wraps and slings tend to be at the lower end of the possible costs.

Our Top Picks

#1 The Ergobaby Omni 360 with Cool Air Mesh

Editors Choice

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 find 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 Amazon) construction keeps wearer and baby comfortable when things get toasty, and it has the highest weight limit of any carrier on our list at 45 lbs — for many parents, that’s a full year of extra carrier use. There’s no infant insert needed for wear, and there’s plenty of storage available via a large pocket that’s great for stashing your on-the-go baby needs. The cherry on top? 15 different color options, so you’re sure to find a style you’ll dig.

What We Love:

  • The cool air mesh design keeps you and baby comfortable and temperate during wear
  • It accommodates kids up to 45 lbs, boasting the highest weight limit of any carrier on our list

Watch out for:

  • Although the mesh is breathable, it’s less soft than some other fabrics, which may be irritating to sensitive babies

Check Price on Amazon

#2 The Osprey Packs Poco AG Child Carrier

Upgrade Choice

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 who are 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 perform a back carry for your little one as well as carry all your other trail essentials.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to be a rugged outdoorsman to enjoy this carrier, as it’s highly durable and offers a remarkable amount of storage space compared to comparable picks. The hollow aluminum frame of the carrier also bears the brunt of the load, offering for superior weight distribution. It’s a sturdy pack, but it’s not ideal for newborns, as babies can only be back-carried in the pack. You’ll also need to account for the weight of your supplies as well as your child when adhering to the maximum limit of 40 lbs.

What We Love:

  • It’s specifically designed for adventures, putting your baby in the back-carry position and adding plenty of extra storage
  • The carrier’s low weight aluminum frame bears the brunt of the load, so it’s easy on your back

Watch out for:

Check Price on Amazon

#3 The Beco Gemini Baby Carrier

Best Budget Buy

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 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 in the shoulders may prefer the Gemini, which features extra padding in the shoulder area to alleviate pressure during wear.

It’s an ideal pick for newborns and smaller babies, as you’ll be able to 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 which prevents the need for annoying triple-lock buckles
  • You can carry in front, hip, and back positions with this carrier, and it’s good til about age three, all for an affordable price

Watch out for:

  • The buckles are a bit bulky, which can make them difficult to fasten and unfasten

Check Price on Amazon

#4 The BABYBJÖRN One Air

Best for support

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 needed and they’re easy to adjust. BABYBJÖRN has earned its reputation as an expert in baby carriers through their durable, functional offerings that have long been 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 — this can be a lifesaver on hot days, as sweating can quickly become uncomfortable for both of you. It’s suitable from birth to three years with no infant insert needed, and you’ll be able to carry in four positions. Finally, it comes with a handy windproof cover that’s ideal for use when babywearing in cool, windy, or wet weather.

What We Love:

  • It’s ergonomically sound and adjustable, so there’s excellent lumbar support offered 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 out for:

  • There’s no storage pocket, so you’ll probably need to bring a diaper bag

Check Price on Amazon

#5 The Baby K’tan Active Baby Wrap Carrier

Best baby wrap for dads

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 thought of wraps but is deterred by the learning curve, the Baby K’tan Active Wrap Carrier (check price on Amazon) is right up your alley. It’s designed for wearers who want the comfort and security of wearing baby in a wrap without the folding and tying necessary to use a traditional fabric wrap. Putting on your Baby K’Tan is, as the company suggests, just as easy as putting on a t-shirt — it simply goes over your head with your arms through the holes, and you’re ready for wearing baby.

Their Active model is made from high tech performance fabric that makes it more breathable than the traditional Baby K’tan, so it’s a good all-weather carrier. The carrier’s fabric is also able to 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 out for:

  • You can’t perform a back carry using this carrier

Check Price on Amazon

#6 The TBG Tactical Baby Carrier

Best to grow with baby

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

Dads who are gear guys will be quick to take to this rugged carrier, which has a military-style design that’s compatible with the use of carabiners and Tactical Baby Gear accessories. The front panel’s hook-and-loop design of the TBG Tactical Baby Carrier (check price on Amazon) allows the wearer to customize the carrier with pouches. Inside, a washable cotton lining cushions and protects baby, which can be removed for washing and drying.

Although there’s no storage built into the Tactical Baby Carrier, it leaves your back open for use of the Tactical Diaper Bag, which is sold separately. Also sold separately are storage pouches, which can be attached to the carrier’s front panel if desired.

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 out for:

  • There’s no storage pocket, but the open back frees you up to use the tactical diaper bag backpack accessory, which is sold separately

Check Price on Amazon

#7 The Ergobaby Embrace Baby Carrier

Best for newborns

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 baby at birth. The Embrace from Ergobaby (check price on Amazon) is designed for your newborn, offering secure support to babies starting at 7 lbs. It’s extremely simple to adjust and wear, which makes life just a little bit easier with a new baby in your arms.

The Embrace offers cushioned neck support for baby, allowing them to comfortably rest and sleep while being worn, and it’s already ready for your newborn; no infant insert needed here. One thing to note: This carrier is specifically for newborns, and the upper weight limit of 25 lbs means it won’t be usable long past their first year.

What We Love:

  • It’s ideal for newborns and smaller babies, and there’s no need to buy an infant insert
  • The rear cross-straps can be spread out in order to achieve maximum comfort

Watch out for:

  • It’s especially for newborns, so it can’t accommodate babies over 25 lbs

Check Price on Amazon


A Carriers-For-Dads FAQ

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

Of course, there is no difference other than perhaps size and style! Baby carriers aren’t designed to be gendered, they simply come in different sizes and have different color and pattern options. Dads may need larger carriers than moms, and they may prefer them in more neutral colors, but not always! That’s truly 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 is at birth or shortly after. It’s always best to get the go-ahead from your pediatrician, especially if your baby is premature or has any 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, which includes slings, mei tais, wraps, and soft-structured carriers. Any carrier that requires that baby be worn on your back should be reserved until they’re about a year old when it becomes safer for them to have that level of autonomy in their carrier.

And The Winnes Is…

It’s hard to argue with the Omni 360 (check price on Amazon), which provides superior utility and comfort. The breathable construction helps to avoid the discomfort and agitation that can happen when babywearing on hot days, and the large storage pocket can help alleviate the need for a cumbersome diaper bag. It allows wearers to carry in all positions, and it’s the only carrier on our list that can be good until they’re four, so it’s an easy pick for our editor’s choice.

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