Carriers are, by far, the best way to take your little ones with you when you run errands. They give them a better view of the world, keep them comfy and content, and allow you to have the full use of your hands while you shop or work. Now, you might think that carriers are only made for newborns or younger babies. Which is, happily, not at all true!
Even when your kid gets to the much more mobile toddler stage, they will still want to be carried. That’s why it’s a good idea to not only get a good baby carrier but the best toddler carrier that you can get your hands on as well.
But what goes into finding the right carrier for your toddler? Well, to put it mildly, a lot!
There is a ton of stuff that you need to know to make sure that you are getting the best carrier for you and your kid, such as the carrier type, weight limit, positions, materials, and so much more. That is, of course, where I come in! I have done all of the hard work for you and researched everything for you. In this article, you’ll find everything that you need to make sure you are getting the best toddler carrier for you and your little one.
The 5 Best Toddler Carriers (Quick Reviews)
Tula Ergonomic Carrier *Best Choice*
(*) Below, you'll find my detailed review, but you can also click the links above to see prices and read customer opinions.
1. Tula Ergonomic Carrier *Best Choice*
Why We Love It
Of all the different choices out there, this just might be the best toddler carrier on the market. It is made from 100% cotton, which makes it exceedingly breathable and comfortable for warmer weather. This will allow you to be comfy even when you are carrying a sweaty little kid with you on a warm summer day.
The best part of this carrier has got to be its weight limit. Though you cannot use it for a younger baby, since its weight limit starts at 25 lbs, it can go all the way up to 60 lbs. That’s right, 60 pounds! You would be able to use this carrier even into your kid’s preschool years, making it a great value, since you’ll get a lot of use out of it.
Keep In Mind
While this carrier can be used for older children, it will not work for an infant. You will also be limited in your carrying options, as this carrier can only be used as a front or back carrier.
Why We Love It
One of the coolest things for this carrier is that it can be used for infants as well as toddlers. You can either choose to wear your kid on the front up to 25 lbs, or on your back up to 45 lbs. This makes it a good value since you’ll be able to use it for a good long time. It is also made from 100% cotton, which makes it nice and comfortable for warmer weather.
Keep In Mind
The only real problem with the Boba 4G carrier is the limited carrying options. Since you can only use this as a back carrier when your baby gets older, you might not be as comfortable as you would like to be when you are carrying your toddler.
Why We Love It
The Ergobaby is one of the original standard carriers on the market today. It has been around for a good long time, and for good reason. It is simple to adjust, will allow you to carry your toddler in lots of different ways, and has lots of padding to keep the two of you comfortable. It is also completely breathable, which makes it a good choice for warmer weather.
Keep In Mind
The straps that come with this carrier are a bit on the small side. While you can purchase different straps that are a bit longer, they will cost you extra, which, when you consider how expensive this carrier is, to begin with, is less than ideal.
Why We Love It
If you are looking for a good carrier to first use with your infant and then transition into a beginning toddler carrier, then this is the carrier for you. It is designed to give plenty of support for your child when they are very small and doesn’t need an insert.
Keep In Mind
While this carrier works well for infants and younger toddlers, it will limit the number of positions that you can utilize. This carrier can only be used as a front carrier. Of course, you can choose to have your kiddo front facing or facing into you.
Since it is only designed as a front carrier, it doesn’t have a very high weight limit either, which is definitely a big consideration if you have a bigger toddler.
Why We Love It
Backpack carriers are by far the most comfortable carrier type since they provide plenty of support for both you and your kid. This carrier is super simple to get on, and it has plenty of extra space to carry all of the necessities that you need for a day out on the town with your toddler.
The weight limit is 50 lbs, which makes it a good choice for a larger toddler as well.
Keep In Mind
This carrier, like all backpack carriers, is a bit bulky. This might make it tricky when you are completing some of your errands, especially if you need to go into a smaller store.
And The Winner Is...
Of all the different carriers on the market today, the one that I have found to be the very best toddler carrier has got to be the Tula Ergonomic Carrier. It has the highest weight limit of any carrier out there, making it perfect for hauling around a toddler, or even a preschooler. It also comes with plenty of padding, nice long straps, and of course, is really breathable.
I highly recommend that you check this carrier out, I guarantee you won’t be sorry!
As you might have guessed, there is a lot to consider when it comes to finding the best toddler carrier for you and your kid. In this section, we’ll go over all the ins and outs of finding the right carrier for your needs, so that you can rest assured that you, and your kiddo, will be comfortable.
The first thing that you need to think of when you are looking for a carrier for your toddler is the type of carrier. While there are lots of different carrier types for infants, they do not all apply for toddlers, since they weigh a bit more. You’ll want to steer clear from wraps or modified wraps, and instead stick with backpack or standard style carriers.
Standard – If you close your eyes and think of a carrier, you will most likely come up with a standard style carrier. These carriers are really easy to use, lightweight, and are usually made out of comfortable, easy to clean, and breathable materials. They also will allow you to carry your kid in a variety of manners, so that you can make sure that you are comfortable. They do tend to be pretty expensive, however.
Backpack – Backpack carriers are a great way to tote around an older kid. They give them a wonderful view of the world and help to keep your back from feeling the strain of carrying a much bigger kid around. Of course, you can only have your child on your back, and these carriers do tend to be a bit bulkier than standard carriers.
Key Features To Look For In The Best Toddler Carrier
In this section, we will go through everything that you need to know in order to find the best toddler carrier.
The very first thing that you need to take into account when you are looking for a carrier for your toddler is how comfortable the thing is. Let’s face it, a toddler is not going to do anything that they don’t want to do, and if they aren’t comfortable in their carrier, you are going to hear about it. Plus, if you aren’t comfy, you aren’t going to want to wear it, or them, either.
You should always try on the carrier of your choice without your kiddo in it first. That way, you can make sure to adjust the straps properly without also having a wiggly kid to deal with.
The straps should be snug, but not so tight that they are cutting into your skin. The shoulder pads should be good and thick. There should also be padding for your back and sides since you are going to be carrying a heavy toddler around with you. The padding for your little one should also be nice and thick, or they won’t want to be in the carrier for long.
Since you are going to be choosing from either a standard or backpack style carrier, you have a few different choices as far as positions go. For a backpack carrier, you can only have your kiddo on your back. Like I said before, this is a really nice way to carry a heavier toddler, since it puts all of their weight on your hips and shoulders, rather than your back.
Of course, if you are someone who likes to the front, hip, or side carry your little one, you will want to go for a standard carrier. Just be sure that you read into your standard carrier of choice, since not all of them offer lots of different carrying choices, as some will only allow you to front or back carry your kiddo.
Almost every type of carrier on the market today is made out of cotton, nylon, polyester, or a combination of all three. Each of these materials offers a different set of advantages and disadvantages, with the combinations usually being the best. Carriers that are made out a combination material are usually the easiest to clean and the most comfortable.
Of course, if you would prefer to go with only one material, I would highly recommend you go with cotton. This is by far the most comfortable material, especially in warmer weather, since it is extremely breathable.
Nylon and polyester are easy to keep clean, but not particularly breathable, making them less ideal for hotter weather.
4. Ease of Use
The easier a carrier is to use, the more likely that you will want to use it! You should be able to get your little one into the carrier with as little effort as possible.
Since you are looking for a toddler carrier, after all, you need to face the unfortunate fact that they might not want to get right into the carrier. This might mean that you need to get them in when they are less than helpful.
Whatever carrier that you decide to get, you want to make sure that it can be adjusted. That way, you can make sure that both you and your little one are as comfortable as possible. This is especially important to take into account since you are going to be only picking from a backpack or standard carrier.
Both of these carriers come with a limited amount of straps that you can use to adjust the fit.
Backpack carriers generally are easier to fit, since they are designed as one-sized-fits-all. Standard carriers, on the other hand, are based on your body size, so make sure you look into the fitting instructions to make sure you purchase one that is the right size for your needs.
6. Weight Limit
Since you are looking for a carrier for your toddler, the weight limit is going to come into play here much more than it would if you were just looking for a carrier for a baby. Depending on how large your child is, you need to be sure that you have a carrier that can handle their weight.
The 5 Best Toddler Carriers (Full Reviews)
1. Tula Ergonomic Carrier *Best Choice*
This is my pick for the best toddler carrier out there, and for good reason. To start with, it has the highest weight limit of any carrier on the market today.
With this carrier, you can tote around your toddler all the way up to and including 60 lbs! What this means is, as long as your back can handle the extra weight, you would be able to carry your child well into their preschool years. This makes this carrier a tremendous value since you will get tons of time to use it with your toddler.
One of the biggest roadblocks to getting a toddler in a carrier is their fierce sense of independence. Luckily, this carrier is so very comfortable for a kid to ride in that your toddler will probably beg to be put into it! This is because of a variety of factors, but the biggest one has to be the extra wide seat. This wide seat helps to keep your little one’s legs positioned properly, which will keep them that much more comfortable.
The carrier itself also has plenty of padding in both the seat and strap areas to help your little one relax and enjoy the ride.
To go along with this extra padding, the carrier is made with extremely breathable materials. This will help to keep your kid, and you, nice in comfy, no matter the temperature. The shoulder pads are also some of the thickest and widest out there, which makes carrying even the heaviest toddler seem like child’s play.
The Tula is also one of the easiest carriers to use. It is designed with simplicity in mind. Even with a squirmy little kid on your hands, this carrier is quick and easy to get on and off.
It is also super easy to adjust on the fly, even if you are all alone. This makes it ideal for stay at home moms that have errands to run need to take their littles along. Even if the straps get adjusted without your knowledge, you’ll be able to quickly and easily get them back into place.
Finally, as a parent, you know that accidents are bound to happen, especially when you are dealing with toddlers. Luckily, the Tula is one easy to clean carrier. Since it is made with 100% cotton, all you need to do is drop it in the washing machine with a bit of gentle detergent. This truly is the best toddler carrier out there, and I highly recommend that you give it a try!
This is another great option for a standard style toddler carrier. It can be used in two different wearing positions, which are front carry facing in and back carrying.
It also has a high weight limit of 45 lbs. This makes it a good carrier for a toddler or even a lighter weight preschooler. It can also be used with an infant insert, which makes this carrier a good value. You could easily use this carrier from you the time of your baby’s birth until they start preschool, and remain comfortable the whole time.
While the seat on this carrier is not quite as wide as some others, it is nice and deep. The material that is used for the seat is nice and comfortable, which will help to keep your toddler in it for a longer amount of time. The leg holes are also nice and wide, though they are a bit thinner than I would like them to be.
Thankfully, the design of the carrier helps to keep your little one in a comfortable position, which helps to alleviate any pressure that they might feel on their little legs.
The padding for the wearer is nice and thick on the shoulder straps. Even if you are carrying an exceedingly large toddler, you probably won’t notice it in the shoulders. I wish the same were true for the waistband. Unfortunately, the waistband is a bit thinner, and even though it is still soft, it might not give you the support you need when you are carrying a bigger kid.
This is one of the easiest carriers to use, thanks in large part to the intuitive and easy to use straps. All of the straps on this carrier are dual-adjustable. This means that you can pull from either side of the buckle and still adjust the strap accordingly, which makes it a lot easier when you are trying to wrangle your toddler. This carrier also has long straps, which helps to fit a wider range of wearers comfortably.
One of the biggest problems with this carrier is that it is a bit difficult to clean. The instructions say that you should spot clean it and only machine wash it when necessary. If you do have to wash it in the washing machine, be sure that you don’t put it in the dryer, as this could cause major damage.
This carrier has been around for a good long time, and for good reason. It is one of the only toddler carriers out there that allows you to wear your kiddo on your hip. You can also use it as a chest carrier or a backpack.
The Ergobaby is one of the most versatile carriers out there, since it will allow you to wear your little one pretty much any way you want, and has a nice high weight limit. It can be used all the way up to 45 lbs, making it perfect for pretty much any toddler out there.
You can also use this carrier for a younger child if you choose, which helps to make this a better value. Of course, the only downside to this idea is that you would need to purchase an extra infant insert, which would add to the cost of the carrier. Since this is already one of the most expensive carriers out there, which might make purchasing an extra insert less than ideal for you.
Of course, if you do decide to go that route, you would be able to get by with just this carrier, since it could be used from the newborn to preschool stages of your child’s development.
As you would expect from a standard carrier, it is designed to make sure that your little one is comfortable when they are in the carrier. It has a nice wide seating area that will force your child into an anatomically correct position, which will help them to remain comfy when they are riding along. It is also made out of 100% cotton, which makes it one of the most breathable carriers available.
The Ergobaby is also one of the most comfortable for adults to wear. It has two different straps that you can adjust to fit your body type and give you the support that you need.
The straps are nice and thick and will provide you with plenty of cushioning on bother your neck and back. The seating area is also nice and padded for your little one, which will help them to be as comfy as possible when they are in the carrier.
This carrier is also super easy to clean. Since it is made with 100% cotton, you can either spot clean it or put it in the washing machine. You just want to make sure that you don’t put it in the dryer, as this could cause the carrier to shrink. Otherwise, this is a simple carrier to maintain, and with a toddler in your life, the easier to clean something is, the better!
One of the biggest downers when it comes to toddler carriers is that they are really expensive. If you are looking for a pretty good toddler carrier and are on a tighter budget than this just might be the right choice for you. It is a soft structure standard carrier, which means that it is both lightweight and easy to adjust.
It must be said, however, that all of the adjustments for this carrier need to be made before you put your kiddo in. If you try to adjust the straps with your child already installed, you run the risk of breaking the straps, which is, obviously, less than ideal. The seat width for this carrier is a bit on the skinny side, though it is still thick and fluffy enough to keep your little one content and cozy.
This carrier is quite comfortable for carrying your toddler, as long as they aren’t on the heavy side. The shoulder straps are nice and thick, and the crisscross design helps to provide plenty of support for your shoulders.
The biggest problem with this carrier’s design, as far the wearer’s comfort is concerned, is the fact that it doesn’t have any back support. You can purchase extra straps to help out with this, but if you are trying to save money, this is less than ideal.
The BabyBjorn is one of the easiest carriers on the market to manage and utilize properly. The straps are easy to adjust and intuitive to the position. It is quick and easy to get a custom fit for you and your little one with minor adjustments. The straps also are very good at staying in place, which makes it less likely that you will need to adjust it later on down the road.
This carrier is also a bit tricky to clean. While it can be machine washed, it takes a long time to dry, thanks in part to its extra thick straps and shoulder pads.
Unlike the other carriers that I looked at, this one has a relatively lightweight limit. It is only designed to hold a child up to 33 lbs. Luckily, this should still keep you covered all the way through the toddler years. Of course, the bigger your kid, the more strain you are going to feel in your back with this carrier unless you splurge for the extra waistband strap to help support their weight.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love backpack carriers? While lots of people only think of them for extended hikes in the woods, they are just as good for daily tasks as well. They are really comfortable. The straps on this one, in particular, are nice and thick, which helps to make that great big kid on your back feel like they weigh nothing at all.
This backpack comes with two different straps to help reduce the strain on your back. Both the chest clip and waistband can be adjusted to fit pretty much any body type. The hip strap can even be adjusted up and down, which will allow you to fit the backpack to not only how big around you are, but how tall you are as well.
This backpack is extremely lightweight, which is impressive considering how solidly constructed it is. Even though it has a rigid internal frame, the carrier only weighs about 5 lbs. It has a maximum weight of 50 lbs, which is perfect for even the biggest toddlers.
Of course, since it is a backpack, you can also carry all of the necessary items along with you, without having to also carry a diaper bag or snack bag. There is plenty of space for whatever you need to bring with you. Plus, if the backpack portion is getting too heavy for you, and you have someone around to help, you can easily zip it off and share the load.
Something else that I love about backpack carriers is the vantage point that they give kids. Unlike a standard carrier, which puts a little one right against you, this backpack carrier lifts them above your head. This gives them a great view of the world and also allows them to have their hands free so that they could play with a toy, or eat a snack while you are on the go.
The Pathfinder is also one of the easiest carriers to get a kid into. Since it has a kickstand to keep it upright on the ground, you can put your toddler in when the bag is not on you. After they are all strapped in, all you need to do is haul them up onto your back.
Of course, as they get older, you want to make sure that you have the bag on an elevated surface so that you don’t need to lift such heavy kiddo up so high.
Ride, Ride, Ride, Let Them Ride!
Well, there you have it! Now you know everything you need to know to find the best toddler carrier to let your bigger kid take a ride with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article! Have a great day!