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The Best Baby Carriers for Dads Reviewed and Compared


Hearing Daddy’s heartbeat, feeling his warmth, knowing his smell; it intensifies the bonding experience between baby and dad and gives dad a hint of the closeness that Mom’s been feeling from Day 1 in the womb.  My top pick for the best baby carrier for dads is the LILLEbaby COMPLETE Original. Read on for this review and more to help you pick out the perfect carrier for Dad.

Best Baby Carrier for Dad:
Best Baby Hiking Backpack:
Best Masculine Baby Carrier:


Best Baby Carriers for Dad

The BabyBjorn carrier offers the best look and fit for dads compared to the other baby carriers. With that being said, the BabyBjorn carrier packs a high price and is the highest-priced baby carrier on this list whereas the Infantino Flip is the lowest-priced baby carrier.

LILLEbaby Six-Position Ergonomic Carrier for Dads

LÍLLÉbaby Complete Original Ergonomic 6-in-1 Baby Carrier Newborn to Toddler - with Lumbar Support - for Children 7-45 Pounds - 360 Degree Baby Wearing - Inward and Outward Facing - Black
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

Let’s face facts; kids outgrow clothes, carriers, and car seats so fast it makes your head spin.  You want to invest in a good one that’s durable and will last while your bundle grows, yet you don’t feel like breaking the bank.  The LILLEbaby Six-Position Ergonomic Carrier is a great choice to provide comfort, versatility and work great for both Mom AND Dad.

Why it’s Awesome

There are so many fantastic features with this carrier, it’s hard to know where to begin!

  • This carrier is ergonomic and provides great lumbar support is a huge plus for anyone with back problems.
  • You have the versatility to carry your baby in SIX different positions and the weight limit goes from seven all the way up to 45 pounds, so you can carry from newborn to toddlerhood.  (Bonus:  There’s also no newborn insert needed with this carrier.)
  • The built-in 3D mesh temperature control panel allows your baby a cool ride in the summer and a warmer snuggle in brisk weather.
  • It’s machine-washable; we all know that’s clutch!
  • This LILLEbaby model is also priced well for a carrier that will last you through the toddler years.  (Note:  If you want to go with a different model, check the company website to compare and contrast features.)
  • The added bonus for Dad is that it comes in nice, gender-neutral colors, so he won’t feel like he has to surrender his Man Card any time soon.

Why You Might Pass

  • There’s not a lot of pocket space in case you’re looking to bring supplies while you carry, maybe just enough for keys and a diaper.
  • One reviewer strongly recommended watching a tutorial on YouTube on how to wear and adjust the carrier because the included instructions weren’t necessarily crystal clear.
  • There’s no sunshade to go with this carrier, so if you’re out and about on a sunny day, definitely bring a hat for baby.

Check out our best baby carrier article to see the top picks for infant baby carriers across the entire market.

Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier for Dads

The Infantino Flip 4-in-1 Convertible Carrier is another great carrier with multiple ways to carry, yet is the easiest on the budget on this list.  Plus, with a couple of thousand reviews and coming in as the top soft carrier on Amazon, you can’t go wrong.

Pros

  • It is extremely affordable.  (Note:  Just like with Lillebaby, you can check the Infantino company website to compare and contrast features on different models in case this model isn’t the best fit.)
  • Versatility for multi-position carrying (four ways), with a weight limit of 32 pounds.
  • Machine-washable, including the Wonder Cover bib to help with those serial droolers, and it comes in gender-neutral colors.

Cons

  • If you like to hip-carry, you’ll want to pass on this brand and go with a different one.
  • If you have a chubby not-so-little one (aka more than 32 pounds), this carrier won’t last you until that suggested three-year age limit.
  • Just like with the Lillebaby model, there is no sunshade for this carrier.

Baby K’tan Original Baby Wrap

The Baby K’tan Original Baby Wrap is a great baby carrier choice for dads who would rather use a fabric wrap than a strap-and-buckle baby carrier.

Pros

  • Soft and comfortable 100% cotton fabric
  • Carry baby in five different positions
  • Soft on baby’s skin
  • Approved Hip Healthy by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute
  • Available in sizes XX-Small to 2X-Large

Cons

  • Not “one size fits all” so may not be able to be shared

Ergobaby 360 All-Position Baby Carrier 

Ergobaby 360 All-Position Baby Carrier with Lumbar Support (12-45 Pounds), Pure Black, Premium Cotton
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

If you’re looking for a great baby carrier for dads that features lumbar support and comes in over 10 colors, the Ergobaby 360 All-Position Baby Carrier is it.

Pros

  • Comes in over 10 colors
  • Provides lumbar support
  • 4 carrying positions
  • Padded shoulder straps

Cons

  • May not be the best choice for newborns

Like Ergobaby? Check out our reviews for the best Ergobaby baby carrier here.

BABYBJORN Baby Carrier One Air

BabyBjörn New Baby Carrier One Air 2019 Edition, Mesh, Black, One Size (098025US)(Pack of 1)
Price$$$$
Quality
Popularity

If you don’t know the BABYBJORN brand when it comes to carriers, you’ve probably been living under a rock. My favorite of all their models for Dad is the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Air

Pros

  • This is a trusted brand, around for over 50 years, and located in 50 countries.  Products are tested and re-tested for the highest quality, so you know you’re getting the best.
  • Ergonomic with versatility for multi-position carrying (four ways) and a weight limit of 33 pounds.
  • Machine-washable fabric in gender-neutral colors.

Cons

  • A huge investment and not terribly budget-friendly.
  • No pockets.
  • No sunshade.

Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier Bundle

Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier Bundle, Navy Nautical Stripe
Price$$
Quality
Popularity

If you want close contact with your baby, but want cover for their heads, Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier Bundle is a great choice. 

Pros

  • Ergonomic with the versatility for multi-position carrying (four ways) and a weight limit of 44 pounds.
  • Protective hood and storage.
  • Kangaroo-like front pocket for extra snuggles and contact.

Cons

  • Unsure of washability… there were no details on Amazon or Mountain Buggy’s website.
  • Depending on the color you want, the bundles can hit the budget hard.

Best Baby Hiking Backpack

Osprey Poco Child Carrier

Osprey Poco Child Carrier Backpack
Price$$$$
Quality

When my husband was in the Navy, we lived in Washington state and loved to hike on the weekends.  Our oldest was around 18 months, so we invested in an Osprey Poco carrier for him, which was awesome.  From personal experience, I love this backpack, and if you’re an avid outdoorsman and active dad, my choice for a splurge is the Osprey Poco Child Carrier.

Pros

  • Max load of all carriers, up to nearly 50 pounds! This “cockpit” of sorts is framed and padded and even has toy clips attached for extra fun.
  • Built-in sunshade for all your special outdoorsy moments.
  • Plenty of storage for your necessities in a removable daypack.
  • Removable and adjustable stirrups for your child’s comfort and removable and washable drool pad.

Cons

  • This is the most expensive carrier on the list; you’d have to really love to hike to get your money’s worth.
  • There is only one way to carry (on your back with your child facing forward).

Best Masculine Baby Carriers

The Mission Critical baby carrier is larger in size (21 x 18 x 4 inches) compared to the TBG carrier (16.5 x 10.39 x 3.46 inches), making it the better carrier for larger men. 

Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier

Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier, Baby Gear for Dads (Gray)
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

If you’re a dad who wants a baby carrier that looks manly, but still wants the versatility and comfort of an ergonomic carrier, I’d suggest the Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier.

Pros

  • This carrier has a masculine look to it.
  • Ergonomic with a weight limit of 35 pounds.
  • Fits waists up to 64″
  • Includes MOLLE webbing for attaching accessories 
  • Available in 3 colors

Cons

  • Material may be too rough for baby’s skin

TBG Tactical Baby Carrier

TBG - Mens Tactical Baby Carrier for Infants and Toddlers 8-33 lbs - Compact (Black Camo)
Price$$$
Quality
Popularity

The TBG Tactical Baby Carrier is a perfect choice for the military dad or an especially manly man.

Pros

  • Three different camo colors.
  • Machine-washable liner.
  • Fits larger men comfortably.

Cons

  • This carrier can only be worn on the front, which limits you to two carrying positions (outward- and inward-facing) and the weight limit is 33 pounds.
  • No storage and no sunshade.

Compare Baby Carriers for Dads

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.


Buying Guide

Dad and mom have different parenting strategies from the start. And baby-wearing is no different! Moms want cute and cuddly, dads want strong and supportive. Before you buy a daddy baby carrier, check out the different types and features you’ll find.

Types of Baby Carriers

You can divide baby carriers into 5 basic categories, with a bunch of offshoots from there.

  1. Hard frame carrier. Think of a hiking backpack turned baby carrier. These often have a solid metal or plastic frame with a sturdy place for the baby to sit. They are bigger and heavier than other choices. The Osprey Poco is in this category.
  2. Soft carrier. You’ll sometimes hear these referred to as soft structured carriers or buckle carriers. These have solid fabric straps and frames, but with just as much support as hard frame carriers. They offer good back support and good adjustability. Most of the carriers on this list are in this category.
  3. Wrap. These are traditional baby carriers that are used all around the world. You can find a bunch of materials, lengths, and styles for wrap carriers. Their softness makes them perfect for newborns, but bigger toddlers may not get the support they need.
  4. Sling. Also called ring slings, these are a little fabric pouch for the baby to sit in. You can adjust how big the pouch is and where it sits on your body (front or hip). These are great for kiddos that get up and down a lot.
  5. Mei Tei (or Meh Dai). These are like a hybrid between a wrap and a structured carrier. They have thicker, padded straps and a more structured baby support area. Then there is extra fabric that can be wrapped in a variety of ways for added support. These are great options for back carrying.

Which One is Best?

Age has a lot to do with it! Here’s my recommendation by age:

  • For newborns – wrap carrier
  • For ages 6 months to 1 year – soft carrier
  • For ages 1 year to 2 years – Sling or Mei Tei or soft carrier (if on the heavy side)
  • For any physical activity, 6 months and up – hard frame carrier

For dads, soft carriers or hard frame carriers are probably best in general. They are the biggest, offer the most support, and look less, well, feminine. The wraps and slings are amazing, but they are often harder to master as far as the wrapping technique goes. Dads tend to like less fussy items, so stick to some kind of structured carrier, and you’ll be good!

Fun Father Features

  • Color – From blacked out to camo, look for a carrier that matches your own style!
  • Style – Want something sleek and basic, or maybe big and bad? Shop around for different looks. Hint: if you are sharing the carrier with mom, try for something super neutral and plain so that you both like it.
  • Size – How big or small can the straps go? Is it good for guys on the bigger or taller end of the spectrum? Reading reviews can give you a lot of information about how it works for different sizes of people.
  • Support – Maybe it has built-in baby support, like the Combi Soft Join carrier. Or maybe it leaves some of the support up to the baby hanging on, like a sling carrier. Get the level of support that you are comfortable with.
  • Price? – How much do you want to spend on a carrier? They range anywhere from $20 to $200 and up. Sometimes you pay for a name brand rather than a good carrier, so do your homework before you splurge on an expensive item. Also, if you just need a carrier for dad on the side, don’t feel bad about buying a less expensive option. After all, babies outgrow them so fast.

FAQs – Baby Carriers for Dads

Why should dads use baby carriers?

There are so many reasons! For starters, it’s a great way to bond with a baby. It’s also a great way to give mom a break for a bit. You can still get your exercise or do stuff with both hands while the baby is comforted and happy. Plus, think of the brownie points you can win! All the celebrity dads are baby-wearing, too, so jump on board!

Are dad baby carriers different than regular baby carriers?

For the most part, no. Some of them, like the TBG Tactical Baby Carrier, have a bigger, wider, and more sturdy structure. Some may also have longer, thicker, and wider straps. But for the most part, dad baby carriers are the exact same.

When can you put a baby in a carrier?

You can actually start carrying a baby from birth! As long as they weren’t premature or underweight when born, they can inward face carry from the very beginning. Just make sure that there is proper head and neck support/alignment.

What baby carrier is best for newborns?

Any carrier that allows for good neck and head support. That’s why many newborn parents prefer wrap carriers – they make it easy to get that head wrapped up safely. Use caution with structured carriers, as these are sometimes meant for babies 4 to 6 months old and up only.

Sources

  1. When is a Baby Carrier Right For Baby, www.childsafetyexperts.com

Becky Hunt    

Blessed mother of two boys and two girls, changing diapers and homeschooling for 20 years and counting. I love to research (I'm a CPA). And I really love to help other moms make wise and thoughtful decisions for their families.



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