Babywearing is an important bonding experience between you and your baby.
You want the baby carrier to be a neutral participant in this journey, and not a source of discomfort or pain. Just you and your baby without distraction.
We have tested and reviewed a lot of baby carriers over the years and understand that buying a baby carrier can be expensive. It can also be hit & miss if you do not match the correct design to your intended use and body shape. This can lead to discomfort, pain and often buying a different baby carrier.
This article will help you buy the best baby carrier for your situation, first time.
In this article we will be reviewing the following baby carriers available in Australia:
- Best Overall – Boba 4G Baby Carrier
- Best Lightweight – Tula Ergonomic Baby Carrier
- Best for Hot Weather – Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier
- Most Versatile – LILLEbaby Ergonomic Baby Carrier
- Most Multifunctional – Onya Outback Baby Carrier
Best Baby Carriers
1. Boba 4G Baby Carrier – Best Overall Baby Carrier
The Boba 4G is our top pick due to the diverse functionality of the carrier’s design, and the quality of the materials used.
We used this almost daily for 12 months and the fabric & stitching did not deteriorate at all.
You get great longevity of use with the carrier suitable for newborns right up until toddler age (20kg max) when you would likely switch to a pram anyway.
There is an integrated baby insert that will accommodate an infant as small as 3kgs. Most baby carriers require this as an additional purchase. So this will save you some money if you are planning to use it soon after birth.
The seat is comfortable and very cosy. This provides a great sleeping environment for a young child, and when you are on the move it is not uncommon for them to drift off to sleep when nestled in close to you.
The frame of the Boba 4G is bulkier than some of the others on our list. It is light at 1.09kgs, but the seat area may feel very big if you are on the shorter side (5ft) or have a petite torso.
It will be a comfortable fit for most people though as long as you have the weight evenly distributed across your hip and shoulders.
You can nurse easily in the carrier by loosening the straps just enough for your baby to slide down. However, you will not be able to do this while walking.
The only downside for us is that the seat area is a bit too enclosed for use in warmer weather. Given Australia has some harsh summers in parts of the country you may be limited to short term use without your baby getting hot & bothered. So this has bumped it down a notch on our list.
You cannot carry your baby facing outward with the Boba. But this is a position that has some safety concerns around it anyway.
2. Tula Ergonomic – Best Lightweight Baby Carrier
The Tula Ergonomic is an outstanding baby carrier at a price that offers excellent value.
You can use this from birth right up until your child is 4-5 years old (or until you just can’t carry them anymore) due to the high weight capacity, and available add ons to accommodate an infant (insert bought separately).
You will achieve optimal ergonomic positioning for your child courtesy of a carefully designed and near perfect sitting position of your baby.
This natural sitting position reduces the tension on your back and shoulders, and when fitted properly with the fully adjustable shoulder and waist straps you get an unmatched ergonomic babywearing experience.
This enables longer use without the aches and pains that could come with it.
The Tula is available in two sizes:
- Baby – Up to 20kgs
- Toddler – Up to 27kgs (the highest we have found)
The strength of the toddler model gives you an idea just how strong the material and Duraflex buckle is. When you get to the top end of the weight capacity you can see how important the ergonomics become.
The baby model is cheaper, but still holds a comparable weight to most other baby carriers on the market. So you don’t give up anything in performance there.
3. Ergobaby 360 – Best Baby Carrier for Hot Weather
The Ergobaby has a very clever design around the seat area. It is not as enclosed as the Tula and Boba, and includes a lightweight and breathable mesh built into the frame of the carrier.
A big differentiator (or dealbreaker!) is the velcro waistband. This allows you to adjust this easily to fit your frame without having to deal with buckles.
Not everyone likes velcro though. So if you have a lot of wooly clothes, or you just hate that tearing sound then this may not be the carrier for you.
The maximum weight capacity is 15kgs – 5kgs less than our top two carriers – so your child will outgrow this earlier. But if you do not plan on carrying your baby past the 18-24 month mark then this may not matter.
The clip that joins the shoulder straps sits a bit low and is hard to reach. Not everyone would be affected by this, but if you cannot reach then you will not be able to put the carrier on by yourself.
I have mixed feelings about the baby hood. I love that it is built in and tucked away with a zipper. But it is also quite narrow at the base. So it will not give you as much coverage when breastfeeding, but should still be fine for sleeping.
There is a newborn insert especially designed for this carrier, but this is a separate purchase.
4. LILLEbaby Ergonomic – Most Versatile Baby Carrier
The Lillebaby Ergonomic is unique in that it can accommodate up to six different wearing positions, and the versatility to support infants without the need for an additional insert.
Instead you would use the fetal position until your baby is old enough to graduate to the infant and toddler positions.
You also have the option to face outward, hip wearing, and the backpack when your child is older and strong enough to do this safely.
There is a uniquely shaped lumbar support that rests on your spine at the back of the waist strap. This helps minimise fatigue and the risk of wear and tear on your back muscles.
I also liked the option to criss cross the shoulder straps, as well as the standard H position. By changing things up a bit you reduce any repetitive strain or muscle imbalances that can develop over time.
The removable panels in the outer layer of the carrier also gives you control over how much ventilation you want in the seat. This is a very clever feature and one that makes it compatible with all Aussie weather seasons.
5. Onya Outback – Best Baby Carrier for Busy Places
We had to include the Onya baby carrier for one feature that we have not found elsewhere. The baby carrier transforms into an independant baby seat!
This is great if you are on a day out and need to have meals in busy places. Picture yourself at the zoo and struggling to juggle food preparation, and a baby that cannot yet sit upright properly…. Not to mention fighting off the bin chickens hanging around.
This solves that problem… Well, one of them.
Onya have used non-rip nylon for the body of this carrier, compared to the cotton often used in more expensive carriers. This makes it tough, but not as well ventilated.
While there are plenty of handy built in features, it is just not as user friendly with lots of buckles and straps. This may not matter if you are the sole user though.
It is common for new parents to go cheap on their first baby carrier and eventually get frustrated (or hurt) and have to upgrade to a higher quality model.
If you are planning on using your baby carrier regularly then an investment in a higher quality model is an investment in your own health due to the implications of getting it wrong.
We think the Boba 4G Baby Carrier is the best baby carrier available in Australia. The quality of material and included features are second to none.
But if you live further north in QLD then the climate may be more suited to the Ergobaby 360.