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Soft Structured Baby & Toddler Carrier Comparison Chart

Need help figuring out how the most popular soft structured carriers differ from one another? Which one should you buy?
The Portable Baby breaks it down for you. We even threw in The Portable Baby Wrap...just for comparison purposes, for those of you wondering how it compares to a SSC.

Use your browser scrollbars at the right and the bottom of your window to view all entries. You will need to scroll to the right to see all carrier options.
Let us know if you need any help!

  TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Baby & Toddler Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
  The Portable Baby Wrap Carrier in Chocolate Tangerine - shown in Cross Carry Tie Beco Gemini Baby Carrier in Paige Tula Baby Carrier Action Baby Carrier Pikkolo Baby Carrier in Georgia - showing back carry with Babywearing Belt Boba 4G Baby and Toddler Carrier in Glacier Boba Air Carrier Onya Baby Carrier Tula Toddler Carrier Beco Butterfly II Baby Carrier in Carnival Patapum Toddler Carrier ErgoBaby carrier in Blue/Green, showing a leaning kid in action, thanks to the short carrier body. Ouch! BabyBjorn baby backbreaker. Note complete lack of waist belt. Baby's weight hangs from shoulders.
Price $60
SALE! $19+
$129
$149
$99 $129
SALE $109+
$120/125/160
SALE $108+
$65
$149
$169
$139 DISCONTINUED $98 - but I no longer sell this carrier. There are better choices available. $105-$148 $79.95 - $199.95
Who is this carrier for?
  • Best for newborn to about 20 pounds. One of the best front carriers for tiny little babies.
  • Ultra lightweight, breathable carrier, great for hot climates.
  • Unlimited flexibility: dozens of ways to tie it and wear your baby.
  • Compact, portable carrier easily kept in your diaper bag.
  • Poppable: easy to pop your baby in and out of for feedings, diaper changes, etc.
  • Made in India.
  • Generally comfortable for almost everyone up to about 6'2". Great all-purpose carrier for newborns and younger babies.
  • 4-in-1 carrier does four different carries (front-facing-in, back, hip, and front-facing-out) with one carrier. This is made possible by the ability to narrow the carrier body by snapping the side flaps back, and cross the straps.
  • Works best with babies newborn to 18 months, sized a bit smaller than other carriers.
  • Fits petite wearers very well, especially with crossed straps.
  • Simple, intuitive one-piece design is easy to use.
  • Babies 15-45 pounds. For babies 25+ pounds, see the Tula Toddler Carrier on this chart.
  • This carrier is made in Poland with beautiful craftsmanship and a fantastic fit. Front, back and hip carries.
  • The design is roomy at the top, and allows for a lot of wiggle space around your baby, while still providing plenty of support.
  • Nice basic all-around soft structured carrier. Front, back and hip. Very economical!
  • No frills...padding is a little thinner than other carriers, and sleeping hood is not fitted, but a great value for the money.
  • Best for 3 months to 2 years.
  • Made in the USA!
  • Newborn to 16 pounds without the Babywearing Belt, up to 45 pounds with the optional Babywearing Belt.
  • 4-in-1 carrier does four different carries (front-facing-in, back, hip, and front-facing-out) with one carrier. This is made possible by the ability to narrow the carrier body by cinching it, and cross the straps.
  • You can customize your Pikkolo as your baby grows, with a little change in configuration. Wear a newborn with the carrier body cinched and an unpadded apron-style waistband (folded under at the bottom). Add the padded Babywearing Belt to make a taller carrier that better supports the weight of older babies and toddlers.
  • Slightly bulkier than the other carriers, with wider straps and a more thickly padded body. Same basic features as the Beco Gemini, but sized larger overall, different mechanism to narrow the carrier base (cinching vs. snapping back).
  • Great for plus-sized wearers, with a wide fit range and broad shoulder straps.
  • Newborn to 45 pounds. Great new design in the latest 4G model allows you to use the included Infant Insert in a high and narrow configuration for newborns, then in an M shape for babies 11-15 pounds. At 15 pounds you take out the insert and use the carrier in its standard configuration, and it will fit up through toddlerhood.
  • Need one carrier to carry you through from newborn to toddler? The Boba G4 is one of your best options.
  • Waistband is light and flexible.
  • Ultra-light, ultra-compact carrier made of nylon has a surprisingly great fit, despite having no padding. Perfect second carrier to travel with, or keep in your car.
  • Only $65
  • This carrier looks like serious professional babywearing gear. Dads love it at first sight.
  • Ripstop nylon fabric won't fade, has a mesh inner layer that wicks away heat and moisture in hot climates.
  • Sized fairly large, this is a carrier for older babies and toddlers.
  • Lots of keyrings, toy loops, pockets, extra features...the Onya is the Swiss Army Knife of soft structured carriers. It even has a configuration where you can slip it over a chair and use it as a highchair.
  • The carrier body narrows at the top, good for keeping leaners contained and preventing back arching. If your baby doesn't like being confined/contained though, this is probably not a good choice.
  • Structured deluxe straps and waistband, with parallel stitching to keep padding in place.
  • Straps can be crossed.
  • Strictly for toddlers 18mos/25lbs and up, this supersized carrier supports a lot of weight beautifully. Extra tall and wide for maximum support. I tested my 60lb. 6yo son in this carrier (do not advise!) and he felt shockingly light. Super comfy, amazing fit.
  • Buckle adjuster at the top of each shoulder strap allows you to control the length of the strap in a different way and further customize the fit.
  • Made in Poland by fair-wage seamstresses. Each Tula made by one person from beginning to end.
  • Works best with babies newborn to 18 months.
  • Easy & and extra-safe back carry method works with even a younger baby. Great if you have an older child to care for and need your front free, you have back troubles (a back carry is much easier on your body than front or hip carries), you want to be able to cook/do dishes/garden/etc. with your baby (chores with which you cannot easily use a front carry).
  • You don't mind spending an extra few seconds buckling your baby in and out of the carrier insert, you love the security that it provides.
  • Extra-thick, stiff support and padding in the shoulder straps and waistband. Much stiffer and more bulky than the Boba.
  • Low cost solution.
  • Most complicated back carry of any carrier listed here. Difficult to do with any child under 18 months old. Child needs to be able to hold on in a piggyback position unsupported while you thread his/her legs through the straps and pull them up behind the child's back.
  • Works best with babies in the 6-18 month age range. Too wide and deep for a newborn or small baby to use without the Ergo Infant Insert (basically a pillow that you stick into the carrier behind your baby to fill up the extra space inside - not pleasant to use). Too short in the body to work well with a toddler, there's not enough upper body support.
  • You have a child that does not tolerate any sort of upper-body constraint. The carrier body is very short.
  • You have a larger frame and wide shoulders. (This is not a good fit for petite or narrow-shouldered babywearers)
  • No facing out position.
  • No one, unless you love wasting money and love shoulder pain. It is fairly easy to use, but so are the other carriers, especially in front carries. Weight is suspended from your shoulders rather than shifted to your hips (there is none on the BabyBjorn, the Active model's "lumbar support" is a joke). After 15 pounds you will really start noticing the strain, whereas with all the other soft structured carriers, at 15 pounds you're just getting started.
  •   TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Baby & Toddler Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    What Makes it Cool
  • Always an ideal fit for even tiny babies, shapes perfectly to your baby and your body without any extra bulk whatsoever. No need for all the weight and multiple loops of the M*by Wrap...the TPB Wrap is made of a more supportive, less stretchy fabric, so you can use simpler ties that are faster, easier, and more comfortable.
  • Super lightweight, cool and breathable in hot climates.
  • Extremely compact and portable...just stuff your TPB Wrap in its TPB Wrap Sack and you're set! Will easily fit in a diaper bag.
  • Very easy to get your baby in and out. Leave your TPB Wrap on all day and just pop your baby in and out as necessary.
  • Four carries with one carrier - front-facing-in, front-facing-out, hip carry and back carry. Shoulder straps can be worn crossed OR backpack style.
  • Ability to cross the straps.
  • Elegant design allows you to snap the base at the bottom and narrow it, both to fit newborns and for holding older babies in front-facing carry.
  • Has a headrest support that can be raised, instead of a full sleeping hood. For small babies this is more practical and easier to use than a hood.
  • Sleek, minimalist look with stylish colors and print options.
  • Similar in features to the Pikkolo, but a simpler, sleeker design, meant more for younger babies.
  • Exceptional stitching and lovely fabric.
  • Sized for babies 15-45 pounds.
  • Very comfortable 3 part waistband.
  • Shoulder straps extend - allows for wearers of all sizes to share the same carrier; also makes breastfeeding easy.
  • High-quality all-purpose soft structured carrier for an economical price. Comfy fit!
  • Nylon webbing on shoulder straps goes all the way through the carrier internally for superior fit, security and comfort.
  • Made in the USA.
  • Fits a broad range of ages and sizes. Not for newborns or large toddlers, but will fit everyone in between.
  • Straps can be crossed.
  • Carrier is totally customizable to make it work from newborn to toddler.
  • Shoulder straps can be worn crossed OR backpack style.
  • Carrier body can be cinched to narrow it for smaller babies or forward-facing babies. The base remains wide enough to allow for a semi-seated position, baby doesn't "dangle" when facing out.
  • The Pikkolo allows you to wear an apron-style unpadded waistband (for front carries with little babies) OR add the padded Babywearing Belt for bigger babies over 16 pounds.
  • Carrier can be made shorter (worn without Babywearing Belt), or several inches taller (with Belt). Great for accommodating baby's growth over time. Better for 18mos and up than the Gemini, can easily handle a 4+yo with the Babywearing Belt attached.
  • The Boba 4G has three configurations: newborn, 11-15 lbs., and standard. This allows it to be used from newborn through toddlerhood, with a good fit at each age.
  • Carrier body is tall enough to provide support and comfort for tall babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
  • Available in both organic and conventional cottons.
  • Unique footstraps on waistband provide a place for your long-legged toddler to put his/her feet and avoid leg dangle.
  • All straps are dual-adjustable (this means that you can pull or loosen from either side of the buckle) for ease of use and a very wide fit range.
  • Purse straps!
  • Super lightweight and compact, fits in a small travel pouch. Keep it in your purse, or the glove compartment of your car.
  • Economical, perfect second carrier, or first carrier!
  • Just like the Boba 3G, but no padding (still surprisingly comfy) and no newborn configuration. Sleeping hood is not removable.
  • Ripstop nylon fabric is lined with a separate layer of mesh fabric that allows for airflow and moisture wicking in hot, humid climates. Fade-resistant and water-resistant.
  • Straps can be crossed.
  • Padding in the seat and around the leg holes to prevent chafing.
  • Parallel stitching in shoulder straps and waistband creates a very flexible fit.
  • Lots of tags, toys loops and cargo pockets.
  • The Onya can be placed over a chair and used as a highchair by tightening the straps. Pretty clever!
  • Looks rugged, Dads love it.
  • Sized for babies 25 pounds and up. The biggest of all the toddler carriers I sell.
  • Very comfortable 3 part waistband.
  • Shoulder straps extend - allows for wearers of all sizes to share the same carrier; also makes breastfeeding easy.
  • Exceptional stitching quality and lovely fabric.
  • Mamas of special needs older children who need to be carried - this is the one for you.
  • Extremely safe and secure. Baby gets buckled into internal Y-shaped insert. Baby is held securely, baby and carrier can be easily handled as a single unit.
  • Smaller newborn insert (included with carrier) can be used for babies 0-1 month old. Little babies ride higher in the carrier and with extra support.
  • Extra-thick padding in waistband and shoulder straps, for supporting heavy toddlers and spreading out their weight.
  • An set of adjustable middle straps that theoretically allows you to specifically adjust how close your child is held to your body. You can pull your child in nice and close to your body without having to overtighten your shoulder straps. However, for most people the fit of the Patapum is uncomfortable. I found it impossible to loosen it up enough to fit the curve of my back.
  • Body of carrier is padded throughout, good for cold climates.
  • Zipper pocket on outside of carrier can carry a diaper change or small wallet (but is not accessible in back carry)
  • Totally unlike any of the other carriers listed here. The Becos, Pikkolo, Boba, Patapum and Ergo are all soft-structured carriers (aka SSCs) and they use backpacking technology to support the weight of the baby on the wearer's hips. The BabyBjorn carriers spread the weight across the shoulders and upper back instead...yes, even the so-called active support model.
  • .
  • These are the most widely known of all the baby carriers, most people have seen one.
  •   TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Potential Negatives
  • Some users are intimidated by a length of fabric and learning to tie it. (Stick to learning Cross Carry Tie at first, follow the directions closely and you'll be fine.)
  • Not the best carrier for babies over 20 pounds. At that point it's better to switch to a soft structured carrier. A TPB Wrap + soft structured carrier is a great combo to own, that way you have coverage for all ages and both front and back carries.
  • Waist and shoulder strap buckles require two hands to open due to special safety button release feature. Super safe, or unnecessary pain in the booty?
  • Sized small...not for older toddlers.
  • Headrest instead of a full sleeping hood. WOrks great for newborns and little babies though, and that's who this carrier is designed for.
  • Straps bow out a little when worn in straight backpack style (not crossed), they don't lie flat on the shoulders.
  • Not for newborns or small babies.
  • No option for crossing the shoulder straps.
  • Not super fancy. No special configurations. Not a newborn carrier and not a toddler carrier either. Padding is a little thin. But what it lacks in luxury, it makes up for in price.
  • All the potential configurations might seem overwhelming at first. Cross the straps? Attach the Babywearing Belt?
  • Some assembly is required when attaching the Babywearing Belt.
  • Bulkier than most of the other soft structured carriers.
  • Babywearing Belt's padded area is not as extensive as in other carriers. If you are plus-sized, when you have the buckle in front (back carry), the padded section of the waistband might not reach around to your hipbones where you need it. The padded waistband being optional and not a permanently attached part of the carrier makes it a bit awkward to use, and sacrifices the fit a bit.
  • Shoulder straps are wide and placed somewhat far apart. This works great if you are plus-sized, but not so great if you are petite. Crossing the straps helps a lot, but not a good idea for back carry.
  • Cinching mechanism at base of carrier slightly awkward, doesn't get as narrow as the Beco Gemini. If you don't need it, or have a bigger baby, then not a dealbreaker.
  • The waistband is softer and more flexible than other carriers. Depending on your body shape, this can be good or bad. Probably a downside with a heavy older toddler. In that case you would want a carrier with a stiffer waistband, like the Onya or the Tula Toddler.
  • The Boba Air is super compact and fits in a tiny litle bag. In order to do that, Boba stripped out the padding and used unlined ripstop nylon to make the carrier. So it's not quite as comfortable as a padded carrier, but hey, it comes pretty close.
  • Large size means the Onya is not for newborns or small babies. Better for bigger babies and toddlers, 15 pounds and up.
  • Carrier is roomy at the bottom, narrow at the top. This is great for babies who tend to move, arch, lean, lunge a lot and need to have their movement restricted a bit so they don't pull so hard on your shoulders. Not so good for mellower babies who like a little freedom of movement
  • Obviously, not appropriate for use with newborns or small babies under 18 months/25 pounds.
  • Carrier body opening at top is very wide and allows for a lot of movement. If you have a fairly wild little one who leans, arches, lunges, etc., think carefully before getting this carrier, as it will not prevent them from doing any of that. It is very tall and very wide, but they can still move a lot inside the carrier. That could be a plus for many others, especially preschoolers. They can easily be carried very comfortably without feeling cramped or having their legs dangle.
  • Buckling baby into insert takes a bit longer than a non-insert carrier, and can seem a bit convoluted at first.
  • Buckling children over 2yo into the insert can be a hassle, it's often best to have them step into the carrier like putting on a pair of pants.
  • Beco discontinued the Butterfly and doesn't make it anymore. :-( You might be able to find one on Baby Gear Trader.
  • Close-fitting shoulder and side straps can be very uncomfortable. I had a lot of returns on this carrier when I sold it.
  • Elastic safety loops on all straps are a PAIN, make adjustment very difficult. I cut mine off, in my opinion they are simply not necessary. Buckles are very secure, and if one does pop open your baby will still be held in place by the *other* straps.
  • Too bulky for little babies. Padded and wide Ergo carrier body + thick pillow-like Infant Insert + baby....it's like you're 10 months pregnant all over again!
  • Too short in the body for older babies. Upper body is not supported, which means lots of leaning back and flailing around, which means shoulder, neck and back pain for you as you try to compensate for all the wild motion going on.
  • ErgoBaby filed exclusive patents on commonly used baby carrier components (like the chest strap and padded waistband...used for decades in backpacking technology and used by other carriers such as the Baby Trekker way before Ergo), and they have threatened and intimidated other baby carrier manufacturers in an attempt to monopolize the SSC market (there is plenty of room for everyone to grow and profit, more carrier choices are GOOD for consumers!). Now Ergo is owned by a large conglomerate and spends $$$ on marketing. You don't need to give these people your money. There are much better carrier options than the Ergo. In side-by-side comparisons, on comfort, fit, age range of usability, etc. the Ergo loses to other carriers in every category.
  • No back carry.
  • No hip carry.
  • No sleeping hood or head support.
  • Causes severe shoulder pain in most wearers once baby is over 15-20 pounds.
  • Baby's weight is not distributed to rest on wearer's hips, instead it is borne entirely by the wearer's shoulders and upper back.
  • Narrow carrier body forces baby to hang suspended by the crotch, concentrates pressure at the base of baby's spine.
  • Narrow carrier body does not allow baby to rest in an ergonomically appropriate seated position with knees at hip height.
  • Expensive, considering its use is so limited.
  •   TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Head Support? No formal sleeping hood, although in Cross Carry Tie you can pull one side of the TPB Wrap over for full support of a sleeping baby's head. Flat headrest secures down with snaps, and stays up with buckles that attach to the shoulder straps. Pretty short, good for maybe up to 18 months max. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood. Detachable with two snaps. Elasticized sides have elastic cords ending in a loop that goes around a hook on the shoulder strap. Height not really adjustable, but elastic cord makes it pretty flexible. Flat hood/headrest attaches to the shoulder straps. Nice and tall though, will work for most older babies. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood. Elasticized sides. Detachable with Velcro. Height not adjustable. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood. Elasticized sides. Detachable with snaps. Adjustable. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood. Not adjustable and not detachable. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood of lovely microfiber. Not detachable. Adjustable. Hood-shaped full sleeping hood. Detachable with two snaps. Elasticized sides have elastic cords ending in a loop that goes around a hook on the shoulder strap. Height not really adjustable, but elastic cord makes it pretty flexible. Hood-shaped to hold baby's head. Elasticized sides. Detachable with snaps. Height adjustable to 2 levels. Flat hood made of cotton netting. Very breathable and cool, but does not shade a sleeping toddler. Detachable with snaps. Height not adjustable. Hood-shaped to hold baby's head. Elasticized sides. Detachable with snaps. Height adjustable. No sleeping hood. Headrest.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Carrier Body Height (from the top of the waistband) Fabric is 23" wide 15" with headrest folded down, 18.5" with headrest up. 15.4" 14" 15" when worn folded at the bottom with apron-style waistband. 17" from top of waistband when Babywearing Belt is attached. 15.7" 16" 16" 17.7" 16" 16" from top of waistband 13" from top of waistband No waistband.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Baby & Toddler Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Carrier Body Width at Seat n/a 7" at narrow setting, 11" at wide setting. 14.6" 13.5" 8" at narrowest setting, 13" at widest setting. 13.5" 12.5" 16" 18.9" 13" 12" 14"  
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Shoulder Strap Adjustment n/a Single-direction pull to adjust strap (pull towards baby). Buckle adjuster located on carrier body for easy location and adjustment. Buckles require two hands to open and close, due to extra safety button release. Single-direction pull. Single-direction pull. Dual-adjustable straps can be tightened from either direction, and buckle can be relocated forward or back according to preference. Dual-adjustable straps can be tightened from either the padded end of the strap or the carrier body end of the strap, very broad range of strap length, and buckle can be relocated forward or back according to preference. Dual-adjustable straps can be tightened from either the padded end of the strap or the carrier body end of the strap, and buckle can be relocated forward or back according to preference. Dual-adjustable straps can be tightened from either the padded end of the strap or the carrier body end of the strap, and buckle can be relocated forward or back according to preference. Single-direction pull. Single-direction pull to adjust strap (pull towards baby). Buckle adjuster located on carrier body for easy location and adjustment. Single-direction pull to adjust strap. Strap end located on padded section, can end up in armpit and become difficult to find and loosen. Single-direction pull to adjust strap. Strap end located on padded section, can end up in armpit and become difficult to find and loosen.  
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Waistbelt Fit Range Variable, depending on tie used. TPB Wrap is 5 yards long, so should amply fit most users. 28"-57" 27"-59" 28"-53" 16"-54" 25"-58" 27"-55" 25"-45" If you need one, waist extenders are available from Onyaand will provide an additional 10" of length to the waistbelt. 27"-59" 24"-57" 28"-55" 25" to 43" A waist extension accessory extends the circumference of the waist belt of the carrier to 51", and costs $8.00.  
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Maximum recommended weight of baby (for your comfort). Please note that many carriers will support weights much more than their recommended weights. The max of 45 is the limit on what it is recommended that a person carry to avoid injury. 20 pounds 35 pounds 45 pounds 45 pounds 16-17 pounds without Babywearing Belt, 45 pounds with Babywearing Belt 45 pounds 45 pounds 45 pounds No max specified. 45 pounds 45 pounds 45 pounds 15 pounds
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Good for petite types? (under 5 feet, 2 inches) Yes Yes So-so. Inability to cross straps limits smaller range of fit. Yes. Yes, with straps crossed and no Babywearing Belt. Yes, but not below 5'0" due to height of carrier. Yes. Yes, with straps crossed. Probably not below 5'0" though. So-so. Inability to cross straps limits smaller range of fit. Yes No. No, shoulder straps set wide, inability to cross straps, bulky carrier body.  
    Good for tall and/or plus-sized types? Yes Not both tall AND plus-sized, straps are not very long compared to the other carriers. Yes, strap length is very long to accomodate the upper end of the fit range well. Yes. Yes Yes, but not above 6'3" Yes. Yes. Yes, strap length is very long to accomodate the upper end of the fit range well. Yes Yes Maybe for tall, although short carrier body might be a concern if your baby is also tall. Not good for plus-sized wearers...waistbelt has a very small range and you need to pay $8.00 for a Waist Extender in order to reach 51 inches, still less than the normal fit range of the other carriers.  
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Can I wear the shoulder straps crossed? Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No Yes No No No Yes
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Special Safety Features n/a All waistbelt buckles require two hands to undo...prevents accidental opening by curious toddlers. Elastic safety band on waistbelt buckle. Black nylon webbing goes all the way around the carrier internally for greater support and safety. none none none Safety band on waistbelt buckle. Elastic safety band on waistbelt buckle.
  • Unique internal harness holds baby inside carrier, especially good for secure back carries with smaller babies.
  • Front-loading straps have a extra secure buckles that require two hands to undo...prevents accidental opening by curious toddlers.
  • Elastic safety loops on all buckles to secure them in case of accidental buckle release. Elastic safety loops on shoulder strap and waistbelt buckles to secure them in case of accidental buckle release.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Front Carry - Facing out? Yes Yes, and baby is in a semi-seated position that does not place as much pressure on the baby's crotch and the base of the spine as other carriers such as the BabyBjorn. No No Yes, and baby is in a semi-seated position that does not place as much pressure on the baby's crotch and the base of the spine as other carriers such as the BabyBjorn. No No No No No No No. Ergo claims that facing out is a harmful position that is too stimulating for babies. Yes, but legs dangle and pressure of baby's weight is focused at baby's crotch. Imagine being suspended by a thong underwear harness! OK, maybe not that bad, but not good either. ;-)
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Back Carry? Yes, but soft structured carriers are easier and faster for back carry. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, definitely the easiest back carry for beginners, of all the carriers listed here. The Butterfly's internal harness enables you to easily put Baby + Carrier on as a single unit, like a backpack. Yes. Yes. No.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Hip Carry (which I do not recommend except for short periods, as it encourages an unbalanced posture and creates uneven strain on one side of your body) Yes. Yes. No. Yes. Not shown in Action Baby instructions, but you can do it. See Beco Gemini instructions for how to do it. Yes. No. No. Yes. Not shown in Onya instructions, but you can do it. See Beco Gemini instructions for how to do it. No. No. No. Yes. No.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Ability to specifically adjust closeness of child to wearer, to prevent a "leaning back" feeling? Yes, in Cross Carry Tie you would pull the TPB Wrap higher up around the shoulders, for more upper body support. No. Yes, with the buckle adjusters at the top of the shoulder straps. No. Sort of. Supposedly, tightening the dually-adjustable shoulder straps towards the outside of the carrier also helps pull the baby higher and closer, due to the way the straps attach to the carrier body. I confess that I have not noticed any difference. No. No. No. Yes, with the buckle adjusters at the top of the shoulder straps. Yes, the front-loading buckles are specific to this. Yes, the middle set of straps specifically serve to pull the child in closer without having to tighten the main shoulder straps. No. Wearers often find the Ergo frustrating because the short carrier body often gives the feeling that the baby is falling backwards. The user then tightens up the shoulder straps to bring the baby closer, but this only places more strain on the shoulders from the too-tight straps.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    How does it fit newborns and small babies? Perfection. An exact fit to your individual baby, every time. Very well. Carrier base can be narrowed to accomodate a tiny body, and the carrier body is stiffly padded for extra suppport of tiny floppy bodies. Not for newborns or small babies. Recommended for use with babies 15 pounds and up. Not for newborns or small babies. Very well. The Pikkolo can be cinched to create a narrow base for smaller babies (though not as small as the Gemini), and it can be tightened to fit without the need for an insert of any kind. You can shorten the carrier body by wearing it without the Babywearing Belt. Great! Use the included Infant Insert with the 4G, it allows one configuration for infants 7-10 lbs., and another for babies 11-15 lbs. Nope. Good for about 15 pounds and up. No. Definitely not. 18 months and up.
  • Great! Newborn insert (included with each Butterfly at no additional charge) supports floppy little babies 0-1 months, holds them snugly at the top of the carrier body and keeps them from sinking down too deep into the carrier.
  • Newborn insert allows little babies to be held vertically in the carrier with minimal leg spread (Leg spread is not harmful, but newborns and smaller babies generally don't like it at first).
  • Back carry is relatively easy with small babies. As soon as your baby has good head control (generally by 2-3 months), you can safely wear him/her on your back (NOT in the newborn insert).
  • Not meant for newborns or small babies. 18 months and up. Not well. Ergo recommends that you use a bulky padded insert (costs $25-$38 in addition to the price of the carrier) that fills up the carrier body so that the baby is supported and doesn't sink to the bottom. The new version of this is better than the previous, but I don't know any woman thrilled about wearing a pillow on her front after being pregnant for 10 months.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Can I nurse in this carrier? Yes, depending on which tie you use. In Cross Carry Tie, you can carefully loosen the main knot and lower your baby down a little bit to latch on. When done nursing, lift your baby and pull the wrap tight again, then re-tie the knot. Yes, just loosen your shoulder straps to allow your baby to drop down a little and latch on to a lifted breast. You can put up the headrest for privacy. When finished, tighten your shoulder straps back up. Yes, same as Gemini. Yes, same as Gemini. Yes, just loosen your shoulder straps to allow your baby to drop down a little and latch on. When finished, tighten your shoulder straps back up. Yes, just loosen your shoulder straps to allow your baby to drop down a little and latch on. When finished, tighten your shoulder straps back up. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes, though not the easiest carrier for this. Insert fabric might be in the way for some wearers. Undo one side of the front-loading buckles, loosen your shoulder straps to allow your baby to drop down a little, and tip your baby over sideways a bit to latch on. You can put up the sleeping hood for privacy. When finished, re-attach your front-loading buckle and tighten your shoulder straps back up. Yes, possible, but not easy due to the close fit of the carrier. Hard to loosen it enough that your baby will drop down low enough to be able to nurse.. Yes, just loosen your shoulder straps to allow your baby to drop down a little and latch on. When finished, tighten your shoulder straps back up. Yes, but awkward, not really secure, not private, and not really hands-free.
      TPB Wrap Beco Gemini Tula Baby Action Baby Pikkolo Boba 4G Boba Air Onya Tula Toddler Beco Butterfly Patapum Toddler ErgoBaby Original BabyBjorn
    Where is it manufactured? India. Tried to do it in the USA, but couldn't find anyone to weave the custom cotton fabric here. China Poland USA China China and Taiwan, in carefully monitored settings No. Philippines Poland Was USA and China China China

    FAQs

    Why don't you include pouches/ring slings/hip carriers and other kinds of carriers?

    I do not sell or recommend any carrier that is one-shouldered or holds your baby on one side of your body. That means no pouches, Hotslings, New Natives, hip carriers, ring slings, or the like. I know, lots of people use them and enjoy them, and I have used them too. Your baby might like them, but bearing weight primarily on one side of your body stresses your neck, back, shoulders and hips. Much better to be able to stand up straight with good posture and have your baby's weight be balanced evenly, not pulling on one side of your body more than the other. Protect your own precious body from injury!

    Some slings can hold your baby in a dangerous position that compresses their chins into their chest and can impede breathing. Others come in very specific sizes and it can hard to know/find the right one for you. This doesn't mean that they are awful, but well...why bother when there are much better alternatives available? If you want one, buy one, but I won't sell it to you.

    What about Mei Teis? They aren't one-shouldered, and one size fits all.

    There are many examples of the Mei Tei, also known as the Asian Baby Carrier. They are similar to the SSCs, but they have fabric straps that wrap around your body and tie, instead of buckle attachments, and usually don't have padded waistbands.

    Mei teis can be great for many people (especially very petite or with very short torsos), but they have a few disadvantages:

    1. Lack of a padded waistband means that weight is not distributed as effectively to the hips, and shoulders bear more of the baby's weight.
    2. Lack of an adjustable chest or sternum strap means that the shoulder straps often lie too far out on the shoulder caps, or if crossed, lie too far in and press on the collarbones.
    3. Long fabric straps can dangle and drag on the ground when putting carrier on and taking it off, a real pain for those in wet, dirty or muddy environments.
    4. Some mei teis do have chest straps, and some even have padded waistbands. There are many variations available. You can put your Pikkolo Babywearing Belt on any mei tei and give it a padded waistband. But overall, I think that the better weight distribution of the SSC and the ease and simplicity of buckles make it a better option for most people.

    Why do you have only one wrap listed and it's the one you sell? Do you hate wraps or something? You can replace any of these carriers with a good wrap.

    There are a zillion wrap options out there, and frankly, I'm not an expert on all the varieties. I tried many wraps when my babies were little and really loved them, but as those babies got heavier, I found that soft structured carriers worked much better for me. They were faster, easier, and just plain more comfortable. I wore stretchy wraps, I wore expensive woven wraps, and because the stretchy ones bagged and sagged and the thick woven wraps were hot and bulky (and expensive!), I wanted an alternative... and ended up creating one in The Portable Baby Wrap.

    I'm including that wrap in my chart because a lot of people ask me which one to get for their newborn or little baby: my wrap or a soft structured carrier? The answer is BOTH, of course, because they are very complementary, each is best for different situations and it's helpful to have choices. But if you just have to choose one carrier for now, this chart might help you figure out the feature differences.

    I know you wrappers will argue with me that back carries are safe and comfy and all that, but we are talking about the general public here, not just pro wrappers. If you're into wraps, enjoy! But if you don't know which carrier to go with, know that back carries with wraps are not for newbies or beginners, and you might end up in tears.

    I will say that I have never seen even the best, most pro wrapper get a baby on her back faster than someone with a soft structured carrier. I timed myself once when my baby was about 8 months old and I got him on my back from zero with all buckles attached in ten seconds flat. Wrappers, if you can do that, please post a video of yourself on The Portable Baby Facebook page! And if anyone can refer me to a Wrap Comparison Chart, I would love to educate myself. For my chart, I'm going to stick with what I AM an expert on...soft structured carriers.

    Why don't you list <insert soft structured carrier name here>:? You should add that to your chart.

    As much as I would love to have every single soft structured carrier out there on this chart, I don't have the money to buy them all and I don't have the time to review them all. I focus on the carriers I know intimately, have fitted on lots of customers, and can talk to you in detail about.

    If you would like to send me a soft structured carrier for review, I will consider it! It should be an SSC that is commonly available on demand, not a custom slot OOAK handmade-by-elves deal.

    Hope this chart has helped you. If you still have questions, or if you have feedback, feel free to contact me through The Portable Baby's Facebook page or in the comments below, or by email at mslaura@theportablebaby.com.

    Thank you and enjoy!

    Comments or questions about the Comparison Chart?