There are plenty of baby carriers that are marketed as ‘stay-cool’ summer essentials. But which ones are really up to the job? And which are the best for all seasons?
In fact, you may not need to buy an entirely new sling or carrier specifically for use in hot weather. It might just be a question of following good advice on safe, comfortable summer babywearing to make your current sling work for you. But if you’re already feeling a bit too warm, here are our tried and tested top recommendations.
BREATHABLE BUCKLED CARRIERS FOR ALL SEASONS
IZMI BABY AND TODDLER CARRIERS
Izmi Baby is a British brand that makes fabulous lightweight, adjustable carriers for babies and toddlers (from £80) alongside their stretchy wraps (see below). Their Breeze versions of the baby newborn to 6/12 months) and toddler carriers (9 months to 3 years) are even more ventilated thanks to their airy mesh body panels.
They have wrap-style shoulder straps which help spread babies weight – and shield your shoulders from the sun. They have open sides to help with airflow. Plus they have hardly any padding, so you will feel cooler and transfer less heat to your baby.
A removable hood and handy pocket are also available, for some extra shade and somewhere to keep your keys and phone. They are great for front, back and hip carrying, and at £80 they are astonishingly good value.
INTEGRA SOLAR CARRIERS
The enormously popular and completely brilliant Integra Solar Baby Carrier (identical to the Connecta Solar Carrier that preceded it, just a different brand name) is fantastically lightweight and one of our Favourite Summer Slings Of All Time. And believe us, they have some stiff competition.
Integra Baby Carriers are very light and have minimal padding, so are ideal for all seasons. The Solar version is made from even thinner, lighter, quick-drying fabric. It’s also sun-protective, protecting baby from the sun’s UV rays, and folds down small enough to pop in your bag.
Made by a small British brand, they are so popular that they sell out quickly in the spring and summer months. But fear not, a standard model of Integra carriers will serve you very perfectly well, too. For toddlers aged 1.5 to 3years, get yourself a Solar Integra size 2.
ERGOBABY OMNI 360 COOL AIR MESH
An increasing number of brands now offer ‘cool’ versions, with mesh panels in the body of the carrier and other adaptations to make them more suitable for hotter climates. Do bear in mind, all of these carriers come with a fair amount of padding on the waistband, making for a somewhat sticky middle for you if it’s really hot.
Our bestselling ‘cool’ carrier is the Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh. It’s a much-loved, all singing, all dancing, does-it-all baby carrier: It’s suitable from baby’s first weeks until 2 years+. It suits mums and dads equally well. Its ideal for carrying your baby world-facing (from 4-10/12 months), as well as parent-facing and on your back. Its mesh fabric and integrated hood means extra ventilation and shade for your little one.
It features a super supportive lumbar support panel and a handy pocket to keep your keys, phone and wallet in. It comes in a huge range of sleek and classy colours. You’ll be able to wear it for HOURS, all year round – and you can get a handy lightweight rain cover to go with is, so your baby will be protected against ALL the elements.
Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh£154.90
THE RUNNERS UP
The Ergobaby Omni 360 isn’t the only carrier with a cool mesh version. Having tried a LOT, our other favourites in this category are the JMPBB PhysioCarrier with its ultra-light mesh (£104.95), the Beco Gemini Cool (£105) and the Coast versions of the Tula Explore (£154.90) and Tula Free to Grow (£119.90) carriers. For bigger toddlers aged 2.5yrs and up, we love the Beco Toddler Cool and the Toddler Tula Coast.
LIGHTWEIGHT STRETCHY WRAPS FOR SUMMER NEWBORNS
IZMI BABY WRAP
For summer, and all through the year, we love the bamboo Izmi Baby Wrap (£44). Bamboo fabric is incredibly soft, lightweight, anti-bacterial, hypoallergenic and offers natural UV protection, all helping to regulate your body temperature. It’s lovely to wear and, if you’re hot, it feels almost cool to the touch.
Izmi Baby Wrap£44.00
ERGOBABY AURA WRAP
But for truly feather-like lightness, the Ergobaby Aura wrap (£49) is pretty much unbeatable. Made from 100% viscose from plant fibres, it’s the lightest wrap on the market so you’ll stay (almost) as cool as a cucumber. It’s less stretchy than the Izmi wrap and most others on the market, so it will feel a bit less ‘bouncy’ but will give a more firm level of support. (If the Izmi wrap feels like wearing a pair of leggings, the Aura is a bit more like wearing jeggings!)
Ergobaby Aura Baby Wrap£49.00
RING SLINGS AND MESH SLINGS FOR QUICK UP-AND-DOWNS
LITTLE FROG RING SLINGS
With just one layer of fabric worn over one shoulder, ring slings are a great summer option. They’re super easy to put on and take off – once you’ve got the hang of them, as there is a bit of a learning curve involved. A super light 100% cotton or linen can help you keep your cool. The cool cotton ring slings from Little Frog (from £49.95) make a perfect ‘and/also’ carrier for newborns and toddlers alike. They’re great value, make a great breastfeeding and are ideal for little ones who want to come up and down frequently. For a more luxurious feel and a truly stunning range of designs, take a look at the Didysling from Didymos.
MINIMONKEY MINI SLING
The Minimonkey Mini Sling is a super-compact front and hip carrier suitable from newborn to (small) toddler. It basically works like a ring sling, but its easier for most people to get the hang of and is more lightweight. This neat, quick-drying mesh sling allows you to carry your baby in a natural, ergonomic position. Perfect for around the house and quick-up-and-downs. It weighs the same as a mobile phone at just 175g and is absurdly good value at just £35.
Minimonkey Mini Sling£35.00
Note: Other more flimsy mesh and ‘water’ pouches, worn over one shoulder like a ring sling, can be handy as carrying aids for very short periods of time, but are not generally a hands-free carrying option. Some are suitable for (very careful, never submerged) use in and near water.
WOVEN WRAPS (BECAUSE THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL)
Woven wraps are incredibly versatile but, let’s be honest, they are also GORGEOUS. As the sun comes out and coats get pushed to the back of the wardrobe, it’s the perfect time to show off those fantastic swishy fabrics. But how do you avoid getting into a hot mess at the same time?
Wrapping on your back in a Rucksack (‘ruck’) carry can be much cooler than wrapping on your front. Your chest is more exposed to the air, plus there is only one layer of fabric over baby’s body. Just make sure baby is wearing a sun hat with a chin strap. For a single-layered front carry with slightly open sides, you might want to try a Kangaroo or traditional sling carry. These methods of tying ( or ‘carries’) generally need only need a short woven wrap (a size 3 – 5) so there’s even less fabric around your body.
We love a super light, all cotton woven wrap for summer, like these Didymos Double Face wraps. They’re thin, lightweight and don’t turn you into a hot mess mid-wrap.
Didymos Double Face Woven Wraps£100.00 – £110.00
No matter what the time of year, it’s always a good idea to try a few slings and carriers to see what works for you. Check out our guide to the different types of slings or get in touch if you’d like more help.
Be sure to check out Part 1 of our “It’s getting hot in here!” blog mini-series: How to stay safe and cool when babywearing this summer.
Blog updated Spring 2020.
- What is the Best Baby Carrier for Hot Weather? - May 10, 2020
- The Best Slings For Back Carrying Your Baby or Toddler - April 10, 2020
- Hot Weather Babywearing: Staying Safe and Cool this Summer - April 10, 2020