Which Toddler Carrier Should I Buy?

There are many fantastic toddler carriers, so how do you know which one to choose?  Well, as we explained in Do I Need A Toddler Carrier? the most important thing is that your carrier fits both you and your toddler.  This is what makes it safe and comfortable to use.  Aside from fit, you can choose between different fabrics and designs, as well as different sling styles suitable for different situations.

Here’s our low down on our most popular toddler carrier options – and why we love them.

The Best Toddler and Preschool Carriers

These carriers are specifically designed for toddlers and preschoolers.

Tula Toddler and Preschool Carriers

This popular toddler carrier – and new, sized-up Preschool version – are real classics; simple to use rucksack-style carriera for front and back carries from around 2-4 years (Toddler) and 4-8 year (Preschool), they do what it says on the tin – and do it really well.  They offer a sensible level of padding to the shoulders and waistbands and they fit a REALLY wide range of adults. We love how simple and supportive they are- and the huge range of gorgeous prints it comes in. Prices from £129.

Easy Feel Extend Plus Carrier

THE most long-lasting carrier on the market, this ingenious carrier adjusts to fit 12-18 month-olds up to age 7, 8 or 9 yrs and beyond! Whilst most families won’t need to carry for this long, the Easy Feel Extend Plus is deliberately designed to consider families of children with additional needs. Made from strong-yet-soft woven Ikat cotton fabrics, this really is the ultimate carrier for comfort and longevity.

Lenny Lamb Preschool Carriers

Lenny Lamb are famous for the huge range of beautiful woven wraps, and now they’re making preschool carriers out of them! These carriers are buttery soft and come in a mind-boggling range of exquisite designs, colours and fabrics. They’re less bulky than most preschool carriers, thanks to light padding on the waistband and shoulder straps. When front carrying, shoulder straps can be worn rucksack (‘H’) style, or crossed in an X position for total versatility – meaning you’re guaranteed to be able to do this one up easily on your own. Gives a great, hgh back carry too. Max weight for this one is 30kg/66lbs, and we find it’s ideal for children aged around 3years to 7 years.

Izmi Toddler Carrier

The larger version of the clever and lightweight Izmi carrier; suitable for front, hip and back carries.  We love that this toddler carrier is width adjustable to fit from 9 months to 3-4 years, and that it’s amazing value at just £80.  It’s soft and compact; the squishy waistband is super comfy and the unpadded shoulder straps can be spread wide for excellent weight distribution.  A great option if you like the feel of wraps but need a quicker, easier option for your toddler, and the best Toddler-specific carrier for more petite parents and slimmer toddlers.

Connecta Toddler Carrier /Integra Size 2

Just like the standard Connecta and Integras – which are almost identical carriers, just different brand names – these features a super lightweight, simple design with an unstructured waistband.  Suitable from about 18 months these carriers are easy to use for front, hip and back carries and come in a huge range of gorgeous fabrics. There’s also a Preschool / Size 3 version for use from 3-4yrs+. From £85.

Beco Toddler Carrier

The tallest and most padded toddler carrier of these four, the Beco toddler offers more structured padding to the waist and shoulders, with adjustable shoulder straps that adapt well to front and back carrying.  Suitable from around 2years to at least 5 years and for front, back and hip carrying. From £110.

Best Newborn-To-Toddler Carriers

These adjustable baby to toddler carriers really do hold up to carrying much bigger babies and toddlers for many years – great options if you want your carrier to last, or if you’re needing to carry children of different ages.

Manduca XT

The latest and most adjustable version of the classic Manduca Carrier.  Manducas are real workhorses and the XT is neatly adjustable in height and width to fit from around 1 month to 4 years of age.  Suitable for front, hip and back carries, and adjustable to fit almost all parents, the Manduca XT is our top choice for carrying smaller toddlers and a great fit for petite parents. We just love it. Priced £149.

Isara The One

This carrier is really amazingly adjustable to fit from newborn to 5years+.  It features adjustable height, width plus extension panels to take you through all your years of carrying!  The Isara is perfect if you love woven wrap fabrics and comes in a range of gorgeous, super-soft woven fabric designs. Fits all wearers, and especially good for petite wearers who find other carriers don’t cinch down small enough. From £134.95.

If you’re not looking for a buckled carrier, then there are still loads of softer tie-on options for carrying your toddler. 

Cococho Baby Carrier

Unlike most soft structured carriers, you load and secure baby into the carrier first, before putting the carrier on your chest or back. This gives you loads of reassurance when you’re getting to grips with back carrying and it’s a brilliant, lightweight alternative to more cumbersome framed back carriers. And great for front carrying, too. You can use it from newborn, but it’s ideal from 3-4 months to at least 3 years.

Didymos Didyclick

This clever ‘half-buckle’ carrier fastens with a buckled waist and then the soft body panel is secured using ties rather than buckles. This gives you greater adjustability to fit a wider range of adults.  The tied straps are easier to use than you’d think, plus you don’t need to do as much adjusting when sharing your carrier between two parents. It comes in a stunning range of colours and designs, with prices from £115.

Woven Wraps

The most versatile, adjustable carrier option there is – a woven wrap is suitable from day one and with a huge range of tying styles there’s always an option to suit every adult too.  Saying that, there is a steeper learning curve with a woven wrap and so they’re not for everyone.

Up and Down Hip Carries

When your toddler is mostly walking, but sometimes just wants ‘up’, you don’t always need a full-on multiposition carrier or wrap.  Ring slings and hip seats are perfect for quick ups and downs in situations where you’d otherwise be hoiking your toddler onto your hip.

Ring slings

With a wide range of gorgeous fabrics, rings slings (from brands like Little Frog) are a wonderful option for snuggly hands free toddler carrying.  Suitable from newborn up to preschool these are also light and compact enough to easily fit in your bag ‘just in case’. Prices from £35.

Hippychick Hip Seat

Whilst the Hippychick isn’t a handsfree option (you’ll need to support your toddler with your hand or arm to stop them falling off), it’s really very handy if you need an aid for carrying your toddler for quick trips like the school run.  We love how super simple this is to use- and great value at £39.95.

Emily Williamson
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