When we think of baby carriers, in our mind, we always have a picture of a smiling mom with her baby in a wrap or a sling. However, a father-baby bond is just as important, which is why more and more dads are joining this baby carrier trend.
Are you one of those dads, maybe? Would you also like to get a carrier for your little one? Then you’re in luck, because we have a handy list of the best baby carriers for dads in 2019, just for you. Each and every one of the carriers we’re about to discuss can be a good choice for both parents. However, if you’re still not entirely sure about our picks, we’ve also provided a handy buyers guide, as well as additional info on why fathers ought to try baby carriers.
Without further ado, let’s see what’s on the list.
Our Top Picks for Dads in 2019
The Best Hiking Carrier: Clevr Cross Country
Daddies sometimes love to hike, and it’s not that strange to see families take their babies for a walk in the woods or up a mountain path. But all hiker parents know that safety comes first. And nothing is safer than a sturdy, padded carrier with plenty of storage space — a carrier like Clevr Cross Country.
Like most high-quality hiking carriers on the market, the Clevr Cross Country sports a lightweight, yet durable aluminum frame. Combine that with extra-padded straps and hip belt, and you have a secure little ‘carriage’ for your little one. Moreover, it comes with lots of pockets and compartments for the dad (and baby) on the go.
Finally, it comes with a few interesting features, such as the collapsible canopy. If you’re caught in the rain or intense sunlight, you can protect your little one by simply ‘popping the hood.’
- Lightweight and durable
- Lots of pockets and compartments for storage
- Collapsible canopy — protection against sunlight and rain
- Extra padding for added safety
- Comes in four different colors
- Not suitable for short dads
- Supports the maximum weight of only 33 pounds
The Best Portable Carrier: Boba Air
Are you a dad who has too much to do, but not enough time? If so, you might be looking for a carrier that’s simple enough to adjust, easy to store, and lightweight. Boba Air covers every single one of those requirements. Not only is it incredibly easy to put on, but it also comes with a neat self-storing design. You can pack this carrier by collapsing it into itself. It’s an amazing way to save time if you’re on the road but feel the need to carry your baby.
Boba Air is made from 100% nylon, making it extremely lightweight. In addition, it’s easy to clean and has padded leg openings for your little one. Plus, the mesh padding is breathable enough to make you and your baby feel comfortable when you wear it.
- 100% nylon
- Self-storing design with breathable mesh padding
- Padded leg openings for the baby
- Easy to clean
- You can only wear the baby in the front position, facing towards you
- Not suitable for newborns
The Best Carrier for Fashion Forward Dads: LÍLLÉbaby
Out of all the products on this list, LÍLLÉbaby is definitely the most fashionable. You will most certainly not find any other carrier for dads (or moms) that comes in 22 different designs! But it’s not just about the colors and patterns. LÍLLÉbaby is also incredibly sleek and slimming, so when you walk down the street with this carrier on, you’ll look like the buffest dad around.
Of course, it takes more than looks to make it on this list. LÍLLÉbaby has plenty of interesting features, from an adjustable back panel to six different carrying positions. In addition, it has large storage pockets and a removable hood. Also, if you’re a burly, wide man, you’ll get a kick from the extendable torso feature.
- Huge selection of colors and designs
- Lots of pockets for storage
- Removable hood and extendable torso
- Extra padding for safety
- Corners can dig into the baby’s skin if you don’t position its legs well
- Large gaps in prices between different designs
The Best Carrier for Mini-Adventures: Onya Outback
Onya Outback is not as versatile as the Clevr model, but it’s still an amazing choice if you decide to spend the weekend in the great outdoors with your baby. It’s made from 100% rip-stop nylon, making it perfect for any weather. And speaking of weather resistance, the tuck-away hood will protect your little one from rain, snow, wind, or sunlight.
One thing that distinguishes Onya Outback from other products on this list is the conversion feature. Namely, you can use any ordinary chair and put the Outback over it; you’ll get an instant safe-seat for the baby. So, if your baby’s chair gets broken somehow and you need a quick solution before buying a new one, Onya’s got your back.
- Long, adjustable padded shoulder straps
- Conversion feature turns any adult chair into a baby’s high-chair
- 100% rip-stop nylon
- Tuck-away hood for protection from the elements
- Supports toddlers weighing up to 45 pounds
- Not suitable for newborns
- No outward position
The Best Wrap: Baby K’Tan
Wraps, in general, are perfect options for newborns and infants because they promote skin-on-skin contact. One of the more popular options on the market right now is Baby K’Tan, a versatile wrap that suits dads just as well as moms.
Baby K’Tan is astoundingly easy to put on. It’s like putting on a regular T-shirt. What’s more, when you’re shopping for this wrap, all you need to do is look at the size. If it matches the size of your regular T-shirts, take it.
This wrap is made from 100% breathable polyester. It might not be as soft as cotton, but it’ll regulate heat perfectly. In addition, it will stretch with the baby as it grows older. Add to it the fact that Baby K’Tan is easy to wash and maintain, and you’ll see why so many parents of both genders love it.
- Lightweight and durable
- Wrap sizes match the sizes of T-shirts for an easy fit
- Breathable 100% polyester
- Machine-washable and easy to clean
- Supports babies weighing up to 35 pounds
- Your partner might not be able to wear it if your sizes don’t match
- Not the best choice for large toddlers
The Best Newborn Carrier: Ergobaby Omni 360
Newborns are gentle, and they require lots of care, especially if you plan on using a carrier. The good people at Ergobaby know this, which is why you have their Omni 360 before you as a part of this list.
Omni 360 is one of those versatile carriers that work just as well on newborns as they do on toddlers. You can choose whether your little one will face outward or inward. In addition, it contains a tuckaway hood that will protect the baby from the sun and rain. And to top it all off, it’s made from 100% organic cotton and extremely easy to clean.
- 100% cotton
- Outward and inward positions
- Tuckaway hood protects against sunlight and rain
- Machine-washable and easy to clean
- Accommodates both newborns and toddlers
- You might need your partner to help you put it on
- Contains clips and Velcro fastenings, making it difficult and time-consuming to fasten
The Best Carrier that Grows With the Baby: Babybjörn
The little Baby Bear is back with your choice of five colors. A lot of products will claim to grow with your baby. However, Babybjörn will be one of the few to actually do it. This hands-free carrier has been on the market for years and has undergone a single update in 2015. That’s a lot of time to stay relevant and maintain high-quality.
So, what does Babybjörn offer besides growing with your baby and hands-free maneuvering? Well, it’s also an incredibly durable carrier with a sturdy waist belt and extra-padded shoulder pads. It’s also interesting to note that Babybjörn comes in 15 different colors, all of them somewhat ‘manly.’
- Durable fabric that allows the carrier to grow and expand with your baby
- Four different carrying positions
- Extra padding and a sturdy waist belt
- Comes in 15 different colors
- Not suitable for dads of small builds
- Zippers not as secure as those of other products on the market
Why Should Dads Use Carriers?
Hands-Free Is No Longer a Dream
Both moms and dads know how much time they have to spend with the baby in their arms. However, with so many things on his plate, a modern father needs both of his hands sometimes. In fact, it’s not even ‘sometimes’ if they’re working from home.
Owning a carrier allows you to handle your workload more easily than you normally would. You can strap your little one in and go about your business. In addition, it’s also a great way to keep an eye on the baby at all times. For example, you might need to go out for five minutes but can’t leave the tyke behind. When that happens, just place it in the carrier, and you’re ready to go.
Advantages Over Strollers
Strollers are definitely a useful tool in your baby arsenal. However, walking around with a stroller can be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes a wheel can be wonky, or the canopy might not sit upright. Other times you might have trouble finding your stuff in the back compartment. But that’s not what happens when you have a carrier. The baby is right there, strolling with you, and if you need anything (a bottle, a pacifier, a wet-wipe, etc.), you can simply reach it with one of your free hands.
Yes, fathers need to bond with their babies just as frequently as mothers do. The key to a healthy family unit is having an intimate bond with your children from the earliest days of their little lives. That’s why carriers are such an amazing tool. Nearly every high-quality carrier will promote skin-on-skin contact. Moreover, you get to hold the baby in one of several positions that it would enjoy even without the carrier’s help.
Baby Carrier Buyer’s Guide
Different Carrier Types
There are several different carrier types out there. Most of them are grouped as follows:
- Frame-based carriers
- Soft-structured carriers
- Mei Tais
Each of these types comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, frame-based carriers contain sturdy frames and lots of padding, making them perfect for hiking and other outdoor activities. Wraps, on the other hand, promote skin-on-skin contact and work perfectly with newborns and infants.
Slings are similar to wraps, though they use a different fastening system, usually a ring or a pouch. Then there are soft-structured carriers that are somewhere in between frame-based ones and wraps. In other words, they are soft enough to promote skin-on-skin bonding but sturdy enough for outdoor activities. Finally, there are the Mei Tais, which are hybrids of wraps and soft-structured carriers, taking the best of both worlds.
When shopping for carriers, you need to know what activity you’ll use them for, whether it’s going to the woods or strolling down to the mall. More importantly, you should also take your baby’s age, weight, and height into consideration. It’s also a good idea to pick a carrier that will withstand the local weather.
Your baby needs to be safe and secure when placed in a carrier. The best way to go about it is to get a carrier that allows the baby’s legs to form the so-called ‘M’ shape. When in this position, the baby’s legs and hips will develop naturally, and you won’t risk any future injury.
However, carrier safety doesn’t only concern your baby. As a father, you need to use a carrier that won’t harm you in any way. In other words, avoid anything with narrow, non-padded straps. Also, make sure that the carrier you buy distributes weight properly, so that you don’t suffer from back pain and other issues.
Fathers can get a real kick out of baby carriers. Not only will it help them bond with their baby, but it will improve their own disposition. Just imagine having your hands to yourself while the little one is happily fidgeting close to your chest. It’s an indescribable feeling that only the best baby carriers can bring. So, if you’re interested in getting yourself a decent carrier, feel free to browse through our list and choose whatever option works for you. And whatever option works for your precious little friend, of course.