Best-Rated Baby Carriers

Canstar Blue’s 2021 baby carriers review has seen Ergobaby, BABYBJÖRN and Kmart compared on their comfort & support, fit, ease of use, durability & quality, flexibility, design & style, value for money and overall satisfaction.

See Our Ratings Methodology.

Best baby carriers 2021

Most Satisfied Customers | Ergobaby

Ergobaby was rated best for baby carriers for the seventh year in a row, earning five-star reviews for comfort & support, fit, ease of use, durability & quality, flexibility, design & style and overall satisfaction.

Fact Checked Fact Checked

Ergobaby hugs onto first place in baby carrier ratings for 7th year in a row

Being a parent – especially of newborns – usually means little sleep and tired bodies, so mums and dads naturally appreciate any extra help they can get. And a baby carrier is certainly one way to keep your hands free while keeping a close eye (and tie) between you and your little one.

So, which baby carriers are up to the job? We’ve asked 330 parents across Australia about the baby carrier, sling or wrap they bought in the last three years. They rated brands on comfort and support, fit, design, flexibility, ease of use, durability and quality, value for money and overall parent satisfaction. Manufacturers which received the minimum survey sample size of 30 responses are featured in the report. The idea is to give you as much helpful information as possible about the compared brands, so you can find the right fit for your bub – and budget.

Our latest report shows Ergobaby is still the top baby carrier, since first taking the top spot in our ratings back in 2015. It also dominated this year’s results after it achieved five-star reviews in almost every category, including overall satisfaction.

Best Baby Carriers

best baby carriers

Here are the best baby carriers in Australia, as rated by consumers in Canstar Blue’s 2021 review:

  1. Ergobaby
  2. BABYBJÖRN
  3. Kmart

Ergobaby holds onto the top spot after receiving the only five-star review for overall satisfaction and most other categories, including comfort & support, fit, ease of use, durability & quality, flexibility and design & style.

BABYBJÖRN stepped into second place on four stars overall, while Kmart rounded up the scores with five stars for value for money and three stars for overall satisfaction.

Top Baby Carrier Brands

Ergobaby

Ergobaby baby carrier review

Ergobaby offers a huge range of baby carriers, with most being front carrier-centric. There are several lines available, including Aerloom, Omni, 360, Adapt, Hip Seat and Embrace. Prices start from $49 for the Baby Wrap and reach up to $219 for the Aerloom Baby Carrier, available in natural colours named ‘sand’, ‘sea cliff’, ‘sunburnt’ and ‘ocean blue’.

The Ergobaby Aerloom is described as the brand’s limited-edition lifestyle range and designed to suit all seating positions. They’re stated to be ultra-lightweight with built-in airflow and constructed from FormaKnit fabric and post-consumer recycled polyester.

Products are stated to suit babies weighing anywhere between 3.2-20kg, which accommodate babies and small toddlers (up to 36-months old). For a mid-price baby carrier range, most items from the Embrace collection sell for $79. They’re said to contain easy buckling to avoid wrapping or excessive fabric, and are compact enough to roll up and put in some nappy bags.

  • Ergobaby topped our ratings with five-star reviews for comfort & support, fit, ease of use, durability & quality, flexibility, design & style and overall satisfaction. It got four stars for value for money.

BABYBJÖRN

Babybjorn baby carrier review

BABYBJÖRN is a Swedish company specialising in family and baby products, and has a fairly concise range of baby carriers. The collection tends to lean towards front carriers, although the pricier options can be customised into a front or rear-facing carrier. It’s worth mentioning that the brand’s cheaper models typically stick to basic functionality, but still contain the same materials and designs as the more costly options.

There’s a variety of baby carriers designed to fit the child for at least a year. The Baby Carrier Mini can fit babies who are 12 months old and under, while the Baby Carrier Move can accommodate until the child reaches 15 months. If you’re looking for something that can transition from babies to toddlers, the Baby Carrier One and Baby Carrier One Air are made to sit children up until the age of three. BABYBJÖRN’s baby carriers usually retail between $160 and $350.

For particularly sporty families, BABYBJÖRN’s Baby Carrier One Air is the brand’s flagship model and is described as being ideal for hiking.

  • BABYBJÖRN received four stars for comfort & support, fit, ease of use, durability & quality, flexibility, design & style and overall satisfaction. It got three stars for value for money.

Kmart

Kmart baby carrier review

Kmart is a purveyor of affordable and trendy homewares and clothes, but what you might not realise is that it also produces its own baby carrier. Kmart’s 3 Way Baby Carrier is available for $39 and is suitable for babies aged three months and older, with a maximum weight capacity of 15kg.

It offers three carrying positions, including inward-facing, outward-facing (after four months) and back position (after six months). The baby carrier additionally provides adjustable head support for younger infants. Plus, there’s a side pocket on the waistband for extra convenience.

  • Kmart achieved a five-star rating for value for money and a respectable four stars for ease of use, comfort and support, plus flexibility. It ultimately ended up on three stars for overall satisfaction and in the remaining categories.

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Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $119.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $119.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Other Baby Carrier Brands

Baby carrier brands

Aside from the top three brands that made it into our ratings this year, there are several others you might like to consider:

Hug-a-Bub

Hug-a-Bub provides a more affordable collection of slings and wraps compared to many other brands on the market, with all items usually costing between $90 and $120. Expect to see a variety of pocket wraps, lightweight wraps, organic mesh ring slings and reversible sling rings. Hug-a-Bub’s ring sling collection is said to be especially ideal for breastfeeding mums, since these are designed to easily get on & off and work around. All products feature organic cotton and soft-touch fabrics. However, the brand doesn’t offer any traditional carriers.

Baby Tula

Baby Tula caters to a large range of ages, selling ergonomic carriers for newborns to toddlers. The different collections include Explore Carriers (3.2-20kg), Free-to-Grow Carriers (3.2-20kg), Half Buckle (3.2-20kg), Standard Carriers (7-20kg) and Toddler Carriers (11-27kg). There are also several mesh carriers. These are all available in a variety of fun colours and prints, each typically retailing around $259 and just under $330. You can also find more online exclusive options through Baby Tula’s website.

Chekoh

Chekoh specialises in wrap carriers and slings, plus mini wraps for your kids to use for their toys. The entire carrier collection includes wrap and sling carriers, swaddles and the brand’s Mini Chekoh wraps. The latest addition to the brand’s baby carrier collection is the Wrap Carrier, which is described as a stretchy one-size-fits-all carrier. Unlike other options on the market, this particular product doesn’t contain any zips, clips, buckles and or velcro. All Chekoh baby carriers retail for $99.95. These are said to be suitable from birth (3kgs) up to 8-10kgs.

Manduca

Manduca’s range consists of Classic, Pure Cotton and Blackline baby carriers, plus a limited-edition line along with baby slings and accessories. Manduca organic baby carriers are claimed to be ergonomically designed to support both the baby and parent. Sizes are stated to suit infants from 3.5kg, all the way up to 20kg, with most being front-facing carriers. They boast adjustable straps, ergonomically shaped hip belts and integrated head support for comfort and convenience. Typically, prices sit from around $190 and $250, while baby sling carriers are usually available for just under $110.

Things to consider when buying a baby carrier

What to consider when buying baby carrier

Did you know Australians spend an average of $156 on a new baby carrier? Nearly a third (29%) find baby carriers more convenient to use than prams and strollers, but not all baby carriers are made equal. Fortunately, a large number of parents are doing their homework and checking online reviews before picking out the best baby carrier for them (35%).

There are a few concerns parents need to think about when it comes to wearing a carrier. A number of people we surveyed said they often get a sore back from using a baby carrier (19%), while 15% worry about their bub falling. It doesn’t help that a similar amount of survey respondents admitted to having previously tried a different baby carrier that didn’t work for them (20%). This all might suggest why the majority of Aussies (68%) prefer to have their baby sit at the front, rather than carry them on their back.

Other key findings from our 2021 survey include:

What type of baby carrier should I buy?

There are two main types – carriers (or ‘pouches’) and backpack carriers. Sling carriers are also popular and worthy of your consideration. One isn’t necessarily better than the other but it does come down to how old your child is and your personal preferences.

Carriers or Pouches

Baby carriers or pouches

The most common type of carriers, these are best-suited for newborns and babies younger than 18 months. They are usually worn off the chest, with the baby facing inwards, but customisable carriers also now allow older children to face outwards.

  • Benefits: Keep baby snug and close, facing inwards for more one-on-one time, allow parents to keep an eye on baby at all times.
  • Drawbacks: Kids can get heavy fast and the chest position can cause back pain when your child starts growing. Older babies could also get more restless, and facing out may be a solution, but front-facing carriers can feel too snug.

Of the parents surveyed, 68% reported a preference towards having their baby at the front instead of their back. Nearly one in four (19%) reported they often get a sore back from using a baby carrier – no doubt this starts setting in when the little munchkin starts growing up! When your baby starts growing, it may be time to consider a backpack carrier.

Backpack Carriers

Backpack baby carriers

Backpack baby carriers often feature rigid frames, but some front-facing carriers are also able to be customised to fit on the back. Those with rigid frames are best suited to older kids who aren’t exactly babies, but can’t walk long distances yet. If you’ve ever walked a popular hiking trail, there’s probably no doubt you’ve seen these backpack carriers in action.

  • Benefits: Best-suited to older infants and toddlers, suitable for longer walks, let baby see out, weight of baby is able to be distributed across shoulders and back, rather than chest.
  • Drawbacks: Provide less ‘intimacy’ between parent and child, not so suitable for young babies and newborns, high position can be awkward at first.

To the 19% of those surveyed who reported back pain, a backpack carrier might be more suited than a pouch-type. It might also give some relief to parents worried about their baby falling out of the carrier – a pouch evidently lets you keep a better eye on your baby.

Sling Carriers

sling baby carrier

Sling types are a variation of the two above. Like sling bags, sling baby carriers are worn across the shoulder and the baby sits across your body. They can be made of stretchy supportive fabric, but can also be made with rigid materials as seen in backpack carriers.

  • Benefits: Provide arguably the most ‘intimate’ feel for newborns and parents, are extremely cosseting, provide a ‘cot like’ feel for newborns.
  • Drawbacks: Tend to not offer as much padding or support, leave one arm occupied, unsuitable for older babies or toddlers.

Sling carriers are generally the most basic styles of carrier designs, and most brands now tend to exclude this design from their product ranges. Still, if you have a newborn and wanting an intimate feeling, a sling carrier may still be the best bet.

Are baby carriers and baby slings bad for your back?

Are baby carriers and baby slings bad for your back?

Carrying your baby can sometimes be the most convenient option when you’re out and about, but it can also be putting the most strain on your body, particularly if you have to carry your bundle of joy for long periods of time. It’s no surprise that back pain comes with the territory of being a parent, as carrying your child can alter your posture, changing how your body responds to the extra weight, and potentially putting pressure on places that shouldn’t feel pressure.

While your priority may be the comfort of your child, you shouldn’t overlook your own comfort when it comes to choosing a baby carrier or sling. In addition to being comfortable, it should help take the weight off your lower back and shoulders, allowing you to relax muscles and prevent them from straining. Some brands and models offer additional straps, belts and supports to make sure you’re not carrying all of the weight in your lower back, meaning looking at the weight distribution of each model available is a good place to start. Ultimately though, baby carriers and slings are made to help you safely carry the weight of your child, but your own posture and strength will determine whether or not they are the best option for you.

The bottom line on baby carriers

It’s important to take time in finding the right fit for you and your baby. As your baby grows, the heavier it will get and the more back support you may need. Most baby carriers are ‘one size fits most’, being easily adjustable for your bub and allowing for sharing between parents. Plus, if you want to make it a fashion statement, the wide array of designs and fabrics can also come into play. However, it would be wise to keep in mind the price as well as the ergonomics behind it.

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Blue’s home & lifestyle journalist, Tahnee-Jae Lopez-Vito. She’s an expert on household appliances, grooming products and all things grocery and shopping. In addition to translating our expert research into consumer-friendly ratings reports, Tahnee spends her time helping consumers make better-informed purchase decisions on all manner of consumer goods and services, while highlighting the best deals and anything you need to be aware of.

Pram & Stroller Reviews

Frequently Asked Questions

Canstar Blue surveyed 1,200 Australian parents of children aged 6 years and under across a range of categories to measure and track customer satisfaction, via ISO 26362 accredited research panels managed by Qualtrics. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who have purchased a baby carrier / sling / wrap in the last three years – in this case, 330 people.

Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then by mean overall satisfaction. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.

Here are the previous winners of Canstar Blue’s baby carrier ratings.

  • 2020: Ergobaby
  • 2019: Ergobaby
  • 2018: Ergobaby
  • 2017: Ergobaby
  • 2016: Ergobaby
  • 2015: Ergobaby

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