Best Buckle Baby Carriers...the underdog edition
The Best Underrated Buckle Baby Carriers That You Need to Know About
When it comes to choosing the right baby carrier for your you and your little one it can be a tough task. So often I see posts in groups and forums asking which carrier they should get. The poster then gets bombarded with a list of carriers a mile long. This may not be the answer anyone wants to hear but I put on my babywearing educator hat and always chime in saying "The best carrier is the one that fits you and your baby well".
These posts often become a popularity contest with the currently (it changes frequently) popular brand that has good marketing taking the win. Honestly most of the posters likely haven't tried any carrier other than the one they currently own on so to them it feels great (they have no comparison) and maybe it is a great fit but it may also not be. We all have different bodies, carrier needs and babies so what may work for one of us may not work for the next and that's ok.
There are so many big baby carrier brands out there that are quite popular: Ergo, Baby Bjorn, Lillebaby and Tula to list of a few. While I do like some of the larger carrier brands (I've been a Baby Tula retailer for seven years) I also have a huge affection for the underdogs. There are some amazing carriers out there that aren't getting the love and consideration they deserve and I'm here to showcase that. Some of these carriers are by bigger brands but are a bit lesser known (their siblings take all the glory) and some are bespoke babywearing niche companies producing amazing carriers.
Let's dive right into my list of underdog baby carriers you NEED to know about.
This carrier is amazing and I personally use my The One all the time. Isara has designed this carrier to get you to the toddlerwearing finish line. This carrier can be used from birth all the way through to preschoolhood. The carrier is designed so the panel can grow in width thanks to a velcro adjustable base and the panel an also grow in height. When your wearee becomes a toddler, you can install the extenders to make the width wider than most conventional toddler carriers (Tula, Beco).
Things I also personally love about this baby carrier is that the shoulder straps are narrower than most making them fit petite people really well. The carrier also has a padded waist is made out of memory foam. All Isara the One carriers are made out of woven wrap fabric making them soft and supportive and I love that they use GOTS certified organic cotton.
If you want to learn more about Isara the one click HERE to see a blog post I did reviewing and comparing it.
This is one of two baby carriers on my list that is worn bib style*. This type of waist is extremely comfortable and you never have to worry about the waist strap pushing your pants down ever again. Since it is bib style, it is worn on your waist as opposed to your hips.
The Catbirdbaby Pikkolo has super comfortable shoulder straps made out of memory foam. You can cross the straps for front carry if you like and this carrier is both petite and plus size friendly. My husband pictured above is 6'2" and this was his favourite carrier. You can use the Pikkolo from birth and the body panel has an adjustment strap to cinch the panel making it possible to wear a newborn with no infant insert.
*If you aren't familiar, bib stile means the carrier is put on like an apron with the panel hanging towards the floor, when you put your baby in the carrier a seat is created
The Integra Baby Carrier is another bib style carrier that I personally love. Integra Baby has three different sizes of carriers: size 1 (baby), size 2 (toddler) and size 3 (preschool). If you are worried about weight limits, all three are tested up to 52 pounds so rest assured they will get you through your babywearing journey.
What makes Integra Baby carriers so great is that they are worn with the straps crossed for front carry making them super supportive and comfortable. They are also a very minimalist carrier so they pack small and fit perfectly in a diaper bag. If you like a bit of flair in your carrier, they are available in wrap conversion prints, printed cotton and in a Solar material designed to get wet (perfect for the heat and pools).
Boba is a bigger babywearing brand that makes the popular Boba Wrap and have been in the buckle carrier game for a while. The Boba 4G (now redesigned and known as the Boba 4GS) is a great carrier but there were a few things holding it back from being amazing. The Boba X came on the market and it is amazing with a capital A!
With the Boba X you can wear from birth onwards all the way through to preschoolhood. The carrier's panel can be adjusted in width to narrow for a newborn and widen as your baby grows thanks to a velcro adjustable panel. The body panel can also grow in height with your baby and when they reach toddler/preschool size you can install the panel extenders to make the carrier preschool size. The Boba X still has a lot of great features similar to the 4G like the purse straps, sliding chestclip, removable sleeping hood and zippered storage area on the waistband.
The Beco 8 is my favourite recommendation for someone who wants a breathable panel and lumbar support. If Lillebaby and the Beco 8 carrier were to get into a battle, the Beco 8 would win hands down in my opinion. The Beco 8 fits a myriad of wearers from petite all the way through to plus size (when we carried/fitted customers with Lillebaby I found it only fit people who were average sized to plus size). The Beco 8 has a breathable body panel and comes with a lumbar support pad. Other handy features are that you can cross the straps when front wearing and that you can use the carrier from birth onwards when using the included infant insert. This carrier is also designed to forward face out.
You can learn more about the Beco 8 baby carrier in our blog HERE.