Which Tula Baby Carrier Is Right For You
Are you curious about Tula baby carriers but not sure which one is right for you?
In this blog post we will break down and compare the different features of all five Tula baby carriers on the market: Tula Standard size, Tula Toddler size, Tula Free to Grow, Tula Explore and the Tula Half Buckle.
This carrier is one of Tula's original carriers. The Standard (or Baby) sized carrier can be used from 15-45 pounds without an insert or from 7-15 pounds with the Tula Infant Insert. You can wear your baby on your front facing inwards and back in this carrier and it has a body panel size of 15.5" tall and 15" wide. The padded hip belt is 5" wide and 28" long with additional webbing that extends the waist band to a total of ~61". The cut of the Standard carrier is quite generous compared to other brands and will fit your baby for a long time.
The Toddler carrier is another one of Tula's original carriers and is designed to be used from 25-60 pounds. This carrier can be used for front facing inwards carries and back carries and has a very generous body panel measuring 17.5" tall and 18.5" wide. The padded hip belt is 5" wide and 28" long with additional webbing extending the waist band to a total of ~61". While this carrier is toddler sized, when it will fit your baby depends more on their height than weight. As a reference, most toddlers do not fit into a Toddler Tula until they are in at least 2T clothing and 32-34" tall.
This carrier is relatively new and was first released in March of 2017. The Free to Grow was designed to grow with your baby by adjusting the body panel width and body panel height. You can wear your baby from 7-45 pounds without the use of an infant insert. You can wear your baby on your front facing inwards and on your back. The body panel width can range from 5"-15" and the body panel height can range from 11"-17" tall. The padded hip belt is 5" wide and 27" long with additional webbing of 30" making the entire hip belt ~57" long.
This carrier was released in August of 2018 and is Tula's first carrier to allow for forward facing out babywearing. This carrier can be used for front facing in carry, front facing out carry and back carry. The Explore was also designed with an adjustable body panel that can grow with your baby and allow for wearing from 7-45 pounds without an infant insert. The body panel width can range from 5"-15". The body panel height can be increased by snapping up the neck pillow making the panel grow from 13.5" to 17". The padded hip belt is 5" wide and 27" long with additional webbing of 30" making the entire hip belt ~57" long.
Another design feature of the Explore is that you can adjust the body panel to allow for forward facing out. This carry is recommended from 13-22 pounds and 4-12 months. This carry is only recommended when your baby has good head and neck control, is tall enough to have it's head above the top of the panel and is recommended for only short periods of time. When you are wearing your baby forward facing you should be watching for signs of hunger, tiredness or over stimulation and should never let your baby fall asleep facing forward as it can cause positional asphyxiation.
The newest of Tula's carrier line, the Tula Half Buckle combines some of the great features of the Free to Grow and Explore with those of a traditional Meh Dai. This carrier can be used for front facing in carry, hip carry and back carry. The Half Buckle carrier can be used from 7-45 pounds without an infant insert. The buckle waist is designed to grow with your baby and can range from 5"-15". The body panel height can expand from 11"-17" tall. The shoulder straps on the Half Buckle are Meh Dai style straps allowing you to cross them on your back when carrying your baby on your front. The straps measure 80" long with 20" of padding and 60" of tie straps. The padded hip belt is 5" wide and 27" long with additional webbing of 30" making the entire hip belt ~57" long.
In the Fall of 2018 Tula released a lumbar support pad that can be added to any of their five carriers to provide increased back support when wearing a heavy baby/toddler or for prolonged wearing periods.
The shoulder padding does vary between carriers. The Standard and Toddler Tula have the same width and style of padding with plastic hooks on the shoulder pads to attach the sleeping hood to. The Free to Grow has the same padding as the Standard and Toddler Tula however it has a snap on the strap for attachment of the sleeping hood. The Explore and Half Buckle's shoulder padding is slightly different. The Explore's padding thickness is similar however the shoudler strap narrows first for an ~3" length with thin padding and then regular thickness padding resumes. The Half Buckle's padding is slightly thinner than the other Tula carriers. See the pictures below:
From left to right: Standard Tula, Toddler Tula, Free to Grow, Explore, Half Buckle
From Left to Right: Tula Free to Grow, Explore, Half Buckle
From Top to Bottom: Tula Half Buckle, Tula Explore, Tula Free to Grow
I've been carrying Tula baby carriers at Yellow Birch for almost six years (where has the time gone?!?) so if you have any questions about any of the carriers or this blog post you can comment below or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Meggan at Yellow Birch