One of the best ways for dads to bond with their babies—and give mom some time off—is babywearing. Carrying a baby or toddler allows dads to have that one-on-one time with their kids, something that’s especially important in the early days when moms are typically needed for feeding. On a practical level, baby carriers also allow you to be mobile, whether you’re shopping for groceries, walking the dog or just doing chores at home.
Today, there are some great baby carriers for dads. Many of these have been designed so that the weight is carried on the shoulders (rather than the waist, like baby carriers for moms) and come in a range of cool urban colors and designs. Styles available include baby wraps, soft-structure baby carriers and frame backpacks. Just put one on and you’re ready to go!
1. BABYBJÖRN New Baby Carrier One 2019 Edition
One of the most popular baby carriers from BabyBjörn is the Baby Carrier One. Easy to put on and take off, this comfortable carrier fits newborn babies up to toddlers aged 36 months. There are four carrying modes; newborn, baby facing in, baby facing out and carrying your bub on your back. There are also two height positions, making this an ideal baby carrier for taller dads. One of the best things about the Carrier One, however, is the padded shoulder straps and waist belt that distribute your child’s weight evenly. This means that you can carry your baby for longer periods of time—and not have to go to the chiropractor afterwards!
2. TBG Tactical Baby Carrier
Looking after a baby can be hard work, which is why you need a baby carrier fit for the job. The TBG Tactical Baby Carrier was designed specifically for guys and is one of the best baby carriers for dads around. Weight is distributed through the shoulders in this baby carrier, thanks to the long, adjustable and padded shoulder straps. Babies can be carried facing forward or backwards and it’s suitable for kids weighing from 8 to 33 pounds. There’s a removable cotton washable liner, handy for when spills and leakages happen. And we all know that they do happen! Plus, this tactical dad baby carrier comes in a range of cool colors, including black, coyote brown, ranger green and black camo.
3. Baby K’tan Active Baby Wrap Carrier
If you’d prefer to use a baby wrap, try the Baby K’tan Active Baby Carrier. A lot of baby wraps involve tying yourself up in knots while you try and secure your baby. With the Baby K’tan, however, you simply slip the wrap on like a T-Shirt. It’s particularly great for dads as it comes in five different sizes, from small to extra large. The wrap can hold newborn babies up to toddlers and there are five different wearing positions for the various ages and stages of baby’s development. Not only is the wrap comfortable, but the soft fabric is also breathable and moisture-wicking, meaning no one gets hot and sweaty.
4. Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier
The Tula Free-to-Grow Baby Carrier comes in some very cool designs, but this baby carrier doesn’t just look good; it functions really well, too. It has three adjustable width and two height settings, making it a great option for bigger dads who might find traditional baby carriers a bit of a squeeze. Plus, the wide, padded waistband makes this carrier exceptionally comfortable. The Tula Free-to-Grow can look after newborn babies from 7 pounds up to 45-pound toddlers. It’s breathable, machine-washable and comes with a removable hood to provide sun protection.
5. MiaMily HIPSTER Plus 3D Baby Carrier
The ergonomic design of the MiaMily Hipster Plus 3D Baby Carrier ensures that your baby’s hips are always in the optimal “M” sitting position, with knees even at hip level. Dads are kept comfortable, too, thanks to the padded shoulder straps and wide waistband providing full lumbar support. This baby carrier offers six different carry options (nine if you purchase the additional single shoulder strap). The MiaMily Hipster can be used from babies aged three months (or newborn with the Infant Insert); the maximum weight allowed is 44 pounds.
6. Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier
The Mission Critical S.01 Action Baby Carrier looks more like something Jason Bourne would wear. Made from military-grade materials, in urban colors and with a modern, but practical design, this really is one of the best baby carriers for dads. This baby carrier has been designed especially for men, which means that the weight is evenly distributed in the well-padded shoulder straps. This front baby carrier can hold babies from 8 pounds and children up to 35 pounds.
7. Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier
Ergobaby baby carriers have enjoyed something of a cult following ever since they first launched in 2003. Their versatile, ergonomic designs are comfortable and really easy to use. Plus, the wide shoulder straps will fit even the broadest of shoulders and the waist belt will accommodate larger waists. The Ergobaby Omni 360 Baby Carrier can hold babies weighing seven pounds and toddlers weighing up to 45 pounds. The shoulder straps are cushioned, adjustable and crossable, and the lightweight, mesh fabric keeps dad and baby cool. There’s a handy hood tucked away to protect against wind and sun, as well as a useful, easy-to-reach pouch for holding phones and keys.
8. Deuter Kid Comfort Pro
Outdoor dads looking for adventure will love the Deuter Kid Comfort Pro. This backpack carrier has been designed for kids that can sit up independently (usually around six months old) and can carry children up to 48 pounds. The safety harness system with color coded buckles means getting your kiddo in and out of the seat is quick and easy. The seat is height-adjustable, as are the foot rests, and there’s an integrated headrest and a wraparound chin pad. The mesh net between the child’s seat and your back will keep you cool, there are plenty of storage pockets, and the folding frame makes transport easy.
9. Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier
When you’re ready to take your bub on a hike, the Phil & Ted’s Escape Baby Carrier is your answer. This super comfortable baby carrier for dads comes with plenty of gizmos and gadgets, including a sleeping hood, changing pad, removable daypack, rain shield, and foot stirrups. It even has a mirror so you can keep an eye on your kid—although they may well be sleeping thanks to the comfy, moldable headrest. The Escape Baby Carrier is easy to use thanks to the pop-in and pop-out stand that allows you to put the pack safely down on the ground. The only downside with this baby carrier is that it’s a little heavy compared to some of the others on the market. It’s suitable for children from six months to three years.
Katja Gaskell is a travel writer and family travel blogger based in London, U.K. after 12 years on the road in Australia, India and Mexico. She has written guidebooks for Lonely Planet, reviewed hotels for the British boutique hotel site Mr & Mrs Smith and has contributed articles to publications including BBC Food, Angels & Urchins, Lonely Planet online and more. She is also the European Editor of Twist Travel Magazine. Katja is a firm believer that you can – and should! – travel with your kids everywhere. Find Katja on her own site globetotting and on Instagram @globtotting.