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Get Carried Away

With dozens of different baby carriers out there, how do you pick the one that's right for you? Consider these reviews from AF readers.

Maya Wrap Pouch
Reviewed by Lisa Milbrand and Katie (21 months, China)

  • STYLE: ****
    This sleek, simple pouch comes in several bright, cheerful patterns.
    The generous width of the pouch helped distribute Katie's weight over my entire shoulder and helped me hold her without straining my back.
    Katie seemed to be comfortable while she was in it, but she didn't want to stay long: She's never enjoyed riding in a sling.
  • EASE OF USE: *****
    The Maya Wrap comes with a DVD and easy-to-follow printed instructions—but they're almost unnecessary. I was able to throw it over my shoulder and go.

Playtex Hip Hammock Deluxe
Reviewed by Stephanie Gregory and Kylee (eight months, U.S.)

  • STYLE: ****
    There is only one color available, black, but it's very stylish—I'd definitely wear it.
    I needed to adjust the carrier a bit so that my shoulder was not in pain, but once it was right, it was very comfortable.
  • CHILD COMFORT: *****
    My daughter did not indicate any discomfort, but she did not fall asleep, either.
  • EASE OF USE: ***
    There were easy-to-follow instructions, which were necessary to figure out how to arrange the straps. I could put my daughter in the carrier on my own, but it helps to have an extra hand, since you have to hold your child and adjust the strap at the same time.

Sutemi Pack
Reviewed by Angie Wiggins and Sarah Grace (18 months, China)

  • STYLE: *****
    It's stylish, and available in a range of basic colors.
    The pack was fairly comfortable for me. The straps are nicely padded, and the only problem I discovered was that the pack kept slipping lower, so I had to tighten the straps frequently.
    Sarah Grace never seemed to get completely situated, though this may be because she's a toddler and wants to be on the run.
  • EASE OF USE: ***
    There were written instructions and photos showing the different carrying positions. Even after reviewing the directions several times, I wasn't quite sure if I had everything positioned correctly. You need a second person to help you get the carrier into the back position, and it helped to have extra hands to use it in other positions, too.

ERGO Baby Carrier
Reviewed by Scarlett Duncan and Cosmo (nine months, U.S.)

  • STYLE: ****
    I really love the style—the different fabrics and the attached hood make the carrier look more like a piece of clothing than a backpack.
    Other carriers make my shoulders ache, but the ERGO distributed the weight well, so most of it fell on the hips. I felt comfortable carrying my 28-pound baby around for hours: I nearly forgot that I was carrying him on a three-hour hike.
  • CHILD COMFORT: *****
    Cosmo loves this carrier. He's fallen asleep quickly in the front and back positions—the hip position is more active and doesn't accommodate sleeping.
  • EASE OF USE: ****
    The carrier comes with a handbook filled with helpful photos. Without the handbook, putting on the carrier seems very difficult. It was easy to take the carrier on and off at the hip or front position, but you need help for the back position.

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