Baby Carriers

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  • Baby Carriers
  • There are probably going to be a lot of baby threads from me over the next few months, and I’m not even sorry.

    I’ve been looking at the proper outdoors baby carriers like the Osprey Poco (which looks amazing but very expensive) as once MiniMonkey is a) born and b) a few months old I fully plan on taking him / her on proper adventures as soon as possible.

    Does anyone have any experience of the different ones out there, and any recommendations as to a good balance between cost and performance and also what features are essential? I don’t mind paying for the right kit but we have a lot of other stuff to get as well.


    Buy second hand, they mostly go for peanuts.


    I would say something like that is more for >9 month olds than young babies. A babybjorn (or a copy) style one is better for small babies. I was out wandering about on the south downs with mine in some babybjorn when he was a week old, the movement used to keep him from crying. They get a bit big/unweildy for the front carriers after 6-9 months though

    Yeah we were planning on a BabyBjorn or similar to start with, then a bigger one from about 6 months, give or take.

    I’ll definitely be looking second hand, though if it keeps going till around 3 I reckon it’s worth an investment.

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    Our little critter is nearly a year old and still fits in the baby bjorn front loading thing we have had since birth. It is easier to keep an eye on them, supports their neck when very young (back carriers don’t do this and it is crucial!), you can interact with them and it keeps them warmer too. Babies under 6 months in carriers just seem to sleep anyway. The bjorn one we have converts to a back carrier so I will be transitioning to that soon.

    Once she is a bit bigger ill get one of the proper back packs but probably not until she is closer to 18 months and is big enough to see out of the carrier effectively and doesn’t need constant attention/checking.


    Have you tried using the front loader with a backpack as well? ie baby on the front and a normal pack on the back.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    Anyone else see the thread title and think..

    “Doo doo dodoo dodoo doo doo”

    big yim

    We got a second hand little life rucksack type Carrier and it’s brilliant. Paid 40 quid second hand

    Premier Icon dmorts

    Depending on where you live there might be a baby carrier “library” nearby. This is where someone brings along a load of different carriers and you’re able to try them to see what suits you and your baby best.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    On topic, we had a fabric one that looked like one of the long fabric bolts but was in fact ready assembled so you just put it over your head. It was much nicer than the baby bjorn type cos they’d be snuggled right up to your chest which was lovely for both kid and parent. Jumpers and coats could go over the top in the early days.


    First of all, as mentioned above please buy second hand. You can pick up some real bargains. We didn’t do this; mainly ‘cos my Wife kept banging on about wanting ‘new’ stuff – not all of it, but a lot of it.

    I think our Baby Bjorn Miracle carrier cost £80 & when we sold it, it went for peanuts. I think we might have got £12 or so for it.

    It was great though – I loved going for long walks with our daughter asleep in it – could easily manage a 90min afternoon stroll while she slept. Much more convenient that lugging the buggy around & the walking motion  combined with the body warmth meant that she’d be asleep in a minute or two whereas in the buggy sometimes she wouldn’t drop off & would then be grumpy all afternoon.

    Premier Icon Shackleton

    I regularly use a 25-40l pack with our front loader without issue. As molgrips says the preassembled fabric ones are great for the first 12 weeks ish.


    Got an Osprey one – it’s great, but I wouldn’t want to be carrying jnr in it when he’s 3 – hard on the back and shoulders. We’ve also got a proper offroad running pushchair thing which is ace. Big wheels and goes most places. I’ve done some 12k runs around the countryside with him strapped in and he loves it. Much easier pushing than carrying!

    Premier Icon grahamt1980

    We have a macpac possum that is surplus to requirements if you are interested. Can’t use it with our 3 year old as he is now over 16 kg and too heavy for it.

    Could likely do with a clean but being one of the older macpac bags it’s bulletproof and really comfy to wear.

    Pm me if you are interested


    It was much nicer than the baby bjorn type cos they’d be snuggled right up to your chest which was lovely for both kid and parent.

    Unless you’re talking about a different model, our Baby Bjorn one does exactly that. Got a Tula too which is very comfy, but only really coz the missus loved the design

    hard on the back and shoulders.

    Have you got it setup properly? I’ve got a Little Life one that’s been great.The wee man currently weighs 12kg (i’m only 63) but all the weight sits on my waist/hips when it’s all done up, it’s my legs that feel it more than anything.

    Back to the OP, mind that babies are crap at regulating their temperature (its like they dont even try). So proper carriers are great at first to make sure they’re toasty. Big rucksack type carriers are good when they’re more robust. So depending on due date, carrier through winter then into rucksack next summer could work out well

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    We started with a babybjorn front carrier then bought a new Osprey Poco. Nothing was coming up locally second hand and Blacks had a good deal on at the time which means we shouldn’t lose much on it when it comes to moving it on.

    As a side note my daughter is just over two and while she still fits in the carrier she prefers “walking daddy” so don’t bank on the child wanting to be in it at 3 years old.

    If it’s set correctly you carry the weight on your hips, not your shoulders too.

    Premier Icon hot_fiat

    +twelfty for buying second hand.

    From birth a Bjorn is great. We used ours with our first two and they loved it. All snuggly and warm. When they get a little older you can turn them around minime style, which is a little odd. We sold ours when #2 was about 9 months old and moved her into a littlelife backpack. That has been superb and has gone all over the globe with us. It has a sun shade / mossie net which was invaluable in the rockies. We used that right up until they were both 2.

    Having sold the Bjorn we then discovered #3 was on the way. My wife joined a “baby sling facebook group” (think sandals, beards, harem pants and unshaven pits and you’re on the right lines) who suggested she try an ergobaby. Its crap. All over-designed and illogical. You need to be some sort of circus freak to get the thing on without assistance. It’s also modular, which actually means that it’s expensive and doesn’t come with all the parts you need to go from newborn to 3 months to 6 months to toddler. The Bjorn knocks it for six.

    OP, I have a Stokke MyCarrier for sale – bells and whistles – goes from front mounted to back mounted and can be used from newborn. It’s in vgc. DM or email in profile if you’re interested.

    Premier Icon njee20

    My wife did epic amounts of research on this, we had a BabyBjorn one from her sister which wasn’t bad, but we bought a Connecta fabric carrier which is immeasurably better in every way; more comfortable, more versatile, mini-njee20 prefers it. Use it loads now with a 21 month old who weighs 14kg, and it’s really comfy. No qualms about having it on for a few hours if you’re somewhere he won’t want to walk much/the pushchair’s a pain.

    See if you’ve got a “carrier library” nearby, I forget who runs them (NCT maybe?) but it enabled us to try a few FOC for a couple of weeks at a time,

    Premier Icon alchiltern

    Our daughter is three now, we had her in a sling practically from birth but as you’ve probably already been advised you need to use the right sling or carrier for their age, generally to do with head and correct hip support.

    We moved onto an Osprey Poco which she loves, from about 10 months iirc, but still use a Lille Baby where it’s a short trip and we need something more compact.

    Regarding backpack carriers, we tried many but found for us the Osprey worked the best, comfortably transferring the load onto our hips and is very adjustable. She’s quite a heavy lass now but I can still wear the Poco for a few hours hill walking without discomfort. One thing I would recommend is make sure you get a good rain cover whatever, one thst covers all of the passenger, a cold wind will have them howling quicker than you can imagine, keeping this off will certainly increase their comfort significantly and alllow more adventures.

    Buggies were also mentioned, we picked up Chariot CX1 from eBay for £250, it’s been brilliant. Tow behind a CX or mountain bikes on trails and roads, convert to a three wheeler for road and trail running. Daughter loves going out in it, great for napping also. These can be used before 12 months with the right support inserts.


    My wife actually runs a Sling Library as well as being a trained consultant so we have lots of different ones to use.

    When our youngest (now 2 3/4) was first born we used what is know as a stretchy wrap which is basically a large piece of material that you wrap around yourself and then insert the baby. This is very good as it keeps the baby close and helps regulate their body temp. As she got bigger we used other carriers that were mainly what they call buckle carriers in that they clip together with buckles/clips and these can be used both front and back. I can still carry her on my front now which she enjoys as there is face to face contact but she also enjoys going on my back.

    Last October I spent some time in th lakes walking with my daughter in the front carrier which was great as we could talk easily.

    Carrying like this is very good for both baby and parent as it helps form bonds that you don’t get with a buggy.

    There are many other benefits to using slings/carriers however as with all these things there are those that fell you should do things only a certain way but they tend to be easy to avoid by just not going to those forums/chats

    Ace, thanks all! We start NCT classes in a couple of weeks (due end of Jan) so hopefully we might get to try out a couple there.

    We will definitely be buying second hand wherever possible (we’ve been donated a lot of stuff – pram, crib etc – as well, which is awesome) and cheers to the guys offering second hand bits – I’ll drop you pms later on.

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor

    We have sued/are using 2 styles- Smaller fabric slings/wraps for when they’re tiny and a structured/substantial one for when they’re bigger and you want bigger walks. There’s lots of crossover in terms of front/back carry. We’ve variously used:

    Closer Caboo DX – nice combo of a wrap and carrier, very snugly front/inward carry, can also go front/front facing.

    Ergobaby 360 – step up, can do front inward & forward, also on back. We still use this occasionally to potter round with the little one on the MTB. the clasp at the back can be tricky to reach so I do it up loose, put it on the tighten up. The Baby bjorns are much the same but easier to do up but apparently not so good for the babys hips. Or something.

    Kathmandu baby carrier – similar to some of the Little Life ones, was surprisingly good for long walks (we did some 6 hr tramps with a 10 month old) and had integral sun visor (essential)

    Deuter Kid Comfort – Didn’t like the shoulder straps, the baby straps weren’t secure and didn’t go small enough. The sun visor didn’t stow so you never have it when you need it.

    Osprey Poco – (we’ve got the biggest capacity) dead good but the hip belt isn’t the comfiest, think it just needs breaking in.

    We also have a Chariot for doing trips out on the bike (mtb, coffee runs, library trips, bike to town then convert to stroller, all sorts), it’s been fantastic. Black trails are the limit though 😉

    Premier Icon ransos

    We used a Baby Bjorn when they were small, then graduated to a Little Life rucksack type carrier. Both recommended, and I echo the comments about buying second hand.


    We’ve used a Manduca for both of ours.  That’s a soft fabric type, which can do a front and back carry.  It also has an adjustable back length so can be used from birth (in theory – we didn’t until they were three months old and a bit more substantial!).

    I carried the eldest until she was 2.5 years old, and the youngest is 1.5 years old and we both use it regularly.

    All good advice above.  Find a sling library so you can try models out.  That’s what we did!  Three couples of our NCT friends also bought the Manduca.


    We had a Little Life one which retails for about £130 now (buy second hand as stated) and it was perfectly good and comfy for the both of us.  You’ll definitely not want to carry a 3 yo though (they weigh a bloody metric tonne) and they won’t want to be carried.


    the other thing with larger infants (say 2-3 years old) is that they sit fairly happily on a pair of shoulders for a while. When we’re out for a walk these days, my wife sometimes brings her hip carrier (this sort of thing -> ) – and the kid will either walk himself, sit on that, or sit on my shoulders. All of them are much less full on than the large rucksack carrier – which works really well from 9-18 months, but is a bit unweildy if you want to pop into a shop/stop for a cup of tea or whatever.

    The hip carrier works really well to move the weight down from the shoulders if you want it at your hips, I’m not fond of it but my wife loves it


    +1 for the Manduca. Much preferred this to the baby bjorn we had previously. When they out grew that it was a little life structured backpack carrier.

    Not very stealth ad…. If you’re in the Bristol area I have the little life carrier plus a load of the accessories (covers, stirrups, etc) that I’m looking to sell

    Premier Icon Mat

    I used stretchy wraps with my daughter (hana), I loved having her in them! once you get used to tying them they’re great, pretty cheap £20+, easy to throw in a bag (you’re not left with some big bulky thing when baby isn’t in them), the baby is held right against your body too so you know that if you’re warm enough they’re warm enough. Could get on with lots of jobs around the house and keep the wee one happy and give Mum some respite. If your curious but unsure about how to wrap find your local sling library/sling meet and get a demo, I was skeptical but it’s all pretty snug and secure when done properly. I can appreciate you look a bit weird/earth mother-ish but meh…

    Once she got a bit big for that I got a Tula – also great, you can get one now that comes with an infant insert which will take smaller children. daughter is now 2 and we’ve barely used the pram or pushchair (annoying that we spent so much on the pram!)

    Premier Icon northernsoul

    As with @owenfackrell and @Mat, we used stretch wraps and (initially) slings from a local sling library – highly recommended. My personal favourite was a Bondolino (like this one, but my wife now has a small collection of wraps and other carriers, some of them very beautiful (she still slings our 3 yo from time to time). I’ve never seen the appeal of the relatively heavy and structured back carrier types (the slings we use will e.g. fit in a day sack and are therefore much less hassle and whether front or back slung the child has somewhere safe to snuggle away from the wind or prying eyes). I don’t like the front facing carriers, as the poor child has nowhere to escape from the (well-meaning but) unwanted attention of admirers.

    Premier Icon mulacs

    Baby Bjorn from birth, then got a Bush Baby rucksack s/h off eBay, 180 new, got it for 18. Brilliant. Highly recommended.

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