THE BEST TODDLER CARRIERS 2022

While many people might think you’ll stop wearing your baby once they’re able to walk, that’s hardly true at all! Toddler carriers will more than serve their purpose when your little one gets tired or if you need to hurry and they are in sloth-modus.

Especially on a trip, bringing a toddler carrier will make your life a lot easier! We’ve carried our daughter daily until she was 3 (on our daily walk to school and with the dogs) and it wasn’t until age 5 that we stopped putting the toddler baby carrier into our suitcase.

Read on to find out what the best carriers for toddlers (and preschoolers) are, to find out our top picks, or to read more about babywearing a toddler in our information guide.

In this article, we’ll tell you more about

  • why a carrier for toddler is useful and when you can use it
  • what things you should keep in mind
  • a comparison table of our list to the best carriers for toddlers
  • reviews of the best baby carriers for toddlers

However, if you already know what you’d like, use the table of contents to jump to the section that applies to you. Or if you’re in a hurry, you can see our top recommendations immediately underneath the table of contents.

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THE BEST CARRIERS FOR TODDLERs 2022: TOP PICKS

Best carrier for toddler 2022: Tula Toddler
Best carrier for preschooler 2022: Tula Preschool
Cheapest carrier for toddlers: LÍLLÉbaby Carryon Airflow
Best toddler carrier for travel: LÍLLÉbaby Carryon Airflow
Best toddler carrier for plus size parents: Beco Toddler
Best backpack for carrying toddlers in hot climate: Beco Toddler Cool
or LÍLLÉbaby Carryon Airflow
Best newborn to toddler carrier: Boba X


Best carrier for 1 year old: Boba X
Best carrier for 2 year old: Tula Toddler
Best carrier for 3 year old: Tula Toddler
Best carrier for 4 year old: Tula Toddler
Best carrier for 5 year old: Tula Preschool
Best carrier for 6 year old: Tula Preschool

COMPARISON CHART

IMAGE PRODUCT AGE
Example of the Tula Toddler, a backpack carrier for toddler Tula
  • A carrier with funky patterns, a high back panel, and that is extra strong. With a wide preformed waist belt.
  • Toddler: 18m-4+
  • Preschool: 3,5-6+
CHECK PRICE
LílléBaby Carryon Airflow
  • Mesh carrier with high back panel and wide waist belt.
18m-5y CHECK PRICE
Boba X
  • A newborn-to-toddler carrier that actually works well far into toddlerhood. Seat extenders and foot straps included to make even the biggest toddlers sit comfortably.
0m-3y CHECK PRICE
The firewagon edition of the Kinderpack Toddler, one of the best carriers for toddlers on the back Kinderpack
  • Extra comfortable/deep seat thanks to the 3 panels. Standard or plus size options for parents. Coolknit middle panel for airflow.
  • Standard: 8m-3+
  • Toddler: 18m-4+
  • Preschool: 3y-5+
CHECK PRICE
Beco Toddler
  • Very comfortable toddler carrier with wide seat made from mesh fabric. With waist belt extender if necessary. Shoulder straps are a little less padded than the competition.
18m-6y CHECK PRICE
An example of the integra backpack carriers for toddlers Integra
  • Carrier with a SOFT waist belt instead of a stiff one. Nice designs, also wrap conversions, linen and a waterproof version.
  • Size 2: 18m-3,5y
  • Size 3: 3-6y
CHECK PRICE

TODDLER CARRIER REVIEWS

I. The best young toddler baby carriers: age 12-18 months

Standard baby carriers will fit your 1-year-old just fine. It isn’t until around 18 months of age that some of them will start to lack decent knee-to-knee support. Most, however, will fit until your kiddo is wearing a 2T (leg length).

If you’re looking for the best baby carrier for a 1-year-old to an 18-month-old, we recommend using a regular/standard carrier. Good and popular brands are Ergobaby, Tula, LILLÉbaby and Beco Gemini. Most (back) carriers for toddlers can be used from 18-months-old but not before, the seat will be too wide which will be uncomfortable for your little one.

However, if you don’t own a regular baby carrier yet and you feel it would be silly to buy one for just a short couple of months, it’s possible to tie the fabric of the seat together with a little string. That way, you can give your child knee-to-knee support without overstretching. Make sure the back panel – that is often higher to support older children – doesn’t come too high.

There are 2 baby carriers that can use a specific mention in this list for young toddlers, as you’ll be able to use them well into toddlerhood. Both of these carriers are great choices if you don’t already own a regular carrier and you don’t expect to continue carrying up until age 2,5+.

#1 Boba X

The Boba X carrier is made from a breathable 100% cotton fabric, making it a front and back toddler carrier that is very comfortable for your little one!

We’re usually not all too fond of recommending a baby carrier that is adjustable from newborn to toddler. It’s great in theory and we’re sure the fabric will be strong enough to support the weight. However, experience has taught us that once upper bodies and legs start to grow, our kiddos won’t be all that comfortable anymore in a baby carrier. We will make the exception for the Boba X though!

Both the seat (8-21″/20-53cm) and the panel body (12-16″/30-40cm) micro-adjusts to fit your child’s body perfectly. On top of that, they thought about the babywearers as well: the carrier comes with a 25-58″ (63.5-147cm) waist belt. This way it will fit just about anybody! An absolutely great feature of the Boba X are the seat extenders and the foot straps, that way even the oldest toddlers will be able to sit comfortably!

As is customary for Boba, the designs are to die for.

#2 Kinderpack Standard

Example of the Kinderpack standard a great baby carrier 1 year old
Photo credit @Kinderpack

Kinderpack is an American brand of stay-at-home parents that creates unique baby carriers in small batches.

Like many European brands, but as one of the only US brands, their carriers come in 4 sizes: the infant, the standard, the toddler, and the preschooler.

The Kinderpack Standard allows you to carry children from about 20 to 40 lbs. Technically this could be from 8-months-old and up until age 3 but they should be a minimum of 28″ tall.

This baby carrier for 3 year old comes with a hidden aviator hood/sleep shade (depending on the fabric of the middle panel). Thanks to the 3-panel-structure, your kid’s bottom sinks extra deep into the carrier, creating a very comfortable environment.

For parents, the Kinderpack provides a custom fit with 2 options: the standard, for sizes 0 to 22 and the plus size, for sizes 18 and up.

All Kinderpack’s are available in colorful and funky prints!

II. The best carriers for children: age 2 – 4

#1 Tula Toddler

Example of the Tula Toddler, a backpack carrier for toddler
photo credit @ Little Zen One

Although not as well-known in the US as they are in Europe, the Tula baby carrier brand is a great choice if you’re looking for a backpack carrier for toddlers.

As with the other Tula carriers, it is comfortable and durable. The back panel comes up high on the back of your child, which is something many people like.

The Tula Toddler has a big pocket on the waist belt and additional padding at the leg openings, the shoulder straps, and the waist belt. This baby carrier for a 2-year-old can only be used for front and back positions.

The Tula Toddler can carry your child from 25 lbs (11kg) and up to 4+ years. They should be a minimum of 32″ tall.

Typical for the Baby Tula brand are the beautifully designed and colorful patterns they use for their carriers.

TIP: Get a $20 discount if you buy on Little Zen One through this link. Little Zen One is a Canadian webshop but offers free worldwide shipping. The link will bring you to the home page, so make sure to put ‘Tula Toddler’ in the search box!

#2 LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow

Unfortunately, the LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn AllSeasons is no longer available. However, the Lillebaby CarryOn Airflow is your perfect partner in crime when babywearing in regular to warm climates.

It is suitable for children from 20 up to 60 lbs (9-27 kg). The toddler carrying backpack has 3-way adjustable straps, a removable hood, and features 2 pockets. The biggest plus of the CarryOn is its wider and taller torso, which keeps even taller children comfortable.

It is made completely out of mesh fabric. This way it provides airflow for both yourself and your toddler, which is pretty useful if you or your little one sweats easily. The toddler carrier back pack is available in multiple colors!

#3 Beco Toddler

The Toddler version of the Beco Gemini has all its cool features and transformed them to suit children from age 18m up until 6+!

You can wear your baby on the front (face inward), and on the back.

The shoulder straps are crossable in case your not-so-little-anymore-toddler likes to be carried on your belly, which is a great relief for your back! There’s also extra padding in the straps and the leg holes, a large pocket on the belt, and a detachable zipper clutch.

The brand claims to fit all sizes of caregivers perfectly from XS to XXL (they offer waist belt extenders) – and parents seem to agree.

#4 Integra size 2

photo credit @ Little Zen One

Integra baby carriers are a great choice for anyone looking for the best carrier for a toddler. They come in 3 sizes: size 1 from birth until 2,5 years, size 2 from 18 months up until 3,5 years, and size 3 from age 3 till 6.

The feature that makes this one stand out the most is the soft waist belt. Some parents don’t like a soft structured carrier because the belt is stiff and big, however, a soft waist belt makes sure you have that perfect fit anytime.

It also comes with a large sun/sleeping hood, which you can snap onto the shoulder straps with small buckles.

The Integra Solar comes in various beautiful patterns, linen editions, and wrap conversions, so you’ll definitely find one to your liking. There’s also a waterproof version available in many colors (Integra Solar). You can find more waterproof baby carriers here!

TIP: Get a $20 discount if you buy through this link. Little Zen One is a Canadian webshop but offers free worldwide shipping. The link will bring you to the home page, so make sure to put ‘Integra’ in the search box!

#5 Kinderpack toddler

The firewagon edition of the Kinderpack Toddler, one of the best carriers for toddlers on the back
Photo Credit @Kinderpack

Kinderpack is an American brand of Stay-at-home-parents that creates unique baby carriers in small batches.

Like many European brands, but as one of the only US brands, their carriers come in 4 sizes: the infant, the standard, the toddler and the preschooler. For ages 2 to 4, it’s recommended to go with the Toddler version (although some kids might not fit it just yet at age 2 when they’re not that tall).

The Kinderpack Toddler allows you to carry children from about 25 to 45 lbs. Technically this could be from 18-months-old up until 4+ but they should be a minimum of 32″ tall. Kinderpack also issues the max weight as an absolute minimum in which the carrier should still be comfortable. It is able to support much more weight, but comfort for your little one might be a little less.

This toddler carrier for back and front carry positions comes with a hidden aviator hood/sleep shade (depending on the fabric of the middle panel). Thanks to the 3-panel-structure, your kid’s bottom sinks extra deep into the carrier, creating a very comfortable environment.

For parents, the Kinderpack provides a custom fit with 2 options: the standard, for sizes 0 to 22 and the plus size, for sizes 18 and up.

All Kinderpack’s are available in colorful and funky prints!

III. The best kids carrier: age 4+

#1 Tula Preschool

Example of the Tula Toddler, a backpack carrier for toddler
photo credit @ Little Zen One

Although not as well-known in the US as they are in Europe, the Tula baby carrier brand is a great choice if you’re looking for a carrier for an older child.

As with the other Tula carriers, it is comfortable and durable. The back panel comes up high on the back of your child, which is something many people like.

The Tula Preschool has a big pocket on the waist belt and additional padding at the leg openings, the shoulder straps, and the waist belt. This child carrier for over 40 lbs can only be used for front and back positions.

The Tula Preschool can carry your child from when they are in 4T pants (35 lbs/16kg) and up to 6+ years (70lbs/32kg). The extra-large panel and the reinforced structure, make it extremely fit to carry around older children.

Typical for the Baby Tula brand are the beautifully designed and colorful patterns they use for their carriers.

#2 Integra size 3

photo credit @ Little Zen One

Integra baby carriers are a great choice for anyone looking for the best carrier over 30lbs. They come in 3 sizes: size 1 from birth until 2,5 years, size 2 from 18 months up until 3,5 years, and size 3 from age 3 till 6.

The feature that makes this one stand out the most is the soft waist belt. Some parents don’t like a soft structured carrier because the preformed belt is stiff and big, however, a soft waist belt makes sure you have that perfect fit anytime.

It also comes with a large sun/sleeping hood, which you can snap onto the shoulder straps with small buckles.

The Integra Solar comes in various beautiful patterns, linen editions, and wrap conversions, so you’ll definitely find one to your liking. There’s also a waterproof version available in many colors (Integra Solar).

TIP: Get a $20 discount if you buy through this link. Little Zen One is a Canadian webshop but offers free worldwide shipping. The link will bring you to the home page, so make sure to put ‘Integra’ in the search box!

#3 Kinderpack Preschool

The kinderpack preschool, an big kid carrier
Photo Credit @Kinderpack

Kinderpack is an American brand of stay-at-home parents that creates unique baby carriers in small batches.

Like many European brands, but as one of the only US brands, their carriers come in 4 sizes: the infant, the standard, the toddler, and the preschooler. For ages 3 to 5, it’s recommended to go with the Preschool version (although some kids might not fit it just yet at age 3 when they’re not that tall).

The Kinderpack Preschool allows you to carry children from about 35 to 55 lbs. Technically this could be a back carrier for 3-years-old up until 5+ but they should be a minimum of 38″ tall. Kinderpack also issues the max weight as an absolute minimum in which the carrier should still be comfortable. It is able to support much more weight, but comfort for your little one might be a little less.

This front and back carrier for 4-year-olds plus comes with a hidden aviator hood/sleep shade (depending on the fabric of the middle panel). Thanks to the 3-panel-structure, your kid’s bottom sinks extra deep into the carrier, creating a very comfortable environment.

For parents, the Kinderpack provides a custom fit with 2 options: the standard, for sizes 0 to 22 and the plus size, for sizes 18 and up.

All Kinderpack’s are available in colorful and funky prints!

IV. The best baby toddler carrier for hot weather

When it comes to carrying a toddler in summer, make sure to follow the standard rules for wearing a baby in high temperatures: stay in the shade as much as possible, hydrate, and take regular breaks. A lot of people prefer a soft structured carrier for toddlers over a wrap or sling because those tiny walking humans tend to run around, hop in, hop out and repeat. Can you imagine tying your wrap a zillion times in 86 degrees? If you do prefer wrapping your toddler, choose a woven wrap to prevent shoulder and back pain. You don’t need a special toddler wrap.

Below, you’ll find our top 3 best toddler carrier for hot weather, but if you’d like a more comprehensive article, check out our toddler section in the best baby carrier for hot weather.

#1 Beco Toddler Cool

The Toddler version of the Beco Gemini Cool has all its cool features and transformed them to suit children from age 18m up until 6+!

You can wear your baby on the front (face inward), and on the back.

The shoulder straps are crossable in case your not-so-little-anymore-toddler likes to be carried on your belly, which is a great relief for your back! There’s also extra padding in the straps and the leg holes, a large pocket on the belt, and a detachable zipper clutch.

The brand claims to fit all sizes of caregivers perfectly from XS to XXL (they offer waist belt extenders) – and parents seem to agree.

#2 LÍLLÉbaby CarryOn Airflow

The Lillebaby CarryOn Airflow is your perfect partner in crime when traveling to warmer climates. It is suitable for children from 20 up to 60 lbs (9-27 kg). The toddler carrying backpack has 3-way adjustable straps, a removable hood, and features 2 pockets. The biggest plus of the CarryOn is its wider and taller torso, which keeps even taller children comfortable.

It has all the advantages of the All Seasons ergonomic toddler carrier, except that it’s made completely out of mesh fabric. This way it provides airflow for both yourself and your toddler. The toddler carrier backpack is available in multiple colors!

#3 Tula Toddler Coast

father with a child in a back carrier for toddler
photo credit @ Little Zen One

It is no surprise that one of the most famous baby carrier producers offers a version for keeping your toddler cool in hot weather.

As with the other Tula carriers, it is comfortable and durable. What makes it tropical-resistant is the mesh panel on the back and the mesh hood, leaving room for air to brush in.

The Tula Coast has a big pocket on the waist belt and additional padding at the leg openings, the shoulder straps, and the waist belt. This baby carrier for hot weather can only be used for front and back positions.

The Tula toddler Coast can carry your child from 25 lbs (11kg) and up to 4+ years.

TIP: Get a $20 discount if you buy through this link. Little Zen One is a Canadian webshop but offers free worldwide shipping. The link will bring you to the home page, so make sure to put ‘Tula Toddler Coast’ in the search box!

INFORMATION GUIDE

What is a baby carrier for toddlers?

A baby carrier toddler is the same backpack-like item to carry your baby handsfree as a regular baby carrier – the only difference is that it’s made especially for toddlers and bigger children.

While the waist belt and shoulder straps offer the same support for the caregivers there are several adjustments for your toddler or preschooler.

The fabric of the seat is wider, making sure that important knee-to-knee support is offered. Furthermore, the back panel is wider and higher to adjust to the growing body of your child. All of this will make sure your little one sits safely into the M or frog position and has sufficient support in the back to comfortably spend a couple of hours in the kids baby carrier, even if they decide to take a nap.

Why would you use baby carriers for toddlers?

Many baby carriers claim they can hold bigger children – often up until 45 pounds/20 kg – and while that is not a lie (they were indeed tested to endure such weights) it doesn’t take comfort and support into account.

Once your baby reaches the 18-month point, you’ll start noticing that they don’t get full knee-to-knee support anymore. While a 2/3rd support is considered all right, we’d only recommend continuing to use your previous carrier if you doubt you’ll still be carrying your 2-year-old.

If that is the case, you should definitely use your regular baby carrier or infant-to-toddler adaptable carrier as buying a new toddler wearing carrier will be an expensive purchase.

However, once they’ve reached that 2-year mark, they won’t be comfortable nor supported enough anymore. A lot of parents continue to carry their toddler well into the preschool years, so buying a decent bigger child carrier isn’t that far-fetched.

When do you use a baby carrier for toddler?

You can use your (back) carrier for toddler for an endless amount of things. When they’re still little, 1-year-old or 18-months-old, you can continue to babywear your toddler the same way you did as a baby. That includes in the house (doing your daily chores), taking a walk, going to the shop or mall, putting them to sleep and the list goes on and on.

When they start walking around a lot, you might prefer the best child carrier for ultrafast on and off, because we all know you’ll need it. Toddlers tend to have the habit of wanting to walk and wanting to be picked up again after a hundred feet. However, little legs grow tired quickly, so the average 2 and even 3-year-old will still spend a decent amount of time in the carrier.

But even kids in their preschool years might still like to be carried occasionally. Especially when you like to go on long hikes, bringing a toddler carrier for travel is a great idea.

Things to keep in mind when buying toddler carriers

Back carry: when babywearing toddlers, most caregivers prefer a toddler back carrier because an older child is heavier for your body and it’s easier to do other things. Putting them on the back will allow you to move freely while having them on the front or on the hip will always hinder you some way or the other. Which obviously doesn’t mean it’s impossible to baby wear a toddler in another way. Your little one might prefer it if they are sick or really tired. And especially with a young toddler, it’s still very feasible to do so. I only started to refuse N’s request when she turned 3 and Kath still carries her occasionally on the front.

Carrier or wrap: while wrap carriers for toddlers are perfectly fine (they’re strong enough to support a really big child!), I find them a little cumbersome to use with a toddler that wants to go up and down all the time. However, my best friend is a total wrap addict and happily carried her 3-year-old daughter in a wrap carry when she was tired. So it all comes down to preferences. I will be focusing on actual (back) carriers for toddlers in this article.

Size: Remember that so-called ‘toddler carriers’ are usually only suitable for older toddlers (age 2, sometimes 2,5 or 3 years old). We bought a Wompat Toddler when our daughter just turned 2. According to the size chart, the Toddler was meant for children age 2-4. However, it didn’t fit her properly until she was about 3,5 years! Because the back panel was too large/deep and the seat too wide, she wasn’t comfortable at all. Picking the right size is important!

Final thoughts

We hope you’ve found what you were looking for with this article and that you can continue carrying your little one well into toddlerhood and even as a preschooler! Let us know in the comments which carrier you ended up picking!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Babs Rodrigus is the co-founder and main writer of Mums on FlipFlops . She is absolutely crazy about travelling – especially together with her wife and kids. Babs loves animals, chocolate (what did you expect from a Belgian?), reading and writing.

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