As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
If you're in a hurry and just want to find out what the best baby carrier for toddlers is, I'd recommend the LÍLLÉbaby 3 in 1 CarryOn Toddler Carrier.
While toddlers may be able to walk on their own, that doesn't mean they're always willing to do so. Sometimes, they will look up at you and ask to be picked up. Other times, they will simply sit down and refuse to budge. At times like this, a toddler carrier can be a lifesaver.
In this article, I am breaking down the best baby carriers for toddlers, and in the end, I'll choose the winner.
Here are the carriers I will be reviewing:
Benefits Of Toddler Carriers
While your toddler might be able to walk around most of the time, carriers still have their benefits. If you're going to be walking around all day at Disneyland or the zoo, there's a good chance that your child will get a little tired after a while. Maybe they can walk for an hour or two. But, 8 hours? That's asking a lot. While you could certainly bring a stroller, it can be a bit annoying to push it around all day if you're only going to use it intermittently.
Toddler carriers are also great when you go on vacation, because they are light and easy to pack. If you're flying somewhere with your family, and have a fair amount of walking planned on your trip, carriers can be a great option. They are much easier to travel with than strollers.
Things To Consider When Shopping For A Toddler Carrier
When you're buying a baby carrier for your toddler, there are a few things to look at.
Weight and age limits
You will want to check the upper end of the range for weight. A good toddler carrier should have a capacity of at least 40 pounds, and some go quite a bit higher than that.
Depending on how you're planning to use it, you might also check the lower weight and age limits. This won't matter if your child is already a toddler (and has no younger siblings). But, if you want to buy a carrier that can be used with an infant as they grow into toddlerhood, check to see when they can start using it.
Variety is the spice of life. So, it's nice to give your toddler a few different riding options. As a parent, it can also be nice to switch things up. You might get tired of carrying your little one on your front after a while. Switching things to your back might actually make you feel fresh and ready to keep pushing on.
Check to see if the carrier has a forward facing option. While infants generally like facing their parents, toddlers often like to look ahead.
Easy to adjust?
Since toddlers tend to be fairly heavy, there is a good chance that you and your spouse will want to take turns carrying your little one around. If your carrier is easy to adjust, this will be quick and painless. If it's hard to adjust, it might be more trouble than it's worth.
Some carriers come with large pockets, others come with small pockets, and still others come with no pockets at all. Since you're already going to be carrying a toddler around, it can be nice if you can avoid having to carry a bag as well. Or, at least if you do carry a bag, it's nice to have the option to carry something small.
My Top Baby Carrier Picks For Toddlers
Below are reviews of my top 5 baby carriers for toddlers. I have included some carriers that are designed specifically for toddlers, and others that are designed to be used with both infants and toddlers. While I have picked my favorite, I do believe any of the carriers below would make a good choice.
The Hipster Plus is a great carrier for children from 3 months to 3 years of age. The maximum weight is 40 pounds. While that's slightly lower than some of the other carriers in this post, it will certainly get you well into toddlerhood.
One of the nicest things about this carriers is that it has TONS of storage space. There is a pocket under the hip seat, a side pocket for your smartphone, and two pockets on top. It also has a removable front pocket that can be unzipped when the weather is warm to keep your little one feeling cool. With all of these pockets, you might actually be able to leave your home without taking a bag. That can be nice, considering you're going to be carrying a toddler around.
Versatility is another strong suit. You can carry your little one in 9 different carrying positions. This should help ensure that both you and your toddler are happy and comfortable. It also comes with a head cover to give your passenger some shade on those sunny days.
Keeping this carrier clean is easy since it's machine washable. While toddlers don't create messes quite the same way that infants do, you'll still want to wash your carrier from time to time.
On the downside, this one can be a bit bulky, which is a fairly common issue with toddler carriers. It should also be noted that there is no infant insert, so babies need to have head control before riding in this one. Obviously, that's not important when you're walking around with your toddler. But, if you were planning to try to use this with a newborn as well, you will need to wait a few months.
This carrier is designed specifically for toddlers. Children should be at least a year old, and weigh between 20 and 60 pounds. In my opinion, this is the best baby carrier for toddlers.
This carrier lets you carry your toddler on your back, front, or hip. It has breathable 3D mesh to promote airflow, and also has a removable hood. So, you're little one will be comfortable in warm weather and also well protected from the sun.
With two pockets for storage, you have plenty of room for your smartphone, keys, and other small items.
While a lot of carriers are adjustable, this one gets particularly high marks in this area. It's both easy to adjust and accommodates a wide range of sizes. This is an important feature if you and your spouse want to take turns carrying your toddler.
It's machine washable. So, keeping it clean is easy.
The biggest drawback with this carrier is that it's priced on the expensive end of the range. Depending on how often you plan to put your toddler in a carrier, you may or may not want to spend a lot of money. It can also take a little time to put this one on.
This is an affordably priced option that will take your little one from babyhood to todderhood. It's designed for children between 3 months and 3 years of age, weighing between 8 and 44 pounds.
This one is fairly versatile, and allows you to carry your little one in six different carrying positions. You might prefer one position if you're walking around Disneyland, and another if you're hiking through the woods. Your child might like changing things up from time to time as well. So, having options is a very good thing.
The front has a 3D mesh area that can be exposed when the weather is hot to help keep your little one cool. There is also a removable hood that provides protection from the sun.
On the downside, it can be a bit difficult to adjust the straps. So, switching between parents can be a little cumbersome, unless you both happen to be the same size. It's also a little difficult to put on in general, at least until you get used to it.
All in all though, this one is an excellent value considering its price point and the way it stacks up against the competition.
This one is suits both infants and toddlers quite well. Children weighing between 7 and 25 pounds can ride in front, and children weighing between 25 and 45 pounds can ride in back.
With several pockets, this one gives you a place for your phone, keys and other small items. In addition to being functional, it's also stylish and comes in a variety of print options.
It comes with a removable hood and foot straps. So, your little one will be well protected from the sun, and also quite comfortable.
While you are able to carry your child in front or back with this carrier, it should be noted that there are no outward facing carry options. This is a little disappointing, since a lot of toddlers like to be able to look ahead and see the world when they're being carried.
It can be a little hard to put this one on alone, since there is a buckle in the back. That's not to say it's impossible. It's just easier if you have assistance.
This is a fairly affordable option, which makes it a very strong contender.
The Tula Ergonomic Carrier is designed for toddlers weighing between 25 and 60 pounds.
This carrier is adjustable and can fit parents of different sizes. Considering the upper weight limit on this one, you'll almost certainly want to take turns carrying your toddler around.
It's available in several stylish prints. So, you can pick something that suits your tastes rather than being stuck with something boring.
The fabric is quite soft. So, you and your toddler should be comfortable.
One standout feature is that this carrier is fairly compact compared to other toddler carriers which tend to be more bulky. That can be really helpful if you're packing for a trip and want to bring it along.
This one lets you carry your toddler in two carrying positions. However, there is no outward facing option. That's a bummer since a lot of toddlers like to look ahead when they're being carried.
The biggest drawback is that this one is priced at the high end of the range. It's a quality carrier though, so if you plan to use it a lot, it can be a great option.
Of all of the choices out there, I think the LÍLLÉbaby 3 in 1 CarryOn Toddler Carrier is the best baby carrier for toddlers. In some ways this isn't surprising since LÍLLÉbaby has a great reputation and this carrier is designed specifically for toddlers. That said, there are some other great options as well, particularly if you're looking for a carrier that handles both infants and toddlers. I feel good recommending any of the options in this post.