Parents all over the world will be able to empathize with each other on the difficulty of being out and about with babies and toddlers.
While the good old fashioned buggy is still the method of choice in the U.S. when it comes to baby transportation, more and more evidence is coming out about the advantages of babywearing.
Babywearing is a blanket term for the method of carrying your baby either on your front, back, or hip with the help of a carrying device. There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that babywearing has emotional and physical benefits for both parent and child.
Possibly the most convenient way to wear your baby is on your back because it leaves your front and sides less obstructed so that you can continue to perform tasks and errands effortlessly.
Best of all, there’s a diverse and innovative range of baby back carriers available on the market right now! We’ve compiled our top 5 baby back carriers into a list and reviewed each one to help you out.
If you have any questions about the most important features of a baby back carrier, or the benefits of wearing your baby on your back, these will be answered in our buyer’s guide and FAQ section.
- For babies between 16 and 48 lbs
- Sturdy aluminum frame
- Built-in sunshade
- UPF 50 +
- Detachable stirrups
- Includes multiple pockets
- Strong buckle fastenings
- Double-halo harness
- Includes drool pad
OUR TOP PICK
This Poco Child Carrier from Osprey has some of the most advanced and convenience-oriented features of any baby back carrier on the market!
We would highly recommend this back carrier to any parent or guardian who might be worried about the potential risks of carrying their baby outdoors, including sun exposure and dehydration.
Firmly held up by a strong aluminum frame, this carrier will always retain its shape and provide proper support. Meanwhile, the deluxe child cockpit includes a double-halo harness that encircles your baby’s body for maximum support and security.
The straps of the carrier are padded and adjustable, as is the torso belt, and secure buckle fastenings keep your adjustments in place while ensuring your baby’s safety at all times.
This baby back carrier model comes with all the pockets and compartments you could possibly need to look after your baby on the go!
Mesh hip-belt pockets have been sewn into the carrier, ideal for storing any non-valuables that you might need quick and easy access to.
There’s also a zippered compartment and an external pocket for a hydration sleeve.
Speaking of hydration, babies have particularly sensitive skin and are prone to becoming dehydrated.
However, Osprey’s Poco Child Carrier features a pop-up sunshade with UPF 50 + UV protection, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Osprey has even come up with a solution to the issue of circulation loss that can occur in babies’ legs with certain carriers by including stirrups in the design of this carrier.
These stirrups provide footholds for your baby’s feet so that they feel supported and their blood vessels don’t become compressed.
Please do not use this carrier until your baby weighs at least 16 lbs since it is not designed for very small infants. It can, however, continue to support your baby’s weight until they reach 48 lbs.
- Strong, aluminum frame
- Double-halo harness
- Built-in sunshade
- Several pockets
- Buckle fastenings
- UPF 50 + protection
- Includes stirrups
- Drool pad included
- Supports up to 48 lbs
- Not for babies under 16 lbs
The Infantino Flip Advanced 4-in-1 Carrier is clearly one of the most popular baby back carriers available to buy online - and no wonder! This carrier is amongst the most multi-functional and comfortable, yet affordable on the market.
As advertised, this is actually a 4-in-1 carrier, which means that it can be worn in 4 different ways. You can, of course, wear it on your back, but you can also strap it to your front.
In the front position, your baby can sit facing forwards or backward with either a narrow or wide seat, hence the 4-in-1 functionality. The carrier can even be shifted onto the wearer’s hip.
The straps, belt, and seat of this carrier are all adjustable for maximum comfort and convenience.
Being able to adjust the padded straps and waist belt helps to ensure the most comfortable fit possible, while the ability to widen or narrow the seat allows baby to sit facing in either direction without compromising on proper support.
The straps have more than enough length to fit plus-size parents.
This carrier is made of durable, high-quality material that can support up to 32 lbs of weight.
The heavy-duty buckles and stitching mean that you can completely trust this back carrier to keep your baby safe and secure through all your daily activities.
A drool cover is also included and can be attached to wherever it is needed using velcro.
However, this baby back carrier is not suitable for babies weighing less than 8 lbs.
Small babies are quite prone to losing circulation, so any excessive tightness in the carrier (however minimal or unobservable) could cause circulatory problems.
- 4 wearing positions
- Adjustable seat
- Adjustable, padded waist belt and straps
- High-quality material
- Strong buckles
- Durable stitching
- Supports up to 32 lbs
- Includes drool cover
- Not for babies weighing under 8 lbs
The Premium Baby Backpack Carrier from Luvdbaby is designed to cater to the complete comfort of both parent and baby while providing a completely safe and secure way to transport your child.
One of the common complaints we hear from parents who wear their babies on their backs is that back pain starts to develop after extended periods. Luvdbaby has endeavored to fix this problem by focusing this design around ergonomic wear.
The thick padding and adjustable height of this carrier eliminate the discomfort of having a certain part of the carrier constantly putting pressure on the same place on your back, making the wearing process much more comfortable.
The actual seating cocoon is also padded, so this carrier is super comfortable for both yourself and your baby.
A padded safety harness and foldable sunshade ensure that baby is always secure and protected from the elements.
This is a highly durable, waterproof carrier made out of 300 D and 600 D ripstop polyester and reinforced in terms of security by a sturdy aluminum stand, load-bearing belt, and strong buckle clasps.
Several pockets have been thoughtfully built into the Luvdbaby carrier, so you can essentially carry your baby and all your essentials in one place!
Most of these pockets are mesh, but there’s an insulating pocket for your baby bottle as well.
A diaper-changing pad is included with this carrier, which is fantastic because it facilitates the notoriously inconvenient but sometimes unavoidable task of changing your baby while you’re out and about.
- Durable polyester material
- Highly ergonomic
- Buckle clasps
- Thick padding
- Features insulated bottle pocket
- Includes sunshade
- Diaper-changing pad included
- Some reports of defective stitching
Chicco’s SmartSupport Backpack Carrier is a great all-around baby back carrier, but it’s particularly well-suited to travel.
This carrier is guaranteed to keep your baby as safe as can be in its padded, adjustable seat. Your little one will be firmly but comfortably strapped into the seat with the 5-point harness.
The material is strong but very soft, and all the straps are both padded and adjustable so you’ll have no difficulty maintaining a comfortable wearing position.
Additionally, padding and ventilation have been built into the lumbar area for airflow and support.
One of our favorite things about this baby back carrier is its built-in kickstand. The stand is made of aluminum, so it’s both solid and lightweight. It folds out to enable you to stand your baby on the floor or any surface beside you and folds back up for wearing.
This is perfect for traveling or going on picnics because your baby can stay seated in their carrier, whether it’s actively being worn or not, which saves time and energy.
Better still, when you’re done with your carrier for the day, you can fold it completely flat for convenient storage!
Additionally, an extendable canopy is attached for protection from both sun and rain.
- Durable, soft material
- 5-point harness
- Height-adjustable seat
- Lumbar support and ventilation
- Padded, adjustable straps
- Aluminum kickstand
- Folds flat for storage
- Extendable canopy
- Some wearers have found the straps uncomfortable
If you’ve been looking for a very lightweight baby back carrier that’s also surprisingly strong, we recommend the Child Carrier Frame Backpack from Phil & Ted’s Parade.
This carrier, including the aluminum stand that fits into it, weighs just 4.4 lbs, but it can carry 9 times that, supporting babies and children weighing up to 39.7 lbs.
The shoulder straps and hip belt are all padded and can be adjusted to achieve the most comfortable and supportive fit.
Breathable, Air-tech mesh has been added to the back of the carrier to promote airflow to the lumbar area.
Thanks to the lightweight aluminum frame, you can stand your carrier up on the floor as needed and fold it flat when you’re ready to put it into storage.
An additional mini backpack is attached to this carrier, which is not only absolutely adorable but provides a convenient space to keep all of your essentials and valuables together. Storage pockets are also built-in for your keys and a drink bottle.
- Adjustable, padded straps
- Air-tech mesh for lumbar ventilation
- Includes storage pockets
- Mini backpack attached
- Supports up to 39.7 lbs
- Some reported discomfort on the hips and back
Best Baby Back Carrier Buying Guide
A baby back carrier isn’t a product you should invest in lightly!
After all, this is an accessory that you’ll need to trust with your baby’s safety, so you need to be sure that it’s perfect in every way.
Your baby back carrier will probably need to last you for at least several months, if not years, so it will need to be highly durable.
Material with high tensile strength is key to achieving this durability, as is strong stitching, so be sure to prioritize both of these things!
Most baby carriers will be made of woven poly-materials, and the specific fabric might not always be clearly specified. However, if the material is advertised, look for thick, high-denier fabrics. A good example of such a fabric is ripstop polyester.
The stitching used to hold your carrier together should be heavy-duty, and any metal frames will also need to be strong. We recommend aluminum as the best frame material because it’s both very solid and lightweight, so it’ll provide adequate support and stability without adding too much weight to your back.
Please do bear in mind that the majority of high-quality baby back carriers will come with a specified weight limit, which should not be exceeded under any circumstances.
Carrying a baby in a carrier that isn’t designed to support their weight is incredibly dangerous and can lead to serious injury and even have fatal consequences.
The durability of a baby back carrier is measured by its ability to continue to withstand its advertised maximum weight in the long-term. Just because a carrier is highly durable doesn’t mean it’s safe to exceed the weight limit.
Doing so may cause stitching, closures, or straps to fail, and the manufacturer of the carrier will not take any responsibility because you haven’t used their product according to the guidelines.
Similarly, although we’ve already touched on this, we’d like to reiterate that minimum weight limits should also be strictly adhered to. Some baby back carriers aren’t suitable for babies under a certain weight, for example, 8 lbs or 16 lbs.
These weight guidelines are put in place to protect very small babies who lack the muscular and circulatory development to stay in certain positions safely, so please don’t ignore them!
While durability and security do tend to overlap where baby carriers are concerned, specific security features such as buckles and harnesses are so important that they deserve a section of their own.
Although the material and stitching construction will be primarily responsible for the durability of the carrier, it’s important to have other structures in place to keep your baby safe and secure.
The more points of contact/attachment the harness of the carrier has, the better. This is why we would primarily recommend carriers with 5-point or double-halo harnesses since these are the most likely to provide a secure hold.
As far as fastenings are concerned, buckles are the way to go. This is because they’re one of the strongest closure mechanisms and are also easy to adjust and undo as needed.
We think we can all agree that the most important functions of a baby back carrier are durability and security, which we’ve just discussed. However, comfort is also crucial for both yourself and your baby.
To ensure your own comfort, it helps if the carrier is height-adjustable as well as adjustable around the shoulders and waist.
This will help you to work out the perfect fit for your carrier and means you can shift the position if you start to feel discomfort. All straps should ideally be padded, and where possible, mesh paneling should be built into the lumbar area to provide ventilation.
As for baby, soft material is key so that it won’t irritate the skin on contact. It’s also a good idea for the seat to be adjustable in terms of width so that your baby can sit in different positions comfortably without risking cutting off circulation or causing strain.
We understand that as a parent, guardian, or carer, keeping your baby as well-provided for and happy is your top priority.
Baby carrier manufacturers understand this, too, which is why so many of them produce back carriers equipped with additional features to cater to your baby’s needs.
Pockets are always useful - especially insulated ones, if you want to keep your baby bottle at the optimal temperature.
If you want to take your baby out in the sun, we would recommend choosing a carrier with a sunshade and/or built-in UPF.
We mentioned circulation briefly in the previous section, but if this is something that really concerns you, consider opting for a carrier that includes stirrups to support your baby’s legs.
Finally, drool pads and baby changing mats are essential items that parents can’t do without, so why not take advantage of the opportunity and choose a carrier that includes one of these items?
Frequently Asked Questions
Until what age can I put my baby in a back carrier?
One of the great things about baby back carriers is that they can continue to be used for a long time!
Many parents and carers worry that their child might be too old or too big for a back carrier, but children can continue to be carried in this way for several years - even up until 4 or 5 years of age.
Bear in mind that some baby back carriers can carry up to 48 lbs, which is more than the average 5 year old.
What are the benefits of back carrying?
Wearing your baby on your back comes with all the same emotional and physical benefits as any other form of babywearing.
Studies have shown that babies who are carried against their parents rather than in a buggy or carrycot generally cry less, possibly because they feel safer.
Babywearing also promotes the development of heartbeat and body temperature regulation in babies. Overall, regularly wearing your baby is thought to help enhance your bond with your little one (not that this is the only way to do this, of course)!
The difference between carrying your baby on your back than front-carrying is that you have more room to move your arms and keep going about your day.
Of course, it can be unsettling for parents and carers of young children not to be able to directly see their baby at all times, but it’s completely safe nonetheless and just takes time to get used to.