Why should moms have all the fun? Dads want to take the baby out sometimes too.
Although many baby carriers are designed for both men and women, some have features that men appreciate more.
We’ve polled the babywearing dad masses, tried and tested a wide range of products, and have rounded up the best carriers for dads.
- 4-way front and back carrying
- Hip-healthy baby carrier
- Adjustable height features
- All-in-one carrier
- Adjustable bucket seat
- UPF50+ tuckaway hood
- Choose wrap based on T-shirt size
- Breathable, quick-dry cotton fabric
- Machine washable & dryer safe
- 20+ color and print options
- 360-degree carrying
- Adjustable back panel
- Ultra lightweight design
- Folds down into its own pocket
- Padded leg holes
- Strong yet lightweight
- Many pockets
- Easily stands on flat surface
Why Should Dad Use a Baby Carrier?
Modern dads realize the value of spending time with their babies, and wearing your baby in one of the best baby cariers can help you do that.
The smash-hit movie “The Hangover” helped introduce a whole new generation of dads to babywearing. Sales of baby carriers for men have increased dramatically since Zach Galifianakis carried baby Carlos around in a soft structured carrier. If dufus Alan can be trusted with a baby, surely others can too.
A baby carrier can offer many benefits for a day out with your mini human.
Leave the Stroller at Home
Although it’s referred to as a stroller, ironically, the last thing you seem to do with one is stroll. I usually spend more time making space in the trunk and trying to set the thing up than walking with it.
If you do have wheels in tow, getting around may take more planning than you bargained for. You’re destined to take the elevator and not the stairs, or you’re forever trying to find stroller-friendly routes.
Not having a stroller means you can go places typically deemed “out of bounds.” Your baby can now go off-road with you on that Sunday morning hiking trail. A trip to the zoo might not mean walking at a snail’s pace as you navigate that chair through the masses.
Once you become a parent, multitasking is one skill you become an expert in, and sometimes you only have one hand to get things done.
Using a baby carrier could make your infant juggling act run a lot smoother because you’ll have the use of both your hands. You can comfort your baby in the carrier and help prepare dinner at the same time. If mom isn’t home, but you need to clear up the backyard before it rains, you can still keep your baby close while you tend to your garden.
Soothes Your Baby and Promotes Bonding
If you take your baby out for a drive, chances are, they’ll fall asleep during the journey. This is all thanks to the relaxing effects of motion. Should you decide to pop your kid in a carrier and walk around, you may discover a similar effect. The walking action and being able to hear your heartbeat will naturally chill your baby out.
The biggest upside of babywearing is the valuable bonding time with our little ones. That feeling of closeness is something else. Even experts agree it can promote better parent/child relationships (1).
What to Look For
It’s simple: dads want something that suits their needs — ideally, something less pink that is more suitable for their body shapes. Padded straps and adjustable waist belts often help carriers fit men better, depending on the type of carrier you choose.
Sling fabrics or Mei Tais are popular with moms but are often more fiddly than we dads like. Instead, we prefer something more solid and straightforward, like a backpack-style or front-wearing soft structured carrier.
The Best Carriers for Dads of 2022
Here are our favorite baby carriers for dads.
1. BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Air
Best to Grow With Your Baby
It’s a sad fact of life that your baby is going to grow up, but the scary part is how fast it happens. This baby carrier from BabyBjorn adapts with your baby up to the age of three years.
The Baby Carrier One Air is designed to fit your baby right from birth, with no booster insert needed. An adjustable firm head support ensures secure and proper placement of your baby’s head and neck. As your child gets older, you can lower the carrier height and carry your baby facing toward you or outward.
Extra-padded shoulder straps make carrying more comfortable for dad too. The waist belt is stable enough to relieve pressure and efficiently distribute your baby’s weight.
- 4-way front and back carrying for babies of all ages.
- A hip-healthy baby carrier tested by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute.
- Adjustable height features and zippers.
- Choice of 16 stylish and not too “girly” colors.
- Dads with smaller frames could struggle with this relatively large carrier.
2. Ergobaby Omni 360
Best Newborn Carrier for Dads
The first time I held my baby in a carrier, I was constantly panicking about their position and stressing about whether they were supported correctly.
The Ergobaby is touted as a “newborn ready” carrier and doesn’t require a separate infant insert for infants weighing 7 to 12 pounds.
A bucket seat design is easy for even the most awkward of dads to load up their little ones. The seat also allows you to have your baby facing you when sleeping or looking outward as they grow and become more curious.
We really like the added comfort features of the Ergobaby and how it can be adjusted easily to fit a man’s body.
Wide shoulder straps won’t twist or dig into broader shoulders and can be worn crossed or backpack-style. The waist belt will accommodate smaller or larger waists and can be worn in a low or high position for maximum comfort.
- All-in-one carrier will accommodate babies from newborn to 36 months (7 to 45 pounds).
- Adjustable bucket seat supports the baby’s legs in an ergonomic natural “M” shape in all carry positions.
- The waist belt adjusts from 26 to 52 inches, and shoulder straps adjust from 28 to 46 inches for a custom fit.
- UPF 50+ tuckaway hood for sun and wind protection for your baby.
- 100% cotton fabric is machine washable.
- Velcro fastenings and clips can be time-consuming to close.
- The process of strapping it on can take some getting used to.
3. Baby K’tan Active Baby Carrier
Best Baby Wrap for Dads
Maybe it’s just a man thing, but I always found the how-to videos of wrap-style carriers too complicated. I seemed to be left struggling to untangle miles of fabric and would eventually give up on the idea.
The Baby K’tan Active carrier addresses this manly malfunction by using a double-loop design, which slips on just like a T-shirt. This baby carrier is also sized like clothing with a measurement guide for XS-XL, according to both women’s and men’s builds.
The K’tan distributes your baby’s weight across your back and shoulders with an adjustable band providing optimal support. A soft head support is included for your baby, with ergonomic positions for their development.
With this carrier, dads who like to be outdoors and active can continue their pursuits with their babies. The breathable performance fabric won’t absorb moisture or sweat and protects your little one from harmful UV rays.
- Helps you bond with your baby.
- Suitable for newborns from 8 pounds to 35-pound toddlers.
- Choosing a wrap based on a T-shirt size ensures a proper fit.
- Breathable, quick-dry fabric provides temperature control for dad and baby.
- Machine washable and dryer safe.
- Size-specific design means you and your partner can’t share unless you have a similar build.
- Logo patches sewn into the fabric can be itchy and irritating for babies.
4. Infantino Carry-On Multi-pocket Carrier
Best for Mini Adventures
Spending a day with your baby doesn’t have to involve going to the mall. Sometimes I want to get out in the open air with my new little best buddy. This Infantino carrier is the Jeep Wrangler of carriers with its rugged appearance.
The fabric repels both moisture and mud, perfect for those weekend treks. And the carrier panels between you and your baby and behind your baby are made of soft mesh, allowing more airflow for a comfortable adventure with daddy’s little one.
Its mesh lining is suitable for all climates.
What we really like about this carrier is the added versatility. It allows for four different carrying positions — backpack style, front facing inward with narrow seat, front facing inward with wide seat, and front facing outward.
This carrier is perfect for newborns and larger babies or toddlers as you can comfortably hold up to 40 pounds. Its “M” positioning, adjustable head support, and spine rounded design will provide comfort and safety for your precious one.
- Comfortable due to air-mesh lining.
- A wide and supportive waist strap.
- Six pockets for storage organization.
- You can carry your baby on your front or back.
- Supports up to 40 pounds, making it suitable for toddlers.
- No color variation to choose from.
- Some parents find the buckles too rigid to unfasten easily.
5. LilleBaby The Complete Baby Carrier
Best for Fashion-Forward Dads
The “baby look” can be very attractive for dads. I get more attention from women — totally unwanted, of course — when I have my little one in tow. It almost makes me wonder why I didn’t realize the pulling potential of baby carriers earlier. Only joking, dearest wife!
For younger, single dads, this figure-hugging baby carrier comes in a choice of 22 stylish colors. You’ll be the best-dressed baby-and-dad combo in town!
We’re not just rating this carrier for its looks; it also has many useful features for comfort and safety. Six carrying positions offer 360-degree versatility, and it comes with a headrest and hood for comfort and sun protection. Lumbar support and a strong waist belt ensure the carrier fits daddy comfortably too.
The LilleBaby carrier features a temperature regulation panel that zips up for warmth or reveals a cool 3D breathable mesh. The carrier is both lightweight and designed to be used all year. It is equally suitable for indoor babywearing and can hold toddlers weighing up to a whopping 45 pounds.
- A stylish baby carrier in a wide choice of colors.
- All-in-one carrier that allows you to decide how to carry your baby.
- The adjustable back panel adapts to your growing baby.
- Some color choices can cost significantly more than others.
- Corners may dig into your baby’s legs if not positioned correctly.
6. Boba Air Breathable Mesh Carrier
Best Portable Carrier for Dads
Sometimes you might need a “just-in-case” carrier — one you can store in your car trunk or office desk for those unexpected daddy day care days. This one from Boba folds up into its own pocket hood for easy storage and is super lightweight.
This might be a good option if you’re like me and have to wrestle your baby into the carrier every time you use it. The Boba Air is frameless and made of a stretchy material, making it easy to settle your baby in place.
Padded leg openings and a deeper seat offer an ergonomic ride for your baby, and the mesh fabric allows for airflow and prevents overheating.
With an adjustable waistband that goes up to 58 inches, this carrier should fit most dads. You can also adjust the chest strap for a close fit.
- Ultra-lightweight design.
- Folds into its own pocket for storage.
- An attached sleeping hood provides shade or protection from the weather.
- Lightweight material with a mesh for temperature control.
- Padded leg holes for extra comfort.
- Not suitable for newborns; carries babies from 15 to 45 pounds.
- Carrier can only be worn in one position: on your front, facing inward. Hood and pocket prevent your baby from from facing outward.
- Mesh padded shoulder straps are thin for extra portability, but they can cut into your shoulders after a while when carrying a heavier baby.
7. ClevrPlus Cross Country Baby Backpack
Best Hiking Carrier for Dads
This carrier/backpack combo is definitely the Land Rover Defender of carriers. There are few other products like it — a baby carrier and hiking accessory duo you never knew you needed.
As they get older, babies get heavier — naturally. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep carrying them.
The padded straps on this carrier are wide enough to cope with the extra baby weight without digging in. A hip belt with energy-absorbing lumbar padding ensures you and your passenger are cool, comfortable, and secure. If you should tire, you can stand the metal frame on a flat surface to give you a well-deserved break.
The fabric is both durable and weatherproof, making it great for more rugged adventures. An optional rain and sun canopy can help keep your baby dry and shaded. As your baby gets more interested in the outside world, they’ll love the chair position, which allows them to look over daddy’s shoulders.
- Strong yet lightweight frame.
- Enough pockets for even longer hikes with your baby.
- Collapsible canopy for sun and rain protection.
- Best suited for babies from age 6 months to 4 years old.
- Easily stands on a flat surface with a kickstand.
- Maximum weight capacity of just 33 pounds, which seems low, considering the sturdy frame.
- Shorter dads may struggle with this carrier.
Which is the Daddy of All Baby Carriers?
After looking at the most “manly” baby carriers on the market, we have decided the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One is the best baby carrier for men.
Although wrap carriers are very popular with moms, dads tend to prefer the sturdy design of more structured carriers.
The BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One offers all the support a newborn needs, and it adapts as your baby grows. It’s easy to set up, and the varied carrying positions will ensure that your baby is just as comfortable as you are while you’re ferrying them around.