Soft structured carriers or SSC for short can be indispensable while juggling errands, soccer games, and everyday tasks. SSC will fit every body differently; sometimes a perfect carrier for one mom will have buckles that hit another mom in all the wrong places. Some patience is needed even with the perfect carrier while trying to find the right configuration and fit for ultimate comfort.
Look for a babywearing club in your local community for a chance to try out some carriers for free. A small local baby store or cloth diaper shop may have some carriers available for testing. There are a few online shops like FrogMama and HeavenlyHold that have fantastic return policies specifically for baby carriers.
These are the SSCs I have owned and used. Since carriers fit every mom differently I will let you know that I am 5’6″ with an average torso and extra large chest.
Beco Butterfly II: 5 Stars! This is the most comfortable carrier I own making it my favorite SSC. The Beco carrier has the most strap padding of any SSC I have used and the difference is noticeable while wearing your bundle of joy. The waist belt has curved structure but is still flexible for storage. Speaking of storage, a hidden strap is integrated in the beco to make for a compact package when not in use. Unlike other carriers the infant insert is included and allows for use with newborns. The infant insert lifts the baby’s seat higher and is adjustable to fit growing infants. A removable sleeping hood is also included and can be conveniently tucked away on the waist belt sleeve. The most unique feature of the Beco is the inner panel that lies between mom and baby. This panel makes back carries easier as well as transferring the carrier between parents without having to remove the baby. The Beco has a large body, 13″w by 16″h and fits newborns from 7lbs to toddlers up to 45lbs.
Boba 1G: 5 stars! The Boba carrier is meant for older infants and toddlers. This carrier features thick waist support and a tall body bringing the center of gravity closer to the body allowing the wearer to stand up straight as they should. The top of carrier is rounded giving your baby room to put their arms in or out according to their preference. The most unique feature of the Boba is the foot straps for toddlers. These straps help toddlers keep the correct seated position allowing for more comfort for both toddler and parent. These foot straps allowed me to carry my 35 lbs 3 year old on a 2 mile hike at Crater Lake National Park. The hills were wearing out my quads but the Boba was saving my back. The Boba uses 100% organic cotton and has a large body measuring 13″w and 16″h and fits infants and toddlers from 15lbs to 45 lbs. The new 2G features upgrades like a sleeping hood and the foot straps are removable.
Angelpack: 4 stars! This is a well built carrier and I am sure its 5 stars for someone else but it is not for me. I could just not find a comfortable fit. Things I love about this carrier are the padded leg openings for baby, padded headrest, and gorgeous prints. I still haven’t given this carrier away because it just looks so good. The most unique feature of this carrier is the straps can be crossed in the back for a more secure fit. If you are pedtite this might be the carrier for you. An infant sleeping hood is included and can be tucked away in an inside pocket. The body measures 12″w and 17″h and fits newborns up to toddlers weighing 40lbs.
Everywear: 3 stars! This carrier is very lightweight and should be great for summertime use. Unfortunately its a bit too lightweight. The straps could use more padding and the waist belt could use some padding as well. I originally bought two carriers in hopes of giving one as a gift however both arrived broken. Lillebaby, the manufacturer, gave me excellent customer service. I was promptly sent one new carrier and one new waist buckle. This carrier’s buckles hit me in the most uncomfortable places and I was unable to find a configuration that worked for me. Things I did like were the soft breathable fabric and included pocket on the front that could possibly fit more then just the sleeping hood. This carrier is unique because it offers a front facing carry for all those baby bjorn lovers out there.
– Contributed by Melissa