If you hope to ever get out of the house with your baby, you better have two really high-quality things…
… a stroller
… and a baby carrier!
While strollers are an awesome (and easy) way to tote baby around, carriers offer a couple of unique benefits.
The physical closeness, higher and more interesting views, and extreme portability of baby carriers make them an amazing option for a day of adventure with your little one.
The downside? Most carriers are designed with moms (and petite moms, at that) in mind. What about us guys? Where are all the best baby carriers for big and tall dads?
If that’s you, and you’re dying for a carrier that fits your tall or well-built frame, here are all of my top picks:
- Best Budget Carrier: Baby K’tan Original Cotton Wrap Style Baby Carrier XL
- Best Mid-Range Carrier: Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier (Amazon)
- Best High-End Carrier: Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier (Amazon)
|Baby K’Tan||Lightweight portable wrap-style, adjusts to any body type, best for babies and small toddlers||Check on Baby K’tan|
|**Ergobaby Original||Sturdy structured carrier, carries up to 45 pounds, excellent value – My overall favorite||Check on Amazon|
|Mountain Buggy Juno||Carries a wide range of weights, manly design, heavier build||Check on Amazon|
What you need to know about baby carriers (and a dad’s guide for how to shop for them)
If you’re new to shopping for baby carriers, there are a couple of things you should know.
For starters, there are a few different kinds (as you might notice from the list above).
Essentially, you’ll need to choose from:
Structured carriers: The Mountain Buggy Juno and Ergobaby fit into this category. They strap in securely on your body, have lots of padding and support, and work kind of like a backpack. You can usually carry baby 3 or 4 different ways using one of these, and they’re durable but a lot bulkier.
Slings: A sling carrier is usually just one single, straight piece of wide fabric that you “sling” over your torso. It hugs the baby against your body. These are incredibly simple and portable, but often not as versatile as some counterparts.
Wraps: The K’Tan, shown above, is a wrap style carrier. These are similar to slings, but may have more material elements that give you some more versatility for different carrying modes. They’re kind of a halfway option between a sling and a structured carrier.
Which one best fits your needs will be totally up to you! It’ll depend on whether you’re looking for something that’s easy to throw in the baby bag and pop on at a moment’s notice (a sling or wrap), or something more comfortable to wear for a few hours at a time during heavy outings (walking around at the zoo, hiking), in which case a structured carrier might be better.
For more on this, check out my guide to the types of baby carriers.
How to shop for a big and tall baby carrier
If you’re a bigger dad trying to figure out if a certain baby carrier will work for you, there are 3 things you can look for:
- Waist size: This is probably the simplest measurement to find. Most carriers will have this number available on their product page (especially on Amazon), although not all do. Look for a carrier that can fit your waist size plus a few inches, just to be sure.
- Shoulder strap length: This is a little harder to figure out and is not always listed on product pages, but it’s really helpful when it is. 47″ max shoulder strap length is considered on the longer side. You can use that as a starting point.
- Product reviews and Q&As: This is honestly the best way. Stats and specs are great, but it helps to hear from real people. My favorite trick is to head over to Amazon and read lots of product reviews and Customer Questions. Search for keywords like “husband, dad, tall, waist,” etc. to find testimonials from real people on how that carrier ended up fitting the dad of the family.
Best Budget Carrier for Big & Tall Dads: Baby K’Tan Original Cotton Wrap Style Baby Carrier
Overview: OK, so I realize the photo of the K’Tan shows a mom using it, but this wrap-style carrier is a fantastic option for dads of all shapes and sizes.
It’s really best for infants and newborns, though it can work for toddlers as well, and easy to put on and use. But perhaps the best thing about this carrier is that it’s actually sold in different sizes! If you’re an XL man, you can actually order an XL sized carrier. Imagine that?!
Weight Range: 0-35lbs
Why I Like It: I love the flexible sizing of the Baby K’Tan. It’s really awesome that they offer that option for parents who are very petite, very large, or somewhere in the middle! Adjustable straps are great but it’s even better if you can buy something that just straight up fits your body.
Here are a few other things I like about the K’Tan:
- ready to use out of the box (without learning complicated wrapping techniques)
- completely safe for newborns (even preemies)
- completely machine washable
- super-duper lightweight
- wide fabric gives lots of hip and back support
- can be worn FIVE different ways
Customers on Amazon who have reviewed the K’Tan absolutely love the comfortable fabric and how easy this product is to use compared to other wrap-style baby carriers.
Check the sizing chart on Amazon to see which size you’ll need based on your body type. But either way, the good news is the fabric on the K’Tan is pretty stretchy so you’ll have some wiggle room! Size down, if anything.
Potential Drawbacks: The K’Tan can accommodate toddlers up to 35 pounds, but I think when your 2 or 3-year-old is that big, you’re going to want a different kind of carrier.
If you’re part of a couple, you’ll need two of these because of the sizing. These don’t adjust. They’re meant to fit one person properly.
Best Mid-Range Carrier for Big & Tall Dads: Ergobaby Original Ergonomic Multi-Position Baby Carrier
Overview: If you haven’t heard of Ergobaby, where have you been?
This award-winning baby carrier is one of the originals and can usually be found on every list of top recommended carriers. And for good reason.
The reason I’ve got it here as a good pick for XL dads? It’s designed to be adjustable for a really wide range of body types. The waist measurement, in fact, goes all the way up to 50″ and as slim as 26″, so it should fit pretty much everyone in the household! The shoulder straps adjust as well up to a lengthy 47″.
This is a really strong and sturdy carrier that’s best for slightly older babies (4+ months) and toddlers, but does offer a newborn insert, as well.
Weight Range: 12-45lbs
Why I Like It: I love how big a size range this carrier covers. Again, the waist can adjust from around 26-50″, and the shoulder straps can go all the way from 27-47″.
Here are a few other things I like about the Ergobaby Original other than just the sizing:
- three different wearing positions (front, hip, and back)
- extra padding around waist and shoulders
- ergonomic for dad and baby, alike!
- some of the best lower back comfort around
- offers an extra large and easy-to-reach pocket for storage
- 100% machine washable
Customers on Amazon rave about this carrier. They particularly love the overall quality and ergonomics of this one.
It’s a higher-end item, and not quite as small and portable as a wrap, but it’s fantastic for long wearing sessions and heavy babies.
Potential Drawbacks: It’s a little bit bulkier and more of a pain to lug around than the K’Tan wrap, though it only weighs around a pound overall.
More color options would be nice to have.
Best High-End Carrier for Big & Tall Dads: Mountain Buggy Juno Carrier
Overview: Now this looks like a man-carrier!
This major award-winning carrier from Juno is an awesome fit for large dads because it’s super adjustable and manly to boot. (It kind of looks like a bulletproof vest, no?)
Styled a little bit after ergonomic carriers like the Ergobaby, this one offers plenty of carrying positions, ergonomic support, and plenty of rave reviews.
Weight Range: 7.7-44lbs
Why I Like It: I couldn’t find the exact waist measurements this carrier is compatible with, but online reviews are chock-full of people saying this is a great fit for bigger men with larger waists and tall frames.
It’s a thick, heavy-duty accessory with exceptional durability and lower back and hip support.
A few other things I like about the Juno:
- four carrying positions (front-in, front-out, back, and hip)
- included newborn insert (7.7lbs and above)
- thick, durable polyester-mesh lining
- magnetic fastening on sternum runners for easy adjustment
- 2 big storage pockets
Reviewers on Amazon love the size and sturdiness of this carrier. It’s roomy for dad and baby alike, with plenty of comfort for everyone thanks to the top-notch materials used in the design.
Potential Drawbacks: While a plus for some, not everyone loves the size and thickness of this piece. It weighs in at 1.7 pounds, which doesn’t sound like much but is almost twice as heavy as the Ergobaby, and far heavier than wrap-style carriers.
Others wrote that the newborn insert is too tall to fit smaller babies comfortably.
While baby carriers are often designed with moms in mind, don’t fret. There are plenty of options for dads out there, you just have to know how to look for them.
Either pick an adjustable option that’ll work for you and your partner, or just go ahead and buy yourself a carrier that’s sized specifically for you. There are some great options regardless of which way you decide to go.
For my money, I really think you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the Ergobaby Original.
It’s a durable, versatile carrier that’s not overly bulky and should be able to fit most big and tall people. Again, double-check your own measurements against the listed specs and read some customer reviews on Amazon before you pull the trigger.
Hope this helps, parents!