Carrier Types Comparison Chart

 

age range/
weight range

carrying
positions
ease of use general pros general cons
stretchy
wrap
newborn (also preemie) - toddler
(works well up to ca. 7-8 kg)
front,
back (with help)
requires a bit of practice, but most people find it easy to use comfortable,
adjustable,
can be used by different persons;
pretying possible
gets saggy when the baby gets heavier,
can be tricky to get tight enough,
breastfeeding not easily possible,
limited carrying positions,
tying takes some time
woven
wrap
premature - child
(no weight restrictions)
front, back, hip
(many variations)
requires some effort and practice

very versatile, adjustable,
can be used by different persons;
lots of different carries possible;
pretying possible;
breastfeeding possible;
can last you for years

handling requires some practice;
tying takes some time (depending on carry and practice)
ring sling premature - toddler
(weight restriction depending on material)
front, hip, back requires a bit of practice, but most people find it easy to use versatile, adjustable,
breastfeeding easily possible,
quick to use,
can last you for a long while;
DIY possible
one-shouldered carrier;
ring slings are sized so cannot be used by persons who differ too much in size;
not recommended as only sling for people with back problems
mei tai newborn - toddler
(depending on size/ weight)
front, back, hip easy to use easy to use,
adjustable,
can be used by different persons;
breastfeeding possible;
DIY possible
often too big for a newborn and without sufficient head/neck support;
different sizes needed depending on baby's size
soft structured
carrier
depending on model:
some 3.5kg-9/12kg
some ca.5-6 months/20kg
depending on model:
front, back, hip
most models are easy to use mostly easy and quick to use,
mostly adjustable,
can be used by different persons;
breastfeeding partly possible;
some models offer good weight distribution
often too big for a newborn and without sufficient head/neck support;
some models uncomfortable for wearer;
some models don't allow M-position for baby;
some models limited to front carries
pouch newborn - toddler
(weight restriction depending on material)
front, hip, back easy to use very easy to use,
very quick;
DIY possible
not adjustable,
needs to be the right size,
no M-position possible for small babies;
one-shouldered carrier;
not recommended as only sling for people with back problems
framed backpack carrier from sitting up (ca. 8-9 months) - toddler (check manufacturer's weight limit) back easy to use

easy to use, quickly put on;
usually offers extra storage room;
good weight distribution if adjusted well

ideal positioning of child is difficult;
empty carrier is heavy (ca. 2 kg);
some models don't offer good support for baby;
uncomfortable for the wearer if it doesn't fit well;
good models are expensive

Note: While I try to be objective this comparison chart still reflects my own opinion about the listed carriers. Example: While I think that a mei tai is easy to use some people may struggle with it.