Top 5 Baby Carriers That Pass the Hot Weather Test
Which is the best baby carrier for hot weather?
I live in a tropical climate and am used to carrying my baby in super hot, humid weather. I've experienced the stickiness, the sweat and also the pure joy of carrying my child close to me while leaving my hands free.
If you're looking for the best baby carriers for summer, I'm here to help! There's no need to give up carrying your little one just because it's getting warm.
Having personally bought and tested dozens of baby carriers (from wraps to mei tais, and everything in between), I know which ones are suited to the heat...and which ones will make you a hot, flustered mess.
On this page, I'll show the 5 different types of baby carriers that are best suited to the heat, ranging from inexpensive ring slings to ergonomic backpack carriers. Whatever your budget, I'll give you my personal tips for choosing a baby carrier for your needs.
Mei tais and other Asian baby carriers
Traditional carriers from Asia, such as the mei tai, podaegi and others are based on one centre panel of fabric and usually two or four long straps that are tied in different combinations.
These carriers allow plenty of air circulation through the sides, and don't have a lot of fabric against your bodies. Perfect for hot weather.
The moldability of a wrap with the ease of a backpack carrier, mei tais are a great carrier for fathers, grandparents and childcare workers.
They're cool in summer, are easy to breastfeed in and can be used for small babies as well as big kids.
Watch out! Not all mei tais are made equal. Only buy reputable brands, and check that they have been properly tested for use with babies. Handmade carriers are tempting for their low prices, but can be sorely lacking in the safety department (and are nowhere near as comfortable as good ones).
Babyhawk Mei Tai
Babyhawk is a great brand of Mei Tai. These carriers are convenient because unlike a wrap, you don't need to learn all sorts of knots and carries.
More flexible, adaptable and lighter than a backpack carrier, one mei tai will fit both parents so you can take turns carrying baby.
Babyhawk is available in many gorgeous patterns and colours, from bright to classic. You can see some more patterns (and read customer reviews) by clicking the picture.
Some fabulous mei tais
These brands of mei tais have been proven time and time again to be safe, comfortable and good quality.
Bargain Mei Tais
The latest mei tai auctions will show up here. Please be careful when buying any mei tai listed as handmade, artisanal or without a brand. They are often untested, uncomfortable and potentially unsafe.
Brands such as Babyhawk, Freehand, Kozy and more are a safer bet.
Lots of parents drape a thin cloth over baby's face to protect them from the sun. This works ok, as long as it's not too windy, and your baby is on your front rather than back. Cloths and blankets are usually too hot, and don't block that much UV, anyway.
If you've got a child like mine, sunglasses and hats are out of the question, leading only to screaming and throwing them off.
A purpose-made sun cover really is worth the small cost. It will actually protect your baby from UV rays - a cloth won't - and is made to stay on. No more chasing after a piece of fabric while holding a change bag, small child and a million other things.
Even though this is designed for strollers, the Baby Sun shade can be used over a baby carrier. Light, easy to attach and blocks 98% of UV rays - the strongest sun protection on the market.
Ring slings allow baby to sit on your hip, allowing less sweaty contact than if they are directly against your front or back.
They also use less fabric, and are available in silk, linen and bamboo - all good summer choices.
If you have a newborn who nurses all the time, ring slings are great. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to nurse discretely and hands-free when out and about.
This baby carrier is also useful with older babies and toddlers who want to constantly be put down to play, then picked up again. This up-down-up-down pattern can get tiring with other baby carriers, but a ringsling allows you to quickly hold your child on your hip without much adjustment.
Maya wrap Ring Sling
A more budget-friendly option is the Maya wrap ring sling.
It's easy to adjust, comfortable and comes in a nice variety of colours. There are lots of very positive reviews that you can check out by clicking the picture.
Using a sling safely - the T.I.C.K.S rules
T- Tight. Keep the fabric snug. Too much slack leads to a slumping baby and sore back for you.
I - In view. Baby's face should never be hidden by the fabric. Make sure you always have a clear view of their face.
C - Close enough to kiss. By tipping your head slightly you can kiss your baby's forehead easily.
K - Keep chin off your chest. Insert a finger between baby's chin & your chest to check position
S - Supported back. Baby's back should be rounded, never straight.
Ergonomic backpack carriers - structured carriers
A favourite of fathers, families that love hiking and those in a hurry, they are simple to use and don't look too alternative.
There are several brands and makes that are designed for hot weather.
Structured backpack carrier
There are times when you can't be bothered with the fuss of tying a wrap, adjusting a ring sling or knotting the straps of a mei tai.
Ergonomic backpack carriers are very similar to popular carriers that we've all seen for years. They don't look alternative or weird, and anyone can use one without a learning curve.
I can't emphasis enough how important it is to keep away from carriers that are not made ergonomically. If the carrier holds your child too low, or by their crotch rather than supporting their hips this could lead to hip problems.
Invest in a quality carrier that supports your child's body and your back and you'll both enjoy the babywearing experience.
Which ergonomic backpack carrier to choose?
Here are some reviews and brand comparisons to help you out.
Ergonomic baby backpacks - Just click and go
With a wide body, this carrier is nice and comfy for big babies and toddlers. It's cool in summer, easy to adjust and comes in several stylish colours.
The big advantage of the Beco is the special panel inside the body, allowing you to attach your child securely before putting them on your back or front. Perfect for beginners who are worried about putting baby on their back safely. It also makes it very easy to switch between front and back carries.
One of the newer carriers on the market, many parents rave about it. I love the colour choices.
Bargain Ergo baby carriers
This is the best-selling ergonomic baby backpack on the market.
It clicks on and off simply, is good for hot weather and babies love it.
Woven wraps for hot weather
The word 'woven' might make you think of thick and cuddly slings, but there are many woven wraps perfect for hot weather.
Look for wraps advertised as thin and lightweight. There are also some carries (shown below) that are particularly cool and airy.
Out of all the baby carriers available, I like wraps the best. Why? They're the most versatile, allowing dozens of different carries with one carrier.
They also mould to baby's body perfectly, leaving them extra snug. This snugness ensures the parent's back is supported, making it a comfortable option for long walks or travelling.
I have several wraps of different lengths, brands and fabric types, and they're all used regularly.
Wrapsody Bali Breeze Wrap
Pictured is the Wrapsody Bali Breeze in 'Morgaine', a calming turquoise blue with batiked sea turtles, stars and a mermaid along the wrap. Made of gauze cotton, they are light and cool in summer yet provide plenty of support.
I personally own a Wrapsody Bali Breeze ( in the purple and grey 'Alice') and cannot say enough good things about it. I still carry my heavy 18 month toddler in it comfortably, and love how secure it feels.
Wrapsody are known for their quality, unique patterns and their suitability for hot weather. Take my word for it, this is a fabulous baby carrier.
Wrapsody baby carriers
Started by a single mother after the birth of her child, I just adore the Wrapsody line of wraps. A small U.S family company, they collaborate with an artist in Bali to hand-dye all their wraps in their unique patterns.
I've enjoyed wonderful customer service from Wrapsody, and their products come with a helpful instruction DVD so you can learn how to use the wraps easily.
Whatever type of baby carrier you like - ring sling, mei tai, wrap or backpack carrier - you can find versions made of cool fabrics.
Linen, hemp, gauze, bamboo and silk are all good choices. Cotton can be ok, depending on how thin it is.
Linen baby carriers and wraps
I love linen in hot weather. It's cool and airy, plus it absorbs sweat so you don't feel sticky.
Wrap carries for hot weather
There are three different tricks to make woven wraps suitable for summer use:
- Use a short length wrap (size 2 or 3), so that there's less fabric against your bodies
- Use a long wrap, tied in a way to let lots of air in through the sides
- Use a thin wrap made of linen, silk, bamboo or gauze
More about carrying your baby in a sling
I love carrying my son in slings, wraps and baby carriers. Here are a couple of other pages I've made about this practical skill.
Get Started Babywearing
Would you like to continue your busy life while helping your baby be quieter, happier & more secure? Babywearing, a skill practiced all over the world f...
Didymos Wrap: My Baby Carrier Review
In this personal review, I'm going to share my experience with the Didymos woven wrap, which I've found to be the most comfortable, safe and practical baby c...
Infantino Universal Rain Cover
If you live or are travelling to a place with tropical weather, this is indispensable.
Other rain covers are meant for cold regions, and will have your baby and you sweating in no time.
Not this one - it's light and breathable, yet provides great protection against the rain. Perfect for summer showers, visiting waterfalls and other places where it's humid.
Water wraps & slings
These water slings let you keep baby secure (and leave your hands free) in the swimming pool, at the beach or lake. They're also a fantastic item to use at home in the shower.
Here's a cute video showing the Aquacarrier - it is very similar to the Wrapsoy DuO shown below.
Water slings & carriers
Summer's almost here, and there's nothing more refreshing in the heat than a dip in the water.
Available in several stylish colours - maroon, blue, white and black - the mesh water sling won't get weighed down in water.
Light, breathable and quick-drying it's perfect for a beach vacation.
I love the range of colours available for this water wrap, but reading the reviews would recommend this only for smaller babies and short amounts of time, since it doesn't allow a proper ergonomic carrying position.
Traditional hot weather baby carrying from around the world
These videos show how to use traditional baby carriers that are perfectly adapted to hot weather, such as the Mexican rebozo and African kanga.
Unfortunately, it's not easy finding demonstrations from people who come from the countries where these carriers originate - probably because the skill is passed on by family members and there's no need to film it.