Soft Structured Carriers Guide
Baby Carrying Made Easy
On this page we show you what makes a good soft structured carrier or SSC, what the differences are between the main styles, how to get a SSC comfortable and why they are so good at getting baby from a to b as well as helping baby sleep when you need your hands free!
Soft Structured Carriers or SSCs are a very popular choice in the baby carrier range. They typically consist of a buckled, padded waistband, buckled padded shoulder straps and a back panel with a sleep hood. They are super quick to pop on and very supportive and SSCs do not require any learning or technique in the way a woven wrap does.This style of carrier is very popular with parents looking for a carrier that's quick and easy to put on, take off and adjust.
We compare the main soft strurctured carriers we offer from Beco, Ergobaby, Tula, Lillebaby, Boba, Manduca & more. Only the most popular varients are shown below to provide an overview of the main differences between each manufacturer.
You'll also find links to detailed information on particular models of carrier follow the links below to each brand's carrier guide page or it's product page.
We love baby carriers at The Sleep Store. They are a great alternative to buggies that keeps baby close, helping them to relax enough to sleep and enable you to get on with the day, carrying baby in comfort with your hands free.
Our SSC Video Guides
What to look for when choosing an SSC ?
Soft Structured Carriers or SSCs are a very popular choose in the baby carrier range. This style covers brands like Ergobaby, Manduca, Lillebaby, Beco, Boba and Tula. Our in house team of qualified baby carrier consultants hand pick every carrier that goes in to our range.
While you and your baby may take a little time to get used to carrying and working out the most comfortable position for you both, SSCs do not require any learning or technique in the way a woven wrap does.
Soft Structured carriers can be used for front or back carrying and from newborn (though with some you’ll need a separate insert). Some styles can be used hip carrying too, though they are a little fiddlier to set up this way than a Ring Sling. Unless specified, carriers are only used with baby facing inwards towards the adult, ie front carry facing parent or back carry like a pbiggyback position. While some new models of SSC have an adjustable position for facing outwards with older babies, the recommended position for babies is facing towards the adult.
Soft structured carriers are fabulous for going hiking and provided fantastic support for long term wearing. They are our most recommended option for a comfortable way to carry children for longer periods of time.
In the charts below we focus on carriers that can mainly be used up until your baby is around 2 years old and in most cases up to 20kg. Tula even do a specific toddler carrier to keep the knee to knee support for your child which means big hikes are possible even when 3 yr olds get pooped – they’re not heavy like framed backpack so are easily carted along.
The different brands have different fabric, may differ in the height of the back panel and the length of waist band.
Comparison Chart - SSC that do not require an additional infant insert
This comparison chart groups together SSC that do not require an additional infant insert to carry a newborn (over 3.5kg). Some carriers like the Ergobaby orginal and Tula Standard require a cushion-like accessory that raises a newborn baby to a safer height and position in the carrier.
Carriers such as the Beco Gemini and the Ergobaby Adapt adjust their shape so that there is no need to add an infant insert. As baby grows these carriers can adjust or adapt their shape to support baby accordingley. We think the Gemini and the Adapt offer are amongst the best SSC designed to carry a newborn and an up to 2 year old baby. The other carriers in this chart with integrated inserts either re-position a newborn using a small cushion in the seat of the carrier (that is included in the carrier box) or through a flap fastened with poppers in the case of the Manduca, which can be fiddly.
Comparison Chart - Carriers that require an infant insert for newborns
This comparison chart groups together SSC that require an infant insert for young babies weight 3.5 to 6kg. If you baby had strong neck support and is older than 6 months then you will not need an infant insert.
Comparison Chart - Our most popular Soft Structured Carriers
This comparison chart groups together all of our most popular SSC options from a range of top brands including Ergobaby, Beco, Manduca & Tula.
Comparison Chart - Other Soft Structured Carriers in our collection
This comparison chart shows many of the other SSC available from our collection.