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.

 

 
 
Beco
Ergobaby
Beco
Lillebaby
Boba
Tula
 
Gemini
Adapt
8
Complete
4G
Free To Grow
 

Versatile Comfort

Adaptable

Cool all rounder

Options

Easy as

Fashion Friendly

Front Carry

O O O O O O

Back Carry

O O O O O O

Hip Carry

O O O O    

Baby Facing Out Option

O   O O    

Built-in Newborn Support

O O O O O O

Infant Insert Required For 0-3mths Old*

Integrated

Integrated

Small Cushion Included

Integrated

Small Cushion Included

Integrated

Suitable For Infants Up To 24mths*

O O O O O O

Carry Infant Weight Up To 20KG

16kg Max

O

O O O O

Colour or pattern options

O

O O O O O

Sleeping/Nursing Hood

  Removable O O

Removable

Removable

Flexible Seat Width

O O O O   O

Cross Strap Friendly

O O O O    

Storage Pocket

O O O O O O
             

Back Panel Height

47cm

47cm

48cm

48cm

43cm

45cm

Max Seat Width

34cm

36cm

34cm

40cm

35cm

40cm

Shoulder Strap Length

123cm

114cm

120cm

125cm

99cm

130cm

Safety Lock Buckles

O

 

Shoulder straps only

 

 

 

Waist Belt Length

135cm

135cm

135cm

124cm

133cm

137cm

Alternative Option

Ergobaby Apapt

Manduca

Lillebaby Complete

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Ergobaby Adapt

Beco Gemini

Ergobaby Adapt

Manduca

Tula Standard

Ergobaby Original

Beco Gemini

Ergobaby adapt

Kokadi Flip

 

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.

 

 
Tula
Ergobaby
Ergobaby
 
Standard
360
Orginal
 

Colourful

Peek-a-boo!

Tried & true

Front Carry

O O O

Back Carry

O O O

Hip Carry

    O

Baby Facing Out Option

  O  

Built-in Newborn Support

     

Infant Insert Required For 0-3mths Old*

O O O

Suitable For Infants Up To 24mths*

O O O

Carry Infant Weight Up To 20KG

O

15kg Max

O

Colour or pattern options

O

O

O

Sleeping/Nursing Hood

Removable

O Removable

Flexible Seat Width

     

Cross Strap Friendly

  O O

Storage Pocket

O   O
       

Back Panel Height

39cm

46cm

33cm

Max Seat Width

37cm

36cm

36cm

Shoulder Strap Length

110cm

99cm

115cm

Safety Lock Buckles

 

 

 

Waist Belt Length

144cm

120cm (velcro)

135cm

Alternative Option

Boba 4g

Ergobaby Original

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Boba 4g

Tula Standard

 

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.

 

 
Beco
Tula
Boba
Ergobaby
Ergobaby
Ergobaby
 
Gemini
Standard
4G
Adapt
360
Orginal
 

Versatile

Colourful

Easy as

Adaptable

Peek-a-boo!

Tried & true

Front Carry

O O O O O O

Back Carry

O O O O O O

Hip Carry

O     O   O

Baby Facing Out Option

O       O  

Built-in Newborn Support

O   O O    

Infant Insert Required For 0-3mths Old*

Integrated

O

Included

Integrated

O O

Suitable For Infants Up To 24mths*

O O O O O O

Carry Infant Weight Up To 20KG

16kg Max

O O

O

15kg Max

O

Colour or pattern options

O

O O O

O

O

Sleeping/Nursing Hood

 

Removable

Removable

Removable O Removable

Flexible Seat Width

O     O    

Cross Strap Friendly

O     O O O

Storage Pocket

O O O O   O
             

Back Panel Height

47cm

39cm

43cm

47cm

46cm

33cm

Max Seat Width

34cm

37cm

35cm

36cm

36cm

36cm

Shoulder Strap Length

123cm

110cm

99cm

114cm

99cm

115cm

Safety Lock Buckles

O

 

 

 

 

 

Waist Belt Length

135cm

144cm

133cm

135cm

120cm (velcro)

135cm

Alternative Option

Ergobaby Apapt

Manduca

Lillebaby Complete

Boba 4g

Ergobaby Original

Tula Standard

Ergobaby Original

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Boba 4g

Tula Standard

 

Comparison Chart - Other Soft Structured Carriers in our collection

This comparison chart shows many of the other SSC available from our collection.

 

 
Moby
Manduca
ByKay
Lenny Lamb
Bity Bean
Mountain Buggy
Emei Baby
 
Aria
Original
Classic SSC
Ergonomic
Ultracompact
Juno
Hybrid
 

Adjustable

Functional

Simple Easy

Soft Supportive

15kg Max

Pocket Friendly

15kg Max

Front Carry

O O O O O O O

Back Carry

O O O O O O O

Hip Carry

O O   O   O  

Baby Facing Out Option

          O  

Built-in Newborn Support

O O       O O

Infant Insert Required For 0-3mths Old*

Integrated

Integrated

     

Included

 

Suitable For Infants Up To 24mths*

O O O O O O O

Carry Infant Weight Up To 20KG

O O O O

18kg Max

O

15kg Max

Colour or pattern options

O O

 

O

O

O O

Sleeping/Nursing Hood

Removable   Fixed Fixed Optional Fixed  Fixed

Flexible Seat Width

O With size-it accessory     O O  

Cross Strap Friendly

O   O O O O  O

Storage Pocket

O     O O  
               

Back Panel Height

37cm

42cm

50cm

40cm

 

37cm

 

Max Seat Width

37cm

35cm

46cm

37cm

 

37cm

 

Shoulder Strap Length

98cm

120cm

130cm

105cm

 

98cm

 

Safety Lock Buckles

 

Waist Only

 

O

 

 

 

Waist Belt Length

135cm

135cm

130cm

140cm

 

135cm

 

Alternative Option

Boba 4G

Tula Standard

Beco Gemini

Lillebaby Complete

Ergobaby Adapt

 

Emei Baby

Kokadi Flip

 

Boba 4G

Tula Standard

 

 

Gift Voucher

Tula

Tula

Compare

Beco

Beco

Beco

Compare

Gift Voucher

Ergobaby

Ergobaby 360

Compare

Gift Voucher

Lillebaby

Lillebaby Complete

Lillebaby

Gift Voucher

Ergobaby

Ergobaby Original

Compare

Gift Voucher

Boba

Boba 4G

Compare