Soft Structured Carriers Available in Australia

There are now many brands of soft structured carriers (SSC) available in Australia. It can be hard to make sense of them all! What are the reputable brands? What are the features available on each? Where do you get them?

This post is a basic comparison of the ones currently available and a list of some reputable vendors. Please note that no money has been received for these reviews. No free carriers, no advertising fees. The community is encouraged to leave their feedback and reviews in the comments section of the relevant posts for the relevant brands.

Here is a very basic comparison of these brands. You can find a downloadable version of this chart on our resources page here along with vendors who stock these products in Australia.

Comparison chart SSCs

Which features are important to you?

• Body Height: A longer body keeps a taller baby or child closer to your center of gravity, especially when they fall asleep. On the other hand, a very tall body can swamp a small baby or a child that prefers to have their arms out. Some people prefer a shorter body height, others a larger one. Others like an adjustable carrier. Some people don’t like the feature!

• Body Width: A wider body provides support for a larger baby or child, but like height, a body that’s too wide can be difficult to use with a small baby without an insert.

• Waist Band Length: Particularly of concern for larger or smaller wearers: will this carrier fit around your waist and be comfortable? Be advised that many of these carriers also sell extension waist bands separately, so feel free to contact your vendor to find out if you think you need one.

• Infant Inserts: Some brands have them, some don’t. Some have them inbuilt, others sold separately: which one is best? None of them! It’s all down to personal preference. What suits you best as a parent?

• Crossed Straps: Some parents find being able to cross the straps of their carrier more comfortable than a chestbelt and like this feature. Others prefer the chestbelt: it’s up to you!

Other things we haven’t included but might be important to you: strap length, price of additional accessories such as waist extenders, inserts etc.; availability of accessories.

If you’re new to baby wearing and don’t know which features matter to you: ask your local babywearing community or sling group! At sling groups you can try on the different carriers before buying. There is one in every capital city and many in regional areas.

Remember to check reviews and ask your local community.

The following brands make SSCs available in Australia and are in the process of being reviewed by our community. Follow the links to check out the reviews, or add your own.

  • Action Baby Carrier
  • AngelPack
  • Babyhawk
  • Beco
  • Emeibaby
  • Ergo
  • Hoppediz
  • Manduca
  • Storchenweige
  • Tula
  • Wompat

Why I Like to Buy Local

The top ten reasons why I do my very best to ensure that local retailers’ children go to the very best private schools:

(1) I’m impatient. When I want a carrier I want it NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW! Most local vendors do next day shipping. Yay! I really hate the drag of waiting for weeks for things from overseas. Especially with instocks, it’s in my hands sometimes within 48 hours. LOVE it.

(2) I also like the fact that someone else is dealing with the hassle of international transit and customs. International post is vague, multifarious and takes ages. During which time you often have no idea where the package is and whether or not it’s been kidnapped by wrapping mermaids. I refer you to reason #1 ☺

(3) I’ve been known to change my mind on size/colourway. Customer service is awesome from a local vendor.

(4) I like vendors who speak good English, makes it SO much easier to find the right carrier if I can do it without google translate 😛 I also like the fact that my locals are in approximately the same time zone as me- communication is much faster when it takes 30 minutes to do 3 emails back and forth: as opposed to 3 days as my correspondent and I both reply at midnight other-person’s-time.

(5) I like that if and when something goes wrong, the vendor will sort it out for me with the distributor/manufacturer.

(6) With limited editions, I really, really like the fact that it seems our locals are pushing all the right buttons and are getting reasonable quantities of them- we are up to our delightful elbows in anthracite lilies and peacocks. Not to mention a fair number of starry nights and exclusive girasols. I even managed to score a natty tussah silk lilies from a local (which was a really limited release). What seems to be happening is that as the local vendors’ grow, the more stock they have access to/can bring in. Compared to two years ago, our choices are vast. Compared to five years ago there are more carriers around than I know what to do with! I can’t wait to see what happens as we all grow together.

(7) I also like the really awesome system we have going with preorders. I like the way my locals let us know what’s coming up and give us the opportunity (where it’s available) of preordering. It takes a lot of the hassle out of limited editions.

(8) I like supporting someone who is supporting the cause. I feel comfortable knowing my local vendors and being able to refer new babywearers to them because they will get good advice and not end up with a carrier they can’t use/isn’t right.

(9) I like the fact that my local vendors will give me the truth: Suse knows I don’t deal well with no-bounce, rock-solid wraps and tells me no matter how much I like ombre/graduated dying, that particular 100% linen Oscha is not going to work for me. She agreed with me that the slightly-less-fashionable/far less expensive dolcino was a better choice for me: and I wear it everywhere.

(10) I also like the fact that it’s my money. I can spend it wherever I choose and I’m not going to get kicked out of the club.

So those are my reasons why I like my local vendors: they’re all in the vendors’ list, and there are plenty of brands/products/carriers to choose from. I realize that many people may choose a different path and reason #10 applies: it’s YOUR money. You decide what’s best for you and nobody else. But if you’re like me, you may want to at least think about the locals ☺ (That said, alas, I do not believe that my locals are sending their kids to private schools based on their retailing income, LOL ;))

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Olives and Applesauce carrier, Beth & K