When it comes to carriers, almost every veteran parent has an opinion about the best one out there. The main players are the Lillebaby, Ergobaby, and Tula. I have already reviewed the Lillebaby and the Ergobaby carriers and you can find them at the links here (for Lillebaby) and here (for Ergobaby Embrace and Omni 360).
But what about the Tula baby carrier? Is it the best carrier available? Well, the short answer is that this carrier is really comparable with the other ones I’ve already reviewed. There are very few differences, but here are some of my favorite features of the Tula carrier.
So when I’m talking about the Tula carrier, I’m talking about the Explore carrier, because, like the other carriers I reviewed, there are many different models that Tula makes, but probably the most popular one is the Explore one. This is also the one that is most similar to the Lillebaby and Ergobaby Omni that I reviewed on the site.
So just keep that in mind, that I’m referring to this model throughout this post.
So one thing that I discussed in the review of the Ergobaby Embrace is that the downside of that carrier is that it only takes your baby through about 18 months. The Tula baby is more similar to the Lillebaby and the Ergobaby Omni 360 in that it encompasses 7 pounds to 45 pounds.
So one of the great things about this carrier is that you can use it immediately when your baby is born (if your baby is born at 7 pounds or above, which is about average). You don’t need a newborn insert or a rolled receiving blanket or anything to make your baby fit the carrier at the newborn stage. This is an awesome feature because it is just more convenient than some of the older models of baby carriers that were on the market.
You will need to make sure that your baby is at the right adjustment for his or her age, but you won’t need an additional product to fit your baby. If you want to know how you can use the carrier with a newborn, just check out this video below:
The Tula carrier will take your baby up to 45 pounds. This means that you can use your carrier up until your child is about 4 years old. This is probably much longer than you will even want to carry your child, but it is a great option if you are going to be doing a lot of walking and your kid is going to get tired.
If you do carry your child until they are 4 years old, you will probably want to carry them on your back because front carrying does put quite a bit more strain on your core. Fortunately, the Tula can be used in both front carrying and back carrying positions.
The fabric for the Tula carrier is probably one of the biggest selling points for me.
I absolutely love the variety of fabric prints that Tula has available. The Explore has a good variety of prints, but the other similar carrier models have different ones as well. There is a whole slew of fabric prints to choose from and they are all adorable. These are stop-you-in-the-street adorable. They have the best variety of fabrics by far.
The material that the Tula is made from is 100% cotton, which I love because it is durable and breathable. You can also buy the Tula Explore in a mesh option to help you and your baby stay cool during summer outings.
The Tula Explore carrier does not seem to have a cross strap option, however, the straight straps seem to be standard like the other carriers on the market. The cross straps are not necessary but might be a nice option if you are looking for a different kind of support.
Ease of Use
The Tula is comparable to the other popular carriers in its ease of use. You can put it on and adjust it all by yourself easily. It may take a time or two of practice to feel confident to do it by yourself, especially when you have a fragile newborn, but once you have it down, you can put in on and take it off by yourself without any problems.
You can see how you can adjust the carrier here:
The Tula is an all in one type of carrier just like the Lillebaby Complete and Ergobaby Omni 360. This means that you can position it in the front carry facing in, front carry facing out, and back carrying.
It does not have the hip carrying option that the Lillebaby has, but I would imagine that that is the least popular mode of carrying a baby in a carrier, so that’s not a huge deal for me.
If you have read any of my reviews about the My Brest Friend nursing pillow, you will know how I love pockets! They are so useful when you have babies, especially when you are wearing yoga pants exclusively after giving birth–amiright?
So, one thing that I didn’t love about the Lillebaby Complete All Seasons is that the pocket was way too slim. You can really only fit a credit card and maybe a single key (not even a keychain) into the pocket. No one wants to bring a whole diaper bag with you!
The Tula has a much bigger pocket. It still might not be big enough to bring a ton of stuff with you, but you can definitely fit in a wallet and a whole keychain. You might even be able to fit a diaper or some wipes in.
It does not have the roomy pocket that the Ergobaby Omni 360 has, where you can pack the essentials for an actual afternoon. And it doesn’t detach in a pouch-like the Omni either, but it has enough space for some important items. So the Tula is right between the Lillebaby and the Omni for packing space.
There is another carrier backpack combination on the market currently that might interest you if you really care about being able to have a whole diaper bag with you as you go throughout your outings, and you can find them here.
One thing that I wish the Tula had a bit more of was lumbar support. The Tula helps to equalize the weight of your baby over your whole body by having a waistband. This is good support for your back and your core. However, some of the other carriers on the market have an additional stiff band that goes behind your back to help you have more lumbar support and, mostly to keep you in a good posture position.
It is really important for parents to have good posture when they are carrying their babies, especially as their babies get bigger and put more of a strain on their bodies. Mothers, especially those who have just given birth need to be extra vigilant about having good posture while carrying their babies because they have an increase of relaxin in their body that was to help aid the body to deliver the baby. While your relaxin levels are normalizing, your body is much more flexible, but it can be flexible in a dangerous way if you push it too hard.
So when I look at a carrier, I definitely appreciate the extra support wherever possible.
The Tula has good neck support for your baby that I actually like more than the other carriers. You can fold the neck support down like you do for many of the other carriers, but you can also fold it back up and it is flexible enough to offer a little extra support but supportive enough that your baby’s head isn’t flopping around.
Ultimately, the Tula is a contender for the spot of best carrier out there. It really comes down to personal preference with this one. In the past, there were more differences between carriers on the market, but as they have become better and better, they have also become more similar to each other. The features that I love in the Lillebaby and Ergobaby are also featured that I love in the Tula. I will say that the Tula does not seem to have the cross strap option, but I honestly never used that option with my Lillebaby, so it wouldn’t be a deal-breaker for me.
On the other hand, the Tula, in my opinion, has the absolute most precious carrier fabrics. So if you agree with me that the carriers are almost too similar to be too distinctive, then you might use fashion as your deciding factor. The fabrics that Tula has are to die for, so go check them out here and find one that you love!