If you're new to the baby carrier market, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of your options. There are SO MANY! So, before you spend countless hours doing mass amounts of research on the internet, only to find yourself even more overwhelmed, let me point out a few options.
In my opinion, these are the Top 5 Best Soft Structured Baby Carriers on the market. Now, I feel it's important to mention, there is NO perfect baby carrier. There's always at least one con. Having said that, the below list comes pretty close in my book. So take it for what it's worth, and hopefully it will help you narrow down your search.
#1 Pikkolo Carrier
The Pikkolo is one of my favorites. Not only can you use it for an extended period of time, from 8 pounds to 40 pounds, but it also offers all 4 carrying positions. Forward facing-in, forward facing-out, hip, and back carry. Also, you don't have to purchase an infant insert separately because the Pikkolo offers a seat width adjuster, also known as an integrated cinching mechanism. I know, sounds complicated, but all it does is cinch up the seat bottom, making it narrower for smaller babies. This soft structured baby carrier is also extremely comfortable. It offers extra wide padded shoulder straps that are made with the same foam that you would find in a Tempurpedic mattress. The only thing that I don't like about the Pikkolo is the fact that you actually have to buy the padded waist belt separately. For whatever reason, they didn't include a padded waist belt in the original design. You can NOT use this baby carrier comfortably past 15 pounds without the Pikkolo Support Belt. Also, it would be nice if it had some sort of storage pocket, but that's just me being picky.
#2 Boba Carrier
Now, the number two spot was really tough for me. There are currently two Boba Carriers on the market, the Boba 2G and the Boba 3G. The Boba 2G can be used from 15 to 45 pounds, and the Boba 3G can be used from 7 to 45 pounds without the need for an infant insert. Both Boba Carriers offer either front facing-in, or back carry. What I like most about these two soft structured carriers is the seat itself, it's taller and wider than most. Also, they both offer detachable foot stirrups. The Boba Carriers are the only soft structured baby pool float carriers on the market that offer foot stirrups, designed to give your little one more support in the seated position. The reason I have such a tough time deciding between the two is because both are special in their own way. The Boba 3G can be used longer, offers storage on the waist belt, and has a nifty purse strap holder on the shoulder strap. The foot stirrups are also higher quality, and offer more adjustments. The only thing I don't like about the Boba 3G is the fact that the storage pocket is really pretty small, and when you're using the newborn carry position, you can't even access it. The Boba 2G offers wider shoulder straps with a tad bit more padding. The material also seems thicker, even though they are both supposedly made from 100% cotton. It just seems more comfortable. The only thing I don't like about the Boba 2G is the fact that it doesn't come with any storage, again I'm being picky, and you can't use it with an infant weighing less than 15 pounds.
#3 Beco Gemini
You can use the Beco Gemini from 7 pounds up to 35 pounds without the need for an additional infant insert. It has a width alternating base that allows you to adjust the seat based on the size of your child. What I really love about the Beco Gemini is the fact that you can use it for all 4 carrying positions, front facing-in or out, hip, and back carry. It's also sleek and stylish, not bulky and awkward like some soft structured baby carriers. The shoulder straps and waist belt offer plenty of padding, plus, when using the front carry position you can wear the straps either backpack style (over each shoulder), or you can cross the straps in the back for more support. The only thing I don't like about the Beco Gemini is the fact that there is no storage, and no sleep hood.