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Soft Structured Carriers Guide

Soft Structured Carriers Guide

Baby Carrying Made Easy

On this page we show you what makes a good soft structured carrier (SSC) or front pack, what the differences are between the main styles, how to get a comfortable carrier 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!

We compare the main soft structured carriers we offer from Beco, Boba, Ergobaby, Love Radius, Lillebaby, Manduca & more. Only the most popular variants are shown below to provide an overview of the main differences between each manufacturer.

We love baby carriers at The Sleep Store. They're a great alternative to buggies and they keep 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. If you have further questions you can request a carrier consult with our baby wearing expert, Coralie.

What is a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)?

Soft Structured Carriers or SSC's are a very popular choice in the baby carrier range. SSC's, are also commonly known as 'front pack" and 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. SSC's 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. This style covers brands like Beco, Boba, Ergobaby, Love Radius and Mandca. Our in house team of qualified baby carrier consultants hand pick every carrier that goes in to our range.


Watch Louise demonstrate our most recommended soft structured baby carriers


What to look for when choosing an SSC

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, front packs (SSC's) 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 carriers you’ll need a separate infant 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 piggyback position. While some new models of carrier 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 chart below we focus mainly on carriers that can be used up until your baby is around 2 years old and in most cases up to 20kg. Beco even does 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 and may differ in the height of the back panel and the length of waist band.

Comparison Chart - Soft Structured Carriers that can be used from newborn (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 original 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 adjust their shape so that there is no need to add an infant insert. As baby grows the carriers can adjust or adapt their shape to support baby accordingly. We think the Beco Gemini and the Boba X are amongst the best carriers designed to carry a newborn and can up to 2 year old baby.


Beco Beco Boba Boba Ergobaby Ergobaby Love Radius





Classic Carrier

Omni 360 Cool Mesh

Omni Breeze

Physio Carrier

Beco Gemini Baby Carrier
Beco 8 Carrier
Boba X Baby Carrier
Boba Classic Baby Carrier
Ergobaby Omni Breeze - Best Baby Carrier for Summer
Love Radius Physio Carrier









Why we love it

Simple, versatile and comfortable. One of our most popular carriers.

Best value carrier with a front facing position for baby.

Genuine newborn to toddler carrier as it includes toddler seat extender

Amazing value and simple to use

The well-known brand

Incredibly breathable & lightweight to create maximum airflow

Loved by baby wearing consultants for it's ergonomic design. Best summer option. Baby can be back carried from an early age

Front Carry

Back Carry

Baby Facing Out Option

Use from Newborn

Maximum Weight

16kg max

20kg max

20kg max

20kg max

20kg max

20kg max

20kg max

Sleeping/Nursing Hood

Cross Strap Friendly

Storage Pocket

Waist Belt Length









Watch our Videos

Baby carriers suitable for newborns
Boba Soft Structured Carriers