We bought the Beco Toddler Carrier after we moved to Canada. Our son was 2 years old, and we realized that our beloved old backpack carrier didn’t function as well as it did. Once we switched to that backpack carrier, we thought we’d never switch back to a soft carrier, not for hiking, anyway, but we ended up doing just that. And it was a good choice.
We intend to give you a full, detailed review about our experience with the Beco Toddler Carrier, but here’s our short verdict: it’s a good choice for older toddlers who already walk a lot, and the carrier is needed mostly as a back-up. Is it the best toddler carrier? We think it gives a lot for the price, it’s quite comfortable (both for parent and child), super easy to use, adjust and travel with, suitable for tall toddlers, but it’s not the most durable carrier.
Being a soft carrier, it has its disadvantages when compared to backpack carriers, but each has their own drawbacks, so the best one depends on your situation and preferences.
Beco Toddler Carrier review summary
- Weight suitability: 20 – 60 lbs (9 – 27 kg)
- Carry options: front carry (facing in), hip and back carry
- Features: detachable sleeping hood, wide seat, padded leg openings, small waist belt pocket, adjustable waist straps and chest straps, padded shoulder straps and waist straps
What we like:
- comfortable both for child and carrying parent – straps are adjustable and padded, seat is wide, material is soft, leg openings are padded, back support for the toddler is sufficient
- lightweight and portable – it’s so easy to toss it in the backpack when going for a hike or going sightseeing, and it adds barely anything to the weight of your toddler while you’re carrying
- easy to use – putting the child in and taking them out takes about a minute; it’s comfy to wear over a jacket, too
- easy to travel with – unlike bulky and large carrier backpacks, this one doesn’t count as a separate luggage to check-in when you fly
- can be used well into preschool age – the back comes up tall enough to give sufficient support for older kids, even 4-5-year-olds (it depends on the actual weight and size of the kid, of course)
Beco Toddler Carrier in the Canadian Rockies
What we don’t like:
- the two small pockets are nothing when it comes to storage, so you’ll need a backpack – since we used it on family hikes where both parents were there, one could carry the kid and one could carry the backpack
- it doesn’t provide protection either from sun or rain (just like none of the other soft carriers would)
- not durable enough – we stopped using our Beco carrier after 1.5 years of intense use, because we stopped carrying altogether; the material of the carrier seems to be tough and durable, but the chest clip broke which was disappointing for an otherwise well-made carrier
Why did we choose the Beco Toddler Carrier?
Why, after happily using a backpack carrier for 2 years? This backpack carrier has been a loyal friend on many hikes in various kinds of weather, but carrying has changed, and a backpack carrier was not the good choice anymore. Especially not for an almost-3-year-old toddler.
For a while we used both the backpack carrier and our Beco soft carrier, depending on the occasion. But eventually, we stopped using the backpack carrier even on longer hikes. (To be fair, our hikes have also gotten shorter as our son got heavier.)
First of all, I couldn’t carry my son anymore, so if only the two of us went “hiking”, well, it was more of nature walking or nature play, and carrying was not an option. His daddy has carried him for another 1.5 years, but carrying became more and more occasional.
A 2-3 years old toddler doesn’t want to be in a carrier for long (any kind of carrier), and taking the bulky and heavy carrier backpack on the off chance he needs carrying was not that good. Getting him in and out of the framed straps also took an age, and the in-and-out became more and more frequent.
And there was something else against the backpack carrier: flights. We like hiking wherever we travel, but in case we traveled by plane, the carrier gave us a headache. A framed backpack carrier should be a checked-in luggage, which is expensive. When we traveled within Europe, we usually flew with carry-on only. But then should we miss those one or two hiking trails which we’d really love to do? Only because they are too long for our son to do, and it might not be safe or feasible to simply piggyback him on that terrain. The solution is simple and easy: fly with a soft carrier which counts as much as the scarf around your neck.
So we were looking for an easily portable, lightweight carrier as a back-up option for a toddler who already walks on his own for the most part. We chose the Beco Toddler Carrier, and it turned out to be just what we needed.
Do you even need a toddler carrier?
It depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences. If you’re an active person who likes hiking and walking, it’s worth having a toddler carrier, because your toddler won’t be able to walk as much as you’d like to. If using a stroller is not practical for you for whatever reason, a carrier can be your go-to option, as a toddler gets tired during longer activities or errands in town.
But you need to consider whether you’re able to carry the weight, and whether your toddler likes to be carried. We carried our son ever since he was a newborn, and he liked each carrier we used throughout the years. But his preferences for the carriers changed with time, and every kid is different.
A carrier has unbeatable advantages over a stroller: your hands are free, and you’re much more mobile. In exchange you have to carry the weight of your child and all of the stuff you take with you.
Who is the Beco Toddler Carrier for?
Its best use is occasionally carrying an older toddler who walks a lot on his own. It couldn’t compete with backpack carriers when it comes to durability, protection and storage. But you pay the price for those when using a backpack carrier: it’s heavy even without the child in it, and it’s big and bulky. A soft carrier, like the Beco carrier, wouldn’t add extra weight to the weight of your (already heavy enough) toddler, and you can simply fold it and pack it when you don’t need it.
If you need sun and rain protection or storage space, this carrier won’t be sufficient. Neither was a real problem to us, just a slight discomfort. Our son spent more time outside of the carrier, so he required weather protection, anyway. Since he had his rain gear and protective clothing and hat against the UV rays, he could just as well wear them while in the carrier. And storage was not a problem, because Csaba carried Tomi and I carried the backpack, and we went on longer hikes together. In the last days of our previous carrier backpack, we left the storage empty, anyway, so that we didn’t add any more weight. A 2.5-year-old toddler was enough, hence the previously used and very practical storage space became useless (to us).
We mostly used the Beco carrier for hiking, but it’s just as good for long sightseeing days, especially if the streets are not stroller-friendly. Think of European cities with cobbled streets and lots of stairs. Also useful when walking through the airport, getting on and off the plane, or any other kind of public transport.
Putting the kid in and out is quick, and the carrier is easy to share with someone else, as the straps are easy to adjust and the soft carrier fits naturally to differently shaped bodies.
How many carrying options does this carrier offer?
It offers the traditional three options: front, hip and back carry. Straps can be crossed in the back for front carries to make it more secure. (Though I can’t imagine front carrying a toddler, but the opportunity is given.)
How comfortable is the Beco Toddler Carrier?
It’s a crucial question, and both child and parental comfort are important. The latter is actually a bit more important, because the parent does the hard work, and if the carrier is uncomfortable, it won’t often be used.
Our Beco child carrier was comfortable enough for Csaba for occasional use. The main thing he didn’t like is that our son was tied so tightly to his body that they both sweated an awful amount in warmer weather. It’s not because of the material, it’s actually a soft and breezy material, but this is how it is with soft carriers. Two bodies so close to each other generate heat.
But other than that, Csaba found it comfortable. Loading and unloading the kid is very quick, the carrier is easy to wear over a jacket, even a thicker down jacket. The padding is not that comfortable as those of our previous carrier backpack (but much better than most soft carriers), but the carrier itself is not that heavy either, so it’s a good compromise.
Our son liked being in the carrier. We were surprised about this, as we thought it must have been more comfortable for him in the shaped seat of the backpack carrier – and maybe it was. But he never stayed in this soft carrier for too long, because he wanted to walk on his own. When he was tired, he was happy to be there. The back of the carrier was tall enough to support his back, up until his head.
our Beco carrier in Australia
Can your kid sleep in this carrier?
This question is a deal breaker. Our son had to be able to sleep in the carrier, because we were often out on full day adventures.
Since he still napped, especially during long mountain hikes, we didn’t want to keep a carrier where he couldn’t, and we had our doubts about this lightweight soft carrier. But it worked. It actually supported his head quite well (and even more so when we put the hood on), and he fell asleep easily.
How long can your kid sit in the carrier?
It really depends on your kid and you. Toddlers don’t want to be carried for too long, and it’s likely that you don’t want to carry them for too long either. We used this carrier on full day hikes, but it usually meant a few hours of carrying during the day, as an hour here or there added up.
Can you put it on alone?
Yes. It takes some practice with back carrying, but once you know the way, it’s quick and easy. Our son actually liked jumping on daddy’s back, right into the carrier, which made it super easy to put it on, and definitely much quicker than buckling all the straps of our former backpack carrier.
How easy is it to clean Beco carriers?
You can machine wash them in cold water.