Tula Lite Baby Carrier review
In a nutshell
Tula’s ultra-light and convenient baby carrier is an excellent, simple, non-structured piece of kit. It makes baby wearing on a hot day or when travelling, super easy – but it is pricier than some other budget carriers on the market
What we tested
- Comfort for baby
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Comfort for you
4.6A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.
- Ease of use
4.6A star rating of 4.6 out of 5.
4.3A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Worth the money
3.8A star rating of 3.8 out of 5.
- Lightweight, comfortable for different sized bodies, stores in a pouch/bum bag with added storage, easily cleaned
- Unclear on suitability for day-to-day use, expensive as a second carrier, narrow shoulder straps
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The Tula Lite Compact Carrier is the new budget product from US-based company Tula. The carrier is intended to provide baby wearing at an accessible price point. It’s designed to complement the other Tula carriers, rather than being for everyday use. But it could quickly become an essential piece of kit for holidays and days out.
It’s designed to be quick and easy to use, clean and store for babies from 5.4kg to 13.6kg. The Tula Lite Compact Carrier is easy to put on and adjusts to fit most shapes and sizes. At just under £80, it’s Tula’s cheapest carrier. But the lower price doesn’t mean there’s any compromise on quality.
Jess and her 14-week-old daughter Adelaide pounded the pavements and parks of North London to test the Tula Lite Compact Carrier. They also used it as a means of getting to and from the car, and while doing light housework.
What was your initial impression of the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier?
It arrived in a small brown box, folded into the pouch, with some easy-to-read instructions. I immediately loved how compact and lightweight the carrier is. Our current baby carrier takes up an entire drawer which isn’t ideal living in a small flat with little space.
It came folded in its bum bag style pouch which is a unique feature. This makes it easy to store at home and to take out and about. The “discover” design, black with stars, was classy and neutral. Overall, super impressed!
How easy was the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier to put on with your baby?
Very easy. I struggled putting our other carrier on, constantly feeling like my baby wasn’t in place securely, so I was concerned I’d have the same issues with the Tula. However, the Tula Lite was super easy to put on with her.
The instructions were clear and within a few minutes I had her in the carrier, safely fastened in. And most importantly – fast asleep. Hurrah!
You unfold the carrier from the pouch and fasten it around your waist, letting the body of it dangle in front of you. You then position baby high up on your chest, with their head just under your neck, making sure their legs are in an M shape (which the instructions guide you to do).
Holding baby safely with one hand, grab the body of the carrier and put each side over your shoulders, fastening the strap at the back and pulling down the shoulder straps to fit. I found the straps easy to fasten and adjust.
Was it easy to take your baby out?
Yes. I felt confident taking my baby out, both at the car and into her car seat, and when I got home.
How ergonomic is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier?
The Tula Lite is a stripped back carrier, which I think is an advantage. Without the excess folds of material and padding, it was easier to ensure my baby was in a safe position. I could easily manoeuvre her body to make sure she was in the right place, and simply adjust the straps for my own comfort.
The Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier has been certified by the International Hip Dysplasia Institution so it provides appropriate hip support. The instructions guide you through making sure baby is in the ‘M’ position.
The streamlined design makes it a comfortable carrier that moulds to your body without padding and excess straps and clips getting in the way. “No bulk, no fuss efficiency” is the tag line for the product and it lives up to that.
Is it comfortable for the baby?
My baby slept pretty much instantly every time I put her into the carrier. That’s a solid thumbs up for baby comfort approval! I found it easy to move her into the right position and she looks comfortable in it. The detachable hood provides shade to keep her cool from the sun.
As it’s unstructured, baby needs to have head control to be safe and comfortable in it.
Is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier comfortable for you?
As a plus-sized tall mum, I was worried the carrier wouldn’t fit me. However, the straps had loads of give and I found the waistband really supportive. The padded section of the band isn’t too long so it would tighten easily to fit a smaller waist too and there’s a loop at the end so you can keep the excess strap safe.
Despite the lack of padding, the straps moulded around my waist, and helped the carrier to nestle to my body. The minimal padding also means it fits well over different shaped backs and generally fits into your body well.
The straps over the shoulder clipped together easily and felt less cumbersome and claustrophobic than other carriers I’ve tried. I found it comfortable but I think over a longer period of time, the smaller shoulder straps could dig in at the back without padding. That’s a view something shared by some reviewers on Tula’s website.
Another downside in terms of the shoulder straps is their length. Because they’re long, it may be difficult to get them tight enough if you have a petite frame. One parent reviewer who is size 12-14 found this. She had them almost at the tightest so there wouldn’t be much scope to get them tighter if you’re smaller than that.
What position can you use it for?
The Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier offers front and back carry options. It’s suitable for babies weighing from 5.4 through to 13.6kg, but the back carry option is only suitable for babies weighing from 8.2kg. Due to my baby’s weight, we only tried out the front carry position.
Can you breastfeed while wearing the carrier?
It’s easy to breastfeed when baby is in the front inwards facing position. It was easy enough to pop a boob out to breastfeed her whilst wearing it, and she felt comfortable and protected while she was feeding.
What things can you do while wearing the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier?
I did some light tidying around the house while wearing the baby carrier. I think it would be challenging to do anything heavy duty because it’s an unstructured carrier and lacking head support. That’s also one of the downsides noted by a MadeForMums parent as the lack of neck support may be a problem for sleeping babies.
Is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier easy to adjust?
I found the carrier really easy to adjust, from initial use to adapting it for different outerwear. There’s only two buckles and one point of tightening on each side. They felt sturdy and easy to fasten and it was a doddle to tighten once my baby was in place. It’s an intuitive carrier to use.
The clip did get caught in my hair a few times, but I think that’s probably more due to my mane than the product!
What age range does Tula recommend the carrier is suitable for?
The manufacturer bases the sizing on weight as opposed to age. It’s suitable from 5.4kg up to 13.6kg so probably from about 3 or 4 months, depending on whether baby can support their own head, up to about 18 months.
However, I would doubt the sturdiness of the product beyond around 12 kg. One reviewer on the Tula website found the stitching had started to come away on one of the straps. I also think the lack of support could make a heavier baby uncomfortable to carry.
How would you rate the quality of the fabric and materials?
The carrier is a made from a combination of 100% ripstop nylon and 100% polyester mesh. This means it’s both lightweight and durable, but perhaps not the most premium. One parent reviewer found the fabric soft on her bare skin (no chaffing!) and didn’t make her overly sweaty.
The material is breathable, making it perfect for hot days and holiday use, a view shared by an Amazon reviewer living in Spain. It’s also quick drying which is very important in case of any poonami incidents!
Is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier easy to clean and keep clean?
Yes. The manufacturers recommend cleaning it in a cold machine wash. I found this cleaned the carrier well. It dried really quickly, which is perfect if you need a quick turnaround.
What are the safety elements and features?
The instruction manual gives a clear guide on how to ensure the baby is in the M position. It also outlines how to and how not to wear it. I found that very useful as my other baby carrier didn’t have this.
Other than this, there don’t seem to be any additional safety elements or features with the product.
Is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier easy to wear on public transport?
Yes. We used the carrier easily on the bus. I was able to sit down with the carrier on and my baby still felt comfortable and secure.
What’s in the box?
- Tula Lite Baby Carrier (in pouch mode in a plastic container)
- Tula Lite Baby Carrier Instruction Manual
Can you buy additional accessories for the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier?
Yes. The Tula shop offers accessories ranging from lumbar supports and hip carriers, to replacement hoods and buckles. You can also buy handmade bibs and teething pads from places like Etsy.
However, I think the beauty of this product is that you have everything you need easily tucked away into a pouch. I wouldn’t recommend adding any extras to it.
The massive pocket at the base of the carrier means when you’re using it, you can easily fit in the baby basics (a small wad of wipes, a nappy and a change of clothes as well as your essentials) so you don’t need to take an additional bag.
This is something reviewers on the Tula website also commented on. Even when folded into the bum bag pouch, the zip pocket means you can still store your keys, phone etc.
Now you’ve tested it, what would you have wanted to know before purchasing it?
I really rate this carrier and prefer it to my more expensive ErgoBaby 360. However, it’s quite a new product and there’s not much information about using it as your main carrier. It’s not marketed for everyday use and I’d like to understand why this is.
Are there are any detriments to the baby or parent if it’s used frequently? Or is it just from a comfort point of view? Other reviewers have said they wouldn’t recommend it for long walks or regular use due to the narrow shoulder straps.
Who is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier best for?
I think this product is a great fit for anyone who’s in the market for a simple, space-efficient baby carrier. The universal fit and easy adjustability mean it’s versatile for whoever needs to carry their baby in the house.
It’s perfect for travel as there’s room for essentials in the pouch. The breathable material makes it a must-have item for sunny holidays and trips out on hot days.
It’s also a good carrier to have when your baby’s starting to walk. One reviewer on the Tula website bought it specifically for this. Because it’s easy to pack away when not in use, it’s perfect for when little legs get tired. It can either be worn as a bum bag, or squashed in a corner of your changing bag when your child wants to walk.
Is the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier worth the money?
At £79.90 it’s the cheapest in Tula’s range. But the price tag seems a bit steep if it’s joining your kit bag as a “nice-to-have” second carrier. However, if you’re looking to invest in something to make your holiday or days out that much easier, I think it’s worthwhile.
If you’re more of a pram user, the Tula Lite would be a great addition as it fits easily into the basket for days when baby is a bit grizzly, wants a cuddle or is just keen to see a bit more of the outside world! It’s also great as a back-up when your toddler gets tired.
How does the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier compare to other carriers on the market?
|Product name||Weight (Kg)||Key feature||RRP (£)|
|Integra baby carrier||3.5 to 25Kg – comes in 3 sizes||Lightweight, can be used up to age 5||From £70|
|Boba Air baby carrier||6.8 to 20 Kg||Compact, Wide shoulder straps||From £29.90|
|Kahu baby carrier||3.2 to 16 Kg||4 carrying positions, Lightweight||£110|
Where can I buy the Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier?
The Baby Tula Lite Compact Carrier is great for parents who like to travel. Its key feature is the lightweight design and carrying pouch with extra storage for essentials like keys and wipes. Perfect for days out, sun holidays and ideal to use when your child is starting to walk.
Adjustable to most body sizes, although not for those with a petite frame. The carrier is marketed as a second carrier rather than for primary use. It’s not suitable for long walks or heavier babies due to the narrow, unpadded shoulder straps.
|Model||Lite Baby Carrier|
|Child weight||5.4kg to 13.6kg|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|
|Carrying positions||Back and front – 2|