The Tula and Boba baby carriers are similar in form, and function. The biggest differentiator is the price and some minor design features.
However, you should not underestimate how these little variations can affect your babywearing experience.
We have completed a detailed analysis of key performance criteria (with comparison photos) that will give you a thorough understanding of how each carrier will perform, and whether it will suit your needs.
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For those looking for a quick answer, we have summarized the value proposition of each carrier in one sentence below.
- Buy the Tula – If you want to use your carrier from newborn to toddler, are looking for brighter colored prints, and want the most comfortable shoulder straps possible.
- Buy the Boba – You want the best value carrier on the market, with superior accessories (including an infant insert), and high-quality fabric.
Tula Vs Boba 4G Performance Comparison
In this section, we will provide a detailed assessment of 8 different points of comparison.
The overall tally of wins will determine our recommended baby carrier. However, you may not care about each of the criteria used and can instead add up the points on those points that matter most to you.
This will ensure that any subjectivity in the ratings is removed and the result is more likely to suit what you want.
Colors and Patterns
We are going to start our comparison with the most subjective criteria of them all. But style can be one of the most important for bright-eyed new parents.
Each brand offers multiple colors and styles of patterns in its carrier range. There are distinct differences in the selection though.
You could best describe the Boba range as cutesy. Aside from the plain colored carriers, you will find child-friendly animal pictures straight out of a toddler book, and subtle patterns that are not too adventurous.
The range of Tula carriers is broader and has everything from the lighter colored but plain material, to more adventurous colors and patterns (like the bright green dinosaur print) that are a lot louder.
It is hard to say that one is better, but we do like how the Tula range encourages a bit more color and personality to come out.
As mentioned at the top of the article, the cost is one of the biggest differentiators. You can usually find the Boba 4G for less than a hundred bucks!!
It is one of the best-value pieces of baby gear you will find anywhere and is one of the reasons why Boba is one of the most popular baby carriers on the market.
Tula carriers are usually priced 50%-60% higher and are in the mid to high price range for a soft structured carrier.
I wanted to cover this early in our list as it will give context to the remaining performance comparisons so you can determine if any areas of overperformance from the Tula are worth the cost.
The Tula and Boba are two of the only structured carriers that are suitable for use with a newborn baby without the need to purchase an additional infant insert.
Both the minimum and maximum weight recommendations are the same so a tie on this measure.
- Boba – 7lbs to 45lbs
- Tula – 7lbs to 45lbs
Suitable for Newborns
Both carriers can be used with newborn babies, but they achieve this in different ways.
The Boba includes an infant insert that allows a child to sit higher in the seat. It is a small attachment that props up the base of the carrier seat and can be removed when no longer needed.
The Tula does not require any extras. You can just take advantage of the adjustable seat panels to provide the extra support required.
This is another criterion where they are evenly matched.
- Boba – Inward front carry and back carry
- Tula – Inward front carry and back carry
Boba claims they offer three carrying positions, but the third is just the inward front carry with the infant insert. We don’t think this provides an advantage over the Tula so we rate this as a tie.
You cannot get your baby into the forward-facing position with either of these carriers. The high back panel makes this impossible (check out this post if you want to be able to face forward).
Both baby carriers have limited storage space built into the frame compared to some other carriers.
There are some minor differences between the two carriers:
- Boba 4G – Small storage pouch on the waist belt (6.75″ across), with a small zip-up pocket hidden in the pouch material. There is also a zip-up pocket that contains the hood which you can store small items in.
- Tula – Storage pouch in the same position in front of the waist belt (7″ across) with velcro seal.
Tula does have a slightly larger pocket with a cover to keep your items secure. This is much more practical than the similar Boba pocket.
However, Boba gets the point due to having the second zip-up pocket in the front, and a third at the top of the back panel for the baby hood.
Each carrier includes a hood for sun protection and breastfeeding privacy.
The main difference is that the hood included with Tula baby carrier must be removed completely when not in use.
Whereas the Boba has a pocket for storage, and you have the choice to remove it if you want to use that space for something else:
- Boba 4G – Tuckaway baby hood that is also removable
- Tula – Removable hood (button attachment)
You get two additional accessories with the Boba that are not included with the Tula:
- Included infant insert – saves you money but the Tula does not need one anyway. So this is neutral.
- Foot straps – stirrup-like attachment to provide extra leg support for older babies to help maintain a healthy hip position.
The extra features and flexible inclusion of the babyhood make the Boba stand out for included accessories.
In this section, we will focus on two primary points of difference; the shoulder straps, and the back panel of the baby seat.
The shoulder straps vary with one being wide and thin, with the other skinny and thick:
- Boba carrier – Wider straps (2.5″ to 3.5″) but thinner padding.
- Tula free to grow – Thinner straps (2.75″ to 3″) but thicker padding.
We prefer the extra cushion of the Tula as it just feels nicer. However, the broader straps of the Boba spread the weight out better making the extra cushion unnecessary for a comfortable experience.
And finally, we will look at the back panel of each carrier that supports your baby in the seat.
They are both exactly the same size measuring 13.5″ across at the base and 16.5″ at the top. But there are two minor differences that could influence your preferences:
- Boba carrier – Double layer of fabric in the center panel of the carrier. It feels stronger and great quality but may be harder to keep baby cool in warmer weather.
- Tula – Single-layer that feels thin, but it also has an extra cushion below where the shoulder straps start to prevent any chafe from the edges on your baby’s thighs.
Your design preference will depend on which of these features you value the most. For me, the double layer of material in the seat panel edges out the slightly thicker shoulder straps overall.
Boba gets the point as part of our comparison. However, if you live in warmer weather the thinner seat material may be preferred. And if you are carrying a heavier baby then the thicker straps may also win you over.
Individual Baby Carrier Reviews
On our like-for-like comparison, both carriers ended up with four points. However, given that your own scorecard will have a different result based on your own preferences we also wanted to provide a more detailed review of each carrier.
We have not commented on all of the performance points that are the same, such as:
- The hip belts both have a cushioned front panel and a thinner strap that clips into a buckle.
- Enclosed seating with minimal airflow
- The weight range is the same (7lbs to 45lbs)
- Both are made from cotton
- Both can be used entirely hands free
- Both are machine washable
As you can see, the general function is similar, but there are a few key differences that will help you get the best out of your chosen baby carrier.
Boba 4G Review
The Boba 4G offers the best value for money in our view. You get diverse functionality built into the carrier’s design, high quality and durable material, and no annoying add-ons to buy.
You can use the carrier with a child as small as 7 lbs due to the integrated infant insert. Most baby carriers require this as an additional purchase. So this will save you some money if you are planning to use it soon after birth.
The seat is comfortable, enclosed, and has a very cozy environment. This makes it great for naps on the run. It is very common for a baby to drift off to sleep from the gentle swaying and rocking motions.
The frame of the Boba 4G is bulkier than some of the others on our list. It is still very light at 2.5lbs + baby weight. But if you have a petite frame or are on the shorter side you may feel like there is a bit too much material around you.
But as long as you are over 5ft tall then you will be fine.
It will be a comfortable fit for most people though as long as you have the weight evenly distributed across your hip and shoulders. The padded shoulder straps also provide plenty of cushion.
Outperforms vs Tula
- Thicker material for baby seat
- Removable and tuckaway hood options
- More storage pockets
- Cheaper price
- Higher minimum weight and size
- Requires an infant insert for use with a newborn
- Narrower range of colors and patterns
The shape of the seating area is where this carrier excels. You have a fully enclosed area that you can fit around your child for maximum support – even for the smallest babies.
While it costs more, you will not have to buy any extras to use with a newborn. The high weight limit also means that you will only ever have to buy one carrier (most parents buy multiple!).
If your child is already older then you can opt for the toddler model which has the highest weight limit in this category of baby carrier:
- Baby carriers – 15lbs – 45lbs
- Toddler carriers – 25lbs – 60lbs
The strength of the model for toddlers is a good indication of the quality of material used in manufacturing Tula carriers.
Another big selling point is the colorful designs and quirky patterns available.
You can add a bit more personality to your babywearing experience with some bright patterns printed on the back of the seatback.
Outperforms vs Boba
- Lighter material
- Thicker shoulder straps
- Removable hood
- Amazing patterns and colors
- No back support
- More expensive
Alternative Baby Carriers
If you wanted to stick to soft structured carriers but are not yet convinced you want one of these models then check out our full list of the best baby carriers here.
The Boba 4G was our top pick with the Tula very close behind (price being the main difference) and you can find a number of other high-quality carriers there including those from Ergobaby and LILLEbaby.
If you are looking for something even cheaper than the Boba then also check out our list of cheaper baby carriers.
For those not sure if they wanted a structured carrier and want to explore a baby wrap and rings slings then check out the following guides:
Both the Tula and the Boba are high-quality carriers but the Boba won out on our ratings.
However, there are multiple elements to this that are subjective so the purpose of this comparison is to inform on the differences more than determine the best choice for you.
The Boba offers excellent value and is under a hundred bucks. So if you are price sensitive it is a no-brainer.
For those who don’t mind spending a little more, and prefer some of the designs available through Tula then you will also have a good experience with their range of carriers.