The Tula and Ergobaby carriers are similar in form, and price, but can offer a very different 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.
If you plan on babywearing with a newborn, suffer from back pain, live in a variable climate, or just want something comfortable, then this is a must-read before you buy.
In This Post:
Both Tula and Ergobaby have multiple carrier designs in their range. We have selected the two carriers with the broadest appeal that will accommodate a child of the same age.
This allows us to present the most relevant comparison possible for each brand.
- Buy the Tula – If you want to be able to use your carrier from newborn to toddler, Are looking for brighter colored prints, and want the most comfortable shoulder straps possible.
- Buy the Ergobaby 360 – If you want exceptional back support, a well-ventilated seat area, and plan on using the outward-facing and hip carry positions.
Tula Vs Ergo 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 which makes it easy to find the range that you like best.
Ergobaby offers plain-colored baby carriers that are generally darker – light grey being the most adventurous option!
So if you want a subtle design that will blend in with whatever you decide to wear that day then the Ergobaby may be more to your liking.
The range of Tula carriers is broad and has everything from the lighter colored but plain material, to more adventurous colors and patterns (like the bright green dinosaur print).
You can usually find Ergobaby carriers priced in the $120-$150 range. This places them in the mid-tier for soft structured carriers – which is generally where we recommend people buy due to the strong value proposition.
Tula carriers are usually priced 10%-20% higher than the Ergobaby.
I wanted to cover this early in our list as it will give context to the remaining performance comparisons we look at (spoiler alert – the savings could be eroded if you want to use it with a newborn).
You can then ask yourself whether any extra performance is worth the cost and if you are receiving genuine value.
Both carriers have the same maximum weight capacity of 45lbs. This is standard for most of the top-rated soft structured carriers.
Where the carriers differ are the recommended minimums:
- Ergobaby – 12lbs to 45lbs
- Tula – 7lbs to 45lbs
You will be able to use your Tula from an earlier age than the Ergobaby 360.
At this point, it is worth noting that if this is a limitation for you then there are other models from both brands that venture outside of this weight range. Two important examples are:
- Tula’s toddler carrier – 12lbs to 60lbs
- Ergobaby Omni 360 – 7lbs to 45lbs
So if you have a preference for either brand you may be able to find what you need with one of these models. But for the purpose of our comparison, the Tula wins the point.
Suitable for Newborns
It may be unfair on the Ergobaby to include this criterion based on what was covered in the previous point.
However, this is also another important point when you are considering the value of the Tula despite the higher purchase cost.
We have covered the low 7lb weight threshold, but another key design element in the Tula is the adjustable seat panels. This allows you to increase the level of support around young babies with no infant insert needed
The Ergobaby does require an infant insert for use with a newborn. Without it there would not be adequate support for your baby’s body.
This is an extra cost that neutralizes any benefit of the lower purchase price.
The Ergobaby carrier will support more carrying positions than the Tula with up to to four carrying positions.
The additional carry positions are front outward-facing and the hip carry option.
- Ergobaby 360 – Inward front, outward front, hip carry, and back carry
- Tula Free to Grow – Inward front carry and back carry
The forward-facing position is one of the least preferred by many parents and some of the most popular baby carrier brands discourage it.
So this may not be a feature that matters to you.
However, hip carry is far more popular and is a useful option to have to encourage curious baby’s to further engage with their surroundings.
Both baby carriers have very limited storage space built-in to the frame compared to some other carriers.
Both have enough for your cell phone and car keys at least!
- Ergobaby 360 – Detachable storage pouch, plus a smaller zip pocket in the back panel (shares space with sun hood)
- Tula Free to Grow – Accessible pocket in front of waist belt but is rather small
The detachable pocket is standard in all Ergo carriers and is what makes the difference here.
Each carrier includes a hood for sun protection and breastfeeding privacy.
The main difference is that the hood included with Tula baby carriers is removable and the other is sewn into the carrier:
- Ergobaby 360 – Tuckaway baby hood (sewn into zip pocket)
- Tula – Removable hood (button attachment)
This is the only accessory included for each carrier. So while they have similar features, it is the function that separates them.
Your preference will be entirely subjective. I like having the option to remove the hood completely, but I am also forgetful and should opt for the hood fixed in place.
The Ergo also has five buttons that allow you to customize the amount of slack in the hood. Whereas the Tula has a single fixed position.
So the convenience and adjustability of the tuckaway hood wins the point in my opinion.
In this section, we will focus on three primary points of difference; the hip belt, shoulder straps, and the back panel of the baby seat.
The hip belt is where the largest difference is between the two baby carriers:
- Ergo carrier – Thick belt with lumbar support and velcro attachment, tightened with an adjustable strap.
- Tula – Thinner waist strap that clips-in to a buckle with no lumbar support.
The shoulder straps are similar but one wins out in terms of thickness and comfort:
- Ergo carrier – 2″ to 2.75″ from the thinnest end to the thickest point.
- Tula – 2.75″ to 3″ from the thinnest end to the thickest point.
The level of cushion in the straps is fairly similar but the Tula feels more comfortable.
And finally, we will look at the back panel, which is more important to your baby’s comfort:
- Ergo carrier – Thicker material but a thinner panel.
- Tula – Thinner material with a wider panel that fully encloses your baby and provides excellent neck support.
We will award the point to Tula with two out of the three key features being superior to the Ergobaby.
However, if you often babywear in warmer weather and want a more breathable environment then you may prefer the Ergo.
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:
- Both are made from cotton
- Both can be used entirely hands free
- Both are machine washable
- Both support healthy hip development is positioned correctly
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.
The Ergobaby 360 is a great alternative for those who live in warmer climates. The open design of the seat area allows for far better ventilation when compared to the enclosed Tula seat.
Again you get a feature-packed and well-built carrier for a mid-range price.
A big differentiator is the velcro waistband. This allows you to adjust the waistband easily to fit your frame and has extra support for your back. This is great if you babywear for long periods of time.
But, if you hate that tearing sound of velcro this may not be the carrier for you.
The built-in babyhood is another plus as it prevents you from losing or forgetting it when out with your baby.
Many other carriers include this as a separate piece that needs to be clipped or buttoned on when in use.
The Ergobaby 360 houses this in a zipper pocket so you can just pull it over your baby at any moment when they want to nap or feed. The range of buttons also allows you to choose the level of desired head support.
You also have the option of wearing your baby in different positions with up to four possible with this design.
Outperforms vs Tula
- Higher minimum weight and size
- Thick waistband with lumbar support
- Thicker material for baby seat
- Attached hood
- Up to four wearing positions
- Cheaper price
- Higher minimum weight and size
- Requires an infant insert for use with a newborn
- Narrow range of colors and patterns
The shape of the seat 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 – 15lbs – 45lbs
- Toddler – 25lbs – 60lbs
The strength of the toddler model gives you an idea of just how strong the material and Duraflex buckle is.
Another big selling points are 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 Ergo
- Lower minimum weight and size
- 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.
If you are looking for something cheaper then you may also like our summary of the best carriers for those on a budget.
For those not sure if they wanted a structured carrier and want to explore wraps and slings then check out the following guides:
Both the Tula and the Ergobaby are high-quality carriers that you can buy for a similar price. Both can handle older babies easily and ensure an ergonomic position is maintained under the larger weight.
I prefer the Tula due to the fact that you can use the same carrier all the way through to toddler age with a design that is comfortable for both you and your baby.
There are so many small variations in the designs that you may favor the Ergobaby if the features are more relevant to how you will use it.
For those who may suffer back pain when they babywear you may find the extra support offered by the Ergobaby 360 to be what wins you over.
They are two of the most popular baby carriers on the market and hopefully, this post has helped you understand how the Ergo and Tula compare to each other and what is best for you.