Ergobaby or Tula? Which one is best?

This is a question I get a lot! As two of the best known and most recommended brands on the market I am often asked what are the differences between Ergobaby and Tula and which is better. The first thing to acknowledge is that they are both owned by the same parent company so there are actually more similarities between these two brands than differences - when compared with other brands on the market. But between these two there are 3 main differences that may make one of these more suitable for you personally than the other.

Watch me compare and contrast these in detail in the video or scroll down for the same information in written blog form.

The similarities:

So as I mentioned these two brands are actually very similar to one another. They are both at the relatively bulky, well padded end of the spectrum. So if you are looking for a supportive carrier with a lot of padding then either may well fit the bill for you. Conversely if you are looking for something lightweight and unbulky or something very cool then I wouldn't suggest either of these carriers.

Because they are owned by the same parent company, each of their models has a respective counterpart with the other brand.  For example in the video I compare and contrast the Ergobaby Omni Breeze and the Tula Explore.  The Omni and the Explore are equivalents to each other and do pretty much all the same things and work for the same ages and stage babies.  These are the models that offer outward facing as well as inwards and back carry.  Likewise the Ergobaby Adapt and the Tula Free to Grow are counterparts and both offer adjustable height and width panels but don't allow outward facing.  And finally the Ergobaby Original and the Tula Standard are both their respective fixed panel models.  And across each of these counterparts the carriers adjust in similar ways - i.e. the Tula Explore and the Omni Breeze and Dream have the same shaped seat for outward facing and adjust in a very similar way its just the Tula has buttons while the Omni's have sliders.  Both methods give the same outcome.  Likewise the width of the carrier adjusts to allow babies from around 2 months of age through to 2 years of age, on the Ergo this is via 3 velcro settings, on the Tula is its via 3 popper settings.  And the size of those 3 settings is the same so give a really similar fit and degree of flexibility for baby.  

The differences:

But there are differences and really these come down to 3 main differences:

  • The shoulder straps - For the Ergobaby the buckle is positioned at the panel.  This means the Ergobaby can be worn rucksack style or with the straps crossed over parents back.  H or X.  This also means that tightening that strap requires you to pull the strap backwards which can feel tough on the wrists.  By contrast the Tula doesn't have a buckle at all.  Instead it has a ladderlock and this is situated on the padded part of the shoulder strap.  This means it can only be worn rucksack style - H - across parents back, but it also means that the straps tighten by pulling forwards.  Which can feel like a much easier motion to do..  However, then loosening can become an issue because the ladderlock buckle is usually situated behind you or near your armpit and can be difficult for some parents to reach.  So there are definite pros and cons to each strap type and different parent back shapes and sizes will find one more comfortable than the other, and likewise find one easier to use than the other.  
  • The waistband - Both have relatively firm, well padded waistbands but the shape of the waistband is quite different.  The Tula band is straight and wider for longer.  By contrast the Ergobaby waistband is more curving and a lot shorter but the Ergobaby has a lumbar support.  Which one is best will really depend on your body shape and how that band sits on your waist.  Tula is one that often works really well for plus sized parents because the padding is longer and the band wider.  But others will find this band too wide, or depending on the shape of your hips and where the band sits relative to your hip bones some people find the Tula rubs and that the curving shape of the Ergobaby offers a better fit.  Very petite people often find both bands simply too wide (and find something like the KahuBaby gives them a much better fit) - but this is really really personal and my best advice is whatever your body shape try both and see what fits you best.  Many parents love the lumbar pad on the Ergobaby so it is worth saying that if you do find the Tula band more comfortable otherwise Tula do make a lumbar pad that they sell separately (this pad also works on other brand carriers too so if you find another carrier that you find more comfortable than either but think a lumbar pad would help, the Tula pad can be great investment.  
  • the feel of the panel - The Ergobaby panel is more structured in feel. There is more "boning" and structure and shape to the panel. The Tula panel is also shaped and has a similar "bucket" shaping but this shaping is done all through seat darting rather than via boning or reinforced sections. The result is the Tula panel feels alot softer and moulds around baby more. They both give a really lovely shape and a really comfortable seat for baby. So once again it's about personal preference - some people prefer that feeling of structure while others prefer the softer feel against baby.

The best way to discover which suits you best is to try them on! If you are local I really recommend coming along to one of my sessions to try a few, or likewise checking out your local sling library. Or I do offer postal hires to anywhere in the UK. Plus as I offer discounts to all those who hire first you don't lose out to rent and properly road test before you invest. Or you can find both of these carriers in the Sheen Slings webshop here or for my US based readers you can find the Tula Explore here and the Ergobaby Omni Breeze here.


Published by sheenslings

Trained and Insured Babywearing Consultant and owner of Sheen Slings Sling Library and Consultancy in South West London. Mother to 2 and former research scientist with a PhD in Immunology.

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