Tula is one of those brands that is oddly coveted by carrier collectors (a thing, apparently), and moms go especially crazy for their “special” patterns. We find the Tula Free-to-Grow patterns to be a bit homely for our taste, but the Tula itself is a great two-position carrier and looks nice in most of the solid and neutral colors in which its sold. While this carrier isn't as special as some might lead you to believe, it's a solid option if you don't need outward-facing forward carry anyway.
Things We Love
- Infant-Ready: The Free-to-Grow does not require an infant insert and is safe for babies 7-45 pounds.
- For Toddlers and Small Children Too: The Free-to-Grow is rated for kiddos up to 45 pounds, which for those of you who haven’t memorized the pediatrician’s height/weight chart, is somewhere between ages 4 and 6.
- Comfortable: Thanks to the padded shoulder straps and waistband, the Free-to-Grow is quite comfortable and fits most adults.
- Easy to Adjust: With straps on the front of the carrier as well as the back, the shoulder straps are especially easy to adjust and tighten, especially for those parents with less-than-optimum range of motion.
- Neatly Hidden Pocket: The Free-to-Grow has a large pocket that’s hidden neatly on the waistband.
Things We Don't Love As Much
- Two of Four Carry Positions: Inward-facing and back carry are the only two options with the Tula Free-to-Grow.
- Nice-ish in Neutrals; Not-So-Nice in Other Colors: The Tula Free-to-Grow looks alright in solid colors (Indigo, Urbanista, etc.), but we don’t love its bright orange brand tags. Tula carriers are also sold in a variety of other patterns that are a bit homely for our taste.
- Not Super Compact: Although the Free-to-Grow can be rolled in on itself, it is not nearly compact enough to fit neatly in a diaper bag once rolled.
- Cozier Than Cool: Made with lightweight twill, the Free-to-Grow is lightweight enough for warmer temperatures, but not for particularly hot ones.
- Tula Free to Grow – $159 (list)
- For deals on used carriers, check your favorite carrier Buy/Sell/Trade group