Time and time again, I see posts asking what the differences are between Tula and Kinderpack Soft Structured Carriers. I could not wait to get my hands on both at the same time, in order to do this comparative review on the two together. They are both such beloved carriers!
Lets start with a side by side. They both have super cute prints! Kinderpack is on the left, called “Night Owls,” and Tula is on the right, called “Oliver”.
So, lets begin at the top! Here are the two overlapped in order to see which is taller. This is the view from the top of the waistband to the top of the carrier (which comes up BabyT’s back). The Tula is on top, and the Kinderpack on bottom. The Tula is about an inch shorter than the Kinderpack.
Then we have the hoods. The navy one is the Tula, and the Kinderpack is white mesh. The Tula hood is about 1-1.5” longer, while the Kinderpack hood is about .25” wider on each side. The Tula hood is completely detachable, by two metal snaps. The Tula hood also cinches tighter with elastic on each side of the hood. The Kinderpack hood is stowable, and gets stuffed in between the layers of the back of the carrier. It snaps closed with two resin Kam snaps.
For full comparison’s sake, this is the full-panel version of the Kinderpack hood, which is a hoodie hood style. For this particular post, I’ve used a mesh center panel Kinderpack.
The Tula hood attaches to the shoulder straps with a stretchy drawstring loop on each side, which slides into a plastic clip. The clip resembles half of a paperclip, which holds the elastic loop tight to the shoulder strap. The plastic clip can slide about 2” back and forth along the shoulder strap to make the clip more accessible.
The Kinderpack hood has a small, 1”, plastic buckle to attach the hood to the shoulder strap. The hood is not adjustable. The buckle on the shoulder strap and the buckle on the hood can be adjusted to pull the hood tighter to the shoulder strap.
Let’s move on to the under arm straps, that connect the shoulder straps to the middle of the body of each carrier. Here is a crucial difference between the two carriers! Notice in the pictures, the Tula shoulder strap is fixed to the body of the carrier. This means, the Tula shoulder straps cannot be unbuckled in order to cross them, they stay fixed to the body of the carrier. The Kinderpack straps are connected to the middle of the body of the carrier with a 1” plastic buckle, which can be unclipped, allowing the shoulder straps to be crossed, which some find more comfortable for a front carry.
One other big difference to mention between the two carriers is the adjustability of the shoulder straps. The Kinderpack has the ability to adjust toward the top and bottom of the shoulder strap, while tula only adjusts toward the bottom. The ability to adjust both ways gives the wearer a more customizable fit for front and back carries.
Another small difference between the two shoulder straps, is the Tula strap material is ever so slightly narrower, while the Kinderpack strap is slightly wider.
Another feature that both shoulder straps have are called “perfect fit adjusters” or PFAs. These small straps on the top of the shoulders allow for a more customizable fit for both Mama and Baby. The Tula PFAs are slightly shorter, so slightly less adjustable, and the Kinderpack has slightly longer PFA straps.
Both the Tula and the Kinderpack have chest clips. They are virtually exactly the same. They both buckle with 1” plastic buckles, and they slide up and down straps attached to the shoulder padding, in order to get the correct height on each wearer of the carrier.
As for the straps themselves, they have a few very subtle differences. The Kinderpack shoulder straps attach the carrier about 10” apart, while the Tula’s strap are spaced 12.5” apart. The Kinderpack shoulder straps are slightly wider, and less contoured. The Tula straps are a bit thicker padded and are contoured into an almost perfect “C” shape, but are less structured than the Kinderpack straps. The padding length on both is almost exactly the same.
The body of each carrier is also fitted slightly differently. The seat depth of each carrier makes a large difference. The Kinderpack seat depth is about 6”, while the Tula seat depth is 4”. The Kinderpack has a “butt pocket” so to speak, where BabyT’s tushie sinks into the seat, while the Tula supports the tushie without much depth. They both do the job, but each do it differently.
Each carrier has “legs-out” padding, where BabyT’s chubby little thighs stick out. They both seem to fit comfortably, though are shaped slightly differently.
The waistband of the two carriers have many similarities, but a few important distinctions need to be noted. Both waistbands are the same thickness and width, they are also very similar lengths, with the stitching just in different places. The Kinderpack has a contoured subtle “U” shape to the belt, while the Tula is almost straight across. I didn’t notice the difference between the two in comfort while wearing.
The location of the belt buckle is also different on the two carriers, which I feel does make a difference. The belt buckle on the Tula is on the side (right side if carrying on the front), while the Kinderpack buckle is right in the center of your back. The Kinderpack could be cinched to make one buckle closer to one side, but there wouldn’t be padding underneath the buckle, like there is on the Tula.
On the inside of the waistband, the Kinderpack has an elastic strap used to wrap around the carrier to store it, or travel with it. The Tula has a pocket on the front of the waistband, right underneath the tushie area, which comfortably fits items the size of an Iphone.
Lastly, the the waistbelt on each carrier can adjust to slightly different lengths. When cinched completely, the circumference of the Tula waistband is 28” and the Kinderpack is 29”. When completely let out, the circumference of the Tula is 57.5” and the Kinderpack measures 60.5”.
A few of my favorite things…
I really like the pocket on the waistband of the Tula, as well as how the waist buckles on the side, instead of in the middle of my back on the Kinderpack. I prefer the stow-away hood, with buckling clips on the Kinderpack, and the elastic loops on the Tula annoy me to try and loop around the clip on the shoulder pads. I also really like how the Kinderpack shoulder straps can unbuckle, in order to cross them on my back while doing a front carry. It is just more comfortable for me.
What I could live without…
I’m not a big fan of the Tula’s detachable hood… I’d lose it, and the metal snaps dig into BabyT’s back if he leans back at all. I also am not a big fan of the elastic loops that connect the hood to the shoulder straps on the Tula. I really wish the Kinderpack’s waist buckle were on the side with padding under it, like the Tula’s because I do find the Kinderpack buckle in the middle of my back to dig after wearing it a while.
They are both super comfortable carriers, and while wearing, BabyT was happily babbling away! Many of these differences are just, well, differences, and no advantages or disadvantages. Many people will love one or the other, but it is very much a personal preference! Whats your vote after all this? Tula or Kinderpack?
List of options with each brand:
Body Size: Infant/Standard/Toddler/Preschool
Strap Length Options: Infant/Standard/Plus Size
Body Style Options: Full Panel/Cool Knit/Mesh Center Panel
Body Size: Baby/Toddler
Body Style Options: Canvas/Woven Wrap Body Panel
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