Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow: Which is the Better Baby Carrier?

Can’t decide between the Tula Explore vs Free To Grow? Both are pretty amazing baby carriers but aside from the carrying position, they have subtle differences that would make you a little confused, especially when choosing between the two of them.

So I’ve thoroughly researched and listed down each and every feature of the Tula Explore baby carrier and the Tula Free To Grow carrier and compared against each other. This will hopefully help you finally decide which baby carrier to get.

Let’s dive in and start with a quick feature comparison of the Tula Free To Grow vs Explore baby carrier.

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Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow: Feature Comparison Table

This is best viewed on a desktop. Check out the features of the Tula Free to Grow vs Explore.

FeaturesTula ExploreTula Free To Grow
Age/ Weight– From newborn to toddlerhood (7-45lbs)
– No need for infant insert
SafetyCertified “hip-friendly” Same
Fit-For-AllCan accommodate all body typesSame
Comfortable– Breathable material and can be work during hot weather
– Mixed reviews about the waistband or lack of lumbar support
Ease of UseModerately to very easy to useSame
Shoulder strapsPadded, can only be worn in rucksack or “H” styleSame
StorageSmall pocket availableAvailable
Leg paddingAvailableAvailable
DesignVarious patterns and colorsSame
Carrying Positions6 – front carry for infant, baby and toddler, forward-facing and back carry for a baby and toddler2 – facing in and back
Body Panel– More structured– Softer and lighter
Carrying Adjustments– Can use padded neck pillow to act as support for newborn and for extending the body panel height for bigger babies– Can make the body panel shorter, to accommodate newborn

Below is a more detailed information on the similarities and difference between Tula Explore and Free To Grow.

Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow: Similarities

Age/ Weight

Both the Tula Explore and Tula Free To Grow can be used from newborn to toddlerhood (7-45lbs), giving you more mileage for your money. You also don’t need an infant insert for both.

Although some parents have complained that their newborn doesn’t seem to fit right in the Tula Free To Grow and an infant insert seems to be needed.


All Tula carriers that are suitable for newborns and up and are certified “hip-friendly” baby carriers.

And that includes the Tula Explore and Tula Free To Grow.

Fit For All

Both the Tula Explore vs Free To Grow can fit all sorts of body types, but is most comfortable for plus-sized moms and burly, tall dads.

Tula has a waist extender, which can add 10 inches more to the Tula baby carrier’s waistband (57 to 61 inches depending on model).


Both the Tula Free To Grow vs Explore are both super comfortable baby carriers, offering a breathable lightweight material that allows parents to wear it during the warm weather. 

It’s also suitable for those who live in tropical climates or for families who love long walks or hikes without getting too sweaty.

When it comes to the waistband/ waist strap, parents have mixed reviews about both the Tula Explore and Free to Grow as it doesn’t come with lumbar support. Unlike the Ergobaby Omni 360, but I digress.

Which can be uncomfortable to wear, especially for longer periods.

Ease of Use

There’s always a learning curve when it comes to baby carriers, especially if it’s your first time to use one but both Tula’s are pretty easy to use.

Although some parents have mentioned that they can’t seem to adjust both the Tula baby carriers on their own while wearing it and they needed another adult to help them with it.

Seat Adjustment

Both baby carriers have adjustable seat width settings but the Tula Explore‘s body panel can also be adjusted to make it wider or narrower, depending on how small your baby is.

Shoulder straps

Both baby carriers have padded shoulder straps that can only be used in a rucksack, “H” style.

Privacy Hood

Both have a detachable privacy hood for breastfeeding, sleeping, or protecting your little ones from the sun.


Both have a handy pocket to store your phone, keys, and other small essentials.

Leg padding

Both the Tula Explore and Free To Grow have leg paddings. Although some parents find the Tula Explore’s more comfortable and softer for their baby.


You can nurse quite comfortably in both the Tula Explore and Tula Free to Grow by adjusting and lowering the shoulder straps, and positioning your baby appropriately.


Tula baby carriers are known for their varied and colorful designs and the Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow is no exception.

Both offer stylish and fun patterns and I have read some moms collecting their baby carriers, just because they can’t get enough of the designs!


Both the Tula Explore vs Free to Grow is machine-washable.

Differences between the Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow

Carrying Positions

Tula Explore has 6 carrying positions – front carry for infant, baby, and toddler, forward-facing, and back carry for a baby and toddler. while Tula Free to Grow has only 2 – facing in and back.

Carrying your kid facing forward in the Tula Free to Grow, is not highly recommended.

Body Panel

This is also one of the major differences between the Tula Explore vs Free To Grow. 

The Tula Explore has more structured padding that conforms to your baby’s body. It’s probably built that way to support the forward-facing position.

The Tula Free To Grow meanwhile is as equally as comfortable but its material is softer and is comparable to that of a ring sling or single sheet wrap. 

Carrying Adjustments

Another difference is the adjustments needed to be done before carrying a newborn or an older baby.

For the Tula Free To Grow, you can adjust the body panel to make it shorter to accommodate a newborn or shorter babies.

You can’t do that with a Tula Explore.

But it does it have a padded neck pillow that can act as a support for your newborn. That padded pillow can also be used to expand the height of the baby carrier to accommodate a bigger/ older child.

There’s also the option of widening or narrowing the width of the body panel of the Tula Explore.

Tula Explore Vs Free To Grow: Which One Should You Get?

Both the Tula Explore vs Free To Grow are great, comfortable baby carriers that can be used until toddlerhood.

They are also very popular and are highly recommended by parents worldwide.

But if you’re very particular about the back carrying position and you’d want that option for your baby, then the Tula Explore would be a more fitting baby carrier for you.

I hope you find this in-dept comparison review engaging and helpful. Goodluck on choosing the best baby carrier! 🙂

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