5 Best Ring Slings of 2019

Best Ring Slings of 2019

May 23, 2019

Best Ring Slings of 2019

Best Ring Slings of 2019
Photo by @charitygail
Looking for something with the closeness of a wrap without having to do the wrapping? Check out a ring sling.Best Ring Slings of 2019

A ring sling is a convenient way to keep your little one close when baby needs to come along for the ride, whether you’re trying to get things done around the house or out running errands.

A ring sling can help calm a fussy little one down when they’re having a tough day or just need a little one-on-one time with someone they love. Slings also come in handy when baby needs you, but you need your hands free to do something else. And with a little practice, they can even be used for breastfeeding on the go.

In this article:

What is a Ring Sling?

A ring sling is a type of baby carrier that’s made from one long piece of fabric and two rings. The cloth is worked through the rings to create a secure pouch for your child to sit in—no snaps, buckles or ties needed. A ring sling is worn across your torso and supported by one shoulder. Ring slings usually work best with babies, but can accommodate toddlers as well.

Ring slings come in a wide array of fabrics like cotton, linen, silk, wool and even cashmere. The downside? They’re a bit labor-intensive to keep clean. Most slings require either hand washing or machine washing on a gentle cycle with cold water. And using the dryer is a big no-no for many brands; lots of ring slings must be air dried so they don’t shrink.

A ring sling is just one of the many carrier options to choose from including baby wraps, babywearing shirts and soft structured carriers. If you’re looking for something that provides the closeness of a wrap without actually having to do the wrapping, a ring sling is a great choice.

What’s the Difference Between a Ring Sling and a Baby Wrap?

Because they both use one huge swath of fabric, baby wraps and ring slings are similar, but there are a few key differences.

Baby wraps tend to be a bit more complex. They go over both shoulders and around your waist, distributing your little one’s weight a bit more evenly across your body than a ring sling. While this is great for making longer periods of babywearing more comfortable, the origami-like configurations can make wraps a bit tougher to get on and off.

Ring slings are best suited for shorter stints of babywearing. They’re far easier to get on and off than a baby wrap, which can be a big plus for some parents who need to use the sling multiple times a day.

How We Chose the Best Ring Slings

We asked thousands of real Babylist families about the baby products they love the most, then took the top products they shared with us and added our own research and insight to tell you about the best ring slings.

Most Comfortable Ring Sling

Why We Love It

The cotton Maya Wrap Sling has two benefits that really set it apart: padding and pockets. The padded fabric throughout the shoulder area adds a whole new level of comfort to babywearing (read: no painful digging in). And the pocket, sewn into the “tail” area of the sling, is genius—it’s big enough for your phone, a diaper and a pacifier.

Keep in Mind

You do have to pick a size (most wraps are one size fits all), but in the case of this wrap it’s not based on body type but instead on how long you prefer the tail fabric.

What Babylist Parents Say

“It’s simple and beautiful. You can use it from newborn until they are so big you’re not sure if you should keep carrying them!” -Alison P.

Additional Specs
Weight limits: 8-35 lbs
Available positions for baby: Front inward, hip and kangaroo carry (a front outward position for small babies up to six months)

Best Ring Sling for Warm Weather

Why We Love It

Not only are Wildbird ring slings gorgeous and available in a beautiful range of colors and patterns, but their linen option can’t be beat when it comes to providing maximum comfort for you and your little one when the sun is shining. Made from pure linen that gets softer and softer with every use, the fabric really breathes, meaning that neither of you will mind being so close, even on warmer days.

Keep in Mind

The linen starts off stiff and needs a bit of time to break in.

What Babylist Parents Say

“I absolutely love my Wildbird ring slings! They are so soft yet supportive. I feel like I’m barely carrying anything when my 21-pound son is in the sling.” -Carolyn D.

Additional Specs
Weight limits: 8-35 lbs
Available positions for baby: Front inward, hip and kangaroo carry

Small-Batch Stylish Ring Sling

Why We Love It

Made in California and crafted in small batches by local artisans and family-run businesses, Sakura Ring Slings are simple, soft and beautiful. And with a huge array of fabrics to choose from including linen, chambray linen, silk and, for when you’re really feeling luxurious, even cashmere, there’s an option just right for any babywearer.

Keep in Mind

Need a little help figuring out your sling? Join Unthreaded, Sakura Bloom’s community support group led by on-staff certified babywearing educators, and get one-on-one advice and assistance.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Comfortable for baby and me, quick on/off, ergonomic and convenient. It allows me to be close to baby, great for naps and outings.” -Kim J.

Additional Specs
Weight limits: 8-35 lbs
Available positions for baby: Front inward, hip and kangaroo carry

Most Affordable Ring Sling

Why We Love It

From the makers of the beloved Moby Wrap comes a sling alternative made from soft woven cotton. We love the breathability of the single layer fabric and that it easily adjusts to fit all body types.

Keep in Mind

Need a video tutorial? Check out the “How to Thread a Ring Sling” video.

Additional Specs
Weight limits: 8-45 lbs
Available positions for baby: Front inward, hip and kangaroo carry

Most Eco-Friendly Ring Sling

Why We Love It

Designed with comfort and sustainability in mind, Pura Vida slings are made from vegan and eco-friendly fabrics and dyes. The lightweight linen and bamboo fabric blend does a great job of wicking away moisture and heat in the warmer months and keeping baby cozy when it gets chilly.

Keep in Mind

These slings are machine washable and can be tumble dried—just place the sling in a lingerie bag and use a gentle, cold cycle in the wash and a low heat in the dryer.

What Babylist Parents Say

“Fabric is good quality and breathable, and it’s easy to learn how to carry.” -L.W.

Additional Specs
Weight limits: 8-35 lbs
Available positions for baby: Front inward, hip and kangaroo carry

Other Ring Slings We’re Keeping an Eye On…

A few slings have caught our eye based on glowing parent reviews.

  • Hip Baby Wrap slings ($39.95-$210.00) are handmade and available in a huge range of colors and unique prints (we’re swooning over this original honeycomb design) and fabrics.
  • The LILLEbaby Eternal Love Ring Sling ($97.00) is made from 100% linen fabric and features a removable zippered pocket, perfect for storing keys, pacifiers or other small items that you may need while out and about with baby.

Choosing What’s Right for You

For the most part, ring slings are relatively similar in design and use. Determining which one you want has more to do with the fabric, color and pattern. So have fun shopping!

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