I do not support buying any carriers made by Infantino** (bag sling was recalled because it caused infant deaths & both of the wrap & tie carriers look like cheaply made knockoffs of very good mei tai carriers), Eddie Bauer or Jeep (still have a bag slings on the market that are nearly IDENTICAL by my eye to the bag sling Infantino recalled - ethics, anyone?), or narrow seat carriers that are often overpriced and there are, in my opinion, better carriers out there).
If you haven't joined BabyCenter, I recommend it for only one reason - the babywearing board & the babywearing swap board are really helpful. BabyCenter Babywearing Forum Also, TheBabyWearer is a good site. You can find a lot of wraps, slings, etc for trade or sale much more cheaply than the websites.
This blog gives EXCELLENT information about a ton of specific baby carriers and general info about each type of carrier. In fact, if you read nothing else...read this blog entry. Babywearing Overload
My personal stash (look here for pictures!):
I have a Moby Wrap and I loved it when Klaw was a newborn. It's really long and incredibly warm, so some people don't care for them. Stretchy wraps can only be used safely until the baby is about 15lbs and NO back or hip carries, even if the instructions say it's okay. It's not! Moby finally removed those directions from their website even though they still include it in the printout. Some other stretchy wraps are the Wrapsody stretch wrap or SleepyWrap. Also, it is SUPER easy to make your own stretchy wrap for less than $10 - no sewing involved, which is what I'd recommend & probably would have done had I not gotten the Moby as a gift.
A friend made me a gorgeous ring sling which I really used a lot when Klaw was 8-10lbs. It is really easy to pop on & off, so excellent for quick trips to the store, etc. Once he got to heavy to carry in the Tummy to Tummy hold, I put the ring sling away for a few weeks. Now that he's bigger & has more control of his body, I am using it again in a hip hold for quick trips & dining and it is working out really well. I recently had another beautiful ring sling wrap conversion from Girasol Exclusive colorway, Carson's Cove, made by Boutique Bella Bambini.
I purchased a used Beco Butterfly 2 soft structured carrier (similar to bjorn-type in appeal but it's ergonomically correct for the baby & wearer - much, much more comfortable for both and you can typically find it cheaper AND you can get super cute patterns or dad-friendly solids). My husband loves this carrier and I found it to be very comfortable for front & back carries, also. The BB2 has a removable infant insert to use until the baby hits about 15lbs & the BB2 (there are other "generations) has an internal harness which really makes it easy to put on & take off.
I also have two woven wraps by Girasol (Earthy Rainbow & Night Rainbow 2), had one by Didymos (Ellipsen Primavera), and am currently in love with an Ellevill (Jade Fog). These are highly versatile, come in a wide variety of lengths & colorways, and can be found new & used all over the place. Unlike stretchy wraps, woven wraps can be used with newborns and toddlers & are safe to use for back carries. I am still getting the hang of this and I'm learning which wovens work best for me & my level of wrapping skills (LOW LOW LOW). I am really enjoying my Wrapsody Bali Breeze wrap. It's lightweight & I love the versatility of it for the summer months. I also like the fact that you can really spread the weight across your back. It comes in a variety of sizes. Wrapsody/GypsyMama Many wovens would be too hot during the summer months for me, which is why I went with the Bali Breeze Gauze Wrap first.
My personal favorite carrier is the mei tai style. I bought a used BabyHawk Mei Tai &
fell in love but decided I needed longer straps to wrap with so I sold it for $5 less than I bought it. I purchased a NuzzleMe Creations UMC (ultimate man/mama carrier) because I know I will use this type of carrier the most.
Almost any sling/wrap/carrier you are interested in can be found in excellent used condition via The Babywearer website or the BabyCenter babywearing swap board. Several "vendors" will sell gently used carriers, "seconds" (wraps that have slight cosmetic flaws), &/or have "rental" programs so you can try out different carriers. Good carriers hold their value pretty decently if you buy used, so if you don't like a certain carrier you can generally sell it again at roughly the same price. Several stores will sell gently used carriers or "seconds" (structurally sound but cosmetically flawed carriers/wraps) and a few have carrier rental programs. FrogMama, Heavenly Hold, & Granola Babies are a few that stick out but there are many others.
Some interesting things to read:
Proper Infant Positioning
Babywearing is Safe
Baby Carrier Industry Alliance
**Since this post was first published, Infantino has released several ergonomic carriers at very good price points and I do support their efforts here.