On holiday recently we hired a child carrier for our extremely large 7 month old as he had grown out of his baby Bjorn one. It was brilliant but old and not made anymore. Anyway it got us thinking as we're quite outdoorsy, and there are certain places even a good 3 wheeler buggy won't take you, so we're looking at different child carriers
We have the Vaude Comfort one - our DS is 15mo and loves it. He can stay in it quite happily for a couple of hours at a time; he likes looking over my shoulder and waving at people!
It's very comfortable to wear, as all the straps are padded and fully adjustable. It would fit most body shapes too - I'm a size 14-16, but my DH is v v skinny (28in waist etc) and he can wear it just as comfortably as me.
It also has a bar that folds out so the carrier can stand alone - very handy for getting DS in/out of it! We went for a walk in the woods a few weeks ago, and he complained when I got him out to give him a snack...I had to put him back in and leave him on the floor next to me, which got me a few funny looks
It costs about £100 but is definitely worth it - the pocket is big enough to hold all the stuff you'd put in a changing bag, and the raincover/sunshade are both good too.
We have two types for largish 2.5 yr old DS - soft carriers and a framed one. The soft, Mei Tais (Toddlerhawk and TaiTasi) are our everyday ones and are great as they are versatile, easy to carry when DS is walking, and are very comfortable as well as looking fabulous. The framed one (Bushbaby Elite) is good when you are on your own as it has so much storage space, and does put DS really high up so good in crowds. Downside is that it is bulky and has to be adjusted to the wearer of the moment.
Ds likes them all, but usually chooses the TaiTasi as he likes the horses.
We haven't used a pushchair in a year and like to walk.
Best place to buy one from is the Yahoo group UKbabywearingswap as its much cheaper to buy second hand, then if you decide you don't like that particular shape you can sell it on at not much less than you paid.
I find them pretty easy to do on my own - much easier than the Ergo where I had to stretch my arms backwards to go through the straps. The first few times it helps to have someone there to just make sure you don't drop the baby/toddler, and starting off with a front carry might be easiest.
we looked hard when we were buying the carrier as dh is 6'3" and i am 5'3" and any that were comfy for me weren't for him and vice versa the bushbaby was the only one we were both happy with. saying that dh used it way more than me in the end (got pregnant, then had a baby and toddler and our outdoorsy lifestyle reduced dramatically!!)