LOVE the Ergo Baby Carrier!
We bought both a framed backpack as well as an Ergo Baby carrier. I'll preface this by saying that I have lower back issues so I've liked the Ergo a LOT better since it was a LOT easier on my back. However, here are the pros and cons of both from my experiences with them.
Pros for the Ergo:
1 – COMFORT! - Kiddos sit against your tummy or back with the weight on your hips more than your shoulders. It is a LOT easier on the parent's back!
2 – SIZE - It's small...you can roll it up and stow it in a backpack or strap it around your waist when you're not using it. It's great for hiking but also works well for day-to-day errands.
3 – LONGEVITY - It has a LONG life. You can use it with infants as well as older kids (we occasionally used it even when my daughter was 4.5 y/o).
Cons for the Ergo:
1 – HEAT - Since the kiddo is against your tummy or back, it can get warm for both.
2 – VIEW - Kiddo doesn't have as good of a view since s/he is sitting lower and against you.
3 – TRANSITIONING - Can't take it off without usually waking a sleeping kiddo.
Pros for the framed-backpack style:
1 – THE ELEMENTS - You can put a shade on it for sun/rain protection.
2 – VIEW - The kiddo sits higher so s/he gets a better view.
3 – HEAT - It's not as hot for you or the kiddo.
4 – TRANSITIONING - You can take it off & stand it up with the kiddo still in it (which is nice if s/he falls asleep).
Cons for the framed-backpack style:
1 – COMFORT – Most importantly, it was a lot harder on my back since the seat is high and away from my back. This was the main reason we bought the Ergo instead.
2 – SIZE - It is very hard to travel with since it doesn't collapse (hard to fit into the trunk with all of the other baby gear and it's tough to use in town since it sticks out so far).
3 – LONGEVITY - It doesn't have as long of a life since there is less space for the kiddos' legs to hang. My daughter has always been in the 95+% for height so this was a major issue.
In the end, I will always reach for the Ergo before any other carrier! It is comfortable, compact and long-lasting.
No other carrier fits the bill
Because attachment/bonding is so important, I did a LOT of research before I decided which carrier we'd buy. We purchased this item (and the backpack attachment) second hand before the arrival of our adopted son.
He was 2 and approx. 33 pounds when he came home, and this product was indispensable! For the first few nights we'd wear him until he fell asleep, and it worked like a charm. He even started asking to be "up backpack" after about a week!
Now almost three, we still use it when he's sick, wants to be held for a long time or when we need that extra element of control but still want him to participate in the environment.
Even though I'm not your typical female body frame (I'm a muscular 5'5" 180lbs), it fits great and feels great. The weight of the child is on comfortably on your hips, not your shoulders - just as a good pack should distribute the load.
You can wear the child front or back, and if you are creative you can wear on the side or nursing. There are accessories available, including an insert to help hold newborns a little more securely. There is no front-forward carry, however.
It's small, lightweight, durable and can be washed. The backpack attachment is the size of a small daypack, and is great for carrying extra diapers, wipes, a snack, the camera, wallet, drink... and anything else you might need on an outing.
The only drawback, as the other reviewer mentioned, is that it's hot. If you plan on wearing your child in the summer heat, take a small, squishy cold pack, wrap a t-shirt, towel or some other light fabric around it, and place it between you and your child. It'll save both of you from "swack" (sweaty back!).
Rigid, internal frame packs are bulky, awkward to put on and are prone to getting caught up on stuff. After only a few weeks, my son was "helping" me put him in the carrier (back carry) by giving me his hand and sticking his foot into the proper positions.
Take a bit of time to practice with your co-parent or friend before wearing your child in the ErgoBaby. This will give the confidence and skill to do it by yourself!
Bottom line: Don't even bother with another carrier - this'll last from birth to age 10! Seriously!
I would (and have) recommend this many, many times!
I've read so many websites and reviews from consumers and bloggers about the Ergo, Boba 3G and Beco carriers in the past few months that I am going crazy from it! I finally broke down and purchased both and Ergo and Boba 3G to find out for myself which I'd like better. My choice ended up being the Ergo. My primary reason is padding for the child.
Indeed the Boba was an inch higher at the top of the baby's head. However, IMO it's just because it curves up instead of being flat across. I don't think this is a big deal.
I preferred the purse strap, keychain hooks at the waist and removable hood of the Boba. The infant carrier seems like it could work although I'd heard the snaps don't hold after awhile in some reviews I read.
The pockets on the Boba were sufficient although others said they are too small or not as good as Ergo. They might not be that great for hiking but if you need to stick your wallet and keys they'll probably fit somewhere on the carrier.
However, when it all comes down on the line baby's comfort is 1st. There is NO padding on the Boba. There is SOME padding on the Ergo, especially around baby's leg area. That was just unacceptable to me regarding the Boba.
The Boba is a single sheet of cloth. It's a copy of the Ergo from what I can tell.
Also, I weighed both items. The Boba was just a bit heavier. Several ounces. Not a big deal but another plus for the Ergo.
In the end both are good carriers. However, baby's comfort outweighed all other factors.
I did purchase this 20% off.
Worth it's weight in gold!
Hands down, one of our most valuable pieces of outdoor gear.
We were given a frame carrier and also decided to purchase the Ergo after my husband read a favorable review in Backpacker magazine. We've tried the frame carrier a few times and have always gone back to the Ergo. We started using it when our daughter was about 5 months old and we still use it (she turns three next month). We've hiked hundreds of miles with her in the Ergo and we all love it.
- more comfortable for the parent and better for balance on tricky trails
- in cold weather, the child next to the parent's back is an extra layer of warmth
- easy for child to nap (can rest head against the parent's back and is held in place by a hood that snaps on the shoulder straps)
- doesn't take up much space so easy to take along, good for running errands and other non-hiking trips
- can also be worn as a front carrier (useful when child is smaller)
- great customer service, they replaced our carrier even though we were at fault for a broken buckle (we accidentally stepped on it)
- durable and well made
- in warm weather can get really hot with child against the parent's back
- can't use a sunshade or bug screen like you can with a frame carrier
- child doesn't get same visibility as a frame carrier (although this hasn't bothered our daughter)
better for smaller babies
got this when our son was a newborn and used it a lot for hiking and walks around town. It was very comfortable and easy to use and our son easily fell asleep in it. I only wore it with my son in the front. As he got older, he heated up too much and we'd both end up sweaty and uncomfortable. I ended up switching this for a Sherpani child carrier when he was about 5-6 months old and prefer that for hiking.
For infants, this can't be beat. Allows you keep the baby close and get chores done around the house or shopping/running errands done easily, especially since they're too small to put in a shopping cart and dragging the stroller in and out of the car for short errands is a pain. We forgot this when visiting family for a week and ran out to buy a cheaper version. We quickly discovered how ergonomic the Ergo was and couldn't wait to get back to ours.
One other con is that this was too small to fit my husband. Not a problem for errands, but hiking, we prefer to switch off every couple of hours. My husband got the sport model with a larger waistband, but he got even hotter than me with the baby so it only worked well in cooler weather (70 or less). The sport model has less support than this one and is not recommended.
My most valued baby gear
This is my most valued piece of baby gear. I had a few different carriers with my first child (framed backpack carrier, sling carrier, front carrier where baby faces out) and none of them worked as well as the ergo. The framed carrier was too bulky for everyday use, the sling carrier caused neck, shoulder and back pain, the front carrier was very uncomfortable for me and baby. I did a lot of research when I was expecting my second child and decided to purchase the Ergo. I love this thing! It has replaced my strollers and all my other carriers. I could comfortably carry my 3yo on my back while 32 weeks pregnant with my youngest. I have worn baby in this carrier while doing chores around the house, walking, shoveling snow, shopping, on field trips, etc. Due to its lightweight construction, it easily fits under baby wearing coats and vests (like Suse's Kinder coat). I cannot recommend this carrier highly enough.
Mama on the move
I purchased this to carry my 28 pound 14 month old during our cross country move. She likes seeing outside so she squirms left, right to see what is going on. It is very easy to put on with her seated in the front and dang near impossible to put her on my back without assistance. I like that it spreads the baby's weight evenly and I can easily move around unpacking....I hate that I need her to be on my back to carry things and can't put her there by myself. The box says to practice over the bed...I can't do it.
Don't know what we would with out these
I love the ergo. We have two, one for our 4 month old and one for our 18 month old. we use them for every thing from bring the kids into the grocery store to taking hikes with them.
The biggest advantage these have over a regular frame back pack is that they store in a diaper bag ect easily.
the only disadvantage is that it can be pretty sweaty if it is hot out.
I love my new ergo. Most comfortable pack I own. I have another front pack that I used for the first few months and love using my ergo now. I give the ergo a 5 star and the color 4.5 stars. I have the gray star design and love the gray but wish the inside wasn't white with gray stars. I am sure it will get dirty over time.
I LOVE this Baby Carrier!
My wife and I are going to purchase another one soon.