The Ergobaby (Ergo) carriers are a fantastic, and constantly popular, choice here at London Slings. Comfortable and ergonomic for you and for your baby, with great features and longevity. That said, lots of people come along to our pop ups asking for an Ergo, having heard their friend rave about one, and then quite understandably look a bit blank or plain overwhelmed when we ask them which one they'd like. So here's a little run down of the 3 different models of Ergobaby carriers we stock (for hire or purchase), which will hopefully help you deciding which one would suit you and your little one best.
(The long lasting one.)
The Adapt is named for being the most adaptable Ergo for different ages of baby (not for having the most carrying positions- in fact it has 3, rather than the 4 positions of the others we stock).
When using the Adapt, there is no need for a newborn insert: it cleverly pops and Velcros its' way from 7lb newborn all the way up to 45lb preschooler. It comes in some lovely colours (Graphic grey is our favourite) and also a Cool Mesh summer version.
The straps can be worn either crossed over your back, or rucksack style, so it's great for swapping between broader and narrower shouldered parents. This is the only one of the three which does not have the forward world facing option, but therefore the seat for the baby is neater and softer, so if forward facing isn't a priority for you then you may find this a little less bulky, a little longer lasting, and a little friendlier on the wallet, too. When wearing on your front, straps pull backwards, which means it's slightly easier to use on your back than front, particularly if you have any mobility issues with your shoulders.
(The famous one.)
The 360 is often the one which people have heard of, or seen their friends using or raving about. '360' refers to the fact the baby can be carried facing in all directions: towards you, on your hip or out facing the world. You can also use it in a fourth position, on your back. The straps pull forwards when worn on your front, so it's great for front carrying but can be a little trickier to tighten when worn on your back.
The shoulder straps are rucksack style, with a clip to do up across your back to hold the straps in place (or by lifting over your head). You need to use an insert from birth to around 12lbs. However, this is in two parts and you can stop using the bulkier cocoon bit from 12lbs and just use the little booster cushion bit if needed.
The 360 in itself comes in two versions (just to thicken the plot!). The standard type of 360 comes with a really wide soft velcro waistband, which means it's less likely to dig in, and there's no buckle to do up behind your waist and it makes it comfy when back carrying as there is no lumber support on your tummy. The flip side is it's harder to adjust if it feels too tight or loose, and some parents find the velcro a bit noisy.
The 360 also has a mesh option called the 360 Performance. The main advantage of this is the air flow it enables, perfect for hotter weather or warmer parents and babies. However it also differs in the waistband, which has a buckle rather than velcro, and the addition of a lumber support pad.
The Omni 360
(The new one.)
And then there's the Omni, the newest of the three designs. Essentially a hybrid of the other two, this one does it all. No insert, all positions (facing you, facing world, hip and back), straps rucksack style or crossed over. The waistband is more similar to the Adapt in that it is a buckled waistband with a lumbar support. The side straps are back to a similar design to the Adapt, with the wearer pulling backwards when front carring and forwards when back carrying. So, again, this one is a slightly easier choice for back carrying than the 360 is. And, hot off the press, it is now available in a Cool Air Mesh version too, which also features neat sliders on the seat for moving seamlessly between inward and outward-facing positions.
So which one to choose?? Here's a little breakdown chart which might help..
Hmmmm...still confused?? This is how we might go about thinking who would be right for each sling...
Adapt - Don't mind about facing out, or have a baby who is old enough that it doesn't matter. Has a newborn and doesn't want a bulky insert, or would like a less bulky carrier all over. Likes a softer feeling around baby's bottom. Likes the straps to cross over. Would like something to last as long as possible, or for an older child.
360 - Likes a softer style waistband. Prefers rucksack style straps. Likes to have world-facing option. Likes the ease of tightening by pulling forwards (when wearing the baby on their front). Perhaps baby is big enough to not need the insert, or they don't mind using one.
Omni - Would like a facing out option, but with cross over straps (or is petite and may particularly benefit from this), doesn't want to use an insert.
In summary, we love ALL the ergo carriers, and are fairly sure there's one to suit every family. But, if in doubt ask us, or get in touch with your local sling library or consultant. Happy Ergobaby-ing!