Ergobaby carriers really are the bee’s knees. Tried, tested and trusted, they are a top choice for many new parents. The Ergobaby Original brought ergonomic baby carriers to the masses in the early noughties. In recent years new models have been released: the Performance, the 360, the Adapt and now the Ergobaby Omni 360 and Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh.
Last year we reviewed All The Ergobaby carriers. So is the Omni really better than the rest?
In short: Yes.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 and it’s super-cool sibling combines all the best bits of its predecessors. I’ve previously described it as the love child of the Adapt and the 360, though I doubt that’s a description which appears in Ergobaby’s marketing blurb. ‘Omni’ (meaning ‘everything’) stands for Outward Mode (like the 360), No Insert (like the Adapt).
Here’s what else you need to know.
ERGOBABY OMNI 360 IS ADJUSTABLE FROM NEWBORN
The adjustable body panel means the Ergobaby Omni 360 doesn’t need Ergobaby’s characteristic duvet-like newborn insert (well done, Ergobaby!) You’ll be cooler, baby will be cooler, and it’s much easier to ensure baby is in a good, safe position with their airways supported. It is safety tested as suitable from 7lbs (3.2kg). But like most buckled carriers, you’ll get a more optimum fit once baby is around 9lbs+, or once the body panel comes no higher than the bottom of baby’s ears.
It’s as good – and, dare we say it, perhaps a smidgen better – for newborns as the Ergobaby Adapt: The base of the carrier will go even narrower due to the position of the Velcro tabs, and overall it has a slightly narrower body panel than the Adapt, due to it’s 360-style hourglass shape.
THE ERGOBABY OMNI 360 WILL FIT A TODDLER
The Omni 360’s body panel gets wider (adjusting with the clever Velcro tabs on the inside of the waistband) and taller (using the top set of buttons). This means will last until baby is at least 2 years old, possibly up to 3 years. It’s safety tested all the way to 33lbs (15kg), but remember a comfy fit is determined by baby’s height, your shape and both of your carrying preferences, rather than just your baby or toddlers’ weight.
OUTWARDS FACING (‘WORLD FACING’) OPTION
You can carry your baby outwards facing in the Ergobaby Omni 360. But babies should only be carried in this position once they have full head and neck control and some upper body control, usually a minimum of 4 months. Many parents enjoy having their baby facing outwards, but remember this outwards position isn’t essential: Babies are well able to look around in a parent-facing carrier, especially if one or both of their arms are above the top of the carrier allowing them greater freedom of movement and wider field of vision.
Altering the button attachment on the front of the carrier (securing the grey rather than the black buttons) will narrow the carrier and create a better, tilted seat position to support your baby when outwards facing. These buttons are very discreet so are often overlooked!
THE COOL AIR MESH VERSION
The Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh (yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful) is perfect for warmer climates, and for year-round use. Rather than the usual cotton canvas fabric body panel, the Cool version is made of super-soft, breathable mesh fabric. Which is really rather lovely, and makes your baby feel even more cuddleable while you’re carrying them! The increased airflow will help your baby keep cool.
The only other new feature is the slide adjusters on the front of the carrier, which make it REALLY easy to optimise the carrier for parent-facing and outward facing positions, without having to fiddle with buttons.
CROSS THE SHOULDER STRAPS WHEN FRONT CARRYING
This means the buckles on the ends of the shoulder straps clip into the sides of the body panel: much easier than having to do up a connecting strap behind your back (as per the Original and 360). This tends to make it quicker and easier to put on, and gives a more snug fit, especially for petite wearers. You can still wear it in the usual rucksack style, should you wish. Just make sure the connecting strap is well tightened so you don’t end up with the shoulder straps digging into your armpits.
THE ERGOBABY OMNI 360 HAS AN INTEGRATED LUMBAR SUPPORT PANEL
This can give some relief to wearers with lower back issues.
DETACHABLE ZIP-UP POUCH
Just big enough to hold your phone, keys and a bit of cash, this little pouch is a bit of a retro throwback to the Ergobaby accessories of yesteryear. Handily attached to the waistband with Velcro, it’s easy to take off if you’d prefer. The pouch that comes with the Cool Air Mesh version is made of slightly softer and luxurious material, but we really are splitting hairs now!
WHAT ELSE IS NEW ON THE ERGOBABY OMNI 360? OR NOT SO NEW?
The shoulder strap buckles now have the additional safety feature of a pull-up mechanism. This means even the most cunning of toddlers don’t stand the slightest chance of able to undo the buckles themselves. This mechanism makes is fractionally trickier to undo the clips at first, but once you’ve done this a few times it’s perfectly easy and can be done one-handed.
The Omni 360 suits wearers of all shapes and sizes; has a lovely tuck-away hood and cushioned head support; the same soft-yet-resilient cotton canvas fabric as the earlier models; and the same quality we’ve all come to expect from Ergobaby.
It’s still a well-padded carrier and doesn’t have the cuddliness of a stretchy wrap. Nor is it a lightweight carrier like the Izmi or Connecta. But if you’re looking for a long-lasting, structured and supportive carrier, this is a brilliant option.
At £154.90 it’s their more expensive carrier. Is it worth it? It’s a yes from us.