Ergobaby carriers really are the bees 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, last years’ Adapt and this autumn, the Omni 360.
Last year we reviewed All The Ergobaby carriers. So is this latest model really better than the rest?
In short: Yes.
The Ergobaby Omni 360 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.
It’s adjustable from newborn.
The adjustable body panel means the 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 baby’s ears. It’s as good – and, dare we say it, perhaps a smidgen better – for newborns as the 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.
It will still fit when your baby becomes 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 longer, as it’s safety tested all the way to 33lbs (15kg).
It has an outwards facing (‘world facing’) option.
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.
You can 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 Omni 360 has an integrated lumbar support panel.
This can give some relief to wearers with lower back issues.
It comes with a 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.
What else is new? Or not so new?
The shoulder strap buckles now have the additional safety feature of a pull-up mechanism, making it fractionally trickier to undo the clips in a hurry. But once you’ve done this a few times it’s easy enough to do so one handed. The Omni 360 suits wearers of all shapes and sizes; has a lovely tuck away hood and cushioned head support; the same 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 cuddlyness 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 it’s their more expensive carrier. It is worth it? It’s a yes from us.
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