Whole Lotta Ergobaby Love
A Review by Vibes Life Us
We have been lovers of baby wearing since Emerson was 8 weeks old. If you live in London you know that owning a baby carrier is a necessity. As convenient as the tube is, unfortunately many of the stations are just not suitable for prams. You will also know that if you’re ever caught out at rush hour, then London commuters most definitely arnt buggy friendly. Space is a commodity on the underground, and prams use up lots of it. So strapping your baby to your person is the way forward, or backward depending on how you carry.
Whilst pregnant I spent a lot of time researching baby carriers. Those were the days!! The days when I had time to endlessly Google reviews, and compare products. These days I’m more about that “panic impulse, Amazon Prime life”, and HSBC love me for it. The Ergobaby 360 was the product that came out on top, after I had completed my thorough market study, and it was the one that we went ahead and purchased.
We had to purchase the newborn insert separately, but in doing so it meant that we could carry Emerson straight away. We didn’t waste much time and took him to street parties, baby raves and even Notting Hill carnival. The Ergobaby 360 has always done the job and we had no complaints, but as we were due to go to California we were on the hunt for a carrier more suited to hot weather.
For those of you not familiar with Coachella Music Festival, it is held in Indio, around 2 hours from LA. You can check out our Guide here. *Plug* Located in the Sonoran Desert, temperatures at the festival can reach close to 40°. So understandably making sure that Emerson was comfortable for his first International Festival was our top priority. The original 360 design, although made of 100% premium cotton did seem to get a little hot for E on those rare British heatwave days. We needed something that was more breathable for that guaranteed desert heat.
Product Testers Needed
A few days later fate did us a favour. I saw a post on the Ergobaby Facebook page, where they were looking for product testers to try out their new baby carrier. The Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh design was just what we had been looking for. We pinged off an email and a few days later were lucky enough to be picked.
The Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh carrier comes in 4 stylish colours; Midnight Blue, Pearl Grey, Khaki Green, and Oxford Blue. As much as we would love to own it in every colour we could only choose one! We went for the very British sounding Oxford Blue.
Ergobaby Cool Air Mesh
The first thing we noticed as we took it out of the box was how much lighter the carrier felt. Not that the original 360 was heavy, but this one was most definitely lighter. What sets this design apart from the other models is that this baby carrier is made of full mesh. The clue is in the name right? The Cool Air Mesh maximizes ventilation, with the aim of keeping both baby and parent cool. Cool! Just what we needed to ensure we all enjoyed the festival.
We had a few test runs in the UK, and the Ergobaby Omni 360 was just as comfortable as the original. If not more so. The straps definitely feel more padded I’ll put that down to the springiness of the mesh. We couldn’t wait to try it out in California where the plan was to use it to hike, as well as dance the night away in the desert.
Welcome to Hollywood
Once stateside the first outing with the Ergo was a hike up to the Hollywood sign. We have never hiked with Emerson before, so this was the first time using a carrier to do so. Pete took one for the team and was the designated carrier. He strapped Emerson to his front, outward facing so Emerson could soak in the views. What a touch, getting the benefits of the views with minimal effort.
The Omni 360 is not a narrow base carrier, so all 4 positions that the baby can be carried in have an ergonomic position that ensures the baby is safe and comfortable. This is achieved by the adjustable bucket seat, which I’ll come to later. Up to this point we have only ever carried Emerson in 2 of the 4 positions; front facing outwards, and inwards. The other 2 positions are hip carry, and back carry which we are yet to try. Emerson has been too small for the back carry. Im also slightly concerned as he is a bit of a hair puller and biter. You can also change the straps to a cross position to enable further comfort, this is especially important if you have narrow shoulders.
To the summit
So strapped in, slathered in factor 50 and raring to go we embarked on the 5hr round trip from Griffiths Observatory, to the summit of Mount Lee. It was hot, very hot. In reality it was probably around 26º our English bods just hadn’t acclimatised to that rarity called sunshine. Emerson handled the hike like a champ! There was a lot for him to look at, and we managed to get all the way to the summit, and halfway back before he decided to have a meltdown. The corn puffs weren’t cutting it so we stopped for a quick pit stop to feed him. Another win for this carrier and the original 360 is that you’re able to breastfeed whilst wearing. I even managed to breastfeed at Notting Hill Carnival with no one batting an eyelid, as its that discreet.
With such a long strenuous walk, when we finally made it back to the car park, we were really surprised that Pete didn’t have the slightest hint of chaffing or rubbing on the shoulder straps. Emerson did have a bit of a red chin. We think this was because he has the tendency to look down a lot causing his chin to rub. This meant that we had to keep an eye on his position. If you have ant tips for this let us know in the comments.
Time to Really Turn up the Heat
With Emerson’s first successful hike out of the way, it was time to hit the desert for the pinnacle event of our holiday; Coachella. As expected it was HOT!! This time it really was. This is where the breathable air mesh design really came into its own. What a difference it made with the air flow! Although it was hot we were never uncomfortably so. More importantly Emerson always seemed comfortable, and was able to dish out the smiles to those Coachella revellers.
During Coachella we were wearing Emerson for long periods of time. We left the house in the afternoon and would return gone midnight. Of course we would take him out whilst we chilled at some of the stages, or ate but he was also more than happy in the carrier facing forwards, dropping high 5’s. For such a small kid he is very independent. We think in his mind he actually thinks he’s walking on his own when he’s in this position. Far too cool for Mummy and Daddy to be cramping his style.
In addition to the lightweight fabric, and air mesh design the other innovative upgrade to the Ergobaby carrier is the new sliders. These sliders have replaced the traditional buttons that are used to adapt the leg & hip position, when changing seating position from backwards to front facing. I didn’t realise how fiddly the buttons were on the older designs until we didn’t have to use them anymore. This made it so easy to switch Emerson, especially in a crowded place. We even managed to do it whilst he slept! The sliders enable you to change position one handed, something that would have been tricky with the buttons.
“Rock” (or Pop) A Bye Baby
By changing position it meant that Emerson actually went to bed his usual time, on all 3 nights. Its a shame he doesn’t go down that easily at home! We just turned him inwards and within 5 minutes of us walking around he would be off. This was a massive win for us as it meant that we could enjoy the main headline acts. Although all that music schooling must have paid off as he woke up for Queen Bey, and The Weeknd. The boys got taste, and can tell his friends he saw Beyonce at Beychella!
The Final Test
The final test for us wasnt the heat. We spent the last leg of our trip in the mountain town of Idyllwild. Taking the Palms to Pines highway we climbed 5,500 ft to this sweet little town, known for its hiking trails. If any of you have seen the film Wild with Reese Witherspoon, this is the first town she comes to after setting out to “find herself”.
Snow, Wind and Freezing Temperatures in California?!?!
With the elevation comes a massive drop in temperature, it even snowed on our last day. We managed to time our trip to the summit of San Jacinto peak on one of the windiest days. Whilst we were exploring the summit we were able to protect Emerson from the wind, and colder temperatures by using the privacy hood, whilst he slept. The winds weren’t quite the 80mph they had forecast, but it felt like it being stuck up the side of the mountain in shorts. Shorts?!?! What were we thinking?
The Privacy hood is stored in a zipped compartment in the head rest, and clips to the straps. Not only does it offer shelter from the wind, but it has UPF 50+ protection too. Ive even seen Ergobaby post a picture on their Instagram of a Dad using it to protect his babies head from crumbs whilst eating! The possibilities are endless!! Emerson basically slept this whole hike, and didn’t see any of the amazing views across the desert. I guess that means the carrier passed that final test and all weather scenarios have been covered.
Comfort is key
The Ergobaby Omni 360 carrier has a waist belt with full lumbar support, meaning you can carry the babes for a long period of time with no damage to your back. I also find it very easy to get Emerson into position when I’m on my own, using the waist belt. The All Position 360 did offer waist support but you also had to fight with a whole lot of velcro that was sometimes a bit fiddly to line up. I’m not going to lie, initially it took me a few practice runs but once you have the knack of it, its easy. Ergobaby offer plenty of support by way of videos and instructions on their website to ensure you get the correct, and most comfortable fit.
Who Doesn’t Love a Purse?
With the carrier you get a detachable pouch, which turns the belt into a bum bag. They are totally back in fashion! This is a bit of kit that I was missing out on the first time. Since becoming a new Mum, I rarely use a handbag, and when Im baby wearing there is no chance. I always keep my bank card, and phone in the back pocket of my jeans. This has resulted in me losing 4 bank cards in the last 12 months. Sorry HSBC! Its just easier to do this than to take off my Rucksack. So this pouch is a God’s send. It has room for my phone, and a small purse, and was perfect for Coachella! On top of this I think its saved my relationship with my bank.
If you’re looking for a carrier for a newborn (providing they are at least 7lb) there is no need to buy a separate insert. The Omni 360 bucket seat allows you to adjust the size easily by velcro tabs, that are clearly marked. That’s one less thing to think about. I didn’t realise that I needed one at first so had to hit up Amazon Prime to get one delivered prior to our first outing.
Most importantly it is easy to clean. Our pristine carrier was left covered in chewed up food bribes, desert dust, suntan cream and drool after our holiday. Thankfully it’s machine washable, I just chucked it in with all the other holiday washing and had it looking as good as new.
So Back to that Ergobaby Love
We can’t thank Ergobaby enough for letting us try the Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh. It exceeded any expectations we had based on our past experience of the original carrier. We love that Ergobaby work so closely with Medical professionals, ensuring their products are safe for tiny hips. Meaning I’ve never had to worry that in carrying Emerson it’s doing him any lasting damage.
We just need Emerson to stay small so we can carry him to festivals forever. If you have any tips or questions about baby wearing drop them in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts on Ergobaby products, or any other brands you recommend. Or do you have any tips like using the hood to shield your child from crumbs? I’m now off to pursuade Pete to let me get the Omni 360 in Midnight Blue.
To read more from Vibes Life Us head over to their blog here & keep up with their adventures on social media!