As active parents, we want the best gear for us and our daughter. We actually don’t own a car, and sometimes want to move freely without the trolley, then a baby carrier is definitely the best option!
It is a jungle out there when it comes to choosing the best baby carrier. This may lead to some serious decision anxiety. We got Baby Bear One from my sister and were quite happy about it. However, we wanted to test Ergobaby 360 as an alternative.
So, here comes a comprehensive baby carrier test that hopefully will help you choose the best baby carrier for you and your little one.
What to think about when buying your first baby carrier
Reviewing all technical specifications and details of each baby carrier can be very overwhelming! The first thing you should do before you decide which brand and model you want to buy is to consider what properties the carrier offers.
For example, here are some important questions:
- is it important for you that your child should be able to sit in different positions?
- Do you want to be able to carry your baby on your back or on your hip?
- Are you worried that your child will be too hot or too cold?
- Do you want to be able to breastfeed in the baby carrier?
- Does price matter?
- Which design, and color, do you prefer?
By answering these questions about what features are a must for you, you will be able to immediately exclude those carriers that simply do not meet your requirements. I would say that Ergobaby 360 and Babybjörn One meet most of these requirements, in slightly different ways.
Babybear One carrier was best tested in Råd & Rön’s big test in 2014. Then Ergobaby 360 was not guaranteed to give Babybjörnen a proper match on the title.)
Choosing between ergo baby vs baby bjorn – how we did it
This baby carrier test is based on our experience of using Babybjörn One and Ergobaby 360. Be aware that this is our opinion and that they can be different from your experiences. Everyone is different, have different tastes and needs. Our children are also different, both in terms of their size and needs.
That being said, it is important that a carrier belt meets some essential must haves. For those of you out there, I think mesh fabric is a great must have feature. This way you can be sure that the baby carrier is breathable and avoid any overheating problems. You will thank me when that next crazy hot summer comes along.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the baby carrier should be able to grow with your baby. Both Babybjörn One and Ergobaby 360 have solved this, but in different ways.
If you choose Ergobaby 360 Omni you do not have to think so carefully, but if you buy the Ergobaby 360 Performance that I have in this test you need to buy a separate infant insert to be able to carry a newborn. Babybjörn One has a zipper built-in that allows you to change the seat surface when the baby has grown larger.
My criteria – Best Baby Carrier Test
It is somewhat difficult to decide between two products that have the same function, and both have strengths and weaknesses. Some things are better for one brand than for the other and vice-versa. Here are the criteria that will guide us through this review:
- Child’s ergonomics & positions
- Your (the parent/caregiver) ergonomics & ease of use
- carrying methods
- Temperature & material
The most important requirements when choosing the best baby carrier
- The head restraint should provide sufficient support. The neck is sensitive to newborns and it is important to get proper support. It is also good when the children become larger and fall asleep in the carrier, you do not want the neck to hang backwards.
- The seat position should be ergonomic. Babies should sit as frogs with their backs c-shaped and with their knees above their hips. This is to relieve the back and hips of the child. Your baby carrier should provide good support for the hips, back and neck.
- The child should sit comfortably. In addition to having the child sit ergonomically, it is important that they are not clamped by buttons or buckles and that no parts touch their body and skin uncomfortably. The carrier must also not limit the child’s ability to move and change position.
Both baby carriers meet these requirements and thus I will not go into so much more on that in this baby carrier test.
Child’s ergonomics and positions
Babybjörn suffered some criticism in the US for being dangerous for the baby’s hip development, as the legs are hanging too much downwards. A lot of people argued that Babybjörn did not meet the child’s need to sit in the frog position. However, in fairness to Babybjörn, this was dismissed by the company and it has also been verified by several experts that this wasn’t the case. I myself have not experienced any problem with this with my Baby Bear One.
If you buy the Ergo baby 360 Performance, you must supplement with an infant insert so that the child comes up. If you buy the Ergobaby 360 Omni model, you don’t have to think about it, but it is more expensive. Baby Björn One is easy to adjust as the baby grows. It uses a zipper inside that enables two positions.
The headrest of the Ergobaby 360 is adjusted using buttons, while the Babybjörn One is clip-in buckles. Big advantage to Babybjörn here, as it can be really difficult to operate with buttons over the child, especially if they are not still.
That being said, Ergobaby 360 has a small curtain built into the headrest that can be folded over the child’s head when they sleep or to protect them from the sun. Great plus!
It is important for the baby to be able to sit looking forward to discover the world. Both carriers meet this requirement and I see no major difference between the models.
So we will call a draw in the child ergonomic criterion, with maybe little plus to the Babybjörn.
The parent’s ergonomics and ease of use
As you all know, you are often in a hurry as a parent. If it is not because you are late for that doctor appointment, your baby is overtired and needs to get in that nap ASAP.
Here I think there are some important differences between Ergobaby 360 and Babybjörn One baby carrier. It is much easier to wear the Babybjörn vs Ergobaby. In the Baby Björn One, the clip-in buckles make it super-easy to adjust the carrier when the child is seated. This clearly reduces the stress of wearing it fast while you have an inpatient baby waiting, BUT.
Once you’ve got the Ergobaby on, it’s is a lot more comfortable. I have talked with lot of users about that and many agree that Babybjörn pushes the back and the neck in a way that may hurt you after some extensive use. I myself have always had problems with neck pain and that is actually why we bought an Ergobaby.
The Ergobaby’s buckles are placed on the back of the wearer, which made it very difficult to put on the harness at the beginning. This is a matter of habit and you will get used toit over time. However, you can barely take your arm out of the way to reach the clips between the shoulder blades if you haven’t adjusted them before!
If you have a small body, the Baby Björn One is quite large. Me and my husband are very different size, he is 6’’4’ and wide shoulders. For him, this is not a problem and not really for me either. However, if you’re petite, you should probably consider to get the Ergobaby.
Ergobaby has a wider hip belt and thicker shoulder straps that are padded. It will be a much more wonderful experience for you as a parent and we will be around being a child quite a lot, right? If you, as I am active and planning to go a lot, the curved and padded shoulder straps of this model are very helpful with the relief.
This one will go to the Ergobaby 360.
Both the Ergobaby 360 models make allow you to carry in four different positions. You can have your child facing your breast, facing forward, on your back or hip. We have only used forward, backward and hip. So far, I have not wanted to test on my back because it feels strange not seeing my daughter.
With the Babybjörn One, on the other hand, you cannot wear the baby on the hip. Right now, I do not see a huge advantage with this extra carrying position allowed by the Ergobabyn, but this may change over time.
I’ll give it to Ergobaby for the extra carrying position.
My personal opinion is that the baby björn is somewhat safer. It is very difficult for the child to get to fall out of the carrier when you remove it as it is easily secured with the clip-in function.
I was a little scared the first time I used ErgoBaby. When you remove it over your head (opposite to how to put it on), the whole seat part falls forward and the baby can actually fall out. It was scary because I was not aware of it, so this is not a huge problem if you are a used to it.
Our tip is to practice standing on your bed for the first time, no matter which model you choose.
Baby Björn One wins this safety test.
Temperature and material
The material in your baby carrier plays a big role in how warm or cold your little one will be. Both my baby carriers are in mesh material (Babybjörn One Air and Ergobaby 360 Cool Air). These mesh materials offer more breathability to keep you and your baby cool during the summer months. I see no disadvantage of having that breathable material in the winter, since you can still dress your baby appropriately during the winter months.
So, for those of you who want to be able to use the baby carrier in the summer, I think you should invest in a mesh carrier.
Both seals are machine washable, thank goodness!
There is no obvious difference in material between Babybjörn One Air and Ergobaby 360 Performance Cool Air, both are made of polyester. The baby björn has some elements of cotton in the seat. However, nothing that gives any particular advantage or disadvantage.
I’ll call this one a draw.
Instructions on how to use the Ergo book in the hip, it was very difficult to get it first time. But it gets easier.
Adaptability from infants to toddlers
As I said before, several of Ergobaby’s models require you to buy an infant insert. This I think is a bit ridiculous actually, it cannot be that much more expensive for them to simply include this. Instead, they are sold extra for about $30. It is possible to buy these second hand, since the child “grows out” of them quite quickly. The infant insert is sturdy and stable but it messes up with the breathability of the material.
I’ll have to give this one to Babybjörn.
Ergobaby baby carrier offers the possibility to breastfeed directly in the carrier. This cannot be done in Babybjörn One.
Ergobaby Performance 360 Cool Air is cheaper than Babybjörn One Air, but it is a little unfair to directly compare them like that. You should actually compare Ergobaby Omni 360 with the Baby Björn as they are more equivalent. Omni is a few tens of dollars more expensive.
Carriers are like shoes: what is dresses well for a person may not be dress well for another. Think about what you want your baby carrier and then it will be easier to decide between these two models.
I started with Babybjörn One in mesh and have been very happy with everything besides their ergonomics for me as a carrier. I get hurt almost immediately and it eventually became unsustainable. With that said, Ergobaby 360 Cool Air is not complete either. This baby carrier is somewhat more difficult to use, a little more expensive and you need to choose whether or not to have an infant insert.
With that said, Ergobaby still wins in my carrier test simply because I can wear it without getting hurt. Having problems with my neck, shoulders and back is really something particular for me.
Which is the best baby carrier?
Based on this carrier test I can summarize my purchase recommendations as follows:
If you don’t have any problems with your neck, back and shoulders, Babybjörn One Air is a really good baby carrier. Especially for dads I would say because they are often a little bigger than us women. Buy the Baby Björn One HERE.
Ergobaby is, as I said, my favorite and I am super happy. If you are going to buy a baby carrier for a newborn, I recommend that you choose the model Omni that you can buy HERE.
If you do not need infant insert (or can you imagine buying it separately), just get the Ergobaby Performance HERE.
You may also like our post on the Vtech baby walker.