Monday, September 8, 2014

Review: Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier

9 August 2014 - Babywearing 23mo Khye using Ergobaby 360

I'd reviewed the Pikkolo, the Boba 3G, and also the Ergobaby Performance for soft-structured baby carriers (SSC). I'd also reviewed the SUPPORi Baby Sling

Now I am happy to be able to review another baby carrier, which is the newest launched SSC by Ergobaby - the Ergobaby 360!


First designed by Karin Frost from Hawaii, the original Ergobaby Carrier was developed for her son, applying proper ergonomics to a pragmatic need: keep your baby close. 
The Ergobaby Carrier was born out of a personal desire for mobility and comfort allowing you to tackle life while maintaining a close & natural bond with your baby and toddle.The Ergobaby is already well known for its comfortable ergonomic design for both parents and baby. I guess this is the main key for many concerned parents; to have a comfortable yet ergonomic baby carrier. 

So what is all the hoo-haa regarding this newly launched ergo?
Well, For the first time, Ergobaby gives parents the option of four comfortable and ergonomic ways to wear baby: Front-Inward, Front-Outward, Hip and Back Carry Positions. 
So let us see more about this baby carrier, and what I think about it.


It comes in a reasonable small white box, which I think is the same size as the Ergobaby Performance. The box comes with a string for easy carry.

To give you a rough gauge on how big the box is, I'd placed my iPhone 5s just next to it. There, you can see that the height of the box is only about twice the height of my mobile phone.

And at the front right bottom of the box there is a little circle which tells me the colour of my carrier - grey; and also the colour of its shell and lining. 
I love the colour as it is a neutral colour, which means it goes with anything I wear. And best of all, it is a neutral gender colour too!

All four sides of the box are full of graphics and useful information on the Ergobaby 360 baby carrier; the wearing positions, the colour, the features of the carrier, the ages & stages of the positions, and many more. 

Upon opening the box, this is what I saw:

And these are the contents inside; the Ergobaby 360 carrier, a manual booklet, and also a silica gel packet.  

I spread my Ergobaby 360 carrier wide and it looks like this.

You can see the Ergobaby's orange nautilus logo on the extendable back panel when folded down. 

I immediately noticed that there is an extra wide velcro waistband, which can be worn high or low, depending on preference, and provides extra support for the low back.
And on top of that, there is also the buckle to ensure maximum buckle security.  

This is the chest strap which is no more the easy-gliding type like the Ergobaby Performance. This one has a buckle-type system which I find it not so easy when I want to glide it up and down.  

There is also a safety loop on the shoulder straps, which makes it even more secure.
This is the usual ends of the straps and comes with a rubber tie, which you can roll up the loose ends of the straps when it is too long and then use the rubbber to secure it.  

This is another nice feature of the Ergobaby 360. There is an extendable back panel, which can be rolled down for front-outwards to provide the baby some viewing ability
Or upwards for the inward-facing positions, to provide extra head, neck and back support for the baby.

And to fold it up or down, simple just button it up or down. Simple. 

On this extendable back panel itself, there is a zippered pocket which stores the sleeping hood. 

The sleeping hood provides support for the baby's head while sleeping, and also protect it from the sun or rain.
It is also an added privacy for parents to nurse while babywearing on the go

And this is one of my favourite features of all - the structured bucket seat. 
This structured bucket seat keeps baby ergonomically seated in all 4 positions. 

Buttons adjustments let parents adapt the seat width to the baby's size and position.


The extra wide velcro waistband, I wear it on my waist, and I find it really very comfortable and provided me with a snug fit. 
And also because it is such a wide and big piece, I find that it has great weight distribution

But one thing about this big piece of velcro is that it made a very loud 'zapp' sound whenever I unfasten it, which sometimes wakes up little Khye who may be fast asleep. 
And you know the thing with velcro is that it sometimes stick onto my clothing or other stuff, especially since it is such a big piece of velcro. 

And also I find it a little hassle whenever I wish to breastfeed Khye in it, as usually I lower my waistband whenever I want to breastfeed. But with this large velcro piece, it is more difficult to adjust. I need to unbuckle and unzap the whole waistband in order to adjust it lower.

So I must say, overall, I have this love-hate relationship with this extra wide piece of velcro waistband! Ironic indeed!

The Ergobaby 360 weighs 1.55lbs / 0.7kg, which is actually a little bit heavier than my Ergobaby Performance. I could not really feel the weight difference though, but I could feel that it is more bulky looking compared to the Performance. 

A) And first, with my favourite postion of all - FRONT-INWARD facing position. 

Firstly, please watch this video on how to carry the baby with this position. 

Ok, now my turn. Khye as usual was very happy whenever I babywear him. 

I babywore him a few times to the mall, and both of us were very comfortable.
As expected, in this Front-Inward posiion, we could achieve the ergonomic position and the usual comfort I get when I use an Ergo.
This is with the extendable back panel folded down

I could feel an added cushion of the now more padded shoulder strap, which I find very comfortable indeed. I think this also helps to evenly distribute the baby's weight, together with the wide waistband. 

This is with the extendable back panel folded up
You can see that once folded up, it provides more back support for Khye. And as Khye is already almost a 2yo toddler, it reaches up to his shoulders. And for smaller babies, it would probably support the baby's neck and head. This is very important if your baby is still small and the baby's back is not very strong yet. 

Here is one of a full view of me babywearing Khye with the extendable back panel folded up, together with Shern. 

B) And next, the BACK-CARRY position.
Also please watch this video on how to carry the baby with this position. 

As Khye is getting bigger, I should be using this Back-Carry position more.  

Initially for Back-Carry position, I needed help from hubby to get Khye up and secure. But after a few tries, I could do it by myself and also Khye knew what to expect and he kinda climbed up on my back and clung on to me before I buckled him up. So now I should say that with a few tries, I could now Back-Carry Khye all by myself and rather easily with this Ergobaby 360. 

This is when I really noticed how efficient is the 'structured bucket seat'. Besides making sure the baby's position is ergonomically seated, I noticed something different from my Ergobaby Performance:
As I was squatted and lowering Khye down after unbuckling my shoulder strap, Khye was still seated in it rather stably, even with the shoulder strap unbuckled. The bucket seat is really structured and his whole bottom was seated in it really nicely and if he didn't budge from it, it would be not easy to slide him down. 
So I think Khye was very comfortable in that structured bucket seat because he refused to come down and asked me to back carry him longer!

C) As for the HIP-CARRY position, 
Here is the video on how to babywear your baby in that position. 

Personally, I DON'T do Hip-Carry position with all my SSC baby carriers. I find it more hassle to adjust the shoulder straps entirely, so I don't do hip carry.
And so I should not talk much about this position.

D) And lastly, the much talked about FRONT-OUTWARD position. And also the reason why this Ergobaby 360 is such a hoo-haa ssc!

Also please watch this short video clip on how to babywear on this position:

I think most of you know the controversy of this position, which usually leads to a great debate of this Front-Outward position.
For those who are not familiar with the Front-Outward debate, there are many reasons why Front-Outward facing in a baby carrier is usually not recommended, mainly because: .- 

- Baby can be in a position which is 'unnatural' if done for long periods of time. And this Front-Outward position does not promote the natural ergonomic position (which is the natural 'C' shape curve of the spine.
- Baby's head may not be adequately supported, especially when baby is sleeping in this Front-Outward position. 
- As baby is not ergonomically seated in the 'M' position, his body weight may be pulled outward/forward, and thus bad for the wearer as well. 
- Baby may also be overstimulated with too many distractions, and wearer may not notice it. 

However, that being said, having a carrier that allows a baby to forward face may be useful, such as in the following situations.

- Only for short periods of time, like 15 mins or so, only if using a baby carrier which is in an ergonomically seated position.
- Ensure that baby is resting his/her back against your chest and not leaning forward. 
- Only when baby has good neck control (usually from 5 months onwards). 

And if you fulfill above criteria, I see no harm in babywearing your baby in this Front-Outward position, especially when the baby reaches the age of loving to look around and see and baby loves facing out, and for only short period of time.
I feel mothers/wearer knows best and is good to hear the baby's cues.

In that video above, you can see that the recommended age to babywear baby in this Front-Outward position is from age 5 to 12 months old.
But I also tried to carry Khye in this position, just for trying purposes.

And although Khye is being seated properly in the structured bucket seat, with Khye being almost 2 years old, his legs are a little bit too long, so he looked a little awkward here.

But you can also see that Khye is still being seated ergonomically, which I was pleasantly surprised even with Khye's long legs and he was way above the recommended age of 5-12 months old.
And so I think that for mothers with babies age 5-12 months might be appreciative if this Ergobaby 360 which gives them an option of having a Front-Outward position ergonomically, which is achieved using this Ergobaby 360!

And oh, one thing though. I wish though Ergobaby 360 has more zippered pockets. 
All it has is one small zippered pocket that stows the hood. In it, I can barely fit in my mobile and keys and my cards.
I miss the big zippered pocket in front of the carrier, just like the Ergobaby Performance!
All in all, the revolutionary Ergobaby 360 kinda lives up to its name by allowing parents more babywearing positions.(although some features need to be improved).
But no matter which position, the structured bucket seat helps keep baby comfortable and ergonomically seated. And also parents are comfortable with the extra wide waistband and the extra padded shoulder straps.

I personally like my babies to face in towards me (the Front-Inward position), but I don't mind having a carrier with more position choices.


Please visit 
Bloom & Grow Asia for their list of retailers.
You can also visit their Facebook page for more info. 

To read about my other reviews on babycarriers, click on below :-
a) Soft-structured Carriers (SSCs)
Pikkolo by Catbird Baby
LÍLLÉbaby® Complete All Seasons (Part 1Part 2)
- Ergobaby; Ergobaby Performance, and Ergobaby 360.

b) Wraps
Ergobaby Wrap

c) Slings SUPPORi Baby Sling
SUKKIRI Ring Sling

* Disclosure: I received an Ergobaby 360 Baby Carrier for review purpose, but no monetary incentive was received. All text and opinions are of my own and represents my honest opinion of the product(s).

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