Written by Adele Jarrett-Kerr, published on 13 March 2019 and updated on the 27 March after testing the new Ergobaby Omni 360
Verdict in 10 seconds
- A true all-rounder from a highly respected brand
- An ergonomic baby carrier – uniquely offers four positions
- Fits a wide range of body sizes
- Particularly brilliant for back carrying
- Grows with your child – extends vertically and across to give a better fit
- Ergonomic front outward-facing carry
- Long front panel gives your baby excellent coverage
- Uncomplicated design – dead easy to operate straight out of the box
- Beautiful support from the lightly padded waistband and shoulder straps
- Easily shared between users
- Could be swapped between children of different ages if needed
- A wide array of compatible accessories available
- Ergobaby will either repair or replace, free of charge during the first 24 months after purchase, with warranty
- A relatively warm carrier
- Base does not extend as far as some other toddler carriers
- Straps could be loose on more petite builds
- Newborn insert needed if carrying a baby between 7-12 lbs (newborn to four months old), which can get hot depending on the weather
What are the key features?
- 100% cotton, machine washable
- Newborn to toddler (7-45 lbs) with insert
- Button down head support
- Lumbar support waist belt with light padding at the back
- Integral sleep hood tucks away into zippered pocket
- Bucket seat – allows an ergonomic position whichever way your baby faces
- Padded leg openings
- Suitable from four months to three years (or from newborn with infant insert)
- Available in 20 colours and patterns including special edition prints
What are the specs?
- 12-45 lbs (or from 7 lbs with infant insert)
- Minimum panel size: H: 35cm, W: 15cm
- Maximum panel size: H: 45cm, W: 33cm
- Front-facing for babies at 5 months and older
- RRP: £144.90 at time of review
- Estimated retail value: £80 at time of review
- Extras you can buy: newborn insert (£19.90), rain cover (£29.90), winter weather cover (£39.90), dribble pad and bib (£19.90), zippered pouch (£14.90), dribble pads (£9.90)
How does the Ergobaby All Position 360 compare to the new Ergobaby Omni 360?
We recently tested the Ergobaby Omni 360, which updates the Ergobaby 360 to allow you to cross the shoulder straps and carry newborns from 7lbs without an infant insert. The Omni 360 also includes a handy waistband pocket. Our testers found the Cool Air mesh option more breathable than the 100% cotton Ergobaby 360.
However, the Ergobaby 360 still came out ahead of the Omni 360 since our tester with an older baby found the Omni 360 far less supportive and much more difficult to adjust to comfortably fit both wearer and child. She also needed help to take her baby out of a back carry as she couldn’t reach the clips. While our tester with a younger baby found the carrier easily accommodated her baby’s size, she felt it was still a bulkier option than she’d choose for a newborn.
So although the Omni 360 technically improves on the Ergobaby 360 by allowing you to carry babies from birth without an insert, you may still prefer to choose a more compact option in the early months, moving on to the 360 as your baby grows.
How easy is the Ergobaby 360 to operate?
The Ergobaby 360 was among the most straightforward baby carriers we tested.
Straight out of the box, it’s simply a case of putting on the straps, doing up a buckle and away you go. There’s little room for error as the contours of the structured bucket seat intuitively brings your baby’s knees above their bum in the recommended 'M' position, allowing their back to curl into a natural 'C'.
Fantastic lumbar support and padded shoulder straps mean that even if you don’t get the carrier’s placement exactly right, it’s still likely to be comfortable.
Even so, the manual is easy to follow with simple but effective pictures, representative of the carrier, and clear written instructions for all four carries: front inward-facing carry, back carry, hip carry and front forward-facing carry. Online instructions and videos are also available.
Both our testers consulted the manual once or twice, but found it simple to work out from the word “go”. Bear in mind that the back strap on this carrier could be tricky for some to reach.
How adjustable is it?
The Ergobaby 360 is relatively easy to fit the wearer. The straps slide easily to simply tighten and loosen while wearing your baby in the carrier. The long waist belt and shoulder straps makes it one size fits most.
However, the broad straps could make it difficult to get a really snug fit even on the tightest setting if you’re narrow in frame. One of our testers found that, although still comfortable, the straps slipped from time to time.
The lower half of the back panel can be made smaller to allow babies to face outward while still sitting in a widely supported position – a real selling point of this carrier for parents who want to use a front-facing carry.
As your baby grows, the width of the base allows a wider seat setting, increasing by up to 8 cm and the back panel extends upwards by 10 cm.
How comfortable is it?
Both of our testers found the Ergobaby 360 exceptionally comfortable and credited this to its unique lumbar support. The carrier comes with a wide waistband that is lightly padded on both front and back without being too bulky, secured with a large buckle.
The result is that your baby's weight is well distributed with no pull on your back or shoulders. Padded leg openings also offer your baby extra comfort. If desired, this could well be an all-day carrier.
Since it extends in both length and width, the Ergobaby 360 is likely to last longer than the standard baby carrier. It’s contoured bucket seat offer long toddler legs more support than many other soft-structured carriers.
However, even at its widest, it doesn’t match the dimensions of purpose-designed toddler carriers so you may need to move on before Ergobaby’s suggested age three, depending on how much you’re carrying your toddler.
“I find this carrier really comfortable. I think the lumbar support helps with this. I don’t feel any aches or pains when wearing this sling or afterwards.”
How does it look?
Although classic and minimalist in style, the Ergobaby 360 comes in wide range of colours and patterns to suit just about every taste from muted grey to batik. Patterned dribble pads and bibs are also available for purchase.
We didn’t find any wear or tear during the testing period and the carrier appears beautifully finished. The sleep hood tucks away into a zippered pocket for less visual clutter and the carrier’s big buttons are an eye-catching feature.
What's it like to use day-to-day?
The Ergobaby 360 allows you to clip and go with speed so that you can get on with your day while enjoying your baby’s closeness. Good head support allows you to be truly hands-free on the go.
To breastfeed, you loosen the side straps to lower your baby then tighten up when you’re done.
While the carrier is well designed for breastfeeding with easily adjustable straps, it’s worth asking a sling library or consultant to show you how to do this with a younger baby. One of our testers found her baby didn’t like feeding in an upright position at 16 weeks old whereas another had no problem breastfeeding her 11-month-old in it while helping her two year old.
The body panel on the Ergobaby 360 is quite thick, making this a relatively warm carrier. You’ll need to adjust layers for your baby and you, treating the carrier as a layer of clothing.
The thickness also means you’re not in as close contact with your baby’s body when you place a hand on the front panel, which you may not prefer when carrying a younger baby.
“I find this carrier really easy to use at home and outdoors. I can carry out any tasks I need to as my baby is very well supported. My partner also likes this carrier and it is very easy to adjust for both of us.”
How safe is the carrier?
Both of our testers found that their babies felt secure going in and coming out of the Ergobaby 360 and that they were well supported in the recommended position once in, able to freely move their heads and limbs. The International Hip Dysplasia Institute has given this carrier their “hip healthy” stamp of approval.
The excellent lumbar support on this carrier can make getting into a back carry feel safer and the Ergobaby 360’s simple design makes it easy to work out how to get into this position, particularly shifting from hip to back.
The carrier comes with rather long hanging cords but safety elastics are provided to keep them folded up. You may need to experiment with this feature a bit so it doesn’t get in the way.
Uniquely, the Ergobaby 360 allows you to carry your baby in a front forward-facing position that is far more ergonomic than offered by narrow based carriers on the high street. It supports the knees upwards and allows the spine to curve as recommended. The sturdy waistband also gives the parents extra support for this position.
Bear in mind that front forward-facing is only recommended for babies who are five months or older and that babies should be turned inwards to sleep. When using this position, it’s important to observe your baby for signs of overstimulation and to limit this carry to short periods of time.
How easy is it to clean?
The ErgoBaby 360 is certainly comfortable enough that you’ll be taking it for long carries and, with that, all the mess that comes with family life.
Fortunately, it washes well on a gentle cold cycle and, depending on colour, won’t show up dirt or slobber from older babies having a good gnaw.
That said, one of our testers found that the carrier noticeably faded after washing so it’s worth spot cleaning as advised where necessary. Suck pads or even a high coverage dribble pad and bib are available for purchase separately, making it easier avoid frequent washing.
Our feeling is that the Ergobaby 360 is good value for the money as it could be the only carrier you’ll need and is so comfortable, quick and easy you won’t regret having shelled out for it.
However, it is pricey compared to some of the other buckled carriers on the market and you will need to either buy an infant insert or a stretchy wrap to carry your baby as a newborn.
There is a newer option that takes care of this problem by reducing the size of the body panel to fit babies from 7 lbs, the Ergobaby Omni 360. However, the traditional 360 comes highly recommended by so many parents that we decided to put this version to the test.
If you’re looking for a baby carrier that allows forward front-facing, the design of the Ergobaby 360 is a godsend.
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