Back carriers: Ergo, Sutemi, Patapum, Beco ? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking to buy a soft carrier to use mostly as a back pack but with the flexibility of wearing baby in front etc.
Which carrier would you recommend?

I'm leaning towards the Ergo, but am balking at the steep price for a new one ($105+). I have a baby (almost 6 months). She's very snugly, and if she's anything like her brother (uneager to walk) we may use the carrier for a long time.
I have a hardware Kelty and my son hated it.

I really want a soft carrier, easy to use, preferably washable. I want something that's comfy for baby for extended periods (hours?), and respectful of how baby's body develops.
I need to be able to put in baby by myself (unassisted).
I'm 5'2" (small frame) in case that makes a difference. I like a snug fit for me with baby's weight well distributed. My goal is to give my poor back a break.

Since I'm looking to buy used I can't necessarily try out or return the thing, so please give me your honest feedback.
Please tell me about any drawbacks you have encountered with your soft backpack carrier.

Thanks!
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#2 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 01:28 AM
 
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I had an ergo with my daughter but based on reviews I think the others might be better for someone with a small frame. I liked it, and actually bought another one to use with my son, but only because it was a good price. I've been wanting a toddler patapum for my dd, who hates walking.
On thebabywearer.com there are some really good comparisons of the 4.

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#3 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 01:33 AM
 
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Of the carriers you mention, my only experience is with the Ergo. We received it as a gift, but I would have paid twice (3 times?) for it, considering the use I've gotten out of it. I love it, and have been using it since ~8 weeks. Switched to the back as soon as head control was there. He's heavy at about 23 lbs, but I can still wear him for 1+ hours on my back.

I am 5'7" and very thin. Don't know how it would work on a shorter frame.

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#4 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 01:44 AM
 
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I am 5" and I my Ergo. There is definately a learning curve figuring out how to get into a back carry by yourself, but once you have done it a couple times you're a pro. I love the front carry and so does by 10 1/2 month old DD. The only thing I don't like is that the chest straps on the older model are not attached to the shoulder straps and are invaribly always in the wrong place when you already have the kiddo on you and are ready to snap in. The new models have the chest straps permanently attached now. I am looking at buying I new one. I highly recommend.

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#5 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:00 AM
 
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A friend of mine has a becco and loves it - no fussing with getting the baby on your back, you just buckle her in and put it on like a back pack. The price is steep but the ease of use is definitely worth it.
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#6 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:12 AM
 
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I loved my Ergo with my 3rd, used it pretty exclusivley on my back though. It's not fab for a front carry, the straps are a tad bulky. I still use it occasionally with my newbie (well, 6 months already)

I just bought an Olives and Applesauce and I'm lovin' it! The straps are a bit wider and flatter, and makes for a real nice front carry. The body is a tad bit wider and taller than the Ergo.

Like mentioned, www.thebabywearer.com has tonnes of comparison threads.

Check out www.olivesandapplesauce.com

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#7 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:15 AM
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I have a mbd Calyx and love it. I can wear my 13 lb dd for hours and hours on my back. It has a little seat so is easy to get on the back by yourself.
Not good for really tiny babies (intended for bigger ones). DD at 10 lbs was just big enough to fit in it. That's probably not an issue for you. They make a petite size for smaller moms.

I have no experience with any of the others (I dunno how people can afford so many carriers) but second the rec to go to thebabywearer.com. It's a great place for the research.

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#8 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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Loved my Ergo! Didn't get it until my daughter was a year, but got *plenty* of use out of it.

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#9 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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The Patapum Baby (40 lbs limit) and the Patapum toddler (62 lbs limit) is less expensive than the Ergo, and in a review I read (more durable). DH likes his Patapum Baby. I like it fine, but it's not attractive, and the body is not darted at all, so instead of a pocket/seat for the baby's butt, the lower half of the baby is pressed pretty tight against you (could be good or bad, and might be different in the Toddler version?). Very nice net-like sleep hood, attaching with large round metal snaps. When compared to the Ergo, it has less bells and whistles, but is lighter/less bulky, cheaper, has a better (IMO) sleep hood, and lasts more washings.

I love my Beco 4th Generation, and I can also recommend the Beco Butterfly (latest version).

My Beco 4th Gen is my favorite. The shoulder straps cross in back when baby's on the front, and this makes for a very comfortable front carry. It takes a few moments to transfer the straps to a back carry, but I don't think it's too much of a hassle. It can do back, front, and hip. It comes in beautiful prints, and is light/not bulky. The sleep hood can hide in the velcro pocket, but I always found it a hassle to install and use the sleep hood.

The Butterfly is the replacement for the 4th Gen. The Butterfly has safety and small infant features, but I found it too complicated for ease of use. It had a lot of buckles IMO. Also, the ability to do a hip carry or cross the straps in back was eliminated with this design. Good carrier for people who are unsure about back carries and/or want to carry small infants. Cute prints. I have not used the sleep hood, but it's not velcro (which I like). I read a lot of reviews saying the sleep hood doesn't actually hold baby's head steady in this model . . . ?

I also have personal experience with Hapai Baby, the lightest and least structured buckle carrier I've listed so far. It's folds up really small. It has the widest body and a built in sleep hood which I like because there's no fuss to install it. Instead of a stiffer, padded waist like every other SSC listed here, it has a soft, thin bottom that you put on apron-style (like tying a MT). I found the shoulder straps a little thin on this carrier. They dug in during longer outings (but DS is HUGE, so it might not be the case for others).

I have an Ergo, and it is functional. It is by far the bulkiest SSC I have. DH and DS like to use it. The shoulder straps do not cross in back for a front carry. There is an actual functional zippered pocket, which is nice. The built in sleep hood is also functional. The waist is uncomfortable IMO, as the webbing digs in a bit. I have spent a lot of time fine-tuning, and this should have been solved, but *shrug*. DH doesn't have this problem.

From most to least expensive:
Beco Butterfly
4th Gen (no longer in production, buy used)
Ergo
Hapai
Patapum

All of these do back and front carries. The ones I underlined also do hip carry.
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#10 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:58 AM
 
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ds is 6 months old and I am new to back carries. My ergo really hasn't worked for us. i can get him in there, but ds is long torso'd and the ergo just doesn't go up high enough on his back for me to feel safe doing anything more than walking a few steps over to ythe mirror, smiling, and saying "look! i got you on my back!"

after struggling and struggling with ergo, gm bbb, and cuddling baby mei tai with no success, i finally ordered a used babyhawk and got him up there no problems the night it arrived.

i'm sorry to recommend YET ANOTHER carrier that you may not be able to afford, but if it helps any, my babyhawk only cost $50, which seems to be fairly typical for used on ebay and the like. they are pretty, so people might buy/sell them just to get a different colour or pattern. If you sew, you might well be able to make a reasonable facsimile without spending a fortune on materials.

Good luck!
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#11 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 10:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
i finally ordered a used babyhawk and got him up there no problems the night it arrived.

!
Just wondering if this was the old-school BH before the headrest and if so how does it work when your LO falls asleep?

I'm choosíng right now between the a limited ed. Beco, butterfly, Manduca and an Ergo for DH. Considering a BH for myself.
It's a jungle!

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#12 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 10:46 AM
 
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I love my ergo, we've been using it since ds was 8 weeks old and I carry him for hours and hours.....I like the "bulky-ness" of the straps, it makes it feel more like a back pack and that feels more comfortable for me. I have a hard time carrying ds in the MT i have and I've never been able to get him on my back in the MT. We had a moby, but he hit 25lbs at around 8 months (now 26lbs and 1 year go figure) so then I couldn't really do the strechiness of the moby so its been almost exclusively ergo.

check out the baby wearing forum, there are great ideas there!
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#13 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 01:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodmachine View Post
Just wondering if this was the old-school BH before the headrest and if so how does it work when your LO falls asleep?
mine has the head rest (part of the appeal) and he hasn't fallen asleep on my back yet, just my front.

It's VERY hands-free with him on my front.
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#14 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:09 PM
 
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Read my review on my blog:
www.sunkist33.blogspot.com (scroll down to the 2nd-to-last entry)

-Stacy
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#15 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:13 PM
 
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I have a Becco. My baby won't go into it (or any carrier I've tried) so I can't give much of a review on it.
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#16 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:26 PM
 
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I only have experience with the Ergo, but I love mine. My 3yo has a joint deformity and is just learning how to walk (using a walker) so I have to carry him most everywhere. He's only ~24lbs and 32in tall, but every mei tai I've tried is just not comfy enough for either of us for longer trips. I also like that the Ergo has the hood thingy on it, because a lot of the time, I go shopping after DS gets out of therapy, and he's usually ready for a nap at that point. I'm 5'10" though, so I can't comment on wether or not its a good fit for shorter mamas.

ETA: Oh, and it is usually just DS and I when we go out and I have no problem getting him in and out of it by myself.

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#17 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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I love my Ergo! I got one of the new organic ones and the fabric is incredibly soft. I mostly use it in a front carry, but pretty soon I'll switch to mostly back since the babies are getting bigger and sturdier.
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#18 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 04:05 PM
 
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Have not read the whole thread but wanted to chime in on the problem I had fitting into an ERGO since we are the same hight. Normally I weigh 105 and am 5"2', really small build and the ERGO shoulder straps do not allow me to get it tight enough. The padded part is too long, I run out of adjustment and the straps still have give. So I bought a BECO Butterfly, which I love and has shorter shoulder padded straps so I can get it tight enough.

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#19 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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I am 5'2" and 125lbs and my Ergo!!! I too would have paid double for it in light of how much use we have gotten out of it. I ordered a Beco for this LO for the infant insert and used it a bit in the beginning but now that he is 4 mos old he hates it. I would like to try a babyhawk next I think.
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#20 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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I love my beco butterfly. but i can't figure out how to nurse in it but it is extremely comfortable.
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#21 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 05:43 PM
 
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I'd vote for the ergo. it has changed my life! I researched the other carriers you mentioned, thoroughly, and came to the conclusion the ergo would provide best back support plus be versatile. It really is great.
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#22 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Having tried an Ergo and a Beco, I'd recommend a Beco:

* They're prettier
* They're made in the USA
* They are manufactured via humane/good business practices (unlike the Ergo)
* They last longer

If I remember correctly, a Beco is slightly more expensive, but so worth it if you can afford it. It's got the best of the Ergo combined with the best of the Mei Tai. Here's a great comparison chart:

http://www.theportablebaby.com/beco_vs_ergo.html
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#23 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 06:01 PM
 
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I have a babyhawk, I mostly use it in the front though, but used it on my back to plant flowers. I love it. I have one with headrest, I have a 10 mo. old son who is 24 lbs now and I still have no problems wearing him for long time - 40 minutes. BH straps are padded and it is very easy to put on.
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#24 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 06:11 PM
 
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I know the owner of olives and applesauce and she is a fantastic person! Those carriers are beautiful.

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#25 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 11:13 PM
 
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Moving to babywearing.

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#26 of 27 Old 07-31-2008, 11:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NorthernPixie View Post
I love my beco butterfly. but i can't figure out how to nurse in it but it is extremely comfortable.
:



I have a beco and an ergo, and I love them both but I do think the ergo is better on my back. I find DD sits a bit low in it and get smothered in my boobs but I just roll up a receiving blanket to put under her and we're good. Back carrying with the beco is fool proof though which is nice. The pocket in the front of the ergo is really handy, I know it's a small detail but when I need my keys they are right there and that can make a huge difference. I much prefer the way the beco looks though.
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#27 of 27 Old 08-01-2008, 12:28 AM
 
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Your poor head is probably spinning at this point! Of the list you originally posted, I wouldn't recommend the Sutemi, because it requires crossing the straps across the chest, which most women don't like that much. (Works better for dads IME).

And another carrier to throw into your mix is the AngelPack LX (and oh while I'm at it the Nana's Jetpak). The former is very much like the Beco 4th Generation IME and is a good non-bulky SSC. I really like the double-adjusters on the shoulder straps, because you can arrange it so you're always pulling forward to tighten rather than having to pull backwards for a back carry, which can be difficult for some people.

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Sutemi Pack Baby Carrier , Beco Baby Carrier , Soft Structured Carriers , Ergo Baby

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