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.
On thebabywearer.com there are some really good comparisons of the 4.
I am 5'7" and very thin. Don't know how it would work on a shorter frame.
DS, 10/07. Allergies: peanut, egg, wheat. We've added dairy back in. And taken it back out again. It causes sandpaper skin with itchy patches and thrashing during sleep. Due w/ #2 late April, 2012.
"Seek the wisdom of the ages but, look at the world through the eyes of a child" Ron Wild
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
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.
Canadian mama to A (C/S May 2004) and R (induced VBAC Dec 2007) expecting #3 in July. Currently obsessing over permaculture, photography and beekeeping.
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:
4th Gen (no longer in production, buy used)
All of these do back and front carries. The ones I underlined also do hip carry.
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.
i finally ordered a used babyhawk and got him up there no problems the night it arrived.
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!
and 2 rescued greyhounds
check out the baby wearing forum, there are great ideas there!
Just wondering if this was the old-school BH before the headrest and if so how does it work when your LO falls asleep?
It's VERY hands-free with him on my front.
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.
Carly  + DH  + DS 
TTC my second and his first!
Mountain Biking Mama of 3 little beans, . Epumped 22mths for dd1 (2006)
Nursed my babe, dd2 (2008) until self weaned at 3yrs. We survived a major nursing strike.
Awesome for Baby #3 who turned out to be a (Aug 2013)!
* 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:
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.
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|