New Baby Carrier for the Outdoor Fam
Baby Carrier One Outdoors
Retail price: $259.95
Findings: They say that the first tool ever invented by man was probably a baby carrier. There just isn’t any record of it as it would have been made from animal skins or woven grasses. Moms have always had a need to strap on their babes and get stuff done. Kangaroos really have this figured out with their built in pouch. Did you know that mama kangaroos can extend their tongues all the way into their pouches to keep them clean? Luckily, we have washing machines for such chores!
While us human mums are lacking in pouches, we are not lacking in options for baby carriers. There are dozens of choices out there for every shape and size mum and pop and for just about every occasion. When I was packing my babes, I had a carrier for formal events, one for around the house and another for the trail. In fact, most of the moms I talk to have 2-3 carriers at a minimum.
A weak point in the market has always been a quality soft-sided baby carrier that can handle the weather—particularly the wet weather. Most carriers are made of cotton, a lot of cotton– which gets wet, stays wet and offers no insulation to the baby once soaked.
BabyBjorn has just released an answer to this soggy dilemma. Introducing the Baby Carrier One Outdoors. According to BabyBjorn, it is designed to be the “perfect hiking baby carrier, with functional materials, 4-way front and back carrying, ideal for outdoor activities, optimal carrying comfort, with sturdy waist belt and padded shoulder straps. It is perfect from newborn to 3 years, with built-in infant position and features a hip-healthy baby carrier, with ergonomic wide leg position for the child.”
BabyBjorn has long been a leader in infant products that are thoughtfully designed and built to last. The One Outdoors is no exception. I had many moms try it on to get their opinions. Here is what we found:
- Everyone loved the turquoise color and the feel of the fabric as well as the quick “dryability”.
- Big bonus for the variety of positions that the baby can be held in—facing front, out and on the back. (Although there is controversy about carrying baby facing front, some babies are quite insistent on it!)
- Adjustable straps and waist belt allow more than one parent to use the carrier.
- Straps are padded without being so bulky that you couldn’t wear a backpacking pack over the straps.
- The waist belt/hip support for the parent is a huge improvement over older BabyBjorn models that supported the baby primarily from the parent’s shoulders.
- Built in newborn support avoids having to purchase additional add ons.
- Being able to make adjustments to fit before the baby is in it, is a bonus. Many soft sided carriers can only be adjusted once you are wearing the baby.
Suggestions/ things we don’t totally love:
- While folks liked the pocket on the hip belt, it would be better positioned somewhere else. Maybe on the front of the carrier? Especially when carrying the baby on your front. Also, we all want a zipper added to the pocket to prevent lost keys on the trail!
- Personally, I like a back yolk that can be unclipped. Many of the moms I showed the One Outdoors to, said this isn’t something they care about though.
- The clips are bit clumsy to figure out in the beginning, but with practice are fine.
- Add a built in rain hood. It could sit folded in a small pocket ready to go when the sky lets loose. Likewise, I wonder if there was a way to have a built in thermal feature for cold weather. Like a pouch to cover cold leggies in the winter. BabyBjorn does make a great cover for baby carriers, but I’d still like to see something that folds out. Picture the pack covers on Osprey packs that tuck away into a small pouch.
Overall impressions: Baby Bjorn is on to something great here. Like any pack, I would encourage parents to try it out before investing. Every torso likes a different style pack. I found overall that shorter torsos LOVED the One Outdoors. Getting a pack that fits you well and is comfortable is the most important feature of any carrier. Human babies were designed to be carried. So strap on that kid and get out there!
Special note: BabyBjorn has partnered with National Park Trust, whose mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow, through its Buddy Bison school program and its annual Kids to Parks Day, which occurs in May.