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Rockin’ the SSC: A Review of the ERGOBaby Sport Carrier

Babywearing has always been associated with the more “organic” types of carriers (ringslings, wraps, pouches etc.) but the more “scientific” carrier, the soft-structured carrier or SSC, is part of the babywearing spectrum as well.

There are too many soft-structured carriers in the market that actually do more harm than good for both the baby and the babywearer. When I walk around the mall and see people wearing their babies in ill-constructed carriers, I really have to stop myself sometimes to share babywearing tips with the parents. In the early part of my babywearing journey, I was turned off from SSCs because of these types of carriers.

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Image source: Google Search


I won’t go into detail about hip dysplasia and all the other stuff that make me cringe as a result of unsafe babywearing. Jenny of Chronicles of A Nursing Mom wrote a few posts about safe babywearing here, here and here.

But then. Here comes the ERGObaby carrier. I first heard of ergobaby while scouring the babywearing forums for information and tips. I noticed a lot of parents mentioned ergobaby whenever SSCs were mentioned. Just last year, I spotted them at the SM Baby Fair, got a card, and they were able to take part in Babywearing Meet 4. The local distributor of ergobaby, Richwell Trading, sent over an ergoBaby Sport Carrier for me to review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image: ergobaby.com

The first thing I did was examine the carrier. Here’s what I liked:

  • Light, soft, dry-in-no-time-at-all material. Perfect for our tropical climate.
  • It has a little window on the carrying pouch, for more ventilation.
  • All the straps have these secure elastics that are stitched on. No dangling straps or tangles in your baby bag!
  • Because it’s soft, it folds right up and stows in your bag easily. Of course it will never compare to a sling, a pouch or hybrid that just plain folds flat, but hey. I find that it helps if I stow it in a drawstring bag before I put it in with the rest of Basti’s stuff.
  • It also features a tuck-able sleeping hood, which I feel may be too hot to use outdoors. In an airconditioned area, it might prove useful.

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I first took out the carrier on a short mall trip. Basti is now 2 years old and weighs 12kg. The ergoBaby Sport Carrier  is guaranteed up to 45 pounds, so I was really counting on that for carrying my growing baby boy. I put on the carrier, positioned Basti into a front-carry and voila! I felt absolutely no strain on my back or shoulders. AT ALL. I shifted him into a back carry and the weight distribution was equally superb. Their advertising does not lie. The ergobaby carrier has amazing weight distribution, I kid you not. Lately, Basti has been straightening his legs when I carry him on my back, so doing that position in a ringsling has become a little dangerous. The ergobaby and the meitai have proven to be the better choices for back-carrying these days.

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So with that short trip, I decided to take the carrier on a real test. I strapped it on, put Basti into a back-carry and walked a kilometer from our house to the supermarket. I did the groceries and trekked back, carrying Basti on my back and grocery bags on both shoulders. I swear I got more tired carrying the groceries than carrying Basti!

The ergobaby carrier is not just a comfort to the babywearer, it makes sure your baby is positioned properly as well. The seat is designed to put your baby’s legs into a right angle, sufficiently covering the behind for adequate support. You can use this SSC from infancy (with the help of the separately sold infant insert) all the way to toddler age.

Next test: The Painter test. My husband is not a babywearer. He doesn’t like the idea of needing to adjust the sling or learn how to wear the SaYa, and he feels all of it just looks too girly. I’m going to make him try out the ergobaby carrier on our next family day out and see how he likes it. Update to follow!

Hooray points:

  • Amazing weight distribution. No strain on back or shoulders. Can be worn for hours. Ideal for traveling with your child around the world. I wish I had this when we were once trapped at the Cebu airport because our flight was delayed for 3 hours. I bet I can go exercise walking with this as well. Lemme try that tomorrow next week when I want to exercise when hell freezes over when I have time.
  • Low learning curve. You put it on, strap baby in and snap everything in place. Done. People who don’t like too much hullabaloo will LOVE the ergobaby carrier.
  • Perfect positioning for baby from infancy to toddler. No spine or hip issues happening here!
  • Compact and portable. Unlike some other SSCs I’ve seen, the ergobaby is not a monster of a contraption. It can fold in with the rest of your stuff.

Points for consideration:

  • The ergobaby carrier also carries directions for hip-carry, but I couldn’t get past the instructions. It involves unhooking the shoulder straps and crossing it over to the whatnot and… okay I lost it. I think the front and back carry works fine. I also associate the hip carry for short trips, so you’re better off just shimmie-ing your baby in a pouch if you want to hip carry.
  • The instructions that come with the carrier need a little improvement. The wording is convoluted and the illustrations are scattered all over the place. A lot of guesswork. Luckily, the ergobaby carrier has a solid fan base around the world, so it’s easy to search for mom-made instructional videos. The carrier itself is user-friendly. You can figure out the front-carry by yourself. The back-carry needs some technique.
A word about counterfeit ERGOBaby carriers.

 

I’ve been asked about my opinion on counterfeit ergobaby carriers, and other SSC brands, as well. You can find sites and posts on buy-and-sell sites selling ergobaby carriers that are China-made, factory-priced.. whatever. They are sold much, much lower than retail price and promise to deliver the same features. My own personal opinion is this: safe babywearing with an SSC lies majorly on the workmanship of the carrier. The structure of the carrier, from the materials, the stitching, positioning of the parts, etc. were extensively studied by the manufacturers. I myself would not put my baby in a position that may have adverse effects on his physical development, and may put my own health in danger. I would buy an ergobaby carrier only from a licensed distributor, whether it be locally, abroad or online. I feel better knowing I’m protected by their guarantee and their warranty. ERGOBaby has information on counterfeit carriers on their website. If you choose to buy outside of their official channels, then that is your risk to take for your baby, and for yourself. Bow.

OVERALL REVIEW:

  • Great carrier for medium to heavy babywearing. Perfect for napping, traveling, shopping, walks.
  • Easy to put on, a breeze to take off.
  • Ideal for back-carrying toddlers.
  • A little pricey, but the superb construction makes it worth it.

Here’s my problem. They’ve got a designer edition Petunia Pickle print that is so much like my blog’s design. I want!

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I henceforth dub thee, The Painter’s Wife ERGOBaby Carrier. Hehe!

 

UPDATE: The Painter loves the ERGObaby carrier. He says as long as we have it, he can be in charge of carrying Basti.

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ERGObaby carriers can be found in the following outlets:

  • SM Pampanga Department Store
  • SM North Edsa Department Store
  • SM Megamall Department Store
  • SM Makati Department Store
  • SM MOA Department Store
  • SM Cebu
  • SM Davao
  • Baby Company SM North Edsa Annex
  • Baby Company The Podium
  • Baby Company Power Plant Mall
  • Baby Company SM Southmall
  • Rustans Makati Department Store
  • Rustans Tower Shangri-la Mall Department Store
  • Rustans Alabang Town Center Department Store

Right now they carry the following models: the Basic Carrier (Black, Camel, Red, Purple Print, Galaxy Grey) and the Sport Carrier (Black, Red). Coming soon in July: the Basic Carrier in Zebra Print, and the Organic Carriers in Highland Navy, Plaid, Peaceful Portofino and Evening In Innsbruck (which is a luscious print, I must say).

25 thoughts on “Rockin’ the SSC: A Review of the ERGOBaby Sport Carrier”

  1. I’ve been drooling over the PPB print as well. Now down to $145 from the original $160! Cee has it and I’m waiting for it to go further down.. maybe black friday again? haha!

  2. hi, Eliza! This review makes me want to run to the store and buy myself an Ergo Baby Carrier! But I already have 2 Sayas, so I’m wondering if it would be redundant. If you had to choose only ONE baby carrier (although a true-blue babywearing mama like you may probably fllip over suck a ridiculous suggestion!), would you go for this of a cloth-type carrier (like Next9 and Saya)? Would you say they’re interchangeable…assuming that I won’t go on long treks (not even a kilometer-long walk to the supermarket!) with either of them :)

    1. Hi Audrey!! I always say this: there is no ONE carrier perfect for all types of moms. It’s really a matter of preference and carrying style. For the cloth type carriers, I would have to say the ringsling is the most versatile of them all. There’s a huge advantage for the SSCs though – fully adjustable so any member of the family can use it, very low learning curve, and man, oh man, I can’t stop raving about the comfort level. It does tend to be a little warm – that’s the advantage naman of a cloth carrier for our weather. You can buy the Ergo in SM Baby. Co. I’m actually waiting for Richwell to respond to my inquiry about all the places where Ergo is available locally. I’ll update the post when I get the info!

    2. And oh, about interchangeable? Uhm, you’re talking to a person who has (as of today) 15 carriers. Yes, they’re interchangeable. I sometimes have a couple of carriers in my bag to use according to purpose. When I travel I always have a ringsling and a pouch. The Ergo will be joining that list from now on!

      1. FIFTEEN carriers?!? oh my!
        This review was so compelling that I ended up buying one! haha! I got the Original in the Galaxy design. I bought it intending to use it on my 2-month-old infant, but turns out 2-year old Lucas loves being worn in it, too!
        I walked around the mall with Lucas in it for about an hour (and he even fell asleep in it!) with ZERO strain on my back and shoulders. However, the second time I used it, I felt some discomfort in my lower back. Lucas didn’t complain at all, but when he got out, I saw that there were indent marks under his thighs caused by contact with the fabric. Maybe I wore it wrong, perhaps a bit too snugly… :(
        One of these days I should drop by Gymboree to see you with my carriers and my baby hehe.

  3. Hi! Would you know how much this retails for? I have a Mothercare SSC, a ring sling and a pouch. When my daughter was younger (she’s 8 months old now), we would take her everywhere in the SSC. Now it doesn’t feel right – it’s uncomfortable to wear, it’s a bit too tight for her already, etc. I got the ring sling as a baby shower present and was only able to use it when Bea was 6 months old. I bought the pouch to replace that because I constantly had to keep tightening the tail. Although I do love the pouch and intend to keep using it, I’d like a better SSC for longer periods of babywearing.

    1. Hi Ynez! The ergobaby Sport Carrier retails for PhP5,499.75. I’m going to update the post tomorrow – where to buy, other models available, and SRPs. I hope you can check back when I update. :)

  4. wow! hearing your review makes me want one Ergo too! too bad it’s too pricey for me. I already own two ring slings and 3 wraps. and I so relate when you say you try to stop yourself from teaching parents babywearing safety when I see babies in malls being carried in bad SSKs. that’s why I got ticked off when this saleslady saw me carrying my 11 month old in a ring sling and commented on how uncomfortable baby looks in it and was pushing me to buy her Precious Moments carrier!! Those things look so flimsy! hay! I just gave her a look and told her am perfectly happy with my sling and her carrier is the one that looks more uncomfortable!
    One time in the same mall, I saw this mom trying out this horrifying carrier on her nb baby…it looked like a flat rectangular plastic table with two thin straps that goes over her shoulder and some straps to hold baby in place so its like she’s holding her baby on a serving tray! I feel bad for the tiny baby. Can’t imagine they would be selling carriers like that. Hope the mom decided not to buy it. :) If I had my baby that time, I would have paraded him in the ringsling in front of her. anyway, I love reading you blogs. More power! :)

    1. I always say my piece with salesladies. I try to do it as nice as I can, since they were only given a script by their employers. But, if it’s mixed with judgement – like your experience – there’s a little lecture mixed in, hehe. Thanks for reading! 😀

  5. Hi, Eliza! Thanks for this. We have been looking around for a baby carrier for Don (I mean for Julia to be carried by Don. Ang gulo). I am using SaYa and he prefers SSCs. He is using one that we bought from Rustan’s but he’s looking for a new one. Will check your blog for updates on where to buy.

    Thanks again. I will let Don read this.

    1. Hey Belle! They have it in SM Baby Co. and Rustan’s pero not all. The usual suspects have it – Megamall, Shang Tower, etc. I saw it on display at the Podium and in Rockwell also.

  6. I like ergo too but its too pricey! I now love hpthe comfort of the Baby K’tan wrap. I think its perfect for the warm weather we have. They come in different sizes which is good for small-framed mommies like me! I dont have to worry about extra fabrics which is common to most baby wraps that hang loose and touch the dirty ground! It K’tan for me! :)

  7. Thank you for the reply :) out of stock na ung ergo carrier nila ung purple nlng ang available.. may alam ka pa po bang seller? Thank u :)

    1. You can check the stocks in SM department stores and Baby & Co., otherwise sa States na. ergobaby.com. Wala pa akong nakikitang third-party seller na hindi fake ang Ergo. It’s really much better to buy from an authorized dealer so you’re covered by the warranty.

  8. HI! I just came across your website and i enjoy going thru the baby wearing posts. I purchased the ERGO a couple of months after my 2nd child was born. I didn’t use any carriers with my 1st (had I known better back then!). It took me a long time before deciding which one to buy, did some research online and attended an expo featuring the products i was interested in. I also went to a store where they have a floor display of the ERGO and tried it with my actual baby which i think is not a bad idea before committing to it.I would say it could get a little tricky (specially with the insert) the first few times you put it on, i practiced several times prior to going out, but got the hang of it eventually. I even saw several moms breastfeed while carrying their babies on the ERGO, talk about feeding on the go! lol! And bonus, my husband also agreed to wear this! (but not the cloth, we also have baby K’tan). It’s a real great and safe product. Also checkout Lillie baby and Boba baby carrier both are SSC, i read/heard good things about them too. I really enjoy your blog Ms. Eliza and more baby wearing adventures ahead for both you and Basti!!!Thank u!

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