I received this product at no cost to facilitate my review. All opinions remain my own.
You know who my favourite Spice Girl was? Of course you don’t. Despite my copious oversharing on my blog and social media, I am confident that this is the first time I am admitting my love for the Spice Girls. I had the dolls. I had the collectible stickers from the gum that lost its flavour within seconds. I had the CDs. I still know all the lyrics.
Anyway, my favourite Spice Girl was Sporty Spice. Because she was a strong, athletic female like myself? No. The only thing true about the previous sentence is “female.” The actual reason was because she was flat-chested like me and got to wear the comfortable clothes. I may or may not have owned a pair of tear away Adidas track pants, despite the fact that never in my entire life had I ever needed to quickly remove my pants in order to participate in some kind of athletic endeavour. (Which I assume is the purpose of tear aways?) So me wearing my kids in the Onya Outback is a bit like me wearing tear away track pants, except that the Onya actually fits, and it looks amazing. (The track pants were way too wide and way too short . . . it wasn’t a good look.) Let’s face it, the one who’s most likely to be rocking our Outback when we go for hikes is Papa Wolf.
The Onya Outback is designed for the sportiest of babywearing parents, but it most definitely meets (and surpasses) the needs of your average, errand-running babywearer like myself. I haven’t done yoga since March, but I’m still wearing my yoga pants. I haven’t been on a hike in a couple years, but I can still rock a carrier approved by Hike It Baby.
Let’s take a look under the (nap) hood:
So . . . ya. That kind of says it all, doesn’t it? There’s just so much YES about this carrier. I first took it for a spin when Little Miss Cub was about 12 lbs, and we needed to use the Infant Booster.
Ya. That’s the Infant Booster. It’s like the Cadillac of infant inserts. (But since I’m all into eco-friendly stuff, should I call it the Tesla?)
The Infant Insert (instructional video here) snaps onto the sides of the carrier and around baby, and is made with an organic French terry cotton lining and a breathable air-mesh exterior. One of my issues with other inserts I’ve used is that they served as an extra layer of insulation, and both of my children were born in the heat of summer. I would have to leave them and me practically naked if I was going to put them into the thick Ergobaby insert!
Here’s the requisite “first time in a new carrier” selfie:
It was easy to get her into the Infant Booster, and at this size I kept her feet tucked in.
Our very first outdoor excursion with the Outback was to Fish Creek Park in Calgary. It was blinking cold and blustery that day, and with no indoor shelter to fiddle with carrier adjustments, I just got Little Miss and him set as fast as I could. Looking back at the pictures, I had her sitting up a bit too high, but they were happy during our mini hike all the same.
As she grew, I used the Infant Booster with her legs out:
And by the time we arrived in BC to visit my family for Christmas, I had her out of the booster and snug as a bug for a nice, long walk with Uncle Sean.
Of the many nifty features of the Onya Baby Outback, there are a couple obvious things that set it apart from the other soft-structured carriers we’ve tried.
The water-resistant exterior fabric, for one, is perfect for the misty, wet weather on the Wet Coast of British Columbia. Since arriving at the end of November, there has been some form of precipitation every. single. day. I honestly forget, every year, that while it will not be snot-freezingly cold in Vancouver, it will be bone-chillingly wet. The Outback’s durable, water-resistant, rip-stop nylon exterior is perfect for that! Since we won’t kid ourselves that I’m babywearing often for extended periods in inclement weather, let’s not forget that I am prone to spills, so it’s pretty handy to have a carrier that I can wipe down easily. (It’s also machine washable.)
The air mesh inner lining keeps both baby and wearer cool. My brother was impressed that he did not have a baby-shaped sweat stain on his chest after our two-hour walk.
One thing I find missing on my beloved Tula is a small storage pouch. The Onya Baby has both a zippered storage pouch and a zippered hand-warming pocket!
The nap hood is compact, rolling down trimly into the front pouch. (Sometimes I forget my nap hood at home if it’s not permanently attached to the carrier.)
The Onya Outback is safety tested to 75 lbs. This is a massively high weight rating for a “one-size” carrier, and could benefit a family with a special needs child who needs to be carried well past toddlerhood. Cub is 35 lbs and 40 inches tall. Papa Wolf wore him during a walk in Crescent Park.
Both of my boys were very comfortable. Compared to our other “one size” carriers, the back on the Outback unsnaps to be high enough for my tall Cub.
The seat is not as wide as a Toddler Tula, but the Toddler Tula is designed to start fitting around 25 lbs. Cub had zero complaints about his comfort.
Papa Wolf’s feedback:
- “It’s very comfortable. It’s like wearing a backpack, you don’t feel the child’s weight.”
- “The Ergo really hurt my back, and this one doesn’t.”
- “I like how it’s sporty looking. It’s cool.”
My brother, who is not exactly an experienced babywearer, but is a physiotherapist, also had some thoughts on carrying his 15-lb niece:
Uncle Sean (aka #HotUncle)’s feedback:
- “It didn’t leave a baby-shaped sweat stain on me. Breathable.”
- “No specific points of pressure.”
- “Baby’s weight felt evenly distributed over shoulders and hips.”
- “Adjustable in all the right places for comfort.”
- “Nice, neutral colours.”
I also received a lot of positive feedback on the Outback from fans on my Facebook page. You can read that thread here, including a picture from a Mama who uses the Outback to tandem wear her baby and toddler!
For me, the Outback definitely has more features than I likely need in a carrier. If we are going to go on hikes, it will be Papa Wolf wearing Little Miss, and this will definitely be the carrier he reaches for. If I have one complaint, it’s that I find it takes longer for me to adjust to the right fit when switching between users. However, that speaks to just how adjustable the carrier truly is.
One bonus feature of the Onya which we haven’t used yet is that it can be used to turn most chairs into a high chair.
The front pouch of the carrier hides a seat which turns your baby carrier into a booster seat:
Pretty neat, huh?! This is an awesome feature at a restaurant or when visiting friends. Also, given its easy-to-clean exterior, I won’t be too worried about things getting sloppy.
Shop & Connect
Melanie at Gentle Nest carries the full range of Onya Baby carriers and accessories. Shop here.