Monday, October 3, 2011

Boba 3G Review And A Chance To Win!

Oliver on my back in the Boba 3G
I was recently sent a Boba 3G baby carrier to review! Isn’t that exciting? Boba sent me the sample free of charge but I received no other compensation. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
 
Preconceived ideas:

To be perfectly honest while I was incredibly excited about the chance to try one out, I never really considered buying a Boba carrier for myself. I mean, I’d seen them in stores and even tried one on that I really liked but I usually swear by my woven wrap and ring sling so I never really thought that a structured carrier would be the one for me, or at least not the top of my must-have carrier list. The Boba 3G has certainly changed my outlook.

My past experience with structured carriers involved quite a bit of annoying pinching and a lot of back pain, not to mention one very uncomfortable little baby. I knew that the two structured carriers I had tried were cheep and poorly made but still I had it in my mind that all structured carriers would have the same issues.

However, as my son Oliver turns two and is suddenly growing taller at an alarming rate I found my mind opening. I was concerned that my son’s legs had gotten so long I was having difficulty making sure the fabric of my woven wrap went from knee to knee to properly support his legs in every carry. It had been mentioned to me quite a few times that a Boba would solve this problem.

First Impressions:

The first thing I noticed about the Boba is that it certainly is not even remotely like any of the other structured carriers I had used in the past. Every part of it seems to have been made with comfort in mind. The fabric is soft and flexible, the straps and clips are well made, padded, and fully adjustable to make sure that the weight of your child is evenly spread over your shoulders and back. Baby is kept comfortable with a nice high back for head and neck support and proper support for baby’s bum and legs.

At the fabric store in the Boba!
The Boba is not only comfortable but also incredibly easy to use. Where as both my ring sling and wraps were a bit of a learning curve and it took a few days or weeks to feel comfortable with each new carry or variation, the Boba was fitted, secure, and ready for our first excursion within minutes of being pulled from the box. That first excursion was to the fabric store; Oliver felt light as a feather and he stayed content on my back the whole trip. (Note: When toddler is on your back and they grab something off a shelf it is incredibly hard to get it back!)

That same outing my Husband was able to try out the Boba. He didn’t let me take any pictures because he doesn't like it when I post pictures of him on the internet, but you’ll just have to take my word for it that it looked great and even though my husband and I are drastically different sizes and shapes it was really fast and easy for us to adjust the Boba to swap back and forth. This easy use and adjustability makes it a great carrier for sharing between parents and also with babysitters or other caregivers!

Impressive features:

As I mentioned before, my son’s legs have gotten quite long and I worry about making sure they remain properly supported when I carry him. A good carrier should always support your baby in a position where their bum sits at the same level as their knees or lower with the fabric of the carrier stretched from knee to knee in a position similar to if they were seated in a chair. This position promotes proper hip joint and back development. The Boba comes with adjustable straps that hook onto the waist band and support the child’s feet so that they do not dangle in an uncomfortable position even after they grow too big for the fabric to reach from knee to knee. Meaning I can continue to comfortably and properly carry my toddler no matter how long his legs get!

I should mention that this carrier is good for babies and toddlers of all ages from 7-45 pounds, but I feel like it was MADE for toddler wearing. And because I know that toddlers sometimes end up with siblings before they out grow being worn I thought I’d test it out in a tandem situation. Of coarse, my son does not yet have a sibling so I tried it with the boy I was babysitting and ended up with over 50lbs of toddler trapped to me while I grocery shopped.
Tandem wearing with the Boba 3G: A self portrait

That’s a woven wrap on the front in a torso carry with Oliver as he’s the lighter of the two, and the Boba on my back with our friend, Charlie, who is the same age as Oliver but quite a bit heavier. It was surprisingly comfortable and definitely a show stopper. I got many questions and comments about it, one man even slammed on his breaks in the parking lot and ask if I needed him to donate a stroller. But I digress; the point is that I would definitely suggest this carrier to anyone thinking about tandem wearing.

We also tried Breastfeeding in the Boba. It wasn’t overly comfortable for us because, like I have mentioned, Oliver is quite tall but I am finding that this is becoming a problem in all of our carriers. I had some luck loosening the shoulder straps to feed to that Oliver had room to lean forward and latch, it worked, but at an angle that made his latch sore for me to put up with for very long. Even a few months ago breastfeeding in the Boba would have been a breeze and I could see the removable hood feature being really helpful to mothers who choose to cover while nursing. Unlike other carriers with similar hoods that I’ve tried this hood stays securely in place without slipping or bunching, I can see myself getting some use out of it this winter as an extra bit of protection from the wind. 

Last but not least, my favourite features of the Boba are the pockets. I feel like I am constantly trying to figure out how to carry Oliver AND everything else I need to carry. While baby wearing allows my hands to be free it often restricts the use of my shoulders and makes carrying a backpack or purse difficult or uncomfortable. But not only does the Boba have pocket room enough for my wallet, phone, and keys it also has this really fantastic snap on each shoulder that I can use to secure my purse or grocery bag straps so they aren’t sliding and falling all over the place.

Is there anything the Boba can’t do!?

There are only two things about the Boba that I was not totally happy with (and they are by no means deal breakers for me)

The first is that because Oliver is so tall, if I try to sit down with him in a front carry his head ends up where my head should be, and we either need to hug the whole time (fine with me!) or sit cheek to cheek while he leans into me. Of coarse this isn’t a problem most of the time because when Oliver is in a carrier we are usually walking around and he prefers to be on my back, but in the case of taking public transit anywhere it can be quite awkward depending how long the ride is. I have had some success taking the bus with the Boba on my back, but that can be awkward if there isn’t a bench seat available that I can sit sideways in. I also managed a short bus ride while standing but I would not exactly recomend it as the extra weight of your child can put your balance off. This would certainly not be a problem at all for a smaller baby; if I had this carrier when Oliver was younger I think it very well may have been my go-to bus carrier.

The second is that when I am not wearing it the Boba is quite bulky. Where as a ring sling or wrap can be folded into my bag if we end up at a park or other public area where I want to let Oliver run around I either have to keep wearing the empty Boba which I peronally find kinf of awkward, find some place to put it down and hope no one walks off with it, or make my husband carry it around which makes him grumpy. This of coarse is not at all a problem when I am anywhere else, Oliver is content to sit in the Boba for long periods so it’s great for long walks, concerts, art galleries and museums, shopping trips and other errand running, and pretty much anything else you can think of!

I am so happy that I got this opportunity to try out the Boba for myself. I honestly couldn’t be happier with it. The Boba is certainly not any of the things I assumed a structured carrier would be and I was so glad to be proved wrong. 

Boba Inc. is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the launch of the new Boba Carrier 3G and their new brand image!  Enter to win a $500 travel voucher and a Boba Carrier 3G. With the new 3G it is easier than ever toto put it to use in a destination of your choice. To enter to win, “Like” them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/boba), follow them on Twitter (www.twitter.com/boba) and tweet about them! Also, make sure to check out Boba’s new website – www.bobafamily.com.

 

3 comments:

wesleyang1 said... [Reply to comment]

Hi Julian,

Have you used this much since your review? It looks great but I'm always wondering what the negatives are:) Also, I would be carrying a newborn and was wondering if you've heard of it tried for that.

Julian@connectedmom said... [Reply to comment]

@wesleyang1

Hi there! Sorry it took me so long to respond to your question!

I have used the Boba quite a bit this winter! It works really well with my Kinder-coat babywearing fleece and is really fast and easy when we're in a hurray.

Oliver actually requests it quite bit, though his favourite is still a nice high rucksack carry in a soft woven wrap.

I have not personally used the boba 3G with a newborn but it can be used without an insert (only the 3G), which is a really nice feature, and I have heard many new moms say they love it!

DO let me know if you decide to try it!

Amy Padlie said... [Reply to comment]

Hi there Oliver looks lovely and high on ur back in the pictures, I have a tall 20 month old who ive been carrying in a bye bye carrier so he is really high but its become annoying with the metal poles. Your pic is the first picture ive seen with a toddler so high. How did you do it ??

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