Baby wearing has many benefits and babies love being worn. It makes them feel calm and comfortable being strapped to you and they usually fall asleep or stop fussing as soon as you get them in the carrier. I tend to prefer wraps and slings for newborns, but the Ergobaby Carrier is hands down my favorite all around baby carrier.
When it comes to choosing a soft structure carrier you cannot go wrong with an Ergo. But, you might be wondering what the difference is between some of their styles. They recently (well recent to me) came out with the Four Position 360 carrier. In the past their carriers had three positions, forward facing-in, hip and back, but the 360 adds forward facing-out to the lineup.
I have been wearing my original organic carrier for close to three years now, and I am perfectly happy with it. I recently had the chance to check out some of their other carriers, so I had to share my thoughts. I decided to put together this comparison with emphasis on the Ergobaby Original vs the Ergobaby 360. I know many parents are wondering if the Ergobaby Four Position 360 is worth the additional cost and ability to have baby face outward. I also checked out their Performance carrier and you can see that towards the end of this post.
Ergobaby Four Position 360
The main differences between the 360 and the Original Ergo are the forward facing out carry position, the velcro waist band, and the bucket seat (to facilitate the forward facing out). The upper area near baby's head is also styled a little differently.
For weight range 7-33 pounds with infant insert. This is a little lower than the original which goes up to 45 pounds.
Bucket seat - Keeps baby ergonomically seated in all 4 positions, with knees even to or above hips. Seat can be adjusted with buttons.
Velcro waistband - Comfortable waistband can be worn high or low and provides extra support for lower back.
Back Panel that can be extended - Can be rolled down for front-outward, or upwards for the inward facing positions to provide extra head support for your baby.
Padded shoulder straps - Helps evenly distribute baby's weight in combination with the waistband to maximize comfort.
Sleeping Hood - Provides support for baby's head while sleeping, protection from sun and added privacy while nursing.
My first impression of the 360 was that while it looked really nice and overall was comfortable, the bucket seat looked kind of big and bulky to me. It definitely will not be folding up into a tiny package and it seemed thick and like it might be warm. But, this seat is needed for the forward facing out position, so if that is what you are looking for then this seat is worth it.
I only tried this one on and did not wear it for long, so I can't say how it feels after hours of wear. It looks like it comes up pretty high on baby's back and it has comfortable straps. The velcro belt seems to be a point of contention. People love it or they hate it. While it's easy to adjust it can be loud and scratchy.
Weight range 7-45 pounds with infant insert.
Baby's weight is evenly distributed between hips and shoulders.
Ergonomic for baby in all carry positions.
Three carry positions - Front-inward, hip and back.
Adjustable hood to support baby's head while sleeping, protect baby from sun and offer mom privacy while nursing.
Large zippered storage pocket.
Comfortable and padded adjustable waist belt and shoulder straps. The waist belt has a buckle unlike the 360 which is velcro.
100% Cotton Canvas shell and 100% Cotton Poplin lining.
Ergobaby Organic, same as Original but organic fabric
Almost exactly the same as the original but comes with 100% Organic Cotton twill shell and 100% Organic Cotton sateen lining (Oeko-Tex Certified).
I have an organic carrier, and I do feel that the organic cotton is a little softer but otherwise it is the same as the original.
When it comes to the original or the organic this is my favorite style. My Ergo has been through it all with me for two babies over three years. I can't recommend it enough, and you cannot go wrong with an original style.
Weight range is 7-45 pounds with the infant insert.
The performance is made out of a moisture-wicking mesh material and has plenty of ventilation for breathability.
Lightweight and cool.
Body Material/Shell: 100% Polyester
Body Material/Mesh: 100% Polyester
Lining Material: 100% Polyester
When I checked out the Ergobaby performance carrier it made me really want one. I loved how lightweight it seemed. I love my Ergo but I have gotten pretty hot in it when hiking and in warm weather. The performance style's mesh, ventilated lining really seemed so airy and cool. The straps and the whole carrier just seemed slimmer and lighter. Now I cannot speak to the comfort of it because I did not wear it longer than just trying it on. I have heard from some people that since it is not as plush it is not quite as comfortable as an original Ergo. I also have seen some reviews where people found the straps itchy or uncomfortable on bare skin. Many people seem to love it though.
Comparison of common features:
They even have some designer options that I did not cover, as well as a new wrap. Your pick is really going to come down to what you are looking for in a carrier.
For me personally, the original or organic is my choice if I can only have one. While the Four Position 360 may seem like you get more, I have never really missed not being able to have my babies face out. Actually, I had a Bjorn and I did wear my both of my babies facing out briefly but I always found facing in more comfortable. My babies liked to face me and cuddle with me and they could still look around and see the world just fine. I found facing out fun for short periods of time but definitely not necessary. Of course if this is a feature you really want, go for it!
Please let me know if you have any thoughts or questions about any of these carriers!