Hands-on Gear Review
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Price: $120 list | Available for $139 from Amazon
Pros: Lightweight, breathable, durable, easy to use
Cons: Uncomfortable lacking support & padding, no front carry facing out option
Bottom line: Sporty carrier that loses major points on comfort.
Out of the box, The ERGObaby Performance looks pretty slick, really sporty. We were hoping those looks would pay off and the Performance model would be an improvement on the ERGObaby Original, but for us, that just wasn't the case. In the process of eliminating some of Original's bulk, we feel comfort was compromised.
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BabyGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The ERGObaby Performance presents the same design as the Original, but is geared to towards the more "active" lifestyle. It claims to be lighter in weight and to keep baby and parent cooler with a more breathable "moisture-wicking mesh." Though we did experience both of these claims to be true, this carrier was uncomfortable to wear for prolonged periods of time.
Another thing we noticed was that the seat panel didn't come up as high on baby's back as it did in the Original ERGO. This means less head support for younger babies. This lower seat panel also hit under our youngest tester's arms in an awkward place, too.
Like the ERGObaby Original, the Performance has 3 baby wearing positions: Front Carry Facing In, Hip Carry, and Back Carry. With newborns and smaller infants, the infant insert must be used to accomodate baby which we found to be cumbersome.
We did feel like the Performance kept parent and baby cooler. The outer layer of the carrier, made of polyester, has water repellency and thus, is easier to wipe clean. It can be machine washed and dried as well.
This carrier does a great job of putting baby in proper hip/spine alignment.
Using this carrier is fairly simple and intuitive. We feel the quality is great with sturdy construction that should last through the toddler years.
Many of our dislikes mimic what we found with the ERGObaby Original: we missed the front facing carry option offered by many competitors, the infant insert wasn't very user friendly and getting baby into the back pack position can be tricky. Please refer to your ERGObaby Performance users manual.
However, what we missed most of all was the padding!
The ERGObaby Performance just didn't offer the long-wearing comfort we feel to be an important feature for any baby carrier, particularly one that should be able to handle longer, more active treks like this one. The quality matches the price, but as far as function, we're found our Editor's Choice Winner, the Beco Gemini, to be superior.
— Lindsay Ellis
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Most recent user review: January 7, 2013
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