(Updated August 2018)
Designed to be the new flagship carrier for Ergobaby — the one that “does it all” — the new Ergobaby Omni 360 has us all aflutter. The Omni 360 is the lovechild of the Ergobaby 360 and the newer Ergobaby Adapt (plus, features from the Original Ergo we all know and love).
Like the Ergo 360, the Ergobaby Omni 360 is a four-position carrier (read: OUTWARD FACING, yay!!). It lets you carry baby on your back, on your hip, on your front facing in (which is great for napping) or facing out (which older babies with FOMO love). *You can start facing your baby out around 6 months, or once they have good head stability.
They really brought together the best of all worlds on this carrier. They took the complaints people had with the Ergo 360 (the velcro, the lack of sun hood, etc.), waved their magic engineering wands, and presto: they created a true all-ages, all-in-one carrier. Good thing, because for the price tag of $180 (on sale $165), you can probably only afford one (let’s hear it for baby shower registries!).
Like the Ergo 360, the Omni 360 also has a structured bucket seat that allows baby to sit super comfortably (and ergonomically) in all four positions. No dreaded “crotch-dangling” while facing out. The seat is more padded than the likes of the Beco, Bjorn One, or even the Lillebaby Complete. The padding creates a comfy, pillow-like seat for your baby, all while keeping her legs in the hip-safe “M position.”
Here’s a closer look at what’s new in the Omni 360:
Haaaa-llelujah! The dreaded infant insert is gone! Parents of newborns (0-6 months) no longer have to wrap up their tiny babies in that bulky (and hot) “newborn insert” before placing them in the carrier. Now, you simply adjust the leg width to the “newborn” position with some velcro tabs, and your little one goes straight in. Done and done.
Note: It’s always important to support your newborn’s head with the included neck pillow. It should be at baby’s ear level and can be adjusted with a button on each side. For newborns, you’ll want to fold the neck panel in for more support.
Detachable Storage Pouch
From the Ergo Classic, they kept the storage pouch (which is now detachable), because everyone needs a place to put their keys/phone/credit card when they take baby for a walk. That’s right, gurl (or guy!), go ahead and treat yo’self to that venti, non-fat Frappuccino with extra whip and chocolate sauce you were craving, or — just get some shopping done. Trust me: no one wants to bring an extra bag with them when they are without a stroller. Whenever possible: simplify, simplify, simplify.
New and Improved Waistband
No more velcro, which lots of people hated from the 360 (for the record, I loved it, lol — Meg). The waistband on the Omni connects with a simple buckle clasp you can unfasten with one hand (yay!) and offers additional lumbar support, which is great for older, heavier babies.
Technically, you’re supposed to thread the buckle through an elastic safety band (see below) as an added safety measure… but if you’re like me (too busy with two kids to bother), you might end up skipping this extra step.
You can easily adjust the waist straps without unfastening the buckle, which is great for making adjustments on the go. The lumbar support band also protects your skin from the buckle, which can dig into your back in other carriers (I’m lookin’ at you, Beco Gemini). Additionally, the lumbar support band offers some nice camouflage when wearing baby on your back for one’s [ahem] post-baby muffin top (nothing to be ashamed of, but nice to keep it contained, amiright?).
Crossable Shoulder Straps
It’s what we always loved about the Beco Gemini: crossable straps!! Yes, the Omni 360 offers the handy alternative option of crossing the straps in an X position across your back and connecting them to the sides of the carrier.
What’s great about this option is:
- this position offers more support for your back for extended baby wearing, and
- you can easily attach the straps without taking your hands off your baby. You can also unclasp the shoulder strap buckles with one hand, even with their included safety locks.
Crossing the straps is very secure and much quicker to don (and tighten — all by yourself!) than regular straps. No more buckling that difficult-to-reach “back clasp.”
In fact, if you always wear the straps in the X position, you don’t even need to bother adjusting them each time you saddle up. It’s super easy to get the carrier off in this position — you don’t have to beg a stranger to unbuckle your back clasp!
Check out the instruction video before attempting to cross the straps yourself, unless you’re already an old pro.
Comfort and Ease of Use
The Omni 360 continues Ergobaby’s legacy of attractiveness, comfort, and practicality. It looks essentially the same as the 360, and comes in four neutral colors: khaki green, midnight blue, pearl grey, and pure black. These colors tend to lend themselves for easier sharing with… your other half.
All in all, I find the Omni 360 to be very comfortable. Between the lumbar support and the option to cross the padded straps, my back still felt pretty darn good even after a few hours of wearing a 10-month old.
I also appreciate that the Omni 360 offers three different leg width options from newborn to toddler, whereas most other carriers only offer two. You can quickly adjust the velcro tabs for proper leg support as your baby grows taller, or as you switch between different kiddos.
The extra width option ensures your baby’s legs and hips are always fully supported as she grows.
Nursing: It’s fairly easy to breastfeed in this carrier, although there isn’t a ton of coverage on the sides because of its slimmer proportions. If you’re worried about passersby spotting some side-boob, you may want to bring a nursing cover to create some extra privacy.
- Some reviewers find it a bit challenging to attach and tighten the shoulder straps by themselves, especially in the backpack-style position. I personally didn’t have this problem. Note that getting any carrier on by yourself takes practice, and the Omni 360 is no exception.
- The shoulder strap clasps… while relatively easy to unfasten with one hand (just squeeze and lift the safety latch), aren’t so easy to fasten with one hand.
To unfasten, you squeeze and lift the latch at the same time. It isn’t too annoying, especially considering it’ll stop your toddler from unfastening it for you!
I had to use both hands to connect the shoulder straps to the carrier, which was fairly easy to do while crossing one arm securely over my daughter in the carrier.
- With all that thick cushioning, this carrier could get pretty hot if you’re using it outside on warmer days. Thus, if you’re the outdoorsy type and plan on doing your share of walking or hiking in warm weather, you may be better off with the new Ergobaby Omni 360 Cool Air Mesh (which, like the regular Omni 360, allows outward facing and doesn’t require a newborn insert!) ($179).
- The price ($180, on sale $165) for the Omni 360 makes it the most expensive four-position carrier out there, by about $40, though you get more features (like the hood and storage pouch) and the ergonomic bucket-style seat. OH! And you don’t have to buy a newborn insert anymore. That’s huge!
Overall, the Ergo Omni 360 is an easy to use, comfortable carrier that can be used from birth, or 7 lbs, to roughly 3 years, or 33 lbs (oof!). I found it easy to get this carrier on and off, adjust its width to my baby’s size, and use it both inward and outward facing.
My 10-month-old seemed super comfy in this carrier, and I was able to attend a family gathering and socialize (for real!) while she slept happily in it for hours. No doubt about it: babywearing = freedom, y’all! Or at least, something resembling freedom…
All in all, the Ergobaby Omni 360 provides all the options you could possibly want in a well-built, classy carrier — AND it includes must-haves like a sun hood, a storage pouch, and the ability to face outward. It has more features than any other four-position carrier out there (with the exception of the slightly bulkier and cheaper Lillebaby), and is cute and comfy to boot.
* We received a free sample of this product for this review, but these opinions are all our own.
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