Ergobaby set out to make a new, fresh carrier that allows baby to face in (as usual), but also allows baby to face outward in an ergonomically correct position – and they did a really nice job! Introducing the Ergobaby Four Position 360.
While I love traditional (facing-in) babywearing, sometimes? You gotta change it up a little. And babywearing is babywearing, no matter what the position.
About the Outward Facing
Unlike other carriers that allow outward facing such as the Beco Gemini, the Ergobaby 360 allows baby to be in more of a seated position, rather than in the dreaded “crotch-dangling” position (drink!).
The structured bucket seat of the 360 has more depth than other carriers and allows baby to sit comfortably with her weight resting on her bottom and her knees at the same level as her hips. For more details, watch the instructional video here.
To use the outward facing position, you just need to re-button the seat to the narrow seating position and button down the back panel so baby has enough room to see out.
The suggested window for forward-facing is 5-12 months (up to 22 lbs), which seems a bit short. I know others have used it in this position past 22 lbs and it was just fine, so… do whatever works for you.
The waistband on the 360 is a soft, wide, Velcro band. People either love it or hate it.
Personally, I love it. Here’s why: it’s super wide, soft, and you don’t have a plastic buckle digging into your skin like you do with other carriers. To me, it feels MUCH more supportive for a postpartum belly than the waistbands of other carriers, especially for C-section moms – and the wideness of the band ELIMINATES MUFFIN TOP, y’all (well, technically, your muffin top is still there, it just doesn’t… muffin-out like it does with other carriers).
That said, plenty of people hate the waistband, mainly due to the loud sound Velcro makes when taking it off, which will definitely wake a sleeping baby — and the fact that you can’t easily tighten or loosen it without taking it off. About the velcro noise: I agree it’s not ideal, but you can simply slip baby out if she’s sleeping, put her down, then go in the other room to take it off.
As baby carriers go, the 360 is slim, sleek and sexy – probably the best looking one on the market. It has a sun hood, although not nearly as large as in the traditional Ergobaby carrier. There is no storage pocket, which some people dislike, but it keeps the overall profile of the carrier fairly slim.
For newborns, you’ll need an additional newborn insert (for 7-12 lbs). However, Ergo’s new Omni 360 carrier ($179) can be used from birth (or 7 pounds) without an infant insert! (Check out our full review of the Omni 360.)
The biggest complaint you’ll read about regarding this carrier has to do with the chest clip (which, in the front carry position is really a back clip). The chest clip is supposed to rest between your shoulder blades in the back and, to clip it by yourself, they recommend that you lengthen the straps allllll the way out, reach back to clip it, then tighten the straps back up again. Many people either 1. don’t realize you can do this, or 2. feel it’s too much trouble to do this. Others don’t seem to mind or just get help from a friend.
The 360 is a “4-position” carrier: back carry, hip carry, front facing in, and front facing out (in reality, nobody uses the hip carry, but it technically can be done). Everyone loves a good back carry, especially as baby gets a little heavier.
Other carriers that tout these four positions (namely, the “facing-out” front carry) are the BabyBjorn “Carrier One,” the Beco Gemini, and the LILLEbaby Complete.
Let’s first compare the 360 to those (apples to apples), then we’ll compare it to the traditional Ergobaby carrier (we’ve used these other carriers extensively, so there’s a lot to say!).
Vs. Other “Facing out” Carriers
Compared to the BabyBjorn Carrier One
Some pros and cons… the BabyBjorn Carrier One does not require the use of an additional newborn adapter like the 360 does (for 0-4 months). The Carrier One is also super easy to get baby in and out of (like the traditional Bjorn) and doesn’t have loud Velcro that will wake baby when taking it off.
The big downside of the Carrier One is that it lacks the deep bucket seat of the 360, which means it may not be as comfortable for baby. Additionally, the price of the 360 is lower ($159) compared to the Carrier One ($190) – and the 360 is arguably better looking.
Compared to the Lillebaby Complete
The LILLEbaby Complete has snaps instead of buttons, so adjusting it and raising the head support panel is faster and easier than with the 360. Also, you can use the LILLEbaby with a newborn without needing to buy a separate insert. The LILLEbaby also has a storage pocket and is easier to clip in the back. In the facing-in position, the LILLEbaby has a much wider, more comfortable seat for older toddlers who need more support.
However, the bucket seat on the 360 keeps baby’s hips in a more seated position (once again), which is really what this carrier is all about. Also, the LILLEbaby is bulkier and heavier than the 360.
Compared to the Beco Gemini
The 360 is a clear winner over the Beco Gemini. Again, the same comment about the bucket seat applies. The Beco also has a clasp that requires two hands to release the safety button on their clasps, which I really dislike.
Where the Gemini does excel is that it’s super easy to get on and off without needing “clip assistance,” especially if you criss-cross the straps in the back, which I love to do with Beco carriers.
Vs. the Original Ergobaby Carrier
The big difference, of course, is that the original Ergobaby carrier doesn’t allow a facing-out carry. If you don’t plan on using it this way, the original Ergobaby carrier is a better bet.
Again, the 360 has a smaller overall profile than the original carrier and no pocket; in that regard, it’s a simpler carrier. Many women (me included!) do prefer the wide Velcro waistband on the 360, especially those who wear more form-fitting clothes who don’t want to make the fat roll problem look even worse, lol.
Many people comment that the 360 is better than the original Ergobaby for petite women, yet can still accommodate tall parents as well. The smaller hood on the 360 means a cleaner look, which is preferred by people who think the hood on the original carrier looks a bit frumpy.
Ergobaby made a great carrier that makes it even easier for front-carry fans to come out of the closet, all while keeping baby in a very comfortable position. The carrier is simple and great looking, though not as long lasting (only goes up to 33 lbs). The wide, comfortable waistband is very supportive and slimming (almost like a back brace), though not loved by all due to the noise of the Velcro and lack of adjustability. (Note that the latest version of this carrier, the Omni 360, does away with the Velcro on the waistband.)
Thus, this carrier is ideal for those who are looking for the best forward-facing option carrier, perhaps at the sacrifice of other features, such as a storage pocket (which is included on the Omni 360), and an easy-to-fasten chest clip.
Those whose babies are already over a year old (and thus cannot utilize this feature) are better off with a carrier with a wider seat for toddlers, such as the original Ergobaby carrier or other soft structured carriers in its class.
* We received a free sample of this product for this review.
i love my ergo 360 however I almost never wear my son facing out cause it hurts my back. He likes to kick his feet in that position.
I pretty much always have him face inward. I wish the hood was slightly larger for sunny days.
I love it though, the Velcro is great. I buckle the chest clip high and then slip it down into position. I usually do a little jump and my son thinks it’s funny.
What are your thoughts on the Cybex 2.GO as a front facing baby carrier?
It’s okay, but not one of my favorites. The back support is lacking.
This looks amazing, but I don’t have money to afford this. I love my original ergo baby carrier (I got second hand but still is amazing!) but wish I could turn my little guy facing forward because he loves to look out. A girl can dream!
The ergobaby is awesome! It is so adorable! This is how I’d like to carry my baby around! Greets! Storage Parsonsgreen Ltd.
Very cool! I would love to have this when my baby is born! Adorable!
Is the hood on the 360 large enough to accommodate breastfeeding in public?
It’s definitely not the largest, but yes, you could nurse fairly discreetly under there 😉
Love your blog and I trust your suggestions!
I currently have a 11 week old (11-11lbs) and wondering which carrier or wrap is best suited? I already have the ergo 360 w insert but it’s bulky and hot. I don’t want to waste the purchase . Maybe return the infant insert and buy a wrap like ktan or Nesting day?. I bought it before discovering your blog. Any help would be great.
Hi Debbie! Apologies for the delayed response. But in case you’re still looking, have you had a chance to read about our recos on Infant carriers and Soft Structured carriers. They both play a different roll, so it really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you decided to keep your Ergo, know that you can totally use it with your newborn baby without the bulky & hot infant insert. Just roll up a swaddle blanket and place under your baby’s butt at the bottom of the carrier. This helps to raise your baby up so he doesn’t sink in the carrier. Otherwise, we love the K’Tan and Nesting Days for early use!
How do you breastfeed in this? Do you have to completely redo the velcro?
Nah, you can just loosen one of the straps and slide your babe down a bit. I will say this is not the *favorite* carrier for nursing due to gaps in the sides, but it can still be done.
Which would you recommend for someone who wI’ll be doing a lot walking outside and inside with it and for someone very short?? My 3 month is already 15 lbs… and I plan on using carrier as log as possible.
There are some great toddler carriers out there, including the Lillebaby, which goes up to 40+ lbs and has a larger seat than the Ergobaby 360. Lillebaby and Tula also have some toddler-only carriers which are very well-reviewed for extended baby wearing. Hope that helps!
Trying to decide between this version and the cool air 360.. how warm does this carrier feel?
I think carriers are inherently warm, and the 360 is no different. If you live in a hot climate, I would get the “breathiest” one you can get (i.e. the Cool Air).
Thanks for the thorough review. I’m deciding between the original and 360 and still have more questions! My son loves to face out (didn’t know about the ‘dangling’ concerns, whoops!) so the 360 makes sense. In other contexts I HATE Velcro, though. Which has me worried.
Mostly I’m concerned that the 360 won’t carry as much weight. Does this also mean its a bit less ergonomic for mom? Is the different style of hip belt on the 360 at all less supportive/ comfortable over long distances?
I personally love the hip “belt” because it’s SO wide — so it doesn’t give you a muffin top. But yeah, it’s all velcro. So if you hate velco, you probs won’t like it 🙂 It’s no less ergonomic for mom, but it isn’t designed to be used /as long as/ the regular version, and others (it only goes up to 33 lbs), so those are the factors you have to weigh into your decision.
When can you use it without a newborn insert?
Technically, you don’t have to use the newborn insert, however it does make it easier to prop baby up higher in the carrier. I used mine for the first few months until I felt he had better neck control and wasn’t slouching in the carrier.
We are living in Dubai with a weather of 8 months warm/hot and 4 months of cooler weather (like less than 20 in January). We have an 8 weeks old son and we are thinking of getting him a carrier. However we are not sure what to get. We keep comparing Ergo 360 and Baby Bjorn Air. I definitely like the idea of Ergo that the hips of s baby is well supported but keep reading comments that the carrier could get warm which I think not suitable in Dubai. Can you please help us decide which one to get? Many thanks – J
The Ergo 360 also comes in a Cool Air version, which would help in warm weather.
Hi would you recommend the original ergobaby 360 or the cool air version? My 1 yo boy is 12kg and we leave in Singapore where the weather is often always warm and humid. I read that the mesh material of the cool air version could cause abrasions but I’m drawn to the fact that it could help in warm weather. Thanks!
Hi Karie! For warmer climates, I’d recommend the Ergobaby cool air mesh 360. I’ve had no problems with the fabric and abrasions. The original fabric can be a little warm for your little one if it’s hot outside.
I have registered and got the mesh ergo 360, in addition someone has given me a hand me down (their youngest is 4 years old, so would that be the “old version” of ergo, and only good for inward facing? I also received a baby bjorn carrier and the mom has a 2 year old, so would a carrier that old be consistent with the hip problems that bjorn had associated with it?
So technically I have 1. new ergo mesh 360 (from registery), 2. 4 year old ergo, and lastly 3. a 2-3 year old baby bjorn carrier…
what do I keep and what are the restrictions with the older ones as far as facing in and out and hip problems? (clearly I am a new mom)
Hi Liza! I love my original Ergo (facing in) and my 360 Ergo. I still use my original the most as it just feels better for me. But when my 5 month old wants to face out, I love my 360 mesh, especially when it’s hot outside. Regarding the Bjorn, you might want to compare the one you have to these, then make a decision whether to use. My suggestion is to keep all three. I keep one in the car, one in my home and one in my stroller. You’ll find a use for them all 😉