Long before we made the decision to start trying to conceive, I was already casually checking out baby gear online. I love to research and plan and make lists, and when thinking about having a baby, there is a lot of research and planning and list making to do! Once we learned we were pregnant, I started working on a registry almost immediately. I found sample registries all over the place, read all sorts of reviews and added only what I felt was the best baby stuff to our registry. But I couldn’t come to a final decision about a carrier. I simply registered for gift cards to our local baby store to put towards a carrier. I mean, I had it narrowed down to a few and was closing in on the Onya Baby Outback after reading all of the countless positive reviews online but really wanted to wait for baby and get into a store to try a few out. All that to say, baby arrived early and we didn’t have a carrier yet.
It wasn’t an issue at first as we didn’t even get out of the apartment until he was a week old. And even then we only casually strolled around the neighbourhood, for which our Huggaloops carrier worked just fine. But not long and I was itching to hit the trails again! And then came my father-in-law with a birthday present for my husband: our very own Onya Baby Outback! In olive green and chocolate chip! Mmmm! Wait, what?
My father-in-law took great care in picking out a carrier he knew his son would love to wear – a masculine, durable, good for hiking, baby wearing device. And how perfect that he took that final leap for me and just bought the one I subconsciously knew I wanted anyway.
We took it out of its packaging, unrolled the beauty and passed it around the room, each taking turns ooh-ing and ahh-ing over all of the features. 4 ways to wear it! One of which is a chair! Pockets and toy loops! A nap hood with UPF 50! Easy to adjust! We just bought a new car and I feel like it doesn’t even have this many features…
We were a little disappointed when we went to try it on though. Without the Baby Booster Infant Insert (sold separately), we’d need our little guy to put on 3 whole pounds before we could test drive it. Enter: Maman Loup to the rescue! She sent hers along for us to use as Little Miss Cub was big enough to no longer need it. And then we hit the trail!
I think we only used the booster a handful of times for some hour-long urban strolls and a few short hikes, as within 2 weeks the wee one had put on those necessary 3 pounds. Since then we’ve had the Outback out at Lemoine Point Conservation Area and Frontenac Provincial Park for some longer and more rugged journeys. And all I can say is that we LOVE it!
Its slim design fits so well under my coat (with the use of a Kokoala Zip-in Coat Extension) and with the clips on the shoulder straps it’s so easy to get on and off. I can’t wait to “unlock” all of the features as we hit the big milestones of 4 and 6 months (back carry, hip carry, chair, etc.)
The Star of the Show: The Onya Baby Outback featuring…
- Body extension to support taller babies/toddlers (we leave it up to keep the little one’s hat on).
- Toy loops on each shoulder strap.
- Multi-purpose webbing loops (used for the chair mode and the infant insert).
- Adjustable chest strap.
- Double-entry zippered pocket (for warming your hands in the winter, or holding an icepack to keep baby cool in the summer).
- Angled and padded leg support for baby.
- Covered waist buckle with elastic catch for safety.
- D-ring for your keys.
- Nap hood with UVP 50 (has strings that snap onto shoulder straps).
- Low-profile shoulder straps.
- Zippered pocket (perfect for your cell phone or debit card).
- Shoulder strap clip that adjusts on both sides – for your shoulders and baby’s legs.
- Chair harness stowaway pocket.
- Wide, padded waist belt.
What we love about our Onya Baby Outback carrier:
• It’s so comfortable! Despite being “rugged”, the air-mesh lining is soft against the skin and nice and cushy. I’ve worn it with a tank top and no chafing! And I don’t hear any complaints from my passenger as he sleeps pretty much the entire time we hike, so obviously he think it’s comfortable too.
• It’s easy to adjust on the go! There are 6 points of adjustment on this carrier: 2 on each shoulder strap (one for you and one for baby’s legs), 1 for the chest clip and 1 for the waist belt. Oh, and there’s an elastic loop to contain every extra length of strap!
• It has a long body! We’ve already discovered, even at the young age of 2 months, that we have a big baby. But I see no reason why this carrier won’t last what with its hefty weight limit (45lbs.) and the snap-up extension to the length of the body.
• It’s breathable! When you spend as much time on the trail as we do, you learn to love the smell of your own sweat. Did I actually just say that? Anyway, it’s important to us that we have breathable clothing and breathable gear and this meets those requirements. After doing the dishes while baby wearing with our Huggaloops, we’re both a little damp, but that’s not the case on the trail with the Outback.
• I can put it on by myself! So far we’ve only tried the front carry, so I can’t speak to the ease of use in any other position, but I can easily get baby in and out, shoulder straps clipped in a criss-cross position, all on my own. This is important to me as I often take the dog for a walk on the trail beside our place while Daddy is at work.
• It’s so versatile! It’s easy to pass between parents and adjust to fit. It can be worn on the front, on the back or on the side. It can also serve as a way to convert any chair into a high chair. And you can even nurse while wearing it (assuming you have the right “equipment”) although I haven’t tried this yet as we have a sleeper on our hands.
• It’s reasonably priced! Despite the fact that I didn’t buy it myself, a big part of why I liked it so much in my researching phase was because of the low price tag. Some carriers can get up over the $200 mark and don’t have nearly the features that this carrier does. At $179, it’s a steal! And the quality of this product gives it great resale value.
• You will never need another carrier! The Onya Baby Outback is the definition of “function over fashion” (yet is still quite fashionable) and will see you through from infancy to toddlerhood. With the use of the Baby Booster Infant Insert and the many functions this carrier possesses, you will never need to buy another carrier.
• There are tutorial videos! Yes, Onya Baby has a tutorial video to help you take advantage of every feature, even how to roll it up for easy storage. Check them out here.
What we would change if we could:
• The Baby Booster Infant Insert. You’re probably wondering what on earth I would want to change about such a comfy, well-made safety feature that extends the life of such a great carrier…well let me explain. First of all, it’s sold separately for another $39, and I’m not a fan of having to buy things separately. But, Onya Baby does sell their carriers as bundles for $159 ($219 CAD) which includes the Outback, the infant insert and a set of Chewie teething pads. So that pretty much eliminates that con. The other thing I would change would be my incompetency when it came to using it. Because I didn’t need to use it more than a handful of times, I didn’t get very good at maneuvering it (and was often wrestling with it in the backseat of the car, probably not the easiest). I also found that Bébé sat quite high in it, making my shoulders sore, but that might be just because he’s such a big boy.
• It’s American. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against American products. I prefer Canadian products because they don’t have to travel as far to get to me, making them more eco-friendly. However, Onya Baby does a great deal to ensure the sustainability of their products so that sort of evens things out. The other problem with American products is that with the exchange rate as it is right now, American products are pricier. The Onya Baby website has it listed for $139, with the insert being only $29 – if only we could have those prices here and then it would be even MORE affordable! But really, this isn’t that much of a con except for the eCONomy (I couldn’t resist!).
Are you sold on the Onya Baby Outback carrier? If so, you can buy one from Gentle Nest.
Stay tuned for an update once we can try the back and hip carries, and breastfeeding on the trail!