Some things in life, parents should not be forced to live without.
Chocolate. Ice Cream. Sleep. Adventure…and a good baby carrier.
While it’s easy to find very specific carriers and packs for each stage of your child’s development, savvy parents want more. Actually, what a savvy parent really wants is less – as in one pack that does it all.
With our recent move, we did some SERIOUS downsizing, so pretty much everything we brought with us were things that we multi-purpose and would get used A LOT. As you can imagine, that meant that lots of our baby and kid stuff went out the window (okay, more out the door to the thrift store, but you get my point). We left our coveted Kelty pack in my in-laws basement (with hopes of some backpacking trips back home on our next trip back to the states), and started looking for a good alternative. Well, we found that and more in the Onya Outback.
I like to think of the Onya Outback as the crossover SUV of baby carriers. It’s a little bit adventurous kid carrier pack, and a little bit traditional soft carrier. Let’s just say that whatever it is, it’s awesome and could easily be the last (or if you’re smart the ONLY) carrier you ever buy.
The Onya is right up near the top of the new generation of ergonomically designed baby carriers. We especially love it because it has more padding and wider straps which help distribute weight when wearing a heavier child or when you’ve got it on for long periods of time. In those ways, it feels much more like our traditional hiking child carrier pack we left behind – that and the ripstop nylon and pockets make it feel super rugged! It also has the added benefit of serious flexibility so that pretty much any kid who needs to be carried, can hop in it (from 7-75 lbs – though let me tell you, no kid of mine is getting a free ride if they’re already 75 lbs…).
So what sets it apart and makes me REALLY love it?
The biggest thing is that my BABY loves it. Skyler is now three months old (holy crap, how did the time pass so fast), and this is the only carrier that he consistently likes. This is compared to a sling, a wrap, and another nice name brand soft carrier. I wear it while cooking dinner, mopping the floor, reading stories, going for walks…do you get my point? The one place that I’m REALLY into it is at the pool. Skyler hasn’t decided yet that he likes being in the pool, and as hard as I try, he screams back as loud as he can that he hates it (and let me tell you, I’ve never heard a kid scream like this one does…I honestly anticipate getting some hearing loss from that kid). However, in the Outback, I can wear him and be in the pool with the other kids. I stay where I’m only in up to my waist, he gets to be nice and close while still just getting his feet wet, and I still have 2 free hands to dedicate to my three other little sharks. Oh, and when they splash us, the ripstop nylon makes the water roll right off so that my sweet boy doesn’t get soaked by all the other kids around. Even if it does get wet, the inside has mesh so it dries in a flash and is great for keeping my little guy cool on these insanely hot days. It’s pretty much the most coveted item at our local pool since it makes it so I don’t have to stay home or simply sweat under an umbrella – yes, the Outback gives me freedom!
Oh, and this pack isn’t just for babies. Our two youngest are just 21 months apart, so both boys get lots of time using it. It’s super easy to adjust so it’s a piece of cake to switch between the boys. While it does come with an optional infant booster, we’ve been sticking to this cool trick we learned on the Onya blog that we prefer. Mostly because then we can switch between the boys easier and also because it’s just too stinking hot to use the booster right now (um, it was 119 degrees today…and yes, we still were outside swimming and going for our evening walk).
Want more multi-functionality? It can also double as a high chair seat harness (though we haven’t used it much yet). You can be sure I’m gonna be crazy about that feature when we’re traveling!
What don’t I like? The biggest thing that I don’t like is that it’s pretty bulky. That means when I roll it up and store it, it takes up more room than any of my other soft carriers, so it’s harder to just stuff in my backpack or giant mom-purse. Also along with that, the hip belt is pretty stiff and bulky which is fantastic for back carrying my older boy, but when I’ve got a sleeping baby in the front and just want to sit down for a minute, it’s a little uncomfortable. Deal breakers? Not by a long shot!
Overall, this pack is awesome, and would be a great match for any adventurous parent!
Onya Baby provided us this pack for the review, however, all opinions are honest and not influenced by receiving products.