Babies Bottoms and More

Cloth diapering, babywearing, breastfeeding, and natural living

Beco Butterfly, Beco Gemini, and Boba 3G carriers January 26, 2012

For those of you considering a soft structured carrier (SSC), I thought I’d go over the differences between these three carriers.  SSC’s are great for heavy or squirmy babies because they do not stretch, and they do support the baby’s weight on both shoulders and hips.  Each one has small differences though that might be overlooked but can make worlds of difference to the person who is using it. 

Beco Butterfly II, 7-45 lbs

This carrier retails for $139 and of these three models has been around the longest.  Positions are limited to front carry (baby facing you) and back carry (baby facing you).  Shoulder straps are backpack style (attached at both ends to make a closed loop) and have an H-strap that connects the two shoulder straps across your back or your chest.  The thing that sets the Butterfly II apart is the inner sling made of fabric where the baby sits.  This sling is what keeps them in the carrier, so you can actually unbuckle the waist strap without the baby falling out.  This means you can “Pass the Baby” without taking him/her out of the carrier.  It also means that with an older baby you can put him/her in the Beco Butterfly II while sitting on a couch or something and THEN hoist them up on your back by the shoulder straps, and finally do the waist strap last.  If you plan to do a lot of passing back and forth, or are nervous about back carries, this is the one for you. 

The Butterfly II has an infant insert for babies 7-15 lbs and a detachable sleeping hood.  Both are included in the price of the carrier and storage compartments are built into the carrier so you never lose them. 

Because of the way the carrier is made, there are two things you can do with the Butterfly II that you can’t do with other carriers.  First of all, just like you can take the carrier off without taking the baby out, you can also take the baby out without taking the carrier off.  This comes in handy in cold weather when you have a coat on over the baby carrier.  You can take the baby out and into their car seat without having to take off your coat and stand in the freezing wind or rain while you buckle your baby.  The second thing you can do is if you can’t reach behind your back to buckle the H-strap, you can buckle it BEFORE you put the straps on your shoulders and then simply slip the already-buckled strap over your head onto your back.  You would do this before the baby is in the carrier, of course. 

Beco Gemini, 7-35 lbs

 

This carrier retails for $129 and can do a front and back carry as well as a front-facing carry and a hip carry.  It does not have the inner sling that the Butterfly II does.  It also does not have an infant insert (because of the way it’s made it doesn’t need one) or a detachable hood.  Instead it has a padded headrest that can be folded down when not in use. 

The Gemini has two features that the Butterfly II and Boba do not have.  First, the base can be made wider or narrower with snaps.  You would make it narrow for a tiny baby or for a forward-facinb baby, and make it wider for a bigger baby who needs more bottom support when facing you.  Second, the straps are not attached at both ends but buckle to make backpack-style loops.  This means you have the option of making an H-back or an X-back strap configuration.  Some people find the X-back much more comfortable.  It’s really good for moms with narrow shoulders because it never feels like it’s going to slip off your shoulders.  When you have the straps on the X-back configuration, though, it’s important to remember that you can’t just switch back and forth from front-carry to back-carry like you can when they are set up for an H-back. 

Boba 3G, 7-35 lbs

 

The Boba carrier ($120-125) has a simple design with lots of added bells and whistles.  The basic design is that of an Ergo or a Mei Tai: waist belt, shoulder straps, fabric seat for baby in between.  There is no inner sling like in the Butterfly II.  It can do front carry (facing mom) or back carry, but no forward facing or hip carry.  There is a detachable hood that can store in its own zippered pocket on the carrier.  Instead of an infant insert, the Boba uses set of snaps that makes the carrier body shorter to accomodate an infant as well as to make a headrest to cradle a tiny baby’s head.  When fully unsnapped, the Boba is about 30% taller than other carriers on the market, making it great for taller babies or those who want more support.  Straps are backpack-style, attached on both ends and include a cross-back (or chest) strap to make an H-configuration.

Where Boba really shines is in its added features.  There are two zippered pockets on the carrier, one just the right size for a smart phone and the other big enough for a small snack or keys and a wallet.  Small snap straps on each shoulder allow you to attach the strap of your purse or diaper bag to the carrier so it will not slip off your shoulder.  And (removable) footrests are great for the older child to prevent dangling legs and improper hip alignment. 

You are welcome to stop by our store, Babies Bottoms and More, any Tuesday from 10-2 or Saturday from 11-3 to try on any or all of these carriers.  The best way to decide which one is best for you and your baby is to try them on.  Please see our website, www.babiesbottomsandmore.com, for address and current hours. 

These reviews come from my own extensive personal experience with these carriers (I own one of each and use them daily). I have not received any free product or been compensated in any way for these reviews.

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6 Responses to “Beco Butterfly, Beco Gemini, and Boba 3G carriers”

  1. Mindy Says:

    I’m 5 ft tall and 115 pounds- would any of these stand out for someone of this stature? I would currently be carrying a 24 lbs. 19 month old. Thanks for the review! Just what I needed!

    • Hi Mindy, I’m 5’3″ and 126 lbs and all 3 fit me. The biggest concern I would have is whether the waist buckle would go tight enough for you, on any of them. I just measured the waistbands on the smallest setting and it looks like the Boba goes down to 26″, Beco Buttterfly down to 30″, and Gemini down to 30″ too. If you are concerned about the shoulder straps being too big – I don’t know how to measure them in a way that makes sense – but you could always go with the Gemini since if you cross the straps to an X they basically tighten completely flat so they couldn’t possibly be too big.

      If all the waist sizes of all 3 were too big, I’d recommend you go with a Mei Tai. We carry the CatBirdBaby Babywearing Essentials Mei Tais for $69. Because the waist strap gets tied and not buckled, you can tie it as tight as you want. You basically get the same support as these three carriers above, just a little less padding. Let me know if you have any more questions, I’m happy to help!

      Elisa

  2. Hollie Says:

    Thank you for such a great round up of these 3 carriers. I like how you made a real emphasis on the difference in features as opposed to personal opinion as most reviews tend to. I currently have a Close Caboo but am looking to purchase another carrier to be able to wear my little one on my back. I am completely torn between the Ergo, Beco Gemini and Boba. HELP!!!! I love that the Beco straps can be crossed over although I’m not sure how much use now I would get from this feature as my LO is approaching 6months and may spend more time in the back carry position. Have you reviewed the Ergo? What are your thoughts on throwing this carrier into the mix, against the others? It certainly seems to be the most popular from forums etc, which makes me wonder why.
    So glad to have stumbled across your blog :)

    • Thanks for your comment, Hollie, and I’m SO glad you found this post helpful! If you are local to Dallas/Fort Worth I would encourage you to come into the store and try on the different carriers, preferably with your baby. If you leave your drivers license you can even “check out” a carrier for up to 30 minutes and go for a walk to see how it feels after you’ve had it on for a while.

      The only personal experience I have had with the Ergo (besides trying one on and becoming familiar with its features) is that several customers have come in and gotten a Boba 3G to replace their Ergos and say that they like them much better. We don’t carry Ergo because they regularly utilize deal-a-day sites such as Baby Steals where Ergo is sold for up to 50% off. As a retailer I would be contractually bound not to sell below MSRP so I couldn’t match that price even if I wanted to. Unfortunately what this means is that as more and more independent retailers stop carrying Ergo because they cannot compete with the prices Ergo gives to deal sites, you the consumer may have a hard time finding a store where you can try on and get knowledgable help on an Ergo carrier. If you buy from a deal site, you get a great deal, but if you don’t like the carrier then you may be stuck with a carrier you don’t like, that has very little resale value because everyone knows they can just wait for the next 50% off deal.

      Now, Ergo is a quality carrier, and it is widely available in big box stores. I don’t mean to knock their product and I hope I’m not coming across that way. I’m just trying to explain why they are so popular, and why I don’t carry them. I have a lot of respect for the company who was able to make safe, comfortable babywearing mainstream. :)

  3. Teresa Says:

    This is a really helpful comparison as I was considering the butterfly or g3 but am now thinking the gemini might be better because shoulders are quite narrow. Is the x strap on the boba any good for this? Is it easy for poorly coordinated people like me to do a back carry with the gemini? TIA

    • The Boba cannot do an x-back, it can do an H back though and that helps the straps to stay on even narrow shoulders. The Gemini can do the X back or the H back. Back carries are not too hard, just practice over a bed and in front of a mirror the first few times. I highly recommend visiting your local store and trying them on first if you can. Thanks for asking!


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