Test Driving the Beco Gemini

I must first say that I absolutely LOVE testing out the new carriers!  I feel like I’m building a relationship with each carrier. Silly?  Why yes I am!

Last week, I spent my time test driving the Beco Gemini.  It is a lovely, versatile and comfortable carrier.  I’m very happy to have tried the Gemini out for a week as it allows me to better sell the carrier when I’m working at Babies Bottoms and More.  Before I used the Gemini in real life, I was just able to tell potential babywearers that it just wasn’t the carrier for me.  I knew of it’s capabilities, but wasn’t wooed by the carrier as I was the Beco Butterfly 2.  Now, I feel very confident in assisting new babywearers and truly showcasing all that the Gemini is capable of doing.

The Gemini is a soft structured carrier that is very different from it’s sister the Butterfly 2.  The Gemini has a weight limit of 35 lbs, where the Butterfly 2 can carry a child up to 45 lbs.  (To be completely honest here, I highly doubt I will be wearing my child to those limits, but I reserve the right to do so if it makes both of us happy.)  The Gemini offers several ways to carry a baby: front carry, facing in; front carry, facing out; hip carry; and back carry.  A unique feature of the Gemini is the foldable headrest which can be used in front carry facing in or in a back carry.  Gemini eliminates the risk of losing a detachable headrest/hood with it’s foldable headrest, however, the headrest does not cover the baby’s head.  

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When testing the Gemini, I started with what feels like the most basic and natural position for me to employ in an ssc: front carry, facing in using the straps in the back pack style.  This position was very handy for allowing Norah to get used to a different carrier than our beloved Butterfly 2.  It allowed me to become familiar with the different features of the Gemini.  This was a preferred position for the nights when I needed to breastfeed Norah in the carrier in order for her to fall asleep.  I felt that the Gemini was very comfortable and far more accommodating for breastfeeding than my Butterfly 2 as the Gemini does not have an internal harness. 

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Back pack style straps.

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Crossed straps

I have to say that in the week I used the Gemini, my go to position was front carry with crossed straps.  I used this at home, at the park, and at the store.  It was just that comfortable to have the straps crossed.  It felt natural and very supportive for my bad back.  It made me wish that every carrier on the market offered this option. 

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Front carry, forward facing 

I have to admit that there isn’t much about a forward facing, front carry that entices me.  I did use this position one day for a long grocery trip and while it was comfortable and Norah LOVED the view, I did not love the carry.  It felt very unnatural to me and like Norah’s body was working against mine instead of with it.  There was nothing uncomfortable about it, but I felt like I had to be extra careful to not bump into the shopping car.  This carry also gave Norah way too many destructive ideas at the store since her arms were in front of her.  She did giggle and talk the entire time we were shopping and she didn’t ever get tired of the view.  I feel like strangers at the store were far more responsive to Norah in the carrier than when she is on my back in the Butterfly 2.  

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Back carry

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The back carry in the Gemini was comfortable and easy to employ despite my fears of dropping my baby.  (Yes, it’s true, my Butterfly 2 has spoiled me when it comes to easy back carries).  I did youtube videos of the best way to put the baby on my back and was always sure to test out the back carry while having her over the bed.  The back carry was easy to employ and the stiffer body of the carrier (when compared to the Butterfly 2 or the Boba 3G) reassured me that Norah was comfortable and positioned safely.  I did use this carrier during a warmer week and do not think that it made either one of us excessively hot.  

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Hip carry

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I’ll admit that the hip carry was not the most intriguing to me and only used it for a short time in my home.  I feel that a dedicated carrier for a hip carry, such as a ring sling, are far more comfortable for this position than the Gemini.  The Gemini performs well in a hip carry, but it does feel a bit bulky.  I much prefer my Hava Ring sling for the days that I want to keep Norah on my hip.  I can absolutely appreciate having the option of a hip carry in the Gemini, but would rarely use it in real life.  

Overall, I was far more impressed with the Gemini than I thought I would be at the beginning of this venture.  I feel like it offers a huge value for $129 considering all of it’s capabilities.  Spending a week getting to know the ins and outs of the Gemini has allowed me to be more confident in recommending this carrier to customers who desire a versatile yet comfortable soft structured carrier.  

Stay tuned!  I will review the Boba within the next week!

 

-Keila

Tutorial: Customize Your Carrier

 

Here is how to customize your carrier with no sewing machine needed.  I customized a Beco Gemini with a goldfish fabric I had.  I like to switch it up every year or so, and definitely give each new baby their own fabric on my Beco. 

1. Gather your supplies.  You will need a needle and thread, scissors, straight pins, and a piece of fabric about 2 inches bigger on all sides than part of the carrier you want to cover.  For me, this was the center panel of the Gemini.  If I was customizing a Mei Tai I would have covered the entire thing.  The fabric should be woven, not stretchy, and should be washable. 

2. To get the fabric the right size, spread it out and lay it down on the Beco.  Make a small cut in the fabric to mark where you are going to trim it.  I laid it out with the bottom end hanging over where I wanted it by about 2 inches, then made my cut at the top about 2 inches past the top of the Beco. 

 

3. Cut the fabric to size.  DO NOT attempt to cut the fabric while it is on top of your carrier – you could accidentally cut through the carrier and that would be so sad.   Move your carrier off the work surface and then trim the fabric to size.  I used a measuring tape to make a straight line for a cutting guide. 

 

4. Fold the extra 2 inches under and pin it.  You want to end up with a piece of fabric with ends “hemmed” under by the pins that is exactly the size you want to sew on. 

 

5. You can see I laid the fabric on the Beco to make sure it was the right size.  Make sure you don’t cover the snaps! 

 

6. Iron the creases in.  This is also a chance to get any wrinkles out of the fabric so it’s nice and crisp when you sew it on. 

 

7. Pin the fabric panel to your carrier.  This will hold it in place while you sew it on. 

 

8. Make your first stitch go up through the fabric so the knot will be tucked under and not visible.  Slip stitch around the edge of the fabric.  Small, even stitches are the key here.  When you put your needle in you want to put it alongside the stitching, towards the center.  This will preserve the flexibility of that seam and allow the carrier to curve around your child’s body without straining the fabric you are sewing on. 

 

9. You will need rethread your needle at least once.  When you run out of thread, leave about 4-6 inches of loose thread.  Push the needle down through the pretty fabric so the knot you’re about to tie will be on the underside and not visible.  Cut the needle off and tie a double knot.  Pull it snug and cut off the loose ends. 

 

10. Continue to stitch all the way around until the fabric panel is securely sewn on.  You’re done!