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Swedish brand BabyBjorn is synonymous with stylish yet functional parenting products, with its carriers the gold standard for structured baby wearing kit. The classic carrier has evolved over the years, with the company creating a number of variations on the original. The latest is the Baby Carrier One Air, which was created with help from paediatricians, baby carrying experts and 100 families.
The main changes are a wider seat support, more shoulder padding, a higher head support for your baby and the fabric, which is made with a breathable polyester mesh. This keeps parent and baby cool, particularly in areas that naturally get sweaty, and dries quickly. The concept, which they call ‘Airology’, is that you will feel safe to carry your child on hot days because you won’t worry about them overheating.
The carrier comes in six muted colours – black, navy blue, slate blue, silver, anthracite and pearly pink – with either black or grey buckles depending on the colour option. Costing £159.99, it is at the top end of carrier market in terms of price but has a longevity of use and should last you for two if not more children, up to the age of three. It also has front and back wearing options.
Similar multi-positional carriers include the Ergobaby Omni 360 (£154.90) and the Mountain Buggy Juno (£75), which both have a hip-carrying option, storage pockets and a head cover for baby, unlike the BabyBjorn. The Juno also has a higher weight limit of 20kg, compared to 15kg, but requires a newborn insert for smaller babies.
Alex lives in York and has two sons – Ralph, 3, and Max, 3 months. She tested the BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Air around the house, on short trips to the shops and on longer walks with family. She is the former deputy editor of a parenting magazine.
The carrier came neatly folded in one piece in a box and looked very straightforward and stylish. I liked the fabric and the dark grey anthracite colour – the sort of thing any parent of either gender would be happy wearing.
How do you put on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air?
You put the carrier over your head like a jumper, sliding your arms through the shoulder straps. The back yoke (the strap between the shoulder straps) should sit between your shoulder blades and can be pulled at one end to tighten, as well as slid up and down for positioning. Next you clip up the waist belt and adjust it to fit your body by pulling the straps forwards and tucking them into the loops.
How easy is the carrier to put on and take off?
I found it less straightforward that the instructions suggested. There is quite a lot of material and multiple straps so I felt rather swamped the first time I put it on and it took me a while to get used to it. It is really easy to pull off over your head though.
What are the seating positions like on the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air?
One of the main features of this carrier is the number of different seating positions and the way it grows with your child, from newborn to age three (15kg). It has 4 stages:
- parent-facing using the newborn seat (from 3.5kg and 53cm long)
- parent-facing using the baby seat (from approx. 4 months old and 62-67cm long, up to 15kg)
- forward-facing using the baby seat (from approx. 5 months old to 15 months, up to 12kg)
- back carrying (from 12 months to 36 months, up to 15kg and 100cm long
I was impressed by this longevity and versatility, although it is a shame there is no hip carrying option. I also liked the fact it offers a newborn and baby seat mode – you switch between the two by unzipping a piece of fabric inside the carrier and the newborn mode let’s your baby sit higher up and closer to you.
This means that unlike the Mountain Buggy Juno, you don’t need to use a specific newborn insert. There’s also an extra leg strap that you use for extra security for babies under 4.5kg – we didn’t get a chance to use this as my son was already past that size when we started using it at 6 weeks old.
Given Max’s age and size, we were only able to use the parent-facing modes – Ralph is 3 years but close to 18kg and too big for the carrier.
However, the back carrying mode looked a bit of a faff. You have to put your child on at the front and turn it around whilst wearing them. It looked like a recipe for stress and even doing it without a child in was tricky when I tried it.
I borrowed my friend’s 10-month-old to try out the front-facing mode and found that very comfortable. He felt very secure and interestingly, it pulled less on my shoulders than when I had Max in parent-facing mode.
Does the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air support your little one’s hips and allow your little one to sit in the ‘M’ position?
Yes. The carrier is tested and approved by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute and has a wide seat to provide support to your child, as well as a two-ended zip under the bottom, which you can adjust to position their legs comfortably, depending on their age and what mode you are using.
This version of the carrier has been created with a wider seat to provide good hip support.
Does it follow the TICKS guidelines?
Yes, in the 3 front modes – you can’t see them in the back mode but your child has to be 12 months to use this.
Is the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air comfy for you to use?
It wasn’t the most comfortable carrie I’ve used, to be honest. The long lifespan of the carrier and the fact it is designed to be worn by either gender meant I struggled to adjust it to a position I found very comfortable wearing for more than a short amount of time. I am 5ft 4ins and have a short torso, plus I have quite a hefty baby – he was 7.5kg by 14 weeks.
Each time I put the carrier on, I had to adjust and tighten straps, and I could never quite work out where the back yoke should be, nor how tight. My husband also got frustrated when we switched the carrier between us and he had to change all the settings to suit his 5ft 8ins frame and broader shoulders. He normally uses a BabyBjorn Carrier One Outdoors and I don’t touch it, so it is always set up for his shape.
My shoulders were often tight after using this carrier, especially after a day walking in the countryside outside York with a friend. I had Max in there for a couple of 90-minute stints, punctuated by a pub stop, and I had a bit of headache the next day from shoulder tension.
While this could be my ineptitude at putting it on, I’d argue the instructions aren’t totally clear, particularly when it comes to positioning of the back yoke and the waist band.
What is the sizing like?
The carrier does seem to give plenty of room whilst offering good support for very young babies as well as toddlers. As I’ve said, my son is on the upper centiles and seemed comfortable. It also caters well for taller parents, but is perhaps not so good for shorter mums.
Can you put the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air on and take it off by yourself?
Yes, although I sometimes needed help to adjust it before putting Max in, particularly if my husband had been using it before me. The back yoke is nigh on impossible to move and adjust solo – you’d need to be a contortionist!
What are the shoulder straps like?
They are about 3 inches wide and well-padded. They come up over the shoulders and loop underneath the arm back towards the carrier, with a back yoke to connect them between the shoulder blades.
You can change the length by pulling under the arms to tighten or loosening the adjuster just beneath your armpit. This was very easy to do.
The back yoke was not! The only way of doing the latter on my own seemed to be whilst not wearing the carrier, but then I had no idea where to position it or how tight to put it.
What are the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air buckles like?
They are plastic and feel very secure. I did find the four buckles on the front of the carrier, which you use to clip baby in, a bit fiddly though – particularly the ones at the sides.
The smooth casing does mean you don’t catch anything on them though and there is a simple button on the side of them to unhook them when you want to take your baby out.
Are the instructions clear?
There is a booklet with diagrams and instructions on how to use the carrier, which are pretty clear but lacking in a few details. There’s also a handy long label which tucks away in an inside pocket in the carrier that repeats the information – useful when you are out and sleep deprivation renders you forgetful, or if you lose the booklet!
There are extra little notes inside the carrier to remind you of essentials like weight limits and how buckles should sit.
Is it easy to put your child into the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air carrier?
It should have been but I did find the process trickier than implied by the instructions. There are 4 buckles on the front – 2 to the sides which are level with baby’s waist and 2 to attach the front panel to the shoulder straps. You have to slide the top piece down onto the bottom piece until they click.
But I found that the side ones were really tricky because I couldn’t see what I was doing. Added to that, I either had to press Max into me fairly firmly (which made him cry) or loosen the carrier. If I was in a rush, it made me feel quite stressed.
There was also one occasion where I got his foot caught in the material and he was crying hysterically but I couldn’t see what the matter was. I was trying to go out with my eldest in a buggy and he was also kicking off – not ideal!
Is it comfy for your child?
Once in the carrier, Max seemed very happy and comfortable, often napping. He was well supported, had a good range of movement for his hands and legs, and his head had support if he fell asleep. A higher head support is one of the key features of this carrier and it was about 4 inches long compared to 3.5 inches on our Baby Carrier One Outdoors.
But the process of doing the carrier up sometimes felt uncomfortable for Max and I could also feel the hard plastic side buckles through the material on the inside of the carrier, which I did worry might be digging in a bit – or would do so as he got bigger.
One feature that is missing and would be a nice addition, especially given the price, is some kind of head cover for cold or rainy weather. The Mountain Buggy Juno has an excellent protective hood, as does the budget Infantino Cuddle Up.
What age can the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air carrier be used for?
The carrier is suitable from newborn to about age 3, although the weight restrictions are 3.5kg-15kg and this meant my 3-year-old was way too heavy.
But I simply couldn’t have imagined carrying him in it, either on front or back, even at age 2. Other parents might be a bit stronger and braver! The length suitability is 53cm to 100cm tall.
How does it compare to other carriers or wraps you have used?
This wasn’t my favourite, if I’m honest. I’ve also been using the Boba wrap with Max while the process of putting it on needs practice and can sometimes go wrong, I find it easier to adjust to my body shape, particularly a short torso. It is also incredibly comfortable to wear, the material is lovely and I can breastfeed in it – plus costs a fraction of the price at £42. There are no buckles or clips to get in the way either.
My husband is a BabyBjorn fan however and uses a BabyBjorn Baby Carrier One Outdoors – he finds the Air similar to use, although prefers the fabric of the Outdoors and the strap at the front for adjusting the head rest instead of the two pulley straps on the side of this one. I found these a bit fiddly and felt they restricted Max’s view too.
I also own a Mountain Buggy Juno and this is simpler to use, although you have to put the baby into it before putting on the shoulder straps, which is also a faff at times. The various straps are less easy to adjust – the BabyBjorn is very smooth.
But I do prefer some of the Juno features, like the hood, storage pockets and a compartment on baby’s back to put your hands and stroke them. Plus you can breastfeed in it and your baby is against your body for reassurance, rather than having a layer of material between you. Having said that, this is not so comfortable on hot and sweaty days!
Can you breastfeed while wearing the carrier?
Not really. You have to take your baby out of the carrier and then pull your arm out of one side of the carrier at least in order to feed, as the inner panel gets in the way. I found this very frustrating, especially when out with both of my children and lacking in hands and time.
Does it feel strong and durable?
I’d say so. The fabric is brilliant quality and the carrier is well made – it feels very sturdy. You’d be able to use this for multiple children.
Is it easy to clean the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air?
The carrier is made of a breathable polyester mesh fabric that is designed to keep parent and baby cool, particularly in areas that naturally get sweaty like under your arms and around your child’s legs. It is also designed to dry quickly.
BabyBjorn calls the concept ‘Airology’ and created it so that you feel safe to carry your child on hot days because you won’t worry about them overheating. Certainly this is something that has put me off baby wearing in the past, although we were testing the carrier in the autumn in Yorkshire and therefore temperature was not a concern!
The fabric was easy to spot clean but can also be machine washed at 40C, on its own, with a bleach-free detergent. It is not suitable for tumble drying but the mesh air dries pretty quickly. My son is not a sicky baby but I know from friends with reflux babies that this is a real selling-point. Cotton carriers take longer to dry.
I liked that the material was certified as free from hazardous materials and safe for Max to chew and suck on, something he was very keen to do.
How easy it the carrier to store?
It’s fairly bulky as there are a lot of straps and material. You can’t really shove it into your changing bag, although it could go in a buggy basket or car boot. I’d have liked to see it come with a carry bag – our Carrier One Outdoors has its own bag.
What is the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air carrier best used for?
I would say while out of the house and walking about, perhaps short shopping trips or the nursery and school run. It’s a bit bulky for using around the house with a baby who wants to stay close at all times – a sling or wrap would be comfier and less cumbersome, plus allow the chance to breastfeed.
I also found it hard to sit down for any length of time wearing it and Max often woke when I did. So I wouldn’t choose to use it for lunch with friends for example.
Is the Baby Bjorn Carrier One Air value for money?
This carrier is at the top end price wise at £159.99 but it does offer longevity, durability, and multiple positions, as well as being suitable for both mums and dads. If you plan to babywear frequently and find this carrier comfortable, then it would be a good investment. But I think you’d need to be sure of that and try it out for a bit first.
I’d also like to see some extra features, like a cover for baby’s head and maybe a storage pocket or place to keep your hands warm. Plus the fact you can’t breastfeed in it was disappointing – this would have made it much more useable, especially during the first few months and also for parents with more than one child.
Where can I buy the BabyBjorn Carrier One Air?
It is available to buy from Amazon, The Baby Room and Smallable
I wanted to like this carrier much more than I did, I’m afraid. There are some fantastic features and lots of well-considered design, but I just didn’t find it as comfortable or useable as other wraps and carriers I’ve had experience of, especially given the price.
That said, taller women and men would probably find it more suited to their frames. And it is certainly comfortable for baby.