If you haven’t read up about the benefits of ‘babywearing’ there’s really no need: the husband and wife team behind the Boba brand have done it all for you, with most of their research carried out while backpacking around the world with their two young children.
Founders Elizabeth and Robert Antunovic have thought of everything from skin-to-skin contact to the importance of dads, and with their findings have shaped every product they make.
The result is a range of slings and carriers designed to be practical, comfortable, stylish and a whole lot of other things to boot.
Like other Boba products, the Boba 4G (4th Generation Carrier) has been designed to create “a nurturing and calming environment for both parents and their children”.
Wear a baby sling or carrier safely – remember T.I.C.K.S
Do you have to put the Boba 4G carrier together?
No, the Boba 4G requires no assembly as the shoulder straps are already secured and the waist belt ready to fasten.
Perfect for a busy mum who doesn’t have time to faff about threading loops through buckles or trying to work out which bits of material go where.
The instructions are equally simple, with large, clear photographs showing how to wear the carrier and place baby in it.
To give an idea of how easy it is, there are just eight steps to follow, the last of which is “all set for Boba fun!”
You can buy this carrier at Slumber Roo, Amazon or on eBay
How is using the carrier?
The Boba 4G is extremely easy to use.
I have tested other carriers which have required an entire afternoon studying an instruction manual to work out how to put them together and position baby, but the 4G is pretty much ‘strap on and go’.
Another big benefit is the fact it can be adjusted while baby is actually in the carrier by simply pulling on the straps, whereas all other carriers I have tested need to be adjusted before baby is placed in them.
This proved to be a godsend, particularly when nipping between the car and the shops when the last thing you need is to hoist your baby into the carrier, only to then have to put them back onto their car seat while you make the straps loose enough to accommodate a bulky cardigan.
I have shoulder length hair and the only downside I found with the carrier was that unless I tied my hair up it became caught in the back clasps, making fastening it quite tricky as I had to try and tip my head forward, without dropping Eric headfirst onto the floor.
Is the 4G carrier comfortable?
Yes! For me, the biggest plus point with the 4G is how comfortable it is to wear.
Boba prides itself on ergonomically designed products and this is evident with the 4G.
Everything from the position of the straps to the padded belt has been designed with comfort and practicality in mind while the funky pattern was stylish without being in-your-face.
Until recently I’d been a huge fan of one-shouldered carriers, namely the Babasling.
However once my son, Eric, exceeded the 15lb mark I found the one-shouldered design made my neck and back ache, so weren’t suitable for long periods of use.
In contrast, the 4G’s double shoulder straps and padded waistband means my son’s weight is distributed evenly. So I am ache-free, even after a full afternoon of carrying him.
Eric is equally comfortable when seated in the 4G. The fact that strapping the carrier to my waist and placing him in it is so quick and easy means he didn’t become restless while waiting for me to fathom out how to work it either.
Compare the Boba 4G carrier with the ERGObaby carrier.
What do you think of the different carrying options?
The Boba 4G can only be used as a front and a back carrier, so if you’re looking for one that can carry baby on your hip or laid horizontally across your front then this isn’t the sling for you.
I initially missed being able to use it as a side sling as this is the way I usually carry Eric, giving him the chance to look at me while also looking at where we are going.
When he was seated in the front carrying position he also had a tendency to try to twist his head around, but this was quickly overcome by placing him in the back seated position, which he loved as he could see the road ahead.
On the flip side, the 4G is much easier to get to grips with than multi-way carriers, many of which have positions which are too complicated to fathom out and therefore never adopted.
How is it when out and about?
The first place I tested the 4G was at a fairground, where the three zipped pockets proved invaluable.
They are not huge, so if like me you have a wallet the size of a brick then you are going to have to downsize.
But they were plenty big enough for a mobile phone, keys, money and ride tokens, and the zip fastenings left me confident my valuables wouldn’t fall out while I was spinning around on the teacups.
This pretty much removed the need for extra baggage, but if you do feel lost without your handbag Boba have covered that too by including a handbag strap on the shoulder, to keep your bag in place.
What do you think of the 4G carrier’s style?
Until now my partner has refused to wear any of my slings or baby carriers on account of them being too “earth mother” or “hippy” for him (his words, not mine).
I was therefore surprised when he volunteered to give the 4G a spin. This is testament to Boba’s unisex design, but also down to the fact he could see it was functional and comfortable and would therefore make his life easier during that all-important ‘dad and lad’ time.
The sturdy fabric and heavy duty, military-grade buckles suggest a quality, which is designed to last.
I only tested it for two weeks but the zips and stitching remained firmly intact, which as I’ve come to discover isn’t always a given with baby products.
Is the Boba 4G good for carrying other items?
It is, the pockets and handbag strap also made light work of shopping trips, leaving both hands free so I could push a trolley, fill it up and then pay the cashier at the end, without juggling bags and baby.
Catching a bus wasn’t a problem either as it removed the need for taking a buggy, leaving me with both hands free to pay the driver and then lift my son easily out of the carrier and place him on a seat.
The only downside with the pockets is that they are difficult to negotiate when carrying baby on your back, particularly the top one which I could only reach if carrying Eric on my front.
Tell us about the foot straps and the hood.
My 11-month-old was a bit too young to take advantage of the foot straps, though he was happy to amuse himself by trying to reach them, much in the same way he tries to reach the footrest on his buggy but can’t quite extend his legs that far.
The sleeping hood would be a good idea for a younger baby, but the days of my little explorer falling asleep when there are people and moving objects to look at are sadly behind us, so we didn’t find it useful.
Is it easy to store when not using it?
The carrier was compact and could be rolled up and stored just about anywhere, including an already full changing bag.
When not in use, it can be hung on a coat stand or tidies away in a drawer.
It is also machine washable, although we found any spills or splashes were easily wiped off with a damp cloth, making it a doddle to clean.
Is the carrier value for money?
With a price tag around £95, the Boba 4G is not the most expensive carrier on the market, but it is by no means cheap.
That said, it is durable and remarkably comfortable, and the removable insert means it is one of the few carriers on the market that can be safely adapted for newborns right up to toddlers.
Because of the price tag, I would suggest it is better suited to parents who intend to get a lot of use out of their carrier as oppose to those who want one only for occasional use.
What’s in the box?
- Boba carrier
- Infant insert
- Foot straps
- Sleeping hood
Any additional extras?
There is no need to fork out for additional extras as the carrier comes with everything you need to accommodate baby from 7lb to 20kg.
It has an infant insert to make it more comfortable for newborns, foot straps for toddlers and a detachable sleeping hood for snoozing on the go.
With an emphasis on comfort, the Boba 4G is a pleasure to use and could be adapted to fit any situation.
It might be pricier than many others on the market but it is a small price to pay if you want something that will make your life easier and can be used anywhere, and for long periods of time.
It will probably be the only carrier you ever need to buy to last your baby from tiny to toddler age.
I would recommend the 4G to any parent who wants a carrier that will see their child through from the moment they leave the hospital right up to toddler age, and will fit any situation, from long walking expeditions to quick trips to the park.