ERGObaby Performance carrier review

Our rating 
4.4 out of 5 star rating 4.4
User rating
£109.90 RRP
ergobaby-performance-carrier_169716

In a nutshell

An ergonomic baby carrier for back, front, or hip carrying with features designed for the great outdoors - but you need to buy the newborn insert separately
Comfort for baby
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Comfort for you
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Ease of use
4.5 out of 5 rating 4.5
Design
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Sturdiness
4.0 out of 5 rating 4.0
Worth the money
5.0 out of 5 rating 5.0
Pros: Sturdy around the waist with a large, supportive belt. ergonomic design to support baby's hips, very easy to put on and take off on your own
Cons: Not ideal immediately after C-section, can be big on petite frames, newborn insert can make carrier bulky and hot, doesn’t fold up easily
Skip to view product specifications
The Ergobaby was one of the first ergonomic carriers to support a baby’s hips. It was also one of the first to follow the TICKS guidelines for carrying babies.

Not only does it support your baby’s hips, pelvis and spine when they’re carried in front, on the side and on your back – it also supports yours. Its padded waist-belt ensures your baby’s weight is distributed evenly between your hips and shoulders – so no more back strain while carrying your baby!

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Its award-wining design has been acknowledged as a “hip healthy” product by the International Hip Dysplasia Institute, and the brand has gained a bit of a celebrity following, with the likes of Hollywood’s Orlando Bloom, Lost star Evangeline Lilly, and model Gisele Bundchen all spotted with their tots in an Ergobaby.

Priced at £109.90, the Ergobaby Performance is at the lower end of the Ergobaby price scale, which starts at £89 for an Original carrier and goes up to £139 for a 4 position 360 carrier.

Comparing it to other carriers on the market, it’s cheaper than the BabyBjorn Carrier One (£134.99), and Mountain Buggy’s Juno carrier (£139), but how does it measure up?

The Ergobaby Perfromance is available direct from Ergobaby, Amazon, and Kiddicare.

First impressions

It looks very sturdy. And the Performance model has a mesh panel that allows air to circulate. My previous Ergobaby wasn’t a Performance model and it got pretty hot and sweaty in there sometimes.

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When looking at a carrier for the first time – if you’re anything like me – you can be put off my how complicated it looks. But as soon as you try the Ergobaby out, you’ll see how easy it is to wear. If it weren’t easy, I’d have given up. I don’t love complicated instructions!

Buyer’s guide to baby carriers

So what’s different about the Performance model, from other Ergobaby carriers?

Designed specifically with outdoor activity in mind, the Ergobaby Performance carrier features a moisture-wicking mesh lining that ‘breathes’ so both baby and parent stay cooler.

The durable synthetic exterior makes for easy washing and quick drying, while the carrier still has all the ergonomic design and 3-position carry options of the Ergobaby Original.

The Ergobaby Original carrier shoulder straps are plusher and more flexible for maximum everyday comfort, while Performance Carrier’s shoulder straps are curved with a firmer padding and are ideal for back carrying, although can be used for front and hip carrying too.

How easy is it to put on and take off the Ergobaby Performance carrier yourself?

As well as the back-support I get when I’m wearing it, the Ergo is easy to use when I’m on my own. It’s simple to clip the strap around your waist, hold your baby in place, put the arm straps up over your shoulders and then, reaching up, clip the buckle over your shoulder blades. After that, it’s easy to adjust the straps for a more precise fit around you and your little one.

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One tip that took me a while to work out: when the strap over the shoulder blades is higher, the clip is easier to do by yourself. I hurt my hand stretching in unnatural ways before I worked out that the strap could be adjusted up and down as well as tighter and looser!

How many seating options does the Ergobaby Performance carrier have?

Three. You can use this with the baby face in, on your hip, or on your back. My baby is too young for anything other than face in right now (he’s 9 weeks old), but my toddler was back-carried sometimes on long, hilly walks. We didn’t have the Performance model back then and it would get pretty hot for both of us.

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My toddler never liked the hip carry and would cry when I tried. Not all babies like all styles of carry – or carrier. My 9-week-old, for example, likes the Ergobaby but not as much as his brother did; and he won’t tolerate my stretchy wrap at all.

Facing in or facing out – what’s the safest way to wear a baby carrier?

Is it easy to clean?

Babies puke a lot, so carriers and slings really have to be machine-washable. This washed perfectly well at 30. It didn’t come out looking exactly the same, but it did come out working exactly the same.

Is the Ergobaby Performance carrier comfortable?

Absolutely. And I feel better knowing its safe for my little one’s hips and spine, too. It can feel a bit nerve-wracking putting your tiny little baby in a carrier or sling – you can’t exactly see what their body is doing. But if you follow the instructions, and make sure all their airways are clear, you should get it right.

Is the Ergobaby Performance carrier suitable for newborns?

Yes it is, but to use the Ergobaby with a newborn, you need to get a separate newborn insert (£29.90). I have one, but don’t love it. My baby found it uncomfortable and hot.

Honestly, I preferred my stretchy wrap with my newborn. But I did use both.

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I would still recommend the Ergobaby from newborn if your baby likes the insert. I much prefer using it with a bigger, older baby (9 weeks is fine as long as they weigh enough).

How robust is it?

Though I got a brand new model to test – the Performance – my old model (which is the same, except without the mesh panel) has lasted perfectly for almost three years. And it was used for our toddler, plus lent to a friend for their baby, so it’s had plenty of use and is still as good as new (even if it doesn’t look as good as new!).

Is it compact / easy to store?

No. It doesn’t fold down particularly well. But it’s still obviously smaller than a buggy!

Who would the product be most useful for?

The Ergobaby is designed to fit people from 5’ to 6’5”. I’m only 5’2″ and, I’ll be honest, the Ergobaby sort of swamps me a little, but it is the most comfortable carrier I’ve tried on by far. I have a bad back and can wear it all day.

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My husband is a foot taller than me at 6’2″ and also wears it comfortably. I actually think the Ergobaby fits his frame a bit better than mine. On me, the shoulder straps can slope a bit, but not enough to make it feel unsafe or unsupportive.

I can’t think of many situations where carrying your baby isn’t useful! It’s great for city-dwellers who take the bus a lot, country-dwellers who walk a lot, parents with more than one child… I think baby-wearing can be very freeing.

MadeForMums verdict:

One of the best baby carriers out there – a product that will genuinely make yours and your baby’s life that little bit easier.

Still deciding what to go for?

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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

Product Specifications

Product

Brand ERGObaby
Model Performance carrier
Price £109.90

Suitable for

Child age (approx) From Birth (with insert)
Child weight 3.2kg to 20kg – with insert

Features

Washing instructions Machine washable
Number of carrying positions 3

Accessories

Optional extras Newborn insert (£29.90)