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Hands-on Gear Review
BabyBjorn Original ReviewPrice: $80.00 List | $48.00 at Amazon - 40% off
Pros: Inexpensive for SSC, easy to use and comfy to wear
Cons: Hang to dry, harder to fit for baby
Bottom line: Basic SSC that is easy to use and comfy for both parent and baby
Carry Positions: Facing In (Newborn - 25 lbs) Facing Out (6 mo. - 25 lbs)
Weight: 1.14 lbs
The BabyBjorn Original is a soft structured carrier for little ones who are 8-25 lbs. With a smaller size range than most of the competition, this carrier is really designed more for infants and short trips that for baby's full babywearing years and it has fewer position options and less adjustability as a result. However, t is relatively easy to use and you put it on before you put the baby in making it easier than the wrap style of carrier. The original is machine washable, small for easy storage, and inexpensive for a soft structured carrier. While we like this option, and it scored above average, we think for a little more you can get a lot more with the BabyBjorn One which won an Editors' Choice award and has higher marks for parent and baby comfort.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
BabyBjorn, a Swedish family-owned business started by Björn and Lillemor Jakobson sold its first product, a baby bouncer, in 1961. Soon after, they expanded their product lineup to include high chairs, changing tables, travel cribs, and baby carriers. With the Original carrier launching in 1973, BabyBjorn went on to encourage babywearing by dads with advertising centered on fathers and gender-neutral carrier colors for wearing by both parents. To date, more than 30 million little ones have been carried in a BabyBjorn carrier.
The comparison chart below includes the overall scores for each carrier we tested, including the BabyBjorn Original (in blue).
The sections below include details on how the Original performed compared to the competition including where it shined and where it could use some improvement.
The Original earned a 6 of 10 for baby's comfort. This score is below average for the group, but the carrier is cozy enough to keep most babies content. The seat width and adjustment are only average, and you need to set them before you put a baby in the carrier. The Original has fewer buckles and adjustment points so it can be harder to get a custom fit for every baby. The fabric isn't as soft as the competition, but we don't think it is rough either.
The Original earned an 8 of 10 for parent comfort. Only three other products we tested earned higher scores for parent comfort. The Original is not as comfortable as the BabyBjorn One, but it is easier to put on, and the padded straps help distribute baby's weight on your shoulders. It doesn't have a waistbelt so carrying heavier children for longer periods may be uncomfortable as there is less structure to support the weight. There are extra straps that sort of hug around your back to help take some of the weight off your shoulders which is useful.
Ease of Use
The Original earned a 7 of 10 for ease of use. The Original is relatively intuitive and has fewer straps than its larger cousin. It has a simple design, and most parents will probably be able to figure it out without using the manual. You put the carrier on before you put your baby in so it is easy to manage than the competition that requires you to hold your baby as you put the carrier in place.
Ease of Cleaning
The Original earned a 5 of 10 for ease of cleaning. This carrier can be machine washed with warm water. BabyBjorn recommends mild bleach-free detergent and hanging to dry. Air drying will take longer than most clothes as the carrier is structured and includes some thicker padding. This method translates to some downtime where you won't be able to use the carrier, and we think parents will avoid washing it for this reason. The Original is also hard to spot clean thanks to the fabric design and the longer drying time.
— Juliet Spurrier, MD and BabyGearLab Review Team
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