Onya Baby’s The Cruiser and The Outback are wise choices for any parent looking for lightweight, easy-to-use carriers. The only difference I noticed between the two is the fabric. The fabric on the Cruiser is much more lightweight and made for everyday use around town. The fabric on the Outback is a bit more heavy duty. It’s breathable and is great for hikes or families with active lifestyles. Since fabric is the only notable distinction, the rest of my review will be applicable to both models.
The instructions are simple and easy to follow. The carriers each have a waist belt with an adjustable strap, and they’re really easy to put on and adjust to your particular size. I’m pretty short and was able to get them to fit me perfectly! (Most other carriers are too long for me but the Onya Baby carriers adjusted to my height really nicely.) The shoulder straps buckle together at the top of your shoulder blades, which seems to help distribute the weight evenly over your shoulders and back. They’re extremely comfortable to use with my 15-pound son.
The Onya Baby carriers are a bit different from other carriers I’ve tried in that my son’s arms went over the shoulder straps instead of under them. This allowed him to “sit up” higher on my chest, and he loved being able to look around and see everything going on. The sleep hood is an awesome addition on both carriers. It’s obviously great for use while baby’s sleeping, but it’s also handy if it’s rainy or cold outside.
A particularly awesome feature of the Onya Baby carriers is the fact that they can be used as a chair. What a smart idea! Either carrier readily attaches to most any standard chair and holds baby in place for playing or eating. It’s extremely convenient if you need to feed your child or just set him or her down but don’t have access to a high chair. (Speaking of feeding, if you breastfeed, you can simply loosen the straps and feed your child without having to take him or her completely out of the carrier.)
Another great feature of the Onya Baby carriers is the zippered pocket. It’s easy to access and a great place to put your keys, phone or a spare pacifier. Just one more way to make sure you’re “hands-free” while babywearing!
The carriers can be used on the front (with baby facing in) or the back. I mostly used them as a front carrier since my son isn’t quite big enough to be put on my back yet, but I did try the rear carry while my husband was home to help supervise. I needed help to get baby strapped in, but I imagine it’s easier when your child is a bit older and can support himself batter.
I can only think of two minor setbacks of both carriers. First, you can’t have your child on the front facing out. Our son loves to be walked around facing out so this would have been a nice option. Second, your passenger has to be at least 15 pounds before he or she can safely ride. As a mother who had a C-section, I wasn’t able to carry my son around in his car seat until he was 6 weeks old. It would be wonderful if Onya Baby offered a newborn insert like some other carriers do so recovering mothers could use the carrier with their newborn child.
Overall I would highly recommend either of these carriers to any parent who is looking for a lightweight, comfortable and easy to use product.
To buy: onyababy.com