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Ergonomic baby carrier: Boba 3G review

2012 October 26
by MieVee @ MummysReviews.com

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G packagingHubby and I are HUGE fans of babywearing. Today, I’m reviewing Boba Baby Carrier 3G, provided by Boba.

After 7 months of testing, I love the Boba Baby Carrier 3G for providing excellent support, and securing my precious handbag when I’m outdoors (my must-have for shopping and travelling!).

What’s an ergonomic Soft Structured Carrier?

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G

There’re many baby carriers available in the market. Personally, I like to use the sarong ring sling or baby pouch carrier for a young baby. When he gains better head control, I start using an ergonomic Soft Structured Carrier (SSC).

An SSC has a body panel, adjustable padded waistband and shoulder straps, and buckles.

Features of an ergonomic baby carrier:

  1. allows the baby to sit comfortably instead of dangle his legs by the crotch (as in the picture above)
  2. distributes baby’s weight evenly across caregiver’s shoulders and hips

About Boba Baby Carrier 3G

These are the main features of the baby carrier:

  • Fabric: 100% cotton (organic cotton option is available)
  • Carry options: Front and back carry
  • Closures: 1 buckle for the waist, 1 buckle for the back (front carry) / chest (back carry), High quality military grade buckles
  • Sleeping hood: Yes, removable, adjustable, can be stored in zipper pouch
  • Baby / Child’s weight range: 7 – 45lbs (~3.18 – 20.4kg)
  • Infant carrier option: Converts to an infant carrier without an insert, Extra head support adjustments for infant
  • Caregiver build: Height 5’0” – 6’3”, Waistband range 25” – 58”
  • Safety: Meets or exceeds all ASTM F-2236, EN13209-2 and CPSIA baby carrier standards or requirements
  • Country of origin: Designed in Colorado (U.S.), made in China

They’re available in a range of solid colours and prints.

First Impressions

When Boba invited me to review the 3G carrier, Baby Jae was 3+ months old. We babywear regularly, at home and outdoors. Since Baby Jae regurgitated milk very often, it was essential to have another carrier to rotate while one is in the wash. After reading up on Boba 3G, I agreed to test it out.

At that time, the organic cotton option wasn’t available yet, so I settled for the very feminine and pretty SOHO print in regular cotton.

Since we’ve been using and loving the Beco Butterfly 2, it’s inevitable that I’d be looking for improvements. The Boba 3G has these additional interesting features:

  • Elastic bands that neatly roll up straps
  • Shoulder strap holders that keep purses and diaper bags in place
  • Patent-pending removable foot straps for toddler
So far so good, now to the REAL test…

Our Detailed Review

Rating Guide: Oh no!     ★★ Poor     ★★★ Fair     ★★★★ Good     ★★★★★ Excellent!

(a) Laundry: ★★★★

The washing instructions state, “Spot clean with soap and water. Machine wash only when necessary on delicate cycle. Air dry.”

After using the Boba 3G several times, Baby Jae regurgiated some milk on it, so I handwashed it in cold water. There was severe colour run, so the water turned very blackish. After 4 rinses, the water finally turned lighter, and I gave up rinsing further. I hung the carrier to dry but a small part of the nice print was stained.

We continued to use the carrier and I handwashed it again subsequently. This time, some (but less) colour run. After drying, the previous stain disappeared.

Baby Jae loves sucking the shoulder straps, and I don’t want him to consume dye from the colour run, so I religiously use a big piece of cloth or super-wide bib to cover the straps. If he’s sleeping, I’d remove the cloth or ensure nothing is blocking his face. The alternative is to buy or make strap covers.

Recently, I’ve also put the Boba 3G in a laundry net and washed it with a load of black clothes. It turned out fine.

There’s no inside panel (like the Beco Butterfly 2, so for outdoor walks, hubby won’t dampen the carrier with his perspiration, which means less frequent washing is needed

Update: I received a newer stock of Boba 3G to test out the fabric. Great to find out that there’s NO colour run problem, so this section has been updated from 2 to 4 stars.

(b) Ease of Use: ★★★★

For a young baby, front carry is the only option. The steps: buckle the waist belt, tighten, place baby in carrier, put on the shoulder straps, buckle at the back, tighten. For subsequent use on the same caregiver, there’s no need to adjust the straps anymore.

Buckling at the back proves a little too challenging for hubby, so he gets me to do it for him. For this sole reason, he prefers the Beco over the Boba when he needs to take care of Baby Jae alone.

I can easily buckle up at the back, but the buckle is often too high and presses against my bony frame, so I may need hubby to pull it down further.

At about 8-9 months old, Baby Jae went through a clingy-koala-bear-stage. To keep him calm, I had to back carry him when preparing meals, eating, bathing Vee, and even using the washroom. It was a crazy period! Thanks to Boba for keeping me sane.

Back carrying is very easy. I lay the carrier on a sofa / thick mattress, sit baby on it, turn my back to buckle at the waist, put on the shoulder straps (like carrying a backpack), then buckle at the chest. The moment I stand up and start walking, Jae stops fussing. Oh great… peace! And life goes on.

Because of no inside panel, it’s less convenient to transfer baby to another caregiver, or from front to back carry. Which isn’t a big deal for us.

Interestingly, the BEST feature that got me completely hooked to the Boba 3G are the shoulder strap holders that keep my handbag in place. I simply carry my handbag, snap over it, and it’s as good as being glued to me. It won’t slide down wherever I go, and I can’t forgetfully leave it all over the place. This is the reason I choose to bring the Boba 3G for all my shopping and overseas trips.

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G shoulder strap holders

The elastic bands that neatly roll up excess part of the straps is suitable for petite Mums.

(c) Fit & Comfort: ★★★★

The waist belt is well-padded and comfortable. Initially, I found the shoulder pads too thick, but have gotten used to them after a while.

I’m very petite and am using the smallest setting for both the waist and shoulder straps. Thankfully, I’m not any tinier!

Here’s Baby Jae in front carry mode, awake on the left and asleep on the right:

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G front-carry

The sleeping hood can be folded into the front zipper pouch. When needed, remove it and snap it onto both shoulder straps. I like that the sleeping hood has adjustable side elastics that give a very snug support, even on a small baby.

And here’s Baby Jae in back carry mode, trying to whack me with a clothes hanger!

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G back-carry

Mummy's Reviews - Boba Baby Carrier 3G backcarry sideview

The Boba 3G fits hubby well too (he’s of average Asian build), just that we didn’t manage to take suitable pictures.

(d) Performance: ★★

When it’s naptime outdoors, I simply need to snap the sleeping hood into place, start walking about, and Baby Jae would fall asleep easily. Hubby can do the same too! :)

Now that he’s 9kg, I can still babywear him for 2 hours at a stretch. After some rest, usually in a car ride or a meal, I can continue to carry him.

Boba 3G distributes the weight across the shoulders and waist, providing excellent support, so I don’t get backache from babywearing.

We didn’t manage to try out the infant carrier option (3.5 to 7kg) and foot straps for toddler. (Just for fun, I tried back carrying 16kg Vee for 15 minutes though. Ha!)

Update: As Jae grew older and I was pregnant with Baby #3, I stopped babywearing him. When he was 11kg and beyond, hubby said that the Boba 3G doesn’t provide sufficient support for long walks, so he chose to bring the Beco Butterfly II for our one-week vacation.

(e) Quality: ★★★★

The sewing and workmanship is excellent. After a few washings, the Boba 3G still looks and performs as good as new, except for the colour run part which is getting less.

Update: The newer stock of Boba 3G doesn’t have colour run problem.

(f) Overall Value: ★★★★

Each Boba Baby Carrier 3G retails at USD120 (solid colours) and USD125 (prints). Organic cotton option is at USD160. In Singapore, it’s at SGD189.90 for solid colours, very reasonably-priced.

The Boba Baby Carrier 3G provides excellent support for babywearing at home and outdoors.

What we like about it:

  • Safety first: Meets or exceeds all ASTM F-2236, EN13209-2 and CPSIA baby carrier standards or requirements
  • Provides excellent support — ergonomic for baby and caregiver (for hubby, it’s for baby up to 11kg)
  • Easy to do front and back carry
  • Can be used until child is 20kg
  • Suitable for caregivers with a wide range of build (Height 5’0” – 6’3”, Waistband range 25” – 58”)
  • Shoulder strap holders that keep handbag in place
  • Sleeping hood with adjustable side elastics provide snug support

What can be improved:

  • Use fabric with no colour run (Resolved, so not a concern now)

Get Your Own

To get your own Boba Baby Carrier, visit Boba. Boba products are widely available in Singapore and Malaysia, refer to Boba’s International Store Locator page.

You may also check the price at Amazon here: Boba Baby Carrier 3G*

P.S. Read more on Why I Love Babywearing.

P.P.S. I’ll update the review on Beco Butterfly 2 when time permits.

Disclosure: I received a Boba Baby Carrier 3G from Boba for review. After the report of colour run, Boba sent me a replacement sample to test out.

Mummy’s Reviews™ is a review site that receives compensation if readers make purchases from affiliate links (these are marked with an *). If we receive compensation from the companies whose products we review, this would be disclosed. These compensation help to maintain and grow Mummy’s Reviews™. We test each product thoroughly and give ratings according to our experience with it. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

19 Responses leave one →
  1. Vivian permalink
    November 5, 2012

    I just read your reviews on both boba and beco… Torn between the two! I probably might be using it alone, but it seems like boba you need help with the final adjustments?

    • November 6, 2012

      Boba: Can buckle up alone once you get the technique right. Practice makes perfect. Since you’re using it alone, I’d be more pro-Boba, the handbag holder certainly won me over! Haha…

  2. Vivian permalink
    November 7, 2012

    Ha. Ok thanks i just got the boba! Will try to carry the 14kg cedric and see how it goes first.. if he allows us to wear him.

    Realised they have a boba 3G which is a super portable lightweight carrier for short term carrying too. But it isn’t sold here in sg.

    • November 7, 2012

      14kg is quite back-breaking for petite mum, I could only do 15 minutes with Vee!
      I think Boba Air has a smaller limit, Boba 3G can go up to ~20kg, so should be more sturdy?
      Have fun with yours! :)

  3. Vivian permalink
    November 8, 2012

    Ok will try n let u know. He might not even want to be carried that way! And happy birthday dear!

    • November 9, 2012

      Thank you, Vivian! :)

      Babywearing is important to keep me functioning well, so I started both boys early. Jae was transited from sling to Boba / Beco from 2-3 months old, with Daddy carrying him occasionally, so he’s ok with any of us carrying him. Somehow, both boys don’t like the stroller until at least 1 year old. Ha… koala bears!

  4. nur permalink
    December 13, 2012

    thanks for e review! am using an ergo but contemplating a boba for its cute prints! just wondering, why is it difficult for ur hubby to buckle e straps at e back for front carry? & u mentioned that e back strap sits high on ur back? couldnt u adjust it further down first? or does it move easily on e slider? TIA!

    • December 15, 2012

      Hi nur, hubby doesn’t like putting his hands behind his neck to try to fasten the buckles. He wants the buckles low, but if they’re slid low, he won’t be able to buckle them behind (arms aren’t that long / supple).

      To visualise, imagine buckling behind your back, the arms / hands can only stretch that much. For me, still ok. Not so for hubby though.
      Yes, buckle moves easily on slider.

      Hope this helps! :)

  5. February 15, 2013

    Hi Mie Vee. I’m considering a baby carrier and discover that Boba is similar to Ergo, with a little bit better (in my opinion).

    It’s just that it’s designed for wearer starting from 5ft tall. How tall are you? I’m (super) petite, with 4 ft 9, would Boba still suit me? Or perhaps other carrier could not never suit me either?

    By the way hubby might do all the carry, it’s just that it’s good to have flexibility, so I could wear my almost 1 year old baby when needed too.

    Thanks.

    • February 16, 2013

      Hi Suhana, thank you for reading my blog! :)

      I’m 1.54cm (5.05ft). Boba fits me and hubby (1.7cm). I’m using almost the shortest setting for the side straps. I tried Ergo long time ago but found the straps too wide (tending to slip off). Do try out both Boba and Ergo at a store before deciding. Try emailing Tiny Tapir (Malaysia) or Baby Slings and Carriers (Singapore) for advice?

      All the best to you! :)

  6. nur permalink
    February 16, 2013

    hi mie vee, does e buckle move too easily on e slider? i read one mummy’s review saying that after she’s strapped it, it tends to slide down easily after some time so it gets a bit difficult to unbuckle, as compared to ergo’s which stays.

    what do u think? im stilll contemplating e boba. hee.

    TIA!

    • February 19, 2013

      This doesn’t happen to me. There’s 1 adjustable strap on each side of the back buckle. Once that’s tightened well, the back buckle stays in place very well.

  7. suhana s permalink
    May 5, 2013

    Hi..i m another suhana..would like to ask if breastfeeding w boba is possible discreetly? i m 1.54 n hubby is 1.8m. i m petite n he is big frame.tink we r ok? wer can we try boba?tx.

    • May 8, 2013

      Hi suhana s! Our height’s the same; my hubby’s 1.7m. The side straps are very long, so should get to fit your hubby.

      Discreet breastfeeding should be possible — use the sleeping hood for added coverage if needed, or wear a nursing cover over. The best is to try it out at a nearby store.

      Hope this helps. :)

  8. Ranice permalink
    May 9, 2013

    Hi,
    May I know if using the boba 3G is very hot after awhile?
    I have a baby that sweats a lot.

    • May 10, 2013

      Hi Ranice, Jae doesn’t perspire much while the Daddy does. If indoors at air-con areas, should be ok. If outdoors (e.g. excursion to the zoo), I’d dress baby very lightly, e.g. sleeve-less cotton top and simple cotton shorts or sleeve-less onesie. Then bring extra top to layer on if needed. Hope this helps. :)

  9. Yvonne permalink
    August 2, 2013

    I’m very keen to check out both Beco and Boba carriers. In your opinion which is easier to wear? And which is more comfy for both mummy and baby?

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