Today I’m going to do a head to head comparison between two popular baby carriers – the LILLEbaby Complete vs. the ERGO 360 – to help you decide which is the better overall baby carrier.
I’ll admit it, I seem to have a bit of an addiction to baby carriers. Not the fancy wrap kind, but the soft structured carriers that make me feel like I’m kind of an explorer instead of a mom doing chores with a baby strapped to my back. If I did get into all the fancy wraps I think my husband would divorce me. WE DON’T NEED MORE CARRIERS.
Before I go into the details, I’ll cut to the chase: Of all the carriers I’ve used, my all-around favorite is the LILLEbaby Complete.
That being said – there are pros and cons to each of these soft structured carriers (as there are to all of the 7 types of baby carriers, from slings to wraps!).
Let’s start with the LILLEbaby Complete.
The LILLEbaby Complete is a comfy, cute carrier that can be used from birth through toddlerhood. If you’re looking for a practical carrier that’s not hard to use and that you’ll get a lot of mileage out of, this is the type of carrier that I’d recommend.
So, what does this particular model have to offer?
The LILLEbaby Complete has 6 carrying positions:
- Inward facing (front carry)
- Outward facing (front carry)
- Wide seat front carry (inward facing)
- Back carry
- Hip carry
- Fetal position (for tiny babies)
You won’t necessarily use all of the positions, but it’s nice to have a carrier that gives you options!
Ok, so in my opinion there’s really a lot to love about this carrier.
- For starters, the LILLEbaby is extremely easy to adjust and put on solo. This is a big deal! It can be very hard to reach around to clip the neck buckle on a lot of carriers (Trust me, some are much harder than others. The LILLEbaby is way easier for me to buckle at the neck than the Ergo).
- It has a built-in storage pouch big enough to hold a phone, wallet, and set of keys. Probably a diaper and wipes. Maybe a sandwich. This is a huge deal! To me the storage is essential, and this really is a decently sized pocket.
- If you live in a warm climate, or really anywhere that has summer (so, yeah anywhere) – this carrier breathes well, which can make a big difference. If you want to get the most versatile LILLEbaby in terms of adjusting for various temperatures, you’ll probably want to go with the LILLEbaby Complete All Seasons carrier.
- You can use the LILLEbaby starting at about 7 pounds without an infant insert. This is really helpful if you only want to invest in one carrier for the long-term, and you aren’t inclined to purchase a separate infant insert.
- The material doesn’t feel as durable as on some of my other carriers. Since I just bought the LILLEbaby a few months ago, I asked a friend who has used hers for several years. She reports that it has held up well even after heavy use and being tossed into the washing machine. So I feel good about that! But I did want to mention the fabric in case you think you’ll be very hard on your carrier.
- The rear lumbar support is a separate attachment which is threaded onto the waist belt. I don’t love the way this looks/the fact that it shifts around. However, it does provide my back support, and I’m getting kind of old, so…
- The waistband is a bit wide, which may bother some people.
And if you’re interested in parent reviews, you can find them here.
I really like baby Ani’s “hands on hip” pose here. She seems ready for business.
The Ergo 360 has 4 carrying positions:
- Front carry (facing parent)
- Front carry (outward facing)
- Back carry
- Hip carry
This is a well-made, durable carrier with 100% cotton fabric. It has some good things going for it, but I’ll admit that it’s not my favorite soft structured carrier.
Let’s look at some pros and cons.
- Very durable, high quality fabric. The fabric isn’t necessarily “cozy” but it will clearly stand up to heavy use.
- The ERGO is known for its quality and for being ergonomically sound for your baby.
- The carrier has no pocket. This is a big issue for me.
- The older version (which I have) doesn’t have a buckle at the waist, only velcro, which I find cumbersome to adjust and harder to get a good fit. The newer version has a lumbar support waist-belt. This is good to be aware of in case you’re buying a second-hand carrier.
- You must purchase a separate infant insert for use with newborns under 12 pounds.
- For me, this carrier is much harder to buckle behind the neck without assistance. It’s doable, but it requires a challenging “reach” and I wouldn’t be surprised if some people needed another adult to help them buckle it.
- Fabric does not feel soft or flexible, which makes it less cozy.
If you want to check parent reviews on Amazon you’ll get some other opinions. Carrier preference can vary a lot from person to person, and my opinion is just….my opinion!
Note: there have been some issues with knock-off Ergobaby carriers being sold on Amazon. If you want to be certain to get the real deal, you should buy directly from the manufacturer.
In a head to head battle of the LILLEbaby vs. the Ergo 360, my vote goes to the LILLEbaby Complete Original.
I find the LILLEbaby to be the more comfortable between the two carriers. I can wear it for extended periods of time without feeling strain in my neck and back.
For me, the two most significant advantages of the LILLEbaby Complete Original over the Ergo 360 are the built-in pocket (for me this is a “must”) and the fact that it’s much easier for me to put this carrier on solo. And let’s be honest, much of the time you’re going to be flying solo! It also has an overall cozier feel.
The LILLEbaby is my new go-to carrier for, well, most everything. I can use it to carry my one-year old for well over an hour without an issue, and it’s equally comfortable in both the front and back carry positions. This one’s a winner!
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