I’m testing and reviewing the Babybjorn baby carrier One, all models. And I’m trying to answer all your questions. How is it compared to other carriers? What are the pros, the cons? What are the features and the bugs? I want you to be able to decide whether it’s the right carrier for you and whether it’s worth the price. In this article: Babybjorn One, Cotton Mix, Air Mesh, Outdoor and Mini.
And this is what it’s all about
Babybjorn Carrier One Review:
Disclaimer: This review is not sponsored and represents my very personal, very honest opinion. It does, however, contain affiliate links and therefore ad content.
2nd Disclaimer: My native language is not English. You’ll notice. I did my very best.
Here’s my honest opinion for everyone who doesn’t have the time to read this obscenely detailed review
I definitely recommend the carrier, especially because of its ergonomics and functionality. It’s very good, very appropriate for baby’s development and the quality is excellent.
But. You have to like the way it works and looks.
Because ‘comfy’, ‘cuddly’, ‘cozy’ are not the adjectives that come to mind when you see, touch and feel this carrier. It’s bigger than other carriers, more voluminous and for lack of a better word, more industrial. And there’s room for improvement when carrying toddlers. Getting them into the carrier when it’s on the back is just a little more complex than it needs to be.
On the other hand, the Babybjorn One is outstanding when we’re talking about flexibility and adaptability. Straps and buckles let you adjust the carrier easily. You can carry a newborn as well as a toddler without having to compromise regarding ergonomics for the child AND for you. Especially the seat area for the position of the legs as well as the head and neck support are one of the best I’ve seen in carriers.
I personally think that this carrier, with the big buckles, the modern design and the big volume is a statement piece and finally something different. Because most of the other carriers look similar. I’m not saying they are bad or even ugly. But I’m saying that variation is a good thing.
And now, let’s talk about the details.
(Get yourself some coffee or tea, it’s going to be a long one.)
Baby Carrier Babybjorn One – The Features
My First Impression
I’ve looked at and touched and tried a lot of carriers. But this one is somehow different:
- The buckles are bigger and remind me more of an airplane seatbelt than a baby carrier. They are a lot of fun to open and close, though.
- The carrier is very solid and robust, including the straps. The quality is great, it feels very high-end and the material feels pretty expensive, too.
- It’s the very opposite of playful.
- It’s quite voluminous and has something like a backplate.
- You’d never call this carrier bohemian or crunchy or hippy-chic. Those are all words that come to mind when I usually think of baby carriers.
To be a bit clearer: This is a carrier for engineers, for people who like design, for no-nonsense mums and dads.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a bad thing. But this carrier is different from the usual carriers, like the Ergobaby, the Manduca or the Bondolino. And it’s very different from simple wraps or mai tais.
I believe that Babybjorn very intentionally goes in another direction. They purposefully distance themselves from the typical ‘babywearing mamas’, who are seen to be a bit different. And this is a good thing. Because the times, when you had to be a bit cooky to wear your baby, are long gone. These days almost everyone carries their babies (because it’s great for everyone), so it’s time to have more options.
And if you have no idea what I mean, I have pictures to illustrate what I’m talking about.
Here are some pictures from a different, more ‘usual’ carrier, the Bondolino. I think the difference is quite obvious. To be fair, there is also quite a price difference.
The Babybjorn is geared towards a very specific target group. This is…
- clever – because there is a big group of people who will love this design.
- pretty well done – at least regarding look and feel of the carrier. We’ll talk about functionality and usability a little later.
The Features of the Babybjorn in Bullets
- Fully adjustable seat width for the perfect leg position. Adjustable from newborn to toddler.
- Adjustable seat height, from newborn to toddler.
- Padded and shock-absorbent waist belt. Adjustable: approx 31 to 62 inches in diameter.
- Adjustable, well-padded shoulder straps.
- Adjustable head and neck support. It’s foldable and out of the way if you don’t need it.
- Built-in infant insert for newborns.
- Size of the leg openings can be adjusted.
- 4 carry positions: front facing backward for newborns and older babies, front facing forwards, on the back.
- Very long usable time from birth to about 3 years (8-33lbs).
- The International Hip Dysplasia Institute acknowledges the carrier to be hip friendly.
- Machine washable.
- All materials are free from harmful substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class I for baby products.
- Meets the requirements of the European safety norm DIN EN 13209-2:2015 for baby carriers and the US-American norm ASTM F223.
- Small packing volume as you can roll it up.
- Detailed, illustrated manual as well as how-to videos online from the manufacturer.
Straps, Buckles and Adjustments
The belt and strap system is well thought-out and makes babywearing easy and comfortable.
I just wanted to get that out before I start complaining about the little details.
The way how this carrier works differs significantly from the way other carriers work. I’ll show you exactly how and if this makes sense. Before we do that I’ll say again that from an ergonomic point of view, the carrier is really good and appropriate, even for small babies.
Not only did they get the ergonomy right for the kid, they also got it right for the one who has to carry the carrier. This is mainly due to the well-padded straps and the many possibilities to adjust the Babybjorn One.
This carrier has come a long way from the first version that was heavily (and rightly so) criticized, mainly for leg positioning.
The waist belt distributes the weight and makes carrying even heavy (and wiggly) toddlers a breeze.
Because despite being called a waist belt, this belt puts a good amount of the weight on the hips. And hips not only always tell the truth, they are also pretty strong. This isn’t a big thing as long as your baby is a newborn. But once it grows – and it will – you’ll carry around 20 lbs, and you’ll be grateful for the relief this belt gives your back.
Lengthwise, it’s one of the most adjustable belts I’ve ever seen on a carrier. You can adjust the length from 30 to 60 inches in diameter. Plus, the strap ends can be put away and don’t dangle around. Which is something that drives me nuts. Very few carriers have this very obviously practical feature.
I’m actually a big fan of this buckle. It’s not even really a buckle but more of a wide hook. This makes it super easy to open and close, even without looking at it.
The shoulder straps are well thought-out…
They are not too wide and not too small and like the waist belt, they are well-padded and easily adjustable. What else could you want?
(That’s a trick question because there’s more!)
The straps have a velvety inner lining. At first, I thought it is an unnecessary gimmick. But the more I’ve worn this carrier, the more I’ve come to appreciate this. Because right there, on this constructed, minimalistic design carrier, there’s this little bit of comfy, soft, cushiony strap that you normally don’t even see. So someone really thought about mum or dad who is carrying the baby.
I really like and appreciate that.
Here’s what the straps look like on narrow and on broad shoulders and when carrying on the front and on the back:
… the back yoke is not my favorite thing in the world.
Why is it called a back yoke if half the time it’s on your front? We’ll never know.
The idea for the back yoke (or front yoke when you carry the baby on your back) is not bad. It’s a sturdy strap that can be pulled up and down. I actually really like the way it’s attached to the carrier.
But why, why, is there no buckle? Seriously, who decided not to put a buckle in there to open this strap??? It just makes no sense.
I’m not joking here. You can’t open this strap. I’ve never seen this. I’m shocked.
Obviously, I’m being a little dramatic. It’s not a dealbreaker that you can’t open this strap but it’s definitely inconvenient. Because it means that you have to pull this carrier over your head. Every time! And it makes getting your baby in a carrying position on your back a lot more complicated than it should be (more on that later. with pictures.).
And it’s so not necessary. Because it would have been so easy to put a buckle in there. Or a hook. Or something.
Dear Babybjorn, please change that. Add a buckle.
The rest of the strap and buckle system is so good. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, it’s endlessly adjustable in seconds. And I’ll show you how:
First decision: newborn or toddler?
There are two height positions. Before you put on the carrier, you need to decide whether you need the newborn position or the baby position:
As you can see, the Babybjorn stays true to its design concept. This zipper is made for real man hands: thick and red. Satisfying.
The leg-hole-minimizer (I have no idea what to call this)
This is great. Because now your newborn can’t fall out through the side. Or something like this.
To be quite honest, I have no idea how to call these things, and I have no idea if they’re necessary. But they are easy to adjust and they are there. So why not. Safety first.
Very important: Fully adjustable seat width
This is, in my opinion, the most important adjustment you can make. Only ever buy a baby carrier where you can adjust the width of the seat. Because this is essential for the development of baby’s hip. You need to get those legs up and spread.
Rule: The seat should go from one knee to the other. The knees need to be as high as baby’s belly button. The legs should curve around your body which spreads them naturally. Imagine the legs forming the letter ‘M’.
This adjustment changes my rating of this carrier from good to excellent. Because this is, no joke, the best system that I’ve ever seen in a carrier. I hope the other manufacturers are watching and taking notes.
The reason why it’s so good:
… you can adjust it with one hand
… it’s ridiculously easy to adjust
… you can do it yourself while the baby is inside the carrier.
Great and innovative solution. A lot of thought and love went into this detail which I really appreciate because as I said, the width of the seat is one of the most important things when it comes to good ergonomics. I’ve actually written a whole article about leg positions and hip development. I’ll link this as soon as I’ve translated it. Until then, just believe me. You need a properly adjustable seat.
Incidentally, it is also the main reason why the first version of the Babybjorn carrier was developmentally really unhealthy and widely critiqued. They listened and they improved. I like that.
We’ll adjust the height of the seating again…
Once the baby is in the carrier, you can finetune the height with the upper end of the shoulder straps. Which is really great. Because now you can find the perfect position for the baby for every person who carries the little critter. Very individual and very easy.
And now the big buckles on the back
These are the last buckles. And the biggest. They are closed on the back of the carrier and are attached to the lower end of the shoulder straps. This way, the carrier closes tightly around the baby and keeps it very safe and cozy (Just because the carrier doesn’t look cozy, doesn’t mean it can’t be cozy). Now you can adjust the width of the carrier directly with the shoulder straps. The more you pull on them, the tighter the carrier gets. Pretty clever solution.
These buckles work well and close with a satisfying ‘click’. They are a bit different than ‘normal’ carrier buckles. But after a few tries, they are easy to handle. They’re also a lot of fun to close.
Before we grab our baby, I’d like to talk about another detail that is one of my highlights.
The foldable neck and head support is brilliant.
But: Did they forget the hood?
Indeed, there’s no hood. The thing is, I don’t even miss it, even though almost every other carrier does have one.
Why I don’t miss it? Because this neck and head support does work as intended. It is a real, actual, solid, sturdy support of the neck and the head. And whenever I take my baby outside, I make sure to protect her from whatever weather is out there.
Sun? She wears a sunproof hat. Rain? She wears a rainproof hat. Wind? She wears a windproof hat. Hail? We stay inside because we’re not crazy.
I don’t need extra element protection from the carrier. I do need proper head support, though. And this is almost as solid as a brace. It also protects against unwanted looks and shields the little ones from too much action and impressions.
I especially like that this one is foldable. Because whenever you don’t need it, you just fold it down and it’s gone. No dangling, no hanging, no nothing.
As you can see, as long as the babies are really small, it sort of does protect them from the elements. Though there’s still nothing on the very top of the head.
Alright. We talked about all the adjustments. Let’s look at the carrying positions and the actual babywearing now.
The 4 Front and Back Carrying Positions
I’m going to make this easy for me and for you and will link the very professional videos of the manufacturer instead of trying to describe all the positions and how to get the baby in there. You’re welcome.
You can also download the manual here if you want to have it in print.
Front Carrying Position Facing in
(This is 2 positions because Babybjorn counts the two heights – newborn and baby – as two separate positions. Sneaky.)
Back Carrying Position
There’s not really a possibility to let an older kid climb on the back and into the carrier on his own and then pull up the carrier. Can you picture what I mean? Because that’s something I like to do with other carriers.
That means it’s a little more work to get a toddler into the carrier. I’m not a fan of that concept. I don’t like work in general…
Front carrying position facing out…
…is something I never, ever recommend. Don’t do it.
It’s not healthy for hip development. It’s an ergonomic catastrophe. Especially when you carry them facing out too young. It can also be too many impressions for the little ones.
If you do it anyway (I’m not your boss), your kid should at least be 5 months old and not heavier than 25lbs.
(Don’t do it.)
Babybjorn is very proud of this carrier
There’s a lot of branding. No less than 3 very big labels very helpfully provide the information that this carrier was indeed and really and actually made by Babybjorn.
At least the branding is nice.
The Models of the Babybjorn Carrier
All of the models and all the materials are free from harmful substances and approved according to Oeko-Tex Standard 100, class I for baby products. Additionally, the carriers meet the requirements of the European safety norm DIN EN 13209-2:2015 for baby carriers and the US-American norm ASTM F223.
You can wash them in the washing machine in warm water (40°C). Wash them separately, use mild and bleach-free detergent and don’t tumble dry.
In my experience, they don’t need a lot of washing. Most of the time it’s enough to wipe them down with a wet cloth to get rid of the daily dirt.
Babybjorn One – Cotton Mix
The Babyjorn One Cotton Mix is the basic model.
It’s mostly available in darker colors like grey, denim and black. But be sure to check because sometimes there are quite fun special editions available.
Babybjorn One Air Mesh
This one is available in lighter colors. It’s also the model you see me wearing here in this review. It’s actually a really pretty color and breaks up the more rigid design.
This carrier is called Air or Air Mesh or Mesh. It’s basically the same carrier than the basic model.
There’s only one difference: This carrier is made from airy, breathy, quick-dry 3D mesh. This mesh has 3 layers: A very soft mesh that’s against the skin of the baby and a very robust mesh on the outside. Between the two there is a filling.
In the manufacturer’s words: Instead of padding, which can make a baby carrier bulky and too warm, the filling in the middle layer consists of a fine, single-fiber thread that gives the baby carrier the stability of padding, yet ensures a very good airflow, so it stays airy and cool when you’re babywearing.
I tried the Air extensively and I love it. The air circulation in the summer heat is really good compared to other carriers. But honestly, the difference is not massive. If you like the basic cotton model better, you will not miss out too much.
Babybjorn One Outdoor
More colors and more fun with this model.
This carrier is again based on the base model. It’s also water resistant, comes in a pouch and looks a little more sporty and outdoorsy. There are some loops and a little bag for keys or a mobile phone.
It’s quite good looking and the price is not much different – depending on the color. I quite like it. But the difference is more in the looks than in the features.
It also looks a bit like the Babybjorn One, so this totally counts.
This one is a lot smaller, though, and was specially developed for newborns. Which is why I really like it.
If you are looking for a carrier for your very little one, then try this one. Because I’ve touched and tested it, and the concept is sound, it’s very well made, and it’s a comfy little cocoon for your newborn baby. I’ve also talked to other parents and the carrier gets almost always stellar ratings.
- Small, simple carrier, that is easy to put on
- Very soft, comfy and cuddly
- Only a few adjustments are necessary, so it’s very easy to use
- Sturdy, adjustable head support
- Perfect for babies up to about 12 month
- Available in 3 variations (Jersey, Mesh, Cotton)
- Machine washable
Baby Carrier Babybjorn One in Different Ages
The requirements for baby carriers change when the baby gets older. Therefore I’d like to talk about the different ages and how the Babybjorn performs in each.
Babybjorn Carrier One for Newborns
The Babybjorn One is one of the big, voluminous carriers. This can be a bit much fabric and material for very small, newborn babies. There’s another thing that bothers me for the small ones: With this carrier, the baby doesn’t rest directly against the skin of mum or dad. There’s a fabric barrier between the one who carries the baby and the baby. There’s no direct skin contact.
I personally am not a fan of this. I like them as close as possible. But this can also be an advantage. My husband, for example, likes this because especially in the summer, he sweats a lot less when there’s a bit of distance between skin and skin.
Especially for newborns, it’s extremely important to adjust the width of the seat properly. That’s the only way you’ll get a developmentally appropriate leg position. The seat should always be as wide as the distance from knee to knee. So the knees are up and the legs are gently spread around your body.
The big buckles seem a bit overkill for newborns. But, well, you plan to use this carrier for a while so it’s worth to deal with it for a few weeks.
It may not be the most comfortable carrier for newborns, but it does have enough adjustments to make it ergonomically sound and developmentally appropriate.
- seat width
- seat height
- head and neck support
- adjustable leg holes
Therefore I do recommend this carrier for newborns, especially if you look for a carrier that will last you through the whole babywearing time.
Babybjorn Carrier One for Babys from 4 Months to 18 Months
This is the time when this carrier shines. And it’s also the time when most people are probably going to use it. It was specially made for proper babies that are a bit bigger than newborns but not yet toddlers. During this time it’s the most comfortable and ergonomic.
Once they are 4 months old, the little ones can hold their head, they start to balance their weight, and, once they get closer to 12 months, they’ll be able to sit properly. They are not yet mobile enough, though, to constantly want to walk on their own, and most of them like to cuddle and cozy up to mum or dad.
The carrier is a great support for the legs, for the pelvis, the back and the head and neck. Even if the baby falls asleep. That’s why I love especially the solid head support that you can just fold up with one hand without having to deal with a floppy hood or straps or buckles. It’s just one second and done.
Now, when the baby is bigger, the big, bulky buckles make sense. You can buckle up very quickly because they are easy to find and easy to use without having to see them. Closing them is very satisfying and is quite fun.
This carrier does give the baby room to breathe and move, but it also keeps him safe and comfortable. And the thick, padded back support is also almost like an armor. You don’t have to worry about bumping into things or moving very gently. The baby is safe.
If you look for a carrier for a baby from 4 months to about 18 months, you should definitely look into this carrier.
Babybjorn Carrier One for Toddlers
Now we’ll talk again about the back yoke and the back carrying position.
Compared to other carriers you’ll have to work a little more before your toddler sits comfortably in the carrier.
And I know that not many people carry around their 2-year-olds. But those who do it with another carrier know, that it’s so easy to just put the carrier on, let the kid hop onto your back and then pull the whole carrier up. Done.
That’s not possible with the Babybjorn. You’ll need to put the carrier on, strap the kid in on your hip, then push it onto your back, and then tighten everything. And hope you strangled nobody in the process.
(My toddler loves this, btw, because it’s obviously the funniest thing in the world…)
There are 4 reasons for why I think this is not great, but I still recommend the Babybjorn:
- Not many people carry around heavy toddlers on their backs
- Once you are carrying around a heavy toddler, you have so much experience with this carrier, that it’ll be a piece of cake to strap in your kid
- Toddlers usually quite like to participate and help in this process
- Once they sit in the carrier, it’s really good and the weight distribution is great for your back
Other than the thing with getting them into the carrier, the Babybjorn is a solid carrier for toddlers.
It helps, though, when you start babywearing with this carrier when the baby is younger. Because the adjustments for toddlers are a little tricky if you start when they are older.
I think this is because you have to be careful when tightening the shoulder straps. As I already described in an earlier part of this review, the shoulder straps also adjust the width of the carrier itself. So you can’t pull too tight or you’ll constrain the toddler too much. They don’t like that. At all. And they’ll tell you. Loudly.
If you only look for a toddler carrier, this might not be the one for you.
If you look for a carrier for the whole babywearing time including the toddler months, I’d definitely recommend the Babybjorn. You can use it up to 33 lbs.
Babybjorn One in Comparison to Other Carriers
Babybjorn or Manduca?
I think it’s a matter of taste. Honestly, both carriers are excellent but very different when it comes to style. Maybe the Manduca is a little better on the outer edges of the age range, meaning newborns and toddlers.
The Babyjorn does have the design edge and is a little more modern. Even though the Manduca closes the gap with the new XT model. I’m not sure though if this is yet available in the States.
Surely both carriers are comparable in terms of ergonomy and quality. I think it comes down to what you like more.
There’ll be an in-depth review of the Manduca as soon as I manage to translate it.
Babybjorn or Ergobaby?
I do have to say, though, that I think the Babybjorn is a little better when it comes to ergonomy for newborns.
The Ergobaby, in turn, wins the toddler age. Because it’s a lot less complicated to put on and you can – in my opinion – babywear a little longer. Although it’s rare that I see parents carrying toddlers who are heavier than 30 lbs or older than 3.
Of course, there’s also again the design. Decide for yourself.
Babybjorn or Marsupi?
It would be a lot fairer to compare the Marsupi to the Babybjorn Mini. We don’t do that, though, which is why we can answer this question super easily. You just have to know for which age you need the carrier.
Birth to 6 months? Marsupi!
Everything older and heavier than 6 months? Babybjorn!
If you are looking for a carrier that you can use during your whole babywearing time, you should get the Babybjorn.
But if you already know that you’ll only use the carrier until your kid is about 6 months old, then take the Marsupi. This carrier is specially made for newborns and is really good at what it was made for.
So What Does This Mean?
Let’s summarize advantages and disadvantages:
Advantages of the Babybjorn One Carrier
- Intuitive carrier system
- Long babywearing time
- Fully adjustable seat width
- Very well padded waist-belt and shoulder straps
- Many adjustments for ergonomic babywearing
- Great solution for ‘loading’ small and medium size babies
- Great neck and head support which is very solid, adjustable and can simply be folded down
- Adjustable seat height
- Completely free from harmful substances
- Good for hip development
- Machine washable
Disadvantages of the Babybjorn One Carrier
- Doesn’t come with a pouch or bag to store in the basic model
- No hood
- ‘Loading’ a toddler is a little complicated
- Very big
- No back yoke buckle
My very personal opinion
The Babybjorn Carrier is one of the better carriers that are available today. It’s a high-end carrier when it comes to ergonomy, quality and manufacturing. It’s very well made right down to the details. The design is unique and well thought-out.
There’s room for improvement, however, especially regarding the comfort of buckling in.
I do honestly recommend the Babybjorn One, especially if you are looking for a carrier that you can use from birth to toddler. It’s suitable for babies as light as 8 lbs and goes all the way up to 30lbs toddlers.
You’ll have a lot of fun and a lot of wonderful babywearing time with this carrier.
And that’s it. I hope I answered all your question. If I missed one, please leave a comment, I’ll do my very best to answer it.
This is my first carrier review on the English part of this website. It’s by far not the first review I’ve ever written and it won’t be the last one that I’ll publish. Come back in a few weeks and there will be more.
I have a lot of experience with carriers and I love to share it with you and hope to help you make the best decisions.