Saturday, May 18, 2013

Boba 2G, Boba 3G, Boba Air

Boba is a Colorado-based company and the maker of the very popular Boba buckle carriers.  There are three Boba soft structure carriers that are currently on the market:  The Boba 2G, while discontinued, can still be bought at several retailers, including Amazon; the newer model is the Boba 3G, which can be used from newborn through toddlerhood, with no additional insert needed.  Lastly, there is the Boba Air, the "lightweight" carrier the company offers.  

Mindy N. has owned and used all three and here is her experience/review of them:

I started with a 2G from Zulily, when they were liquidating their stock before releasing the 3G. I heard about it from a friend who thought it might be up my alley, even though my third child had just turned 3 years old. We were at Fort Campbell at the time, and we used to visit downtown Nashville a lot; a stroller or wagon is really inconvenient when going into many of the stores there, so I was willing to give a carrier a shot, after not wearing her since she was less than a year old.  We were planning to have another baby in the future, too, so I figured we'd eventually use it even if it was a failure for her. Anyway, I got the carrier and LOVED it for hiking, exploring record stores in Nashville, etc. Since she was pretty old when we bought it, we only ever back carried her. My husband was deployed when I bought the Boba, and started using it once he came home. He liked it, too. When Baby #4 came along, I used the Boba with him straight out of the gate. I wore him frogged, without an insert or adaptive use. He was 8 pounds and 20.5 inches and he fit very comfortably that way. 

I was so happy with the 2G that I wasn't even interested in upgrading to the 3G -- until I bought a second Boba in the Diaper Dude camo print, for my husband to use. I had no intention of wearing a camo-print anything, since I try to keep a low profile as an Army wife, but I really liked the higher back and the purse strap. I decided to buy a solid Boba for myself, in grey. The purse strap wrangler is so helpful, as well as the ability to adjust the chest strap vertically. It's also more adjustable than I remember the 2G being; the webbing straps between the end of the padded shoulder strap and the seat are adjustable at both ends.  I think it makes it easier to tweak the fit while a child is in it, since you can grab either end and make your change. 
Mindy N. wears her baby in her Boba 3G at Cheyenne Cañon.

The main con I've found is that I'm not quite flexible enough to clip the chest strap when I'm wearing him on the front. I manage to get around that by having one of my other kids clip it for me, since I'm rarely without at least one of them. I can deal with it if I go to the store alone with the baby and don't have someone to snap it for me, but it's kind of annoying that I have to hike the straps up every so often. (I have no issues getting an arm behind my back to unsnap it with one hand, though.) The other potential con is that my daughter hates using the foot straps/stirrups. She would probably be better supported if she used them, but she finds them annoying. Still, the seat is pretty big, so she's not dangling when she's in it.

I wasn't sure what to expect from the Boba Air when we set out. As enthusiastic as I am about our 3G, I wondered if the Air was going to be as comfortable. It turned out to be surprisingly so! I am not a frequent flyer, so I wanted to travel as minimally as possible on our trip to North Carolina. The Air was perfect: lightweight and breathable while running through the airport, compact when settling into our seats on the plane. It stuffs into its self-bag easily. It collapses down like a reusable grocery bag, without a lot if hassle to make it fit, and it took up about as much room as my makeup bag in my carry-on. 

I also used the Air at our destination, not just in transit. I walked for over three miles on the beach one day during our trip. Despite its lightweight construction, I didn't find the straps digging into my shoulders. (It might be worth noting that my son is pretty petite. He's only about 20 pounds at 15 months. People with older or larger children might not have the same experience.) The Boba 3G's more padded and rigid structure is still definitely superior to the Air in terms of support and comfort, but the Air stands on its own pretty well. My son also seemed to like it, as he fell asleep about a mile into our walk.

What were your personal experiences with Boba carriers like?  Comment and let us know!

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