Adjustability and longevity – if I had to describe this carrier in just two words they would be it, because this carrier has both in spades. Many carriers on the market advertise birth till 4, but few actually really cover that whole range. The Boba X is probably one of the very few that really will take you from birth (or a few weeks old) until as long as you would like to carry for.
So what’s their secret? The panel adjusts, both the height and width of the panel can be fine-tuned to fit the baby and then can be let out bit by bit as they grow to grow with them and adapt to their needs as they develop and change with time. The panel material is also really soft and light, which means when it is cinched down on the smallest settings it’s not too bulky. If is of course a little more bulky than when it isn’t cinched down but it’s not overly so… which allows a really form hugging fit to be achieved on littler babies (without them feeling lost in oodles of carrier) as well as still having all that growing room for the future.
In particular for infants I like that the hood, rolled up inside the carrier, can be used to support the neck and that this can be moved using the panel height adjusters to ensure it is in exactly the right position. There is also a small lip of very light flexible fabric that then cradles the head… ensuring that the neck is well supported but baby still has freedom to move their head. There is also lovely padding at the baby’s legs. All in all this is a carrier that can work really well for a new baby. Maybe not right in the first days – the first days and weeks I always think it’s very hard to beat the snuggliness of a stretchy wrap or Caboo. But from around a month or so old, around the time you are starting to think about getting out and about more… this carrier would work perfectly.
And then grow with baby! Simple velcro tabs adjust the waist band… and combined with the height adjusting buckle the panel with grow smoothly with your baby right into toddlerhood. Offering 3 carrying positions along the way – front, hip and back. Then, and this is the real magic… it comes supplied with a pair of zip on panel extenders which convert the carrier from a standard sized carrier into a toddler/preschool sized carrier. These extenders are nicely padded so really comfortable for the child and the zips are all hidden internally where they can’t rub. Which means the Boba X will still happily carry a 3 or even a 4 year old. In fact you can see my son, aged 5 still just about squeezes in. So the Boba X should last you as long as you need to carry. And its so well made I am sure it would last through siblings… in fact I can see this being a great option for anyone with siblings that are quite close in age, because this carrier could be easily used with either.
But what about the parent? Again the Boba X is really adjustable – you can wear the straps crossed or in ruck sack (H) style, and the chest strap is on a slider and so easily adjusted to fit a range of different shapes and sizes. Likewise there are perfect fit adjusters allowing more petite or shorter parents to get a really snug fit, even when back carrying. The straps are really easy to tighten thanks to the “pulley” system or dual adjust that allows the same strap to be tightened either from the panel end or from the strap end depending on which direction is easier. This feature is really good for anyone who suffers from weak wrists or limited mobility through their arms or shoulders.
Boba have also thought about how you might carry your stuff! There is a little zippered pocket on the waistband that is just big enough to house a phone, keys and a credit card. And for those who can’t pack that light… there are bag clips on the shoulder straps – little flaps on poppers that allow you keep a bag strap on the padded shoulder strap allowing you to comfortably carry a bag at the same time as wearing your baby.
The one thing I don’t like about this carrier is how the straps cross across the parents back. The straps are slightly curving – and as a result they work brilliantly in the rucksack/H configuration. But this curve means that when you attempt to cross them… the curve is going the wrong way resulting in the straps sitting awkwardly on your back. Ultimately, if I was to use this carrier I’d always choose to use it with rucksack straps and never to cross. The thing is though, many people prefer crossed… and what I am finding is those who like crossed straps don’t find this carrier as comfortable as others where the straps don’t curve away while those who prefer rucksack style or don’t have a strong preference really love it and find it incredibly comfortable.
Another thing to be aware of is that when folded up the Boba X isn’t the smallest carrier. If your looking for something that folds up small and fits in the change bag, something for more occasional use – this is not the carrier for you. Instead the Boba X makes a good choice for anyone who wants to use their carrier for hours on end, and to work flexibly in lots of different situations. Also with all this adjustability comes more bits and pieces. The beauty of the older Boba’s (i.e the Boba 4G or the 3G) was they were very simple… just one strap to tighten or adjust. I would get them out whenever I had a client who wanted something really easy or were confused by having too many things to adjust. So while a big part of me rejoices at a super adjustable Boba, a very small part of me will miss the beautifully simple does less Boba’s … mainly for this subset of clients who find to many straps confusing or too much faff!
All in all the Boba X is a hugely adjustable carrier that will last you as long as you want to. It comes with oodles of features to ensure comfort of both parent and babe and is a really good choice for anyone looking for a very flexible carrier and one that will fit parents of different sizes and children of different sizes. Cost is £125 and can be ordered through Sheen Slings or from Slumber Roo.