In many ways the Beco 8 is the Beco Gemini’s big brother. The Beco 8 shares so many of the features that I love about the Gemini. In particular;
- Firm thick padding at the waist band combined with soft light padding at the shoulder straps. This combination is rare in the carrier world, but is one that really works for some many people because it gives great support at the waist and weight transference onto the hips without feeling bulky on the shoulders.
- Ability to wear the straps either ruck sack style or crossed acrossed the parents back depending on personal preference.
- Easy to adjust seat. The seat of the carrier has two settings – narrow and wide that can be easily swapped between using a simple pair of poppers.
- 4 carrying poisitions. You can carry your baby on your front facing you, on your front facing outward, on your hip and on your back giving you plenty of flexibility to use this carrier in different ways. And the adjustable popper seat means its super easy to quickly switch back and forth between facing in and facing out positions.
But where the Beco 8 differs from the Gemini is that it is bigger. The panel is about 1cm longer on the Beco 8, while the wide setting is about 2cm wider. The narrow setting is actually the same on both carriers. The bigger panel simply means this carrier will last longer. It will take longer for your baby to grow out of it. The taller panels often mean smaller babies don’t fit as well but as the Beco 8 comes with a small infant insert to raise the height of the baby within the carrier this isn’t the case for the Beco 8. This is a carrier that works really well from newborn (or at least a few weeks old) until around 2 years of age, quite possibly longer. In terms of weights, the Beco 8 is weight tested from 3.2 to 20 kg (7 to 40 lb). When you compare this to the Gemini these extra few cm give you about an added 6 months of longevity and 4 kg extra on the weight max.
The panel isn’t the only thing that is bigger about the Beco 8 – it also has a lot of extra features and stuff! Which contribute to this feeling like a bigger bulkier carrier. In particular it has;
- Lumbar Support – a little panel that sits comfortably over your lower spine and helps support your lumbar region and stabilises the waist band. This is fab while carrying a heavier baby on your front, and can be removed if you don’t like it or so that you don’t have a weird pad on the front.
- Hood – to cover baby’s head for sleep or if there’s rain and handily hides away inside the head support cushion
- Zip down mesh panel – the standard carrier is made from a durable but fairly soft polyester, then in warmer weather the central panel can be unzipped to reveal breathable “3D mesh”. I am not entirely sure what 3D mesh means other than you can’t see through it! Like overlapping layers of mesh, so there is no possibility of little fingers getting stuck or of it getting snagged on anything. This is the same mesh as is on the Gemini Cool but the beauty of the 8 is you don’t need to choose between mesh or solid… you get both in one carrier. (Unless you don’t like the idea of polyester and mesh, and in which case they sell a all cotton version which lacks this zip down panel).
- Infant insert – which simply attaches via poppers so easy to remove if you don’t need it or don’t like it. I like that this insert pillow has a narrow and wide setting as this allows different baby’s to be accomodated in different ways as suits them as they grow.
All of which is good stuff! But the downside is that with all these added bits this carrier takes up quite a lot of space when folded! Roughly about twice the size compared to the Gemini. It’s also correspondingly more expensive.
This is a great carrier for those who want a long walk carrier and those who want all the features and bits and bobs. But it doesn’t have the simplicity and sheer magic the Gemini has in being quite a slimmed down non fuss, easy carrier. There are more bits and bobs to faff with and get used to. Some love this, some people really want those extra bits… while for others less is more. Really just depends on personal preference!
All in all the Beco 8 is another great carrier from Beco. The 8 will particularly suit bigger babies, those who are higher up on the centile charts and will benefit from a bigger carrier that will last them longer before they grow out of it. It’s a great sunday hike, wear all day carrier as it doesn’t comprimise on comfort or features! It’s a flexible carrier offering multiple carrying positions and combines a firm supportive waistband with lighter softer shoulder padding. The Beco 8 costs £125 and is available to purchase from Sheen Slings at sling library meets, consults and workshops (or please get in touch for doorstep collection or even postage).