The Ergobaby Omni Breeze is one of two brand new Omni models and is an updated version of Ergobaby's much loved Omni 360 carrier. It has all the same features and functions as the Omni 360 (reviewed here), but with an updated more streamlined design and softer breathable fabric. Small tweaks in the design also mean this carrier fits more parents and more baby's than ever before.
Watch my full, in depth video review to see it in action or read on below for a summary of its main pros and cons and full comparision with the previous Omni 360 model.
Key Omni Breeze Facts:
- Weight tested from 3.5 to 20 kg (7 – 45lbs), realistically fits from approximately 6-8 weeks to around 2 years of age. This is the big thing to realise – the box and all the marketing says “birth to toddler”, but in practise this is a carrier that rarely fits before 6-8 weeks. The reason is the panel is simply too long and the carrier is quite structured so its not easy to get a great fit on a very young baby. You can sometimes get it to work a little earlier using this method to adjust the panel, and it is actually slightly easier with the Breeze than the older Omni 360 model but it still isn't brilliant until baby is over 8 weeks or so. Once baby is over that age it adjusts and continues working beautifully until around 2 even 2.5 years of age – so this is a fantastically long lasting carrier that you should get roughly 2 years worth of use from.
- Adjustable width. The secret to this longevity is the adjustable seat. Velcro tabs inside the waistband make it very simple to adjust the width of the seat to accomodate different sizes as baby grows. No need for an insert for younger babies, the seat can simply shrink down for a younger baby. Coloured markers make it really easy to know where to place the tabs, and of course you can place them between the lines too to get an incremental fit as baby grows.
- Adjustable height. The panel can also grow too – the top part of the panel can be buttoned down for a smaller baby and up for a older baby/toddler who needs more support. Note that this part is a panel extender for older children and not a “head support”. You can see more info on how to support baby’s head in a carrier here.
- Bucket shaped seat ensures baby sits in a comfortable seated position with bum lower than the knees and the padding at the edge is a nice soft touch. As with any carrier – how you use it matters more than the carrier itself – but the bucket shape seat certainly makes it easier to ensure great positioning (you can read more about this here).
- Made from soft, breathable mesh fabric the Breeze is definitely Ergobaby's lightest, coolest Omni model to date. Still not one of my top summer picks, but definitely a good option if you're looking for a multipostion carrier that will work year round.
- Features 4 Carrying positions: Front inwards, front outwards, hip and back carry. Which means this carrier grows with your child developmentally as well as physically, giving you both lots of carrying options. One of the real pros of all the Omni models are how easily they adjust between the inward and outwards modes (you can do this with just 1 hand without putting baby down) and how well they offer both. The bucket shaped seat ensures you can get a comfortable seated position for baby in both inward and outward modes. In fact the Omni carriers genuinely are one of the best carriers on the market when it comes to the outward position because they give a fabulously comfortable deep squat position even while outward facing. The hip carry doesn’t work quite as well as the other three positions, simply because it is quite bulky and the strap across the opposite shoulder often doesn’t sit very comfortably compared to other less bulky carriers.
- Wide, firmly padded waistband with lumbar support pad. The waistband and lumbar pad is often the selling point of this carrier for many families. If it fits you well, this can be supremely comfortable and supportive and can work really well for those wanting to use their carrier on long walks or days out. It can take a bit of adjusting the first time you use it (and getting used to tightening from both ends of the pad to ensure the lumbar pad is positioned centrally across your lumbar spine) but after a couple of goes it becomes very quick and easy to get a great fit every time. It is worth noting that this lumbar pad isn't removable, so when you do come to back carrying it will sit over your stomach. This can be nice because it helps stabilise the waistband and give additional support, but some people don’t appreciate the additional pressure on their tummies or like the look. Also the inability to remove the lumbar pad does mean that very slender parents occassionally struggle to get this carrier tight enough around the waist. This is actually less of an issue with the Breeze compared to the older model, as this is one of the updates Ergobaby have made to slightly adjust the design so that this carrier fits both narrower and wider that before offering a frankly impressive fit range from just 45.4cm all the way to 145cm.
- Shoulder straps are fairly well padded, but soft enough to bend and shape to fit a wide range of parent shapes and sizes. The straps are one of the main ways the Breeze differs from the Omni 360. The 360 is pretty bulky across the shoulders and the padded part quite long and the consequence is this is a carrier that rarely fits very petite parents well. With the Breeze Ergo have slimmed down the overal amount of padding and made the straps less bulky and also shortened the padded section by a few cm. The result is this carrier gives petite parents a much better fit, while still fitting larger and plus sized parents just as well - in many cases better because the more mouldable straps give a better fit to a wider range of shoulder and back shapes and sizes. It is worth saying it is still quite a padded carrier, which many parents adore. Its great for those looking for something for long walks. However, those looking for something that feels lighter for use around the home or fold down small to be stored under the buggy while not in use, will normally opt for something less bulky like the Beco Gemini or the Kahu Baby Carrier.
- The straps do up in 2 ways – offering both crossed and ruck sack options (X or H shape), which is great because so often couples sharing a carrier find that they have different preferences and so this carrier is more likely to work for both parents! Which is a big pro.
- Tightening is one directional. This does mean you need to understand how to move the looseness around your back (as shown in depth here) and can be hard for those with weak wrists. Which is a bit of a con compared to other carriers that offer two directional tightening (such as the Beco Gemini, Kahu Baby carrier, Manduca XT), but it is something that most people can find a method that works for them, so not a huge con but worth being aware of.
- Safety buckles. It is worth noting that the shoulder straps attach to the panel via a 3 point safety buckle. For most people this buckle requires two hands to open (I've met a few people who can do it with one hand but it requires alot more index figure strength than I currently have!). This is both a pro and a con. Pro because of that added layer of security (the buckle can't be undone absentmindely), but con because it makes it more fiddly to do up and undo. The result is that sometimes people accidently don't do it up properly and then it is at more risk of undoing spontaneously! Or more likely to get panicked while trying to get it done up or undone. Its not a big issue because this is something you quickly get used to with practise but worth being aware of at the start.
- Pockets! The Breeze comes with 2 small elasticated side pockets and one larger detachable zipper pocket. Between the 3 you definitely have space for keys, phone, wallet and maybe a couple of small snacks. Which is definitely really handy.
How does the Omni Breeze compare to the Omni 360: What are the updates?
The first thing to say is that the Breeze and the Omni 360 are incredibly similar. They both offer 4 carrying positions, X and H straps, both adjust in height and width in the same way. The differences are as follows;
- Material the carrier is made from. The Omni 360 came in a standard cotton or a cool air mesh which was made from the same cotton with panels/sections replaced with a relatively open mesh material. The Breeze is covered almostly entirely in “SoftFlex™ Mesh” which is softer and lighter polyester material. It appears less "open" but is very breathable in addition to being lighter and softer in feel.
- Overall Aesthetic. The design has been tweaked to give the Breeze a sleeker, more streamlined look. These tweaks actually give a slightly nicer shaped seat for baby when inward facing, but really they don't make a huge difference beyond aesthetics. As Ergobaby are still offering the older model it gives people the choice as to which they prefer the look of. Ergobaby have also added little fluorescent accents to give this carrier a sportier look (and presumably to help you be seen better in the dark, although as most people will be wearing a coat over their carrier on dark winter nights again I think this is more about the aesthetic value than the practical value).
- Padding is softer and slightly trimmed down meaning this carrier is around 200g lighter, which does make it a little cooler and less bulky in feel compared to the Omni 360.
- Padding on the shoulder straps is a couple of cm shorter which means the Breeze tends to fit more petite parents much better than the previous model did. While still fitting plus sized parents and parents of various shapes, sizes and genders just as well as before.
- Safety Buckles have been changed. The Omni 360 featured safety buckles that could be undone one handed, however they were pretty fragile and prone to breaking. The safety buckles on the Breeze are much sturdier, however, most people will find they need 2 hands to undo these buckles.
- Two additional side elasticated pockets. These are quite small and there is a limit to what you can put in them - again I think this is more about the asthetic value these pockets add than storage.
While these updates are small, I would say the value in this carrier fitting a wider range of parents, slightly comfier inward seat shape for baby and being just that little bit less bulky means that of the two models I vastly prefer the Breeze. For me having less bulk just means this carrier feels that bit more comfy as it just fits better. Over the course of the last 9 months since this carrier came out I've seen the Breeze be marginally better for almost all families who have tried both.
All in all the Ergobaby Breeze is a fabulous all singing all dancing option. It is a great choice for anyone looking for a carrier that will last them a long time and offer lots of options as their family grows. Its a great for days out and long walks. Cost is £184.95 and these can be bought through the Sheen Slings webshop here. I offer free fit checks with all carrier purchases which means you can be assured I will be on hand to help you get the most from your new carrier if needed. Plus as an authorised Ergobaby stockist your new carrier will come under the Ergobaby 10 year promise, meaning your carrier is guarenteed for an incredible 10 years! Want to try before you buy? I do hire these out (and offer exclusive discounts to anyone who hires first) so you can properly road test these in your life before you invest risk free.