There is an upgrade sweeping the babywearing world, and Boba, with their recently released Boba X, is the latest to join the ‘newborn to toddler, no insert needed’, baby carrier club.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one bang on release day, and I’ve been wearing it ever since. Kangatraining, walks around the lake, doing the shopping. If I’ve had to wear Jagger, I’ve worn him in the Boba X.
The carrier is very simple to modify. It has an easy to cinch, velcro waistband, and the body panel adjusts with a simple buckle on the shoulder strap which doubles as a PFA (personal fit adjuster). The fabric is thin and soft. It’s cotton, not as plush as wrap conversion fabric, but much nicer than the rough weave of most buckle carriers, and softer I think than the previous model, the 4G.
It has a hood that tucks away neatly, and two small pockets on the waistband, one with a zip so nothing important gets lost. I found once I had the carrier on the tension made the pocket too tight to fit my phone in case, or my keys. It also has a little loop with clasp on the shoulder where you can thread through a narrow handbag strap, or a toy to keep grabby hands from pulling your hair.
The carrier allows for front facing and back carrying. It does not forward face which is not an issue for me as I prefer to have babies facing in, and then move to a back carry. However as back carrying in a buckle carrier is generally not until around 6 months, and the nosy stage kicks in around four months, it’s something to consider.
The straps are grey and straight out of the box they are very stiff. I recommend you work them a bit before you wear the carrier as the first few times I really had to put effort into adjusting them. They are getting smoother to adjust with use, but they don’t glide yet. The straps allow for the standard H formation and also crossed straps when worn on the front, and they are designed in a way that you can move them through either buckle, so you can adjust how much slack you have to tighten comfortably, depending if you’re wearing on the front or the back.
The padding on the shoulder straps is a bit annoying because I need them done up as tight as possible and the padding scrunches. AJ doesn’t have this issue as he is bigger than me, so there is more slack in the straps. I’m about an NZ size 10/12, so if you are any smaller, you might struggle getting the straps tight enough. The waistband and shoulders do extend quite a bit, the waistband length is equal to most other carriers I have at about 140cm, but the shoulder straps are a bit shorter than the other carriers at 93cm. I am unsure how far through plus size wearers the Boba X would be comfortable.
The design for the chest-clip is unique to Boba and the position of the clip is easily adjustable as it slides on a rail, instead of being attached as a pronged buckle, making it easy to move up or down, and to adjust between wearers. The easy adjustability of the chest-clip does mean it rides up very easily, and when I moved for a front to back carry, the clip would ride up and get in the way. However, once I had Jagger there, it was a matter of un-clipping it, moving it down, then re-clipping it to help keep it in place.
So, that’s how it works. Does it go from newborn to toddler?
Yes and no. The youngest baby I tried in the Boba 4G was a friends four week old, and with everything cinched, it still felt a little big. But I don’t consider this a negative point, as with all the recent ‘no insert, newborn to toddler’ carriers I have tried, none of them work well in those early days. Newborns are small. Buckle carriers are roomy. My advice is to have a stretchy wrap or a ring sling at first. I used the Boba stretchy with Jagger, as early as three days old and it was amazing.
And what about for toddlers? Because while parents may not start babywearing expecting to carry a three year old, it can be a very handy tool when little legs get too tired to walk.
The Boba X has two panel extenders that attach (zip and velcro) to each side of the panel to widen it. Ziggy is 2 years and 8 months old and as you can see, with the extenders on it fits him very comfortably, better than any of the other ‘newborn to toddler’ carriers I have. Yes the panel does not reach all the way up his back, but at this age that’s not important, toddlers much prefer to have their arms out anyway.
I was actually quite dubious about the ‘to toddler’ claim as another ‘newborn to toddler’ carrier I have is so narrow Zigg’s legs dangle uncomfortably. But the Boba X was great and he enjoyed his jaunt around the garden. Which is good, because they’re toddlers for longer than they’re tiny newborns.
Since this review was written, Boba has released around 15 new pattern options, including solid colours and patters, so there’s something to suit everyone. We gifted our grey carrier to the local babywearing Library and got this instead, being that the name seemed fitting for this family!
So there you go, at $249 the price is at the higher end of the ‘newborn to toddler’ carriers, but considering how well it carries a toddler, you are going to get a good amount of use from it and, because you’re reading this review, you also get 20% off! .
You can get your Boba X here.
Use the discount code ‘officiallyem’ for 20% off not just the wraps, but EVERYTHING on the landing page, including a wide range of baby related products.
Sponsored review: In exchange for this review I was given my Boba X from The Sleep Store.