Pros:Baby can ride on back!!!
Cons:Straps get chewed on
akward to store and transport
The Bottom Line: I love this carrier. Maybe it takes some getting used to, but it's quite easy to use. I've recommended it to friends.
I've read some of the other reviews about this carrier, and I think two points need to be made.
Recommend this product?
First of all, the first time you use this carrier, don't do it alone. It's very adjustable, which means that it requires a lot of adjusting. You need someone there to help you pull the straps and take a look at what might need to be tightened. Once properly adjusted, it fit both me (5'9") and my husband (6'3") comfortably. My back never hurt, although my boys got very heavy and it was a relief to get them off. I've tried several other packs, including a very expensive framed hiking pack. We were hiking in Zion National Park and we didn't even make it to the tril head it hurt our backs so bad. We wished we'd brought the Snugli instead!
Second, It's not really that hard! Yes, the side clips CAN be done and undone with one hand. I do it all the time. When I'm helping my husband put it on, I do both at once. Yes, a sleeping baby can be removed while asleep. I lay the baby down on a bed, undo the side clips, and carefully lift him out. The chances of the baby staying asleep are about the same as taking him out of his car seat.
I bought this with my first son (now 3). When he was 3 months old, it saved our skin in the airport and hiked him around Arches National Park and all over Utah. He was so comfortable, he'd take his regular naps while strapped to Mom or Dad. Later, when he was fussy, I strapped him to my back and I could do dishes, mop, and vacuum with him happily chewing away on the straps.
Yes, the straps are kind of gross because babies WILL chew on them. And both my boys (second one is 7 months) like to suck on the front. I tuck a cloth diaper (we use them for burp cloths) around the carrier at the top, then into the leg holes to keep it drool-free.
I've been hiking in the summer in Phoenix with this on, and it's less sweaty than a backpack. For the baby, you open the vent and they get airflow. Maybe people didn't open that? We've never had problems with being overly sweaty.
When the baby is sitting up and can ride on my back, I sit him in the carrier and buckle him in, then I can swing him on just like a backpack.
AS for getting the baby in on the front, it's easiest to open it up completely, lay the baby in and buckle him/her, then lift the baby onto you. The back clip can be slid down so you can reach it by yourself.
If you have someone else to help, you can strap it onto you, then have someone hold the baby in place while you buckle him in.
Actually, I can get my kids in any of the above ways by myself. I dont' see the problem.
I'm intrigued by the Snugli that offers a hip carrying position, but I wonder if by trying to do too many things it wouldn't do any of them well. I'm happy enough with my current Snugli that I don't plan to find out. This one is going to last me through all my children.