First off, let me say that I like both baby carriers, althought I do prefer one over the other/ I will write about my opinion from using both of these during different needs. I have the ERgo blue Petunia Pickle Bottom special fabric and the Beco Gemini Carnival color which is brown with a festive print in the middle of different colors.
I use them for: hip carry, backpack, nursing, and walking (lifting loads of things and being active).
Right now, after experience for the past three weeks with both, I prefer the Ergo.
Mainly, when I started my search for a baby carrier, it was because I saw research that 1. my Baby Bjorn held baby in wrong hip position and 2. that the forward facing carry is not that great for babies (due to over simulation that they can’t turn away from, often causing trauma to baby mentally.
MY Baby Bjorn was top of the line of the brand and I did use it a lot. I love how the side slip on every easy and both me and my husband can get it on and off very quickly. The problem with my situation was that baby boy was big and weigh a lot. So he grew too fast for my sling and was heavy. The ring sling hurt me, even though the straps where wide and I wore it properly. I had a wrap and it was too hard to wrap all the layers on him because he moves a lot. (At diaper time it almost takes two people to get the diapers on lol).
So I made a mei tai and we love it but the nature of a mei tai is long straps and so we just can’t do it all the time, especially if he will be going in and out and being so active. So I limit the mei tai for when I need my hands at home. (I’ll sew a podeagi soon and will test that as well).
So here is my review and why I choose the Ergo over the Gemini as my favorite.
I mostly used this carrier for the side carry so far. I tried it otherwise but its kind of annoying. Maybe this will change but I like that the Gemini’s straps can be crossed and it makes an easier way to do the hip carry. Only complaint is that it becomes cumbersome trying to get the other strap closed once the baby is already on my hip.
When I had the Playtex hip carry, I liked the fact that it was only one strap that was already buckled, you only had to adjust the size of the strap once the baby was on. I think that if I could, I’ll pre-close the straps on the Gemini and then open them wide to put baby in. Then I’ll pull them and adjust. Doing this after the baby is in is too hard for me because my lil man is a mover. If he is sitting too long without being secure in, he starts to move and try to stand in the carriers.
Buckles are hard to open
MY other complaint is that the openings on all the buckles are child proof and so when you need to get out of the Gemini, its hard as hell to do so….no matter what carry you do, especially if you choose to cross the straps. When the straps are regular backpack style, I find it easy to just adjust the length of the straps instead and then take baby out, rather than opening each strap and then taking baby out. I just really hate the buckles on the Gemini.
Not for small or petite people
Lastly, I did get it because the head piece can be worn up or down and because you can cross the straps and because you can forward face baby or use with a smaller baby because the front snaps can be adjusted smaller for smaller baby (although remember that if you face baby out, only do it for a few minutes and then turn them around so that they do not get over simulation). So the Gemini in general has get features.
The issue with these features is that they are great “ideals” but general seems to not work for small or petite people. When I back carry, I am always struggling to keep the straps more inside near me. They seem to slide outwards toward the end of my shoulders, even with the chest strap adjusted on the smallest setting. It does seem better fit when doing the cross strap but then its hard to get out of the thing when I need to.
Front carry with the baby facing me or facing out is easier than the back carry in this one because I do not open the straps. I put the Gemini on first and then adjust settings to farthest. Then put baby in. The only open and close is of the chest strap, which is now on my back. But I do have to make sure its moved to the top so that I can reach over and close it. I still run into the problem of the straps being to wide apart for me and have to adjust.
Do not like the hanging cords on top
Lastly, I love the design of the Gemini except the freaking hanging cords that keep the top piece up. My son grabs those and tries to eat them. (Which is dangerous if it tears in his mouth with the small piece at the bottom. It also gets in his way when he is back carried and seems annoying.
So I would ask Beco to update it and take those cords off. It just seems such a great design to have these cheap looking cords hanging off the top. Just my opinion but I checked online and other moms didn’t like the cord either and a lot others said if you are petite, this carrier is not for you. Otherwise, if you are regular or tall, give it a go. Just beware of the extra protective buckles. My son does seem to be short enough for it when the top is snapped down so I don’t really keep the top up with the cords anyway. This way I can curl the cords under the top and keep them out of the way. When the top was up, the carrier looked ok. I think it looks better down. At least the Butterfly II looks great because there is no top part that is folded down, but the downside of the Butterfly is the inside part where baby is inside that extra piece. The good thing about that is that you can easily transfer a sleeping baby without waking him up because they are already in a safe “cocoon” lol.
Mostly I wear the Gemini for short trips or when I forgot to get the Ergo out of the car. I hate to say that. So we will see if I sell it or not. I have a toddler and she also likes being carried so I was planning on keeping both. Maybe my husband would be a better fit since he is bigger. So I recommend the Gemini for bigger people. If you are petite, you will run into some of the issues I had with it. It is extra comfy with the soft padding everywhere and is not as hot as the ERGO…I will admit that.
This is my favorite because of the hood and the ease of use. Period. I breastfeed and it is so easy to do so with the hood. The hood is extra tall and roomy so no one even knows that I am nursing. The other thing about the hood is that it really does keep the light out when my lil one sleeps. And he can breathe because the sides are open. Also when he wakes, he can see from the sides without being over stimulated. He can choose to close his eyes and rest on mommy or not. With the Gemini, I noticed that once he didn’t want to see the world he wanted to rest his head on me and he struggled to sleep because if he opened his eyes, it was still too much for a sleepy baby to take. He was a little more fussy in the Gemini if he is tired or wants to nurse. I will still try the Gemini for nursing, but only at home since there is no hood.
The straps are fully padded and extra thick. They feel great. You can’t cross the straps but there really is no need for it. I was hesitant about this at first because I wanted a more mei tai feel when they crossed. Which is why I got the Gemini. But the ERGO will fit petite moms better. I can get the Ergo super tight on us without it hurting or being too tight. It feels more secure and the baby is closer to my body. He seems to like this.
They offer different ones. But I got a super cute one that has the same fabric on the straps and body (Petunia Pickle Bottom blue). I think its unique. I saw that the Gemini was offering one that had an all print pattern body but it said online it would be available in April but it still is not available. That was the print design that I did want too.
The Ergo is quick to put on and reminds me of the quickness of my Baby Bjorn sort of. I love that I can easily undo and snap the buckles in. There is no annoying extra click on the buckles that you need two hands to do as with the Gemini.
We love backpacking or front carry with this thing. I have not tried the side hip carry yet. I will have to see how it works with the straps and all.
I really like the general overall look and feel of this carrier. It does tend to get a little warm though. My only complaint.
Some people said the Ergo is too short for a tall baby. I find the Ergo is great for a bigger baby…my lil man is bigger than other babies at his age but not tall. So I can’t really say about tall babies, but I did put my toddler in it and she was fine.
I would defiantly recommend the Ergo, even if you think you want a cross strap. You really don’t need one. Maybe I’ll try the Butterfly II or other carriers that can cross straps easily without needing two hands to undo the buckle.
So the Ergo wins so far in my book.