The Wrap 8ssentials
Name: 4G Kangaroo
Price Range: $100-155
Style: Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)
Age Range: Newborn-45lbs
Find-ability: Bobas are very easy to find new and used online and in brick and mortar stores.
Boba 4G carriers have a lot of buzz around the babywearing world. Naturally, I wanted to see what everyone was talking about. It seems to be a pretty popular option, second to the Ergo, for “mainstream”, aka non-babywearing addicted, families. I was able to play with one at a local store and wear BabyT for a while. Here’s the lo-down on the Boba SSC.
Pros: The first thing I notice, is that I love the simplicity that comes with the Boba 4G. They have very earthy, cute prints available, but also have your basic browns, greys and blacks in non-print options as well. As I say about all SSCs, the ease of use is always a plus. The 4G leaves nothing to be explained. It is straight forward: waistbelt, click; chest strap, click; tighten and go. SSCs are quick and easy for all on-the-go needs. The Boba is a great SSC option because it is relatively affordable and easy to find in a plethora of places online and in stores.
The Boba 4G is also very comfortable. I was curious to be able to compare the 4G with the Boba Air that I tried, which didn’t have any padding or structure at all. The shoulder straps are well padded, but not overly bulky. They are about the same width as the shoulder straps on the Tula standard, which are a bit narrower than on the Kinderpack. The waist belt is nicely supportive, similar to all of the other SSCs I’ve tried thus far.
There are a few things that are unique about the Boba SSC which make it pretty cool. One thing that I haven’t seen with any other SSC yet, are removable foot straps that attach to the waist belt of the carrier for older children. While Boba does not offer a toddler-sized carrier, these foot straps help to support an older child, while keeping their knees and hips aligned properly in the “frog” shaped, or “M” shaped hold in the carrier. This is a pretty cool feature, which helps to add longevity to a carrier, and not require the purchase of a whole separate carrier in toddlerhood.
To add to the awesome features I love about the Boba 4G, there’s a detachable AND stowable hood. There is a pocket right up by where the hood attaches in order to stow the hood when not in use. I’m not a huge fan of detachable hoods, because toddlers seem to eat them and they disappear, but the Boba does it right, and stows the hood in a nicely zippered pocket. It adds to the comfort and convenience of this carrier that there are additional pockets on the front of the carrier for storage. I can fit, keys, a few debit cards/cash, and my cell phone in each of them, which is great for not needing to schlep and extra bag on short trips.
Cons: The Boba 4G is a well thought out SSC, with only a few things I consider to be a disadvantage. First, the shoulder straps do not have a buckle release. There is a good comparison shot of shoulder straps with and without buckles on the Tula vs Kinderpack post, but it basically means I’m unable to unbuckle the shoulder straps and cross the straps over my back for a narrower fitting, and in my opinion more comfortable, front carry. Instead, it is limited to tightening and loosening the shoulder straps in the standard backpack style with the chest clip.
Last, while the Boba 4G has the cool foot strap feature, I question weather or not this carrier will be comfortable enough for a larger toddler, and it certainly would not be as comfortable as a toddler or preschool sized Kinderpack***. Even with the foot straps to properly hold an older child’s knees in the right form, the carrier is not as tall in the seat as the carriers, which are made specifically for older kiddos. So, if your kiddo is already two-years-old, you may want to look into sized carriers geared toward toddlers.
The Wrap Up…
Now I’ve had the opportunity to try another SSC! Which carriers would you like to see in a showdown? We’ve done Tula vs. Kinderpack, what else are you curious about?
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