I had the regular Bjorn when my first was born (in 2005) and didn’t wear it for more than 20 minutes a handful of times because it was so uncomfortable on my back (and my daughter was a peanut!). And over the years I’ve heard from others, like so many of you, the same story. And then now with a brick and mortar in Southern CA and in a mainstream area, I hear a lot of Bjorn stories in person which usually go like, “I have a Bjorn and it’s not very comfortable….”
So, when I heard about the Comfort I was very intrigued and wanted to know if they got it right this time. And I was even more curious to learn what they learned after attending the International Babywearing Conference in Chicago in 2008. They were there and sat in in various classes, including one I co-taught which was about mei tais. You could spot a Bjorn rep from a mile away there. I also heard they’ve attended other babywearing events/workshops so I knew they’ve been on the ground level to research what babywearers like and use and what they want.
My first impression of it was that it looked different than the original one. It is bigger, has a padded waist and looks much more like it belongs in the category of the Ergo, Beco, Boba realm. Then the more I looked, it looked more and more like a combination of the Beco Butterfly II and the Beco Gemini. So, I grabbed both of those and the Comfort and started to take pictures and realized I didn’t even need to compare it to the Boba, BabyHawk Oh Snap or Ergo – it really is a mix of the BBII and the Gemini.
The Comfort has a harness (BBII), has padded waist and straps (BBII and Gemini), has an adjustable base where you can use it wider for front carries or narrow for facing out (Gemini). It doesn’t cross at the back nor is it worn back pack style exactly – it’s more like a combo of that because of the big plastic thing at the back that depending on where you put it on your back, feels like you’ve crossed the straps (though you’ve not).
I wanted to dislike it. I just get frustrated with the company for having such uncomfortable baby carriers in the mainstream and wasting parent’s money. And I have a love for the babywears that are truly IN the community and make amazing carriers (Beco, Boba, Oh Snap…) so have little room for the big guys who just seem to produce to produce and don’t add comfort to their design.
I put it on and to my surprise…it was comfortable. It wasn’t “Whoa let me sell off my Gemini, I love the Comfort!!” good, but it wasn’t bad. It’s a whole lot more comfortable than the regular one. They got it MUCH better this time with the Comfort.
Here’s what I liked –
- it has an inner harness
- the base can be worn wider
- the head rest can be folded up or down depending on which way you’re doing the front carry and what age your baby is
- the waist is like the other good SSCs
- the shoulder padding is thicker and again just like other SSCs
- the body is bigger (hmmm…like other SSCs)
- it has good features (ditto, ditto, ditto)
What I disliked –
- you have to put the shoulder straps over your head first and it felt like I was putting on a life vest
- it’s huge and bulky
- the base when worn narrow is really narrow
- the back part is hard to adjust when you have it on and I could feel it there
- the waist clip is not a safety buckle at all
- can’t be worn until around 13-14 lbs.
- only does front carries
Bjorn Comfort, Beco Butterfly II, Beco Gemini view from the inside panel.
Bjorn Comfort, Beco Butterfly II, Beco Gemini view from the outside panel.
Comparing the width of the Beco Gemini at it’s narrowest, to the Bjorn Comfort at it’s narrowest. And I wonder why anyone would think the Beco Gemini was as narrow as the Bjorn!
Shoulder straps (top to bottom) – Beco Butterfly II, Bjorn Comfort and Beco Gemini
Bjorn Comfort – this is where the baby rides.
Both the Bjorn Comfort (left) and the Beco Butterfly II (right) have inner harnesses.
Bjorn Comfort buckle – not a safety buckle
Buckles comparisons – Bjorn Comfort, Butterfly II, and Beco Gemini
Overall, their research into the babywearing community paid off. It’s leaps better than their other one. But, personally there’s now way that I’d choose the Bjorn over Beco BBII or Beco Gemini. The Becos give you more options, are less bulky, can be used with young babies, are easier to use, are prettier, are more affordable, roll up smaller, and the people behind those and other good soft structured carriers are in the community, so I admire them more.