The Ergobaby Performance Carrier is a Soft Structured Carrier (SSC) that is made from specially lightweight materials to make it lighter and less bulky to wear. The fabrics and padding are designed so that they don’t hold any water so the carrier can safely get wet (though is not suitable for swimming) and would be great for active, outdoor use, and for holidays.
Like most SSCs it buckles to your body with a supportive, padded waistband and two shoulder straps that can be worn in a variety of ways. All buckles are fully adjustable, with additional sliders for adjusting the length of the shoulder straps, so that the child’s weight is distributed comfortabley and evenly across the parent’s hips and torso. The shoulder straps are thinner than a standard Ergobaby Carrier, though are padded with very high densioty foam so still offer a very comfortable carrying experience. The straps are also contoured, offering a slightly different fit to the Original Ergo. The carrier itself can be worn front, back or hip depending on how old your child is and it fully supports a child’s hips, legs and spine in the recommended ‘M’ position. The Ergo Performance Carrier also has an integral sleep hood to support or shade a child’s head that that tucks away completely into it’s own zipped pocket when not in use.
How amazing are these! Here are some fantastic photos of the South London Sling Library’s Ergo Performance Carrier in use by a whole family (7 month baby J being carried by his Dad, Uncle, Grandmother and Grandfather), who all loved it!
Type of carrier: Soft Structured Carrier (SSC)
Features: Rip stop, water repellant outer fabrics, high density padding, integral sleep hood, zipped pocket, contoured shoulder straps.
Suitable for: All parents and all children, depending on carry used. An infant insert is needed for babies aged 4 months and under, and we find that it can be a bit of a big fit for many babies between about 4-8 months.
Carrying positions: Front, back and hip.
Ease of use: Fairly straightforward to use once you’ve got the knack, however fastening buckles behind your back for front carries can be a little tricky, as can scooting your baby around to your back for back carries. The shoulder straps have adjustable length to fit different sized parents, which is great for comfort, but you’ll have to keep readjusting these if more than on person uses the carrier. The chest belt on the Performance carrier is very easy to slide up and down the shoulder straps for getting the best fit. SSCs are and easy and useful way to back carry an older child if you also have a small baby on your front.
Comfort: The Ergo Performance has a fairly adjustable fit, and when properly adjusted, this carrier can be extremely comfortable and distributes the child’s weight very well. However, as with most SSCs, it may not be possible to get the ideal fit and this depends on the shape of both parent and child. Some may find the chest buckle digs when back carrying, and carrying without this can be unsafe and/or pull on the shoulders, which can become uncomfortable. Because of the contoured shape of the straps, this carrier can feel odd or uncomfortable when using with the straps crossed at the back for a hip or one version of a front carry (it’s best to have the straps in reverse-back-pack style for a front carry in this carrier).
Overall Verdict: An excellent quality, lightweight carrier with lots of useful features and an unfussy, sporty look. We really like this carrier for comfortable short to mid-length trips, though some may find it less comfortable for long periods of use (over 3-4 hours in a day) or if it’s not the most ideal fit for them/their baby. We think this would be a fantastic carrier for holidaying with a bigger baby or toddler. It tends to fit a slightly higher age range than many off-the-peg SSCs, so is great for carrying bigger babies and toddlers, and fits a wide range of parents too.
User review from Caroline:
“My favourite of the soft structured slings has been the Ergo Performance. I am going to buy one for myself today. It’s really comfortable and has been tried by other members of my family who all agree. I have been on two long walks over the last week with it and found it comfortable, supportive and lightweight. We’ve also used it to carry my son around the house while doing stuff round the house. We are pleased to find that it is proving to be quite good to send him to sleep in too. Also, there are two pockets at the front, one with a sleep hood and an empty one which is just big enough to carry a few nappies and wipes.”
To hire this carrier from the South London Sling Library, email firstname.lastname@example.org to check it’s availability and find out more!