The Ergobaby Performance offers the same high weight rating and ergonomic design as the original Ergobaby carrier, with lighter, more breathable fabric. Feedback on the Performance is mainly positive for comfort and utility. However, some parents say that the performance fabric is not as comfortable as the soft cotton of the original Ergobaby carrier.
Fabric can feel scratchy for parent and baby. The Ergobaby Performance Carrier is one-third lighter than the Ergobaby Original carrier and, according to users and reviewers, it is more breathable and cooler overall. However, many report that the Performance fabric is scratchy and uncomfortable for the baby and the parent, with a few saying that the stiffer sides of the Performance carrier pouch scratch their baby's cheeks when they turn their head to look out.
The Performance focuses the baby's weight on the hips not the shoulders for reduced back pain, but many say that skimpy padding on the waist belt and shoulder straps cause them to dig into the skin. Reviewers say that the Performance shaves weight with a smaller pouch height for the baby, which, in turn, reduces support and comfort for the infant. The Performance carrier provides good leg and hip support for the baby by preventing their legs from dangling, but this design means that the baby cannot face forward while riding in the carrier. Some parents complain that the stiff sides of the Performance carrier pouch scratch their baby's cheeks when they turn their head to look out.
A lightweight and portable carrier. Weighing in at just 1.2 pounds, the Ergobaby Performance is lightweight and compact, particularly given its 45-pound weight limit. It's easy to load and unload the child in the front carry or hip carry positions, but a few say that the strap across the back is impossible to secure without help. Many owners say they can't get their child on in the back carry position without assistance.
The Ergobaby Performance draws praise for its large, front-zippered pocket that carries small necessities and for its adjustable sleep hood that protects against sun and provides a handy nursing cover. Because there is no fabric between the baby and mother in the front-carry position, parents say that the Ergobaby Performance makes it easy to nurse on the go.
A long usable life with the durability to match. The Ergobaby Performance Carrier features water-repellent, rip-stop fabric on the outer layer that parents say stands up to outdoor activities and is easy to wipe clean; it's also machine washable. The Performance carrier is described by reviewers and parents as well built and sturdy. The 45-pound weight rating and front, hip, and back carry options allow parents to carry the child well into toddlerhood. However, if you want to use the carrier from birth, you will need to purchase the newborn insert (*Est. $25) which holds the baby in a sling position. Some parents say that the insert is too hot and bulky to be comfortable for their baby.
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Review Credibility: Excellent The Ergobaby Performance comes in 10th out of 15 baby carriers tested, with an overall ranking of 61 out of 100. Lindsay Ellis says that it is successful in keeping parent and baby cooler than the original but eliminates key padding to keep the load comfortable and the baby supported. They also note that like the original Ergobaby, the Performance model does not allow the baby to ride facing forward.
Review: Ergobaby Performance Review, Lindsay Ellis, Feb. 28 , 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good The Ergobaby Performance is chosen by moms as the top baby carrier in the 2012 BabyCenter Product Awards. Moms love it for its ergonomic design, and comfort for both mom and baby. It's also ranked highly for durability and its stylish design. Editors weigh in as well, saying it's easy to use and that fathers like it as a back carrier.
Review: Top 15 Baby Products of the Year: Mom's Picks , Editors of BabyCenter.com, Not dated
3. Baby Bargains
Review Credibility: Very Good "Baby Bargains," a comprehensive book by Denise and Alan Fields, reviews baby gear and common baby brands. The authors review a number of popular baby carriers, including several models of Ergobaby carriers. They list pros and cons and give each manufacturer an overall letter grade for their products.
Review: Chapter 9: Strollers and More, Denise and Alan Fields, Ninth edition, 2011
Review Credibility: Very Good Michelle Horton consulted with baby-wear experts, personally tested, and interviewed dozens of moms to develop her list of top baby carriers. The Ergobaby brand makes her list due to designs that are comfortable and user friendly for parents and babies. Although she does not specifically review the Performance carrier, she says highlights of Ergobaby carriers include easy access for nursing, leg support design and comfort. She warns the carriers may not be as comfortable for taller parents with long torso length.
Review: Babble Blogger's Favorite Baby Carriers: Picks for Wraps, Slings, Structured Carriers and More, Michelle Horton, Sept. 12, 2012
Review Credibility: Very Good The Ergobaby Performance Carrier receives an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars in about 60 consumer reviews posted at Amazon.com. While many users say that they are able to carry their baby comfortably in the Ergobaby for hours, others complain that the Performance mesh fabric is too scratchy. Parents also say that the back is too high, which makes it difficult for their babies to turn their heads and look around.
Review: Ergobaby Performance Carrier, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of March 2013
6. Babies 'R' Us
Review Credibility: Very Good The Ergobaby Performance Carrier receives an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 in about 20 reviews. The majority say that the Ergobaby Performance is lightweight, easy to use and strong. While some like the Performance fabric, others say that it is less soft and comfortable than the cotton of the Original carrier. Some parents say that the carrier doesn't allow their baby an unobstructed view.
Review: Ergobaby Performance, Contributors to Babies "R" Us, As of March 2013
Review Credibility: Very Good Erin Foudy, an avid hiker and backpacker, purchased the Ergobaby Performance Carrier because she wanted a versatile carrier that would work for hiking as well as about town. She details her experience with the Performance, beginning with her first trip with her 3-month-old son and several subsequent hiking adventures. She praises the carrier for its light weight, says it's a great choice if you want to keep your baby close, and it's comfortable and durable. She notes that it's not good for extended hiking trips and, in spite of the breathable fabric, can be uncomfortable in warmer weather.
Review: Ergobaby Performance Baby Carrier, Erin Foudy, Feb. 10, 2012
Review Credibility: Good Editors of TheBump.com recommend 10 baby carriers, including the Ergobaby Performance. There is no mention of testing, and the products are not ranked. The review is very brief; the editors just note that the carrier's lightweight fabric keeps wearer and baby cool and comfortable without sacrificing durability. They like the multiple carry options, long age range and lack of strain to back and shoulders. There are no cons mentioned.
Review: Ergobaby Performance Baby Carrier, Editors of TheBump.com, Not dated