AT A GLANCE
Brand / carrier / weave:
Didymos / DidyGo Onbuhimo / Zephyr
Straps and panel, 100% cotton
Light, compact, easy to use, convenient
I’m a wrapper. I knew it from the moment I tried my first stretchy wrap. I loved it. I never even considered an alternative; I knew wrapping was for me. Wraps were all I touched for the first 7 months of my baby’s life.
When I ventured into the world of soft structured carriers (SSCs), it was to find a carrier for my husband. I tried it too, of course, but it was never as comfortable for me as my wraps. I could see the appeal and the convenience of it: but no, it wasn’t enough to win me over.
So when Didymos asked me to review their new DidyGo Onbuhimo, I was curious and excited. You see, an onbuhimo feels very different to a SSC when worn. I wondered: could this win me over, as SSCs never have?
When the onbuhimo arrived, I opened it impatiently. The first up was not quite disastrous…but it really wasn’t good. The straps dragged on my shoulders, my back ached within minutes. I was thoroughly disheartened. Then I remembered: I’m a beginner. I can grab a wrap and evaluate it quickly, because I’m experienced. But an onbuhimo? This was my first time.
I went back to basics: I watched tutorials, joined a great Facebook group recommended by a friend and read up on tips. My biggest mistake, I quickly learned, was that I’d had the carrier too low. I thought my toddler was high enough, but he wasn’t. So I tried again. And – thank goodness – it was better!
My toddler adored being so high up! He felt very secure, and this time both of us were comfortable. I enjoyed the lack of pressure around my stomach (I often ruck tied tibetan for this reason), and I can see how useful the lack of waistbelt would be when pregnant. The straps were pleasantly padded and squishy. Although we don’t need it, I love the cinchable base (which makes this adjustable for babies), and my preschooler commented on how much he liked the padding underneath his knees. I like a very snug wrap job and the onbuhimo achieved a similar feel (it’s not unlike a ruck TAS).
That said, the way the weight of my toddler loaded through the shoulder straps was still different to my woven wraps, and I did find I couldn’t carry for as long as I would in a ruck. Similarly, my husband found the weight distribution very different to his normal SSC and felt he would choose the onbuhimo for short, quick trips rather than long walks. From reading around, I gather that an onbuhimo requires you to use a different set of muscles and most wearers find their stamina builds up gradually.
Even without building up my stamina, I’ve enjoyed Didymos’ onbuhimo more than I expected. It’s so light and compact – it doesn’t take up much space in my bag, and barely adds any weight. I found it really helpful for running errands, when short ups are often required. I’d normally stash a ring sling in my bag for these occasions, but it’s actually more useful to have my toddler on my back – so the DidyGo is a great alternative. It’s so easy to put on, I found it just as fast as using a ring sling. And even better than a ring sling: my toddler couldn’t pop his seat in the onbuhimo.
So that’s the carrier: how about the wrap fabric? I’d seen photos of Zephyr and thought it looked lovely, but my word, they didn’t do it justice! This is an absolutely stunning design. I love how the segmented star design adds the impression of depth, and the way in which the stars interlock is fascinating to look at. The colours are just amazing – they’re not a traditional, primary set of rainbow colours, but neither are they pastel. Rather, they’re just ever so slightly soft or muted, with a hint of vintage colouring. I absolutely adore it.
I have been pleasantly surprised by Didymos’ onbuhimo. Although I wouldn’t currently choose it for a long hike, it’s wonderful for quick ups around the house and running errands. It’s incredibly compact and convenient, and wonderfully fast to put on. If you’re curious, I absolutely recommend giving it a go – maybe you’ll be surprised, too!
I’ll wrap up with a few tips for those new to onbuhimos (like me!):
- When people say onbuhimos are designed to be worn high, they’re not kidding. Aim for your child’s shoulders to be level with your own. If you’re used to SSCs or low back carries like a Double Hammock, this will feel ridiculously high. Go with it anyway: it’ll be more comfortable that way.
- When you put your child on your back, boost them up high and then remove their weight from the straps before tightening. This will allow you to get the straps very snug (as they need to be). I found leaning over and supporting my child’s bottom with my hand to be the easiest way to do this.
- Join a good Facebook group and read up on tips and techniques (I highly recommend this group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/onbulove/). Learn how an onbuhimo should look when it’s positioned and tightened correctly – then, next time you use yours, look in the mirror to see if you need to change anything.
You can find the range of Didymos onbuhimos available to purchase here: https://www.didymos.com/en/Babywearing/Didy-Onbuhimo/