If you’ve been stalking babywearing pages and groups on Facebook, then you’re probably aware of how popular Soft Structured Carriers or SSCs are. (See my review of QB Collection’s Rainbow Kulibangbang SSC here.)
When Sophia was but a wee 3 month old baby, I asked her grandpa to buy her a Tula. (It’s an SSC brand, daddies. 😉 ) Every mommy with a baby to carry have had sweet fantasies of strutting around town in this magic SSC. Since it was mighty pricey, I was overjoyed when he readily agreed to buy us one.
As I slowly gained weight and extra fluff was added to my post-partum frame, I noticed something about SSCs that made me never want to carry with a soft structured carrier again. It was a heartbreaking observation that made me swear off SSCs forever.
The waist belt of an SSC gave me massive and hideous muffin-tops. And they screamed for attention from all angles!
To protect my fragile self confidence, I stored the Tula in the closet and eventually sold it to a home that would give it the love it deserved.
But don’t despair, fluffy mommas! If you really want buckles with your carrier, there’s hope for us yet.
If you’re after the convenience and comfort of an SSC without your jiggly wigglies shining in the limelight, an onbuhimo (onbu for short) is the perfect carrier for you.
An onbu is a baby carrier that looks like an SSC but doesn’t have a waist belt. It’s a great alternative for fluffy mommas like me who has some extra padding that bulge out or for pregnant moms who are still able to carry their older babies.
Traditionally from Japan. It was made with rings and straps like that of a mei tai. However, most commercially available onbuhimos now have buckles to make it more convenient for babywearers.
Ever since I heard about this waist less wonder, I have always wanted to try one. But hyperactive Sophia is more interested in walking and running away from mommy nowadays that wearing her has started to become less and less.
When the generous folks at QB Collection agreed to send us an onbu for testing, I was ecstatic to be given the opportunity to experience this carrier.
The onbu that we hosted was standard sized. It had a panel length of 14 inches and a maximum weight limit of 25 kgs. The complete set came with matching drool pads, hood, and reach straps.
This violet Falling Star onbu was named after its diamond or star pattern. Its purple colour is gorgeous in real life and lucky me, purple is my favourite colour.
Falling Star was woven in the traditional Cordillera pattern of stripes and design accent. Made of 100% cotton, the fabric felt soft but sturdy to touch. The buckle was solid and the stitching well made.
The lack of waist belt made it perfect for hot and humid days and the sides allowed air to freely circulate between me and my wearee. This would be an amazing go to carrier for summer. I used to sweat a lot around the tummy and back area when I wore my Tula.
It didn’t take up a lot of space in the diaper bag but it was a bit of a challenge to fold down since there was no waist belt to wrap around the panel and straps. It would be awesome if it came in its own light storage bag. 😉 (Hi QB! *Wink* * Wink*)
Seeing that onbuhimos were usually used for back carries, toddlers or bigger babies with great neck control were best suited for this carrier.
Since Falling Star was a standard size, the panel was already too small for Sophia. Perhaps it would be better to have the onbu sizing to start with a standler (in between size) and toddler since it would be easier to back carry bigger or older babies.
In full disclosure, this was my first time to use an onbuhimo. Similar to the QB SSC, the material used for the adjustment panel for the strap was cloth. I found it difficult to adjust the cloth straps while wearing Sophia and this resulted to my toddler’s skewed position. One leg or side was sometimes higher than the other. I had to jump and wriggle her to the left or right to adjust and level her seat. Sadly, I was not aware of her unbalanced position at times since she was on my back.
I also found the straps diggy on my picky shoulders despite attempts to adjust and make it more comfortable for carries longer than 30 minutes. It would have probably eased the tension on my shoulders if I was able to lower the chest belt closer to my chest (It was near my clavicle).
While taking action shots of the Falling Star onbu, Sophia fell asleep. I tried to grab a hold of the reach straps so I can secure the hood and prevent Sophia’s head from rolling and bouncing around. However, I was unable to reach the reach straps that were dangling from my back since I also had to hold my toddlers head while I groped behind with my T-Rex arms.
After a frantic episode of one hand dino arm search, my friend helped me locate the reach straps but I was still unable to secure the hood since it didn’t quite cover Sophia’s head and the attachments for the straps were located at the back.
These may be due to a sizing issue as Sophia was too big for a standard onbu. I hope we get to try a Toddler sized onbuhimo to confirm. ❤
I would still recommend QB Collection’s Violet Falling Star Onbu as a budget friendly alternative for mommies with toddlers who like to walk and explore but still request for an uppy when they start to get tired or sleepy. I love this onbu because I get to reign in this hyperactive-bouncing-off-the-wall-toddler of mine who delights in running away from mommy to cause chaos in her cute and adorable way.
This onbuhimo is perfect for mommies (and daddies!) who want a straightforward and uncomplicated carrier. In 1 snap of a buckle, you’re good to go. It’s also figure-friendly for people who don’t want to accentuate their waist. 🙂
It’s lighter and more compact than an SSC which made it a convenient carrier to bring on trips. You can store it in the diaper bag or wear it like a backpack and still avoid looking silly since there’s no chest clip-waist belt combo to ruin your outfit.
If you want to learn more about QB Collection and their products, please visit their website at http://qbwovencrafts.com/
They are also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/QBCollection/
Want to know how to use an onbu? Check out the YouTube video below. 🙂
Mommy: Medium Built
Toddler: 22 Months 11kgs
Type of Carrier: Buckle Onbuhimo
Brand: QB Collection
Fabric Content: 100% cotton
Suitable for newborn? Yes
Type of Carries done: front and back carries
Local Retailers/Distributors: Quality Brand – QB Collection
Chatter Group: QB Circle of Friends https://www.facebook.com/groups/1193930233980631/