Onya Baby Carrier Review

Not me!

Because every other blog that has reviewed the new Onya Carrier has already come up with a clever way to incorporate the brand name into a funny title I decided to keep it simple.  Considering every time I hear the name I then say “All up on-ya” in a male, sexy, deep voice I know how tempting it can be!

I first encountered the Onya at the ABC Kids Expo this past year.  I’ve used a lot of soft structure carriers over the past 3+ years and the SSC is definitely my favorite carrier style.  When I attended the Expo I had my son Everett, who at the time he was 10 months old, so I was planning on babywearing him frequently.  The Onya was one of the carriers I wanted to test out while there.

Before I even go into details about the carrier itself I have to tell you all that the Onya inventor, Diane, is such a nice person.  She really brightened my day!  She explained the various features of the carrier to me and helped me get it on and sized.  We borrowed it for a the evening and returned it the next day.  Just from that time with the carrier I was impressed by it, but more importantly, Everett loved it for the back carry.

When Diane asked if I would like to give it a true review I was totally on board!  I just love trying out new carriers and playing with the buckles and settings!

Once it arrived I didn’t waste anytime.  I unboxed it and pre-adjusted the staps with some guesswork, then tossed Everett onto my back.  Since that day I’ve been using it around the house when he is a bit cranky and needs some mommy closeness and mommy needs to get housework accomplished.  My main use has been at home since the winter cold/snow has kept us from going out as much as we would like.  I have used it out of the house on shopping trips and I even used it outside for a romp in the snow!

[hr]My favorites features:

Hands down the best thing about this carrier for me has been that the back carry is a bit higher than similar SSC’s.  Everett prefers being worn on the back in the Onya for this reason.  It is pretty obvious that he likes it.  When the baby is younger they are often stuck facing your back.  In the Onya he gets a higher view!

My next favorite feature would be that the back straps unbuckle and allow for criss crossing when performing a front carry.  Rather than reaching around to clip the chest clip on your own back or having someone do it for you, with the Onya you can buckle each strap easily under each arm.  The comfort level is not compromised- in fact I know many mama’s who prefer a criss cross in the back to a clip.  I don’t think one is better than the other, or haven’t noticed a difference.

The straps are insanely easy to adjust.  They glide throughlike BUTTER.  This is mostly a good thing because no one likes having to tug at a strap when you have one hand on a baby and need to get things adjusted quickly.  The only downside I found was when loosening straps it went from tight to way too loose in a split second because they are so smooth.  I had to condition mysef to pull ever so slightly to prevent it.

The waist belt is padded well and nice and wide which in the world of SSC’s means maximum comfort.  The straps are also adequately padded.  They feel a bit stiff (the straps) however and don’t bend/give as much as some other brands.  This could be something that happens over time when they break in, I just won’t know yet.  I also really appreciate the extra step of having multiple stitch lines through the waist belt and straps since it gives it a quality look.

The buckles match well and just feel downright well made.  When it comes to babywearing you want a carrier that has been well made and is safe.  I felt this was very true of the Onya.  Plus it was under development for over 4 years!  That is mighty impressive.

There is a sleep hood that is hidden.  You will need to just unzip it and pull it out.  I like that it is always there when you need it but hidden away.

The chair/seat thing is pretty cool.  It isn’t something that would make me pick it over any other carrier but having it could be to your advantage.  I see the chair seat as a good option for families who frequent those hole in the wall places that don’t cater to families and don’t have high chairs.  Of course in my life we try to make sure our destinations (like a restaurant) are family friendly.  I personally think if something doesn’t have a high chair then they don’t want a family with kids to be there.  And I don’t like that…

I chose to review the The Cruiser which is the cotton version of the Onya.  It currently comes in two color combinations- Dove Chocolate Chip (White/brown) and Leaf Green/ Umber (Green/brown).  One of the reasons I like the Onya is that the White carrier is very different.  It is a neutral color set and won’t totally clash with anything you own.  It is white though so you might see minor dirt on it more than you would on a typical black/brown carrier.  But I love the risk taking nature of it!  If you are more outdoorsy you might prefer the Outback which is a waterproof version of the carrier.

[hr]My Not so Favorite Features:

The Seat Chair gives a “poofy” appearance to the carrier.  You can’t take it out at all so there is not way to reduce the poof.

My chosen method of getting my baby on my back (The Super-Man Toss) is a little more difficult to use with this carrier.  The only way I can explain it is that the seat is deeper than most and I can’t get him as deep in it as I need from this method.  I usually have to get my husband or someone else to push my son deeper into the seat.  I do actually like the deeper seat pocket but since I wear him on my back the most it has given me a hard time!

I am a very petite person.  In the Onya I felt I could have tightened my straps a little more.  Everett wasn’t as snug against my back as I wanted.  I am barely 100 pounds (sometimes not even) so for the vast majority of people this isn’t going to be an issue.

You need to be aware before putting the carrier on, how your straps are tightened.  If you leave the straps loose on the side that faces your back (when doing a back carry) you have to tighten them by pulling away from you, backwards.  It is practically impossible 9at least for me) so after having this happen a few times I finally got the memo and would check each time and tighten that strap all the way.


I have enjoyed, and am still enjoying using the Onya Baby Carrier.  It is so clear how much love and thought went into the design.  Often when a first version of a product is released you can nitpick and find little things that could use improving.  I just can’t complain too much about anything.  One day I’m sure they’ll be able to add more color choices and those things come with time.

You can buy the Onya Baby Carrier through their website or from select retailers.  I’d also love it of you could “Like” Onya Baby on Facebook.  They are always posting wonderful words of babywearing wisdom and sage parenting advice.  

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  • A soft structured carrier is next on my list. Thanks for bringing this one to my attention! The first thing I thought of when you mentioned the chair seat option is that it it might be easier to clean a smooth chair before putting my child on it than high chair with all it’s crevices. I guess they wouldn’t be high enough to sit up at the table and reach for food but I like the option of a potentially cleaner place to set my daughter. We are about to give up on the infant car seat because she’s getting too long for it and I dread not having a place to set her down when we go places now.

  • Kim, would you mind sharing how tall you are?

    • Anonymous


      Please excuse typos and brevity. Sent from my iPhone

  • Leigh

    We tried this at ABC too with my then 14 lb 4 month old and I loved it too. I had ever realized you can cross the straps with a front carry and it is so much more comfortable. The straps also tighten from both sides of the buckle so it is easy to snug them up in a back or a front carry.

  • Lynkleaf

    Wow…it was strange enough to see that your son has the same name as my Everett, but you are also almost as petite as I am! I’m 4’10” & 90lbs.
    Your review was really good. I found one issue with the Onya carrier that could be serious, though. Since the straps are smoother than others, they can actually slip. My son got tired of being in the carrier once & he pushed on me abruptly. The chest strap (which was in back) slipped & the carrier became loose immediately. Luckily, I had my arms on him, so he didn’t fall out. I think they need to either use slightly thicker straps or tighter buckles. Be aware of that slipping factor if the child starts getting bored or antsy & pushes away from you.