We all have certain baby products we really want and a Beco Baby Carrier was one for me. Beco is widely praised, adored and down right loved by parents everywhere and for good reason. Beco makes two fabulous carriers – the Gemini and the newer Soleil. Instead of reviewing (and giving away) just one we thought, why not discuss both carriers, side by side so you can make the best choice for your lifestyle? And lucky for 2 of you – you’ll get your very own Beco Gemini or Seleil!
First, lets take a high level look at the Gemini and Soleil side by side. Before diving in you should know that both Beco carriers are made of 100% cotton, are free of any scary, flame retardant chemicals and all have the signature Beco clips. The clips require you to press the safety latch while unbuckling them to prevent any curious and smart toddler from accidentally unclipping the bucklers while wearing. While these buckles do make it slightly more difficult to take the carrier off they are worth their weight in gold. Eloise, at 15 months can tinker with a buckle enough to get it undone so I definitely see the utility in these buckles.
To sum it up, the Gemini is a more basic carrier ie, it is lacking the bells and whistles (like a hood, pocket and the optional accessory pack) that the Soleil has. BUT the Gemini has everything you need in baby carrier. We tested both the Gemini and the Soleil and have to say we love each of them and truly believe either carrier is a great option – you just have to consider what is important to you.
Both the Gemini and Soleil are super comfortable for both parents and baby. They are ergonomically designed, have padded shoulder straps that can be crossed for for enhanced support and padded seats/bodies to ensure baby comfort. The waist belt and shoulder straps on both carriers are adjustable and they can accommodate parents of all shapes and sizes.
The Gemini may be more basic but that doesn’t mean it is missing any important features. Here’s some other features worth noting:
- I love that the Gemini has four carry positions – baby facing in, baby facing out, hip carry and back carry. In my opinion, this makes the Gemini applicable and comfortable for all ages and stages. I love the hip carry – especially at this point in my life, 29 weeks pregnant. I am still able to wear Eloise for short jaunts and appreciate it the versatility the Gemini allows. However, I will enjoy the hip carry beyond pregnancy as Eloise was very comfortable and happy on my hip.
- As mentioned, the Gemini requires no infant insert. There are simply two heavy duty snaps at the bottom of the carrier that can be snapped to create a narrower seat base/hip spread for little ones. Once your babe has outgrown the narrow seat you simply unsnap and you are ready to use until 35 pounds.
- The head support of the Gemini has the ability to fold down when your child’s age and the carry position calls for it.
- The Gemini has the ability to fold compactly for easy, on the go transport.
- Comfort! I was comfortable, Tyler was comfortable and Eloise was comfortable – it was a triple win in our house (and even for a very preggers lady).
So what don’t I like about the Gemini? Hmmm… nothing? Seriously, I really tried to find something I didn’t like but I think the Gemini is about as perfect of a baby carrier as they come. The only downside could possibly be the safety buckles… they do take some getting used to and the one on the back of the waist belt can be a bit challenging sometimes. The only other thing worth mentioning is the lack of ability to easily get your sleeping child out of the carrier. It does require some extra effort and may be tough to do depending on how deep of a sleeper you’ve got.
On to the Soleil. Here’s what we love:
- The Soleil has slightly thicker padding for enhanced comfort – you can really feel it in the seat/body of the carrier.
- A hood comes standard on the Soleil and it is a great feature to have. Whether for sun, a napping child or just to hide a wee one from curious strangers a hood is a welcome plus.
- The roomy pocket on the waist belt is AWESOME! It is so handy to put your cell phone, a credit card, etc in – especially when you are wearing something with no pockets. There is a separate key ring to house your keys which is equally as handy.
- The body of the Soleil is a bit wider than the Gemini which makes it ideal for larger/older children.
- It is super easy to adjust the shoulder straps and under arm straps on the Soleil. You could easily adjust to allow for breastfeeding which is a big bonus.
- Again, comfort! It was another triple win in our house and the hip carry was a big hit with the Soleil. The back carry was also popular and for some reason Eloise seemed to prefer it with the Soleil versus the Gemini. However, this could be attributed to a fickle 15 month old more than a carrier itself! 😉
As far as the bad, again, not much. The Soleil is very awesome. My biggest bone is the requirement of an extra insert for newborns. Although it is not the end of the world because the accessory pack comes with the insert, a drool cloth and a convienent carry cross body bag that can hold diapers + more. And some people may prefer having a seperate, softer carrier for the teeny tiny newborn stage in which case this is a moot point. My only other gripe is the lack of ability for the front facing out carry. It is by far Eloise’s favorite way to be carried so I miss that about the Soleil BUT she does love the hip and back so again, it is not a deal breaker for me. My two minor complaints about the Gemini also apply here.
In the end, there are distinct differences between the Gemini and the Soleil but they both have the ingenious design and comfort we love about Beco. If I had to choose between the two, it would be tough but as a mama getting ready to have another newborn in the house, I like the versatility the Gemini affords without purchasing extra products BUT I can honestly say, I would love to have either one.
Instead of keeping the Gemini and Soleil carriers Beco sent me we are giving them away! Here’s the deal – enter to win either carrier via the Rafflecopter widget below. We are giving away Gemini and a Soleil + the accessory pack. The first winner chosen at random will get to choose between the two and the second winner will get the remaining carrier. Winners will be contacted via email and have five days to claim their prize before another winner is selected. Happy entering and I am seriously jealous of you two lucky winners.
As mentioned, we were sent a Beco Gemini, a Beco Soleil and a Soleil accessory for testing and review but they are part of this giveaway. This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for helping keep the lights on at The Wise Baby.