I spent a lot of time trying to find the right title for this post. It started off as “Manduca versus Ergo? You make the choice.” I felt this was perfect because carriers fit and suit parents and bubs – all differently. I began to compare the carriers and realised that my blog is exactly that – my stuff. My opinion. That given, the most appropriate titles here should be “Manduca, where have you been all my life?!” or “Manduca, you win hands down.” Nevertheless I do prefer to give a neutral position when trialling a new product and I want to assure you that I started with one. Hopefully I can squish all my comparisons succinctly into one post that will show you how I reached the strongly biased position – completely brimful of admiration for the Manduca baby carrier.
Now you might be thinking we are biased because we do sell this carrier in our eco baby store. But we also sold lots of others before we started feeling it with unethical when we knew that this was the best product. We were blindsided, you might say – because hubby and I were Ergo users and thought we couldn’t be converted otherwise. When our son arrived 3 years ago, all the wise women we knew were using the Ergo, and could articulately express their good reason. If you are considering these carriers you probably already know that a soft structured carrier is an extremely convenient, comfortable, simple, long lasting, ergonomic option for both baby and family. The ‘M’ position (with knees higher than bottom) is ideal for babe. If you don’t already know why soft structured carriers are it and a bit; read this article which might help you second guess that Baby Bjorn carrier – or indeed any other front facing option, also read this comprehensive article if you are still in the early research stages.
Anyway, so what I am saying is that I can’t help asking if my head has been buried in the sand, because the Manduca has been around for a little while and I consider myself a savvy consumer, that also has regular contact with other similarly minded natural parenting baby wearing consumers. Why didn’t I know about this carrier earlier? The answer is probably that I was pregnant and had hyper emesis when most people I know where starting to discover this German designed carrier. Or likely that Ergo has been stretching its corporate muscle and out-marketed Manduca until now.
Let’s compare them – quick table styles:
Manduca Versus Ergo Quick Reference Table
|Organic||Entire range||Limited range of organic|
|Infant Setup||Included – no extra $$||Extra $$|
|Well designed||Bulky and not very portable|
|Body Length||31cm – extends to 41cms||35cms fixed|
|Shoulder strap (width)||6cm||9cm|
|Price (RRP)||159.00||Standard 159.00|
|Infant Insert Standard 39.00|
|Infant Insert Organic 59.00|
It really is exciting to be able to offer a carrier that is only available in an organic fabric selection. Yes Ergo do offer an organic option, but with a crazy markup – that sort of unnecessary markup on ‘organic’ that really erks me. Why support organic? – That needs a dedicated post [and will probably get one too!]. Too often with the Ergo people are drawn to the cheaper, non-organic option. That is not an issue with every Manduca being either 100% organic cotton or an organic cotton/hemp blend.
Neither my son nor daughter has taken to being carried as newborns – my daughter would like the odd Peanut Shell ride. We did try the Ergo Heart-to-Heart Insert Infant Insert on both occasions but found it too bulky and restrictive. Another awesome, cost saving factor with the Manduca is the built-it infant insert that requires no separate purchase or additional outlay.
I absolutely love the zip open torso and my setup is to have it open (longer) for naps and closed (shorter) for an awake babe. With the extra length a sleeping baby has that little more neck support for a bobbling head. I cross the straps over my back as a rule and find that much more comfortable than the Ergo, no more feeling like the straps are going to slip off my shoulder. The waist belt buckle feels more sturdy and has a 3 point safety system that I actually do notice feels more secure.
What we feel is that somewhere Ergo got stuck and didn’t move forward. Manduca however has streamlined the concept of a soft structured carrier to a more sleek, sophisticated and functional product. Some have commented that it is ‘less like a hiking pack’ and ‘something more beautiful and refined.’ We hear (often!) that the Manduca is also more comfy for people of shorter stature or even simply slim build. Manduca versus Ergo for shorter stature; Manduca just has to be the choice.
Yes my heart was beating a little faster after looking over the only carrier I have come across that I feel competes properly with our Ergo. Actually, I have now sold our once ‘trusty’ Ergo and I no longer sell the Ergo either, although I have an account and could if I had wanted to. I just can’t conscience selling a product that I know now is now providing the most functional experience for our community. People may have heard the comment I often make that families need to find what works for them in many aspects of parenting and feel confident to construct their own tool kit from the many options available. For our babes and our bodies and our sanity, the Manduca is simply an item that makes our lives easier and more enjoyable and we can only hope to share that with others. It’s like our hammer! A tool we just can’t do without.
If you have questions or need advice about comparing Manduca versus Ergo or any other carrier and our experience with them please don’t hesitate to comment.
Did you like this post? Please like us on Facebook 🙂