My local babywearing group was fortunate to be given a Beco Soleil to try out, and while I am firmly a member of Team Tula, I thought I’d give the Beco a go and share the results with you.
To be honest, I haven’t really tried a lot of soft structured carriers. I’ve tried a few different versions of the Ergo, and the Tula. I find the Tula so comfortable I haven’t been inclined to try anything else. But the Beco Soleil pleasantly surprised me; it far exceeded my expectations.
Here’s what I liked:
- My daughter is 18 months old and above average height and weight (we’re using a Toddler Tula now), but she still fit in the Soleil quite well, better than she fits in an Ergo.
- The waistband is slightly narrower than the Tula, which I liked because it didn’t push the waistband of my jeans down like my Tula can sometimes.
- The top of the body panel has a padded, peaked design that provides nice firm coverage over baby’s upper back, which I also think is an improvement on the Tula design.
- It has a removable hood, and also a large removable storage pocket (something the Tula is missing, and something many people like about the Ergo).
- I could get a nice high back carry, much higher than the Ergo.
- The straps felt a lot more comfortable than the Ergo, and didn’t feel too bulky or wide for my narrow shoulders. There are also perfect fit adjusters, similar to the Tula.
- I liked the classic pattern; understated and subtle.
If I had to pick some downsides, I’d say:
- The shoulder straps aren’t particularly padded, certainly less padded than the Tula, and with my almost 13kg big girl I could do with the extra padding. I did find this slightly less comfortable for me than the Tula.
- At $179, it’s the same price as a standard canvas Tula. For the same money, I’d pick a Tula. But if you’ve found the Tula isn’t really for you, then this is a better option than an Ergo, in my opinion.
- It has a similar buckle mechanism to the Manduca, which requires two hands to open. This irritates me, but that’s because I’ve only used Ergos and Tulas that have a one-handed buckle.
Some other things to know:
- You can cross the straps for front carries.
- It has a long waist belt, longer than a standard Ergo and Tula. A larger mum who uses the Ergo Xtra tried this on and found it much more comfortable than the Ergo Xtra.
- It requires a separate infant insert to use from 3.5kg to approximately four months old.
If you’re in the market for a soft structured carrier and the Tula isn’t really for you, then I would definitely recommend the Beco Soleil. It can be purchased from a number of online vendors in Australia.